Linux Driver to Print Index Cards on the Samsung ML-1740–Lazyweb Request

Dear internets,

I would like to be able to print index cards on my Samsung ML-1740 in Linux. It can be done in Windows. Have any of you ever gotten this to work? I’m not averse to writing code. I’ve written a CUPS backend in python. It wasn’t that bad.

I’ve looked far and wide for this, and have only found one lonely mailing list post of a solution that doesn’t really work right.

You’re my only hope!

Gregarius Sticky Post Exporter

The project page is located at http://feelslikeburning.com/projects/gregarius-sticky-exporter/.

I use Gregarius for my feed aggregator and reader. I’ve had a busy semester, and have marked close to 2000 items as “sticky” so I can read them when I have more time. I don’t like the built-in “Browse Sticky” functionality, and would prefer something basic, but flat. I want to be able to save it, and use it to check off what I’ve read in my massive backlog of items.

Gregarius Sticky Exporter

I waded through the PHP and SQL, and talked with Matthew a bit, and came up with a little .php file.

You can download it at http://files.feelslikeburning.com/gregarius-sticky-exporter/gregarius-sticky-exporter.zip.

To install, download the zip, extract it, put your database information in, and upload it to your webhost. Hit the page with your web browser, and it should generate the list. It doesn’t modify your database at all.

It doesn’t contain all the information in the tables, just the title, the url, and the body of each feed. The title is linked to the url, and the body is displayed after the titles. If you’re interested in something extra in your exports, feel free to contact me.

Reading Ebooks on the Nokia 770 with FBreader

The Nokia 770 is the best ebook reader I have ever used. I use FBreader, a very versatile reader for Linux. My favorite feature is screen rotate. This lets me use the 770 sideways in my hand, and I can use my finger change pages with the up-down rocker.
In these pictures, the scratches on the screen are on a cheap screen protector. The real screen doesn’t scratch that easily, but I’m paranoid anyway. The screen is a bajillion times brighter, but the flash washed it out.
Nokia 770 with FBreader in rotated orientation

Nokia 770 with FBreader in rotated orientation, showing the rocker page control

I’ve read ebooks on a Palm IIIxe, a Palm IIIc, a Treo 600, a Treo 650, and a Nokia 770, and the 770 is the best ebook reader I have ever used. I would have bought it simply as an ebook reader. I’ve used the Nokia 770 to surf to Baen Free Library, grab an ebook off there, and read it, all without an extra computer.

The 770 is better in almost all ways than a paperback. I never lose my spot. I don’t need to turn off the light to go to bed, as the screen is backlit. I can fit more paperbacks than I could fit in a house on a single memory card. The 770 fits in a single hand, and I can change pages with the same hand. The screen is beautiful.
The only real downsides are the fact that the Nokia 770 uses electricity and costs more than a single paperback.

With a Treo 650 and a Nokia 770, I shall take over the world!

Summary in photos:

Treo 600 and Treo 650

Nokia 770 and Treo 650

My Treo 650 arrived today! It’s a free replacement of my Treo 600 that no longer makes or takes phone calls. I haven’t had a lot of time to play with the new Treo, but because it has Bluetooth, I should be able to interface the Nokia 770 and the Treo 650 easily. This means that if I’m somewhere without free Wifi, but I get cellular signal, I can easily bridge the cellular signal to my Nokia 770 through the wireless magic of Bluetooth.

I’ve been meaning to post this except of a comment I ran across on Metafilter, but I wasn’t really sure how to introduce it. The setup is that there was a post on a video from the 70’s about ARPAnet, the precursor of the internet. A Metafilter user, loquacious, posted the following. The complete comment can be found at the original post.

Even in today’s realm of nearly pervasive computing, I’m still constantly astounded. I’m barely old enough to remember Pong. I sort-of remember the dawn of personal computing. I’m old enough to remember what 75 bps/baud felt like. Yes, I know that BPS != baud, but for the purposes of that particular modem and this argument, it’s fine – especially when confronted by the 9mbit cable modem currently providing my connection. I even remember the first single file in excess of 1mb I ever downloaded. At 300 bps/baud. With interruptions and download resuming, it took something like 2-3 days. My parents were furious when they got the phone bill that month. It was a local ZUM 3 zoned toll call. That 1mb file cost our household over $500 USD! And I don’t even remember what it was!!

