Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Journal Journal: Installing hplip on an HP C4500 printer - what a nightmare

It's working now, so I can laugh about. Ha ha.

This all started when I decided I wanted to print a file to a PDF (actually, save a web page as a PDF). That wasn't supported, but googling told me I just needed to upgrade my version of hplip. "So simple! I love open source!" I probably trilled.

Then I discovered that the latest, shiniest hplip wasn't available as a package, but as a download from the HP site. Warning bells started clanging, but I blithely ignored them and pressed on, downloading and running hplip. It ran happily for a while, then stopped with the dire warning 'error: Configure failed with error: python-devel not found'.

Oh well, off to the Synaptic Package Manager, I'm a seasoned Linus guy .. oops. Sorry, Charlie -- no such package.

Hmm. Oh well, I can still print right? Heh.

Um, no. Well, that's not exactly true -- if your goal is to always get a page that says '**** Unable to open the initial device, quitting', then printing works GREAT! Otherwise, no. Your printing is dead. Oh, and scanning? Also dead.

So this morning I set out to get this situation fixed. I went into Synaptic and installed python-all-dev, figuring that would sort things out. Nope.

Back to googling .. and I found the command 'sudo apt-get build-dep hplip' from https://answers.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/hplip/+question/66578 (that would have been a handy addition to HP's readme), ran that, tried the installation again .. and got the following message

warning: A previous install of HPLIP is installed and/or running.
sudo apt-get remove --assume-yes hplip hpijs hplip-cups hplip-data libhpmud0 foomatic-db-hpijs (Removing old HPLIP version)
warning: HPLIP removal failed. The previous install may have been installed using a tarball or this installer.
warning: Continuing to run installer - this installation should overwrite the previous one.

So, let's review. The software detected that a previous version ran (but didn't clean up after itself) or perhaps is still running. It tried to remove the old version using apt-get, failed (perhaps because the previous run was via the same intsaller) and finally says -- no biggie, that's not really important. These installation scripts need work.

Then a nice dialog window popped up, and I was informed that the software was trying to find the wireless printer, without success. I checked my modem/router -- the printer was there, with an IP address. I disabled and enabled the wireless on the printer -- no luck. Finally I understood that even though the printer was wireless, it wanted a USB connection to the printer. Oh, and not a standard USB cable with two rectangular connectors, but one with a square connector at one end. Really? Do you think I have a stockpile of old cables?

Actually, luckily, I do. I plugged the cable in, and the printer was properly configured. Then it took me back to a nice dialog window .. and tried to restart the configuration process again. I cancelled out, and triumphantly tried to print .. and failed.

So my CUPS installation now has three HP printers, one of which looks healthy, and the other two that look dead. The healthy one is working. What to do? Burn it. Burn it all. Yes, I deleted all three HP printers, and had to add a new one. And CUPS provides even more hilarity: After picking the HP C4500 series printer, CUPS goes on to ask the name of the manufacturer. All I can do is shake my head and select 'HP' and click Add. This works, and I am successfully able to print a test page.

Scanning is still broken, but I'll have to leave that for tomorrow morning. If you don't see another blog entry, just look for me in the rubber room at the Hotel Happy. I'll be the loony in the dark blue bathrobe shouting "Abort, Retry, Fail?" at the wall.

User Journal

Journal Journal: modprobe and v4l

So it finally appeared (from the V4L mailing list) that modprobe ivtv was going to load the appropriate driver for this card into the kernel, so I ran it, and .. nothing changed.

I don't even know where to look for help .. I wonder where the log files are when xawtv decides to silently croak. I also tried adding alias /dev/v4l ivtv to /etc/modules.conf but that changed nothing.

Hardrake isn't sure about the card; it has a Bus ID for the card, and knows that the Media Class is Multimedia_video, but has not picked up on the Vendor, Description or Module.

Now I'm wondering if I should reinstall Mandrake 10 from scratch. Hmm. I do have a copy of FreeBSD 5 that I've been meaning to try, so maybe I'll do that first.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Making a PVR -- take two

OK, I have ponied up the $119.95CDN for a Hauppage PVR-150 and have installed it in one of my boxes after giving up on the ATI card. Apparently ATI isn't interested in producing either Linux drivers or technical information about their TV cards.

Now the only problem is agreeing on a pronunciation of 'Hauppage' -- I've heard both Hop-hog and Haw-Pawdge -- but anyways. As soon as I ran Hardrake to add the TV tuner card, I was asked for the CDs that contain xawtv -- fine, install those and select NTSC, Canada (NTSC) and nobody as the choices. OK, that all installs fine. Now I've heard about xawtv on the Video4Linux mailing list, so I try that out. Oops. problems.

Apparently the DCOPServer wasn't running. (Huh??)

After some research http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/linux/library/l-dcop/index.html?ca=dgr-lnxw12ConnectKDE it turns out it's some script platform thing. And it doesn't run because it can't write to .ICEAuthority in my home directory. Hmm. Maybe this is because I'm not using KDE but rather WindowMaker.

Maybe I need to switch to KDE and see if that works. Mysterious.


Journal Journal: More installation -- remote control?

Hmm. This lump of instructions has me confused ..

  • MythTV does not have native remote control receiver and decoder software built-in. Instead, remote control functions are implemented by ..

Remote control? How do you set up the receiver for the remote control? Very odd.

I'll skip it and see if I can get by.