And yet… for years now, people throw away working computers so powerful I would have chewed off at least one of my own limbs just to possess them, way back when. Though I jest easily, I jest not about such important things. Twenty years later it’s still difficult to even comprehend the fever that gripped me back then. Even now I go all clammy thinking about how potent those feelings once were. I am using such a throwaway computer now, and I have a few more such machines I use besides. Interestingly, it’s still faster than the modern WindowsXP laptop issued to me by my work!

I now carry around a now nearly ancient – and also thrown-away – Palm IIIC that has an order of magnitude more storage then my family’s first home computer. In fact, it’s nearly equatable in feel and power to a Mac Classic 512K. But in color. In my pocket. With, again, an order of magnitude more default storage space. This now obsolete device contains a dozen novels, assorted maps and transportation schedules, and dozens upon dozens of applications ranging from music creation tools to document editors, various utilities, a very complete interactive star chart, painting/art programs, numerous games, and even an infrared meter/detection tool – and more besides.

I also carry a rather bottom-of-the-line portable phone that has better graphics, a better display – in color rather than green monochrome, more CPU and more memory then my family’s first computer. That talks wirelessly. To most of the world. Much or all of it through varieties of packet switching networks. (And yet they still won’t let me connect to the internet, browse via WAP, send a proper email, or simply do an old-school data modem connection from it. Hrmpf. I use Cricket. No frills.)

People now routinely buy – at toy stores! – what were once astronomically expensive, experimental supercomputers, now packaged in slim, small, brightly colored enclosures, simply to play silly, inconsequential little games on. Rather than, say, simulating nuclear explosions on. By all means, play on! Chess? 😉

I have nearly immediate access to more information then I could ever hope to consume or even glance at – even in a hundred lifetimes. Or even a thousand. In fact, even excluding all the boring stuff, more interesting text and data is created or transcribed and uploaded every day then I could consume in n number of lifetimes.

Barring catastrophe, I will never, ever again experience what it feels like to read every Sci Fi novel, every technical manual, every art book at the rather large central library that I spent much of my formative years growing up in.

Barring catastrophe, I will never, ever (truly) again experience what it means to be unable to communicate with someone, regardless of physical distance or time of day. Excluding the internet itself as a channel, but including the internet simply as the container for many channels, I have at my fingertips half a dozen ways of communication with a vast number of people. Hundreds, thousands, hundreds of thousands if I want to expand this to include the myriad number of ways of sending information to and receiving information from a recipient. Without even touching my stand-alone, battery powered phone.

Even without a computer and connection of my own, the cost of entry would be absolutely nothing at all if I just schlepped myself down to the local library.

—–

Amongst all this I’m still intensely aware of all of these things. They do not fade readily into the background as a much as a “given” (in the so-called civilized world) as running water fades into the background. As electricity does. As breathing itself does.

And sometimes I wonder if all this pervasive computing and connectivity will ever fade into the background for me as a given, taken for granted metabolic state, as it probably does for those just a bit younger than I.

And yet, this connectivity is already as essential as breathing is to me. Without it I would not have my current job, this apartment, even the computer itself which I now use. (Thanks you craigslist!) I wouldn’t have immediate access to transportation schedules, which maintain my job. Access to vital weather information, which helps me maintain my health and my job, and enables good planning. I haven’t touched a paper phone book in years.

I wouldn’t have entertainment. I wouldn’t have the art and music I enjoy. I wouldn’t be able to pick and choose the minds I find fascinating to interact with. I would be but a fraction of who I am today.

The internet has literally saved my hide from certain doom – if not at least prolonged discomfort – at least a dozen times. It has enabled the seeking of shelter when it was needed most, the provision of economic viability, transportation, communication, and so much more.

I would even personally argue that I owe the internet my very life – via the convoluted, twisting paths of life itself, with it’s occasionally fatal levels of frustration leading to ideations of self harm and hopelessness – upon which once a frightened call in the dark was answered so long ago, not merely by one concerned soul, but dozens upon dozens bearing not only firm, kind wishes – but bucketfuls of wisdom, strength, and love.

There is no price for such a thing. It cannot be valued, bartered, bought or sold, or even given away. The very concept and abstraction of price becomes meaningless in the face of it.

I have a hard time comparing, say, the mechanical printing press and this nebulous, cloud-like concept we call the internet. They do not sit rationally or comfortably together on the same scale in my mind. While one begat the other, one now dwarfs the other with such complexity and massiveness it is as crude a comparison as relating a simple wheel or lever to something as fantastic as a (yet) fictional faster-than-light starship.

And yet I still revel in it, awash, even drowning in such fantastic knowledge and access that – even if it were to vanish entirely, right now – my mind would gibber and reel at the incredibleness of it all for the rest of its days, forever changed. Leary was right! PC+internet > LSD!

Thanks, nerds and hackers everywhere. Have you ever been properly thanked? Or was the fact that the whole world pretty much just ran off with your countless inventions and started using them with gusto thanks enough for you?

Thanks DARPA/ARPA, and even the DoD. Thanks for letting the genie out, and making sure it couldn’t be put back in. Thanks Bell labs, thanks Xerox-PARC. Ma Bell? AT&T? G’way, you malingerers! Stern, strict great-grandfathers though you may be, a pox on you! Thanks MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and everyone else. Thanks Apple, Intel, and even Microsoft. Thanks, Linus Torvalds. Thanks, Wozniak. Thanks, Lee Felsenstein. Thanks, Google, and it’s long-lost batty great aunt who once lived in a dorm closet, Yahoo. Thank you, thank you, thank you CERN. And thanks to all the countless others I’ve missed, both large and small.

You probably won’t be able hear me among the riotous, delicious cacophony you’ve enabled, but… Thanks for everything.

posted by loquacious at 4:59 AM PST on March 19

*nods*

I love Tab Mix Plus.

Tab Mix Plus is a Firefox extension, providing a veritable boatload of tab features and also a session manager. You can rearrange tabs, protect tabs from being closed, unclose tabs, have a loading bar for each tab show up in its little name spot, and my favorite feature of all: Making multiple rows of tabs! When I max out my tabs in Firefox, what usually happens is that they extend off the side of the window, making it very tricky to work nicely with them. Now, they wrap around and make a second row. Whoo hoo!

I don’t have many problems with Firefox stability, but I faked a crash to check out the crash helper thing. When I restarted Firefox, Tab Mix Plus came up and asked if I wanted to restore from the crashed session.

Here’s to you, Tab Mix Plus.

Lesbian Spank Inferno, the Giggle Loop, and why I love Coupling!

Amanda, Matthew and I have recently watched the first season of the BBC comedy Coupling. Although most places online claim it is the British answer to Friends, I really don’t think so. I don’t appreciate Friends that much, and Friends seemed more to me like Mad About You with more people. Coupling is much more in your face about the sex and relationships than I remember Friends.

Coupling is about dating, relationships, and sex. There’s a character, Jeff Murdoch, who comes across as a Kramer type guy. He has an odd bit of wisdom every episode, some accurate, others not. One I’m particularily fond of, and afflicted with, is the Giggle Loop.

  • Patrick: What’s a giggle loop?
  • Jeff: Don’t ask. To know about the giggle loop is to become part of the giggle loop!
  • Steve: I think we can take it.
  • Jeff: You’re not ready for the giggle loop. Basically, it’s like a feedback loop, you’re somewhere quiet, there’s people– it’s a solemn occasion, a wedding! No, it’s a minute’s silence for someone who’s died!
  • Steve: Right?
  • Jeff: Minute’s silence, ticking away–the giggle loop begins! Suddenly, out of nowhere this thought comes into your head, the worst thing you could possibly do during a minute’s silence is laugh! As soon as you think that, you almost do laugh! Automatic reaction! But you don’t–you control yourself! You’re fine! But then you think how terrible it would have been if you’d laugh out loud in the middle of a minute’s silence and so you nearly do it again! But this time, it’s an even bigger laugh, then you think how awful this bigger laugh would have been, and so you nearly laugh again only this time, it’s a very big laugh, let this bastard out and you get whiplash! And suddenly, you’re in the middle of this completely silent room, and your shoulders are going like they’re drilling the road, and what do you think of this situation? Oh dear Christ–you think it’s funny!

After a disaster with “Lesbian Spank Inferno,” Steve has a monologue on porn that had me looking for a transcription online as soon as the episode finished.
Anyway, Coupling was “adapted” for NBC and flopped. There’s a line or two of dialogue every episode where I know I don’t know what they’re talking about, because I’m not British. But in order to increase my cultural diversity, I netflix’ed The Wicker Man so I can understand these Britt Ekland references.

The first season is only six episodes, and there were only 28 total. They’re only half hour long, so you could easily watch this show over a few weeks without overdoing it.

“Flickering Black Lines When You Press a Key or Type in Linux” Solution

If you read my posts for the last two months or so, you’ll notice I’ve had no end to the troubles given to me by my girlfriend’s computer. One day, it started having black flickering lines that occured when you typed, or sometimes moved the mouse. I ended up replacing all the hardware, and it still happened! It was better on the new hardware, so she continued to use it.

I even posted the question on Ask.Metafilter! No dice. A few days ago, however, someone online sent me an email via my contact form, and asked if I had solved it yet. I had not. He replied back today, saying he had solved the problem.

Are you ready? The problem was:

xscreensaver 4.23

After upgrading to the new xscreensaver, everything worked perfect. The black lines are gone.

More information is available at http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=336368.

The Legend of Zelda turns 20 today!

Happy Birthday Legend of Zelda!

I <3 Zelda. Legend of Zelda games is what makes me buy a console. I’m dying to play Twilight Princess, and I can see my grades next semester dropping because of it. I hope Amanda and I can play it together, otherwise I’ll have to cut a lot of my personal time down.

I’m wearing a Zelda shirt Amanda bought me in celebration of this joyous day.

img_1923

I have memories of the original golden cartridge on the NES. I remember walking downstairs late at night when I couldn’t sleep, and watching my father play. I remember being stuck on level five for so long. I had found it before I should have, and had the hardest time. I remember sitting on the carpet in third grade, and while playing with my shoelaces, I rolled my shoelace into a circle, and remember thinking it looked like one of the monsters in the fifth dungeon. This was Digdogger. Zelda has influenced catchphrases. One night after my roommate was playing A Link to the Past on the arcade, as he was falling asleep he mentioned something about how cool it would be to have a “shield hat.” I mentioned it to him the next day, and he explained. This was the headpiece of the Helmasaur King. Whenever “shield hat” is mentioned, it now refers to a moment of sleepdrunkeness.
I hope there are many great Zelda games, and I hope to be fifty years and thirty four days old and write about the Legend of Zelda’s fiftieth birthday.

Please take some time to read the Wikipedia entry on The Legend of Zelda Series. There’s a lot of stuff linked from there.

Zelda Trivia: Miyamoto named Princess Zelda after hearing the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s wife, Zelda. F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby, one of my favorite books of all time, and he lived in St. Paul, and I took a picture of a statue of him I found in St. Paul. img_1889

Computer Nerdery Imminent!

Saturday, I essentially spent the whole day with Alex. Today, I organized my computer stuff. I noticed a great deal on a Cruiser Micro at Office Depot, and went to buy that for Amanda. She needs a new one fairly badly. Her old one is stolen by the digital picture frame, and I sometimes need mine. What seems cool about the Cruiser Micro is that the whole case is the same piece as the plug. The plug shouldn’t get bent up and loose as they tend to do on normal usb drives. I can’t find a picture of this exact drive online, not even at the Sandisk site. I’ll take a picture of it sometime.

This next week is just going to be full of computer nerdery. I’m still trying to fix Amanda’s computer! I brought a spare machine from home, and bought a new heatsink for it, to make it quieter, and it doesn’t fit in the case along with the power supply. As I’m going to be swapping a bunch of motherboards around, I had Dad buy two of my favorite cases in the world, the Antec 1650, from RAM Technologies back in Eau Claire.

RAM seems to be much more reasonably priced compared to five years ago. I’m not quite sure if its the store that changed, taking lower margins on products so they’re closer to online prices, or if its me that changed, and I don’t quite pinch the pennies as hard as I used to when I was a paper boy.

Well anyway, Meg Mueller is bringing the cases back Tuesday, along with my thumbdrive I left in Betty’s car.

So today, before Matthew got back, I lost my keys, while I was in my room. He got back while I was still searching, and I ended up being at my wit’s end, and searching the garbage cans. They were definitely down in the bottom of one of our garbage cans. Sometimes I think there are little pixies that steal my stuff and move it around.

Last year, one day when Matthew was gone all morning at class, I locked the door and went to class as well. You have to realize, the doors in the dorms, to lock them and walk out, you need to lock them from the outside. You can’t “set them to lock” and then leave your keys in there. So as long as you don’t have your roommate lock you out, you’re set, because if your door is locked, it meant you were outside your door with them, to lock it. You can’t lock yourself out. To do that, you need a partner. Anyway, I locked the door, from the outside with my keys, and went to class. I came back, and I noticed I didn’t have my keys. I tried the door. Nope, locked. I went to the front desk, checked out a key, and opened the door. My keys are on my desk. This whole situation was impossible, but happened. Matthew didn’t come home the entire time, so he’s out of the picture. Dorm pixies, I tell you.

Anyway, later tonight, I’m installing OpenBSD on Amanda’s old hardware, as it seems to have display issues on the motherboard. I should install webDAV and LDAP on there, set them up for handling my Evolution stuff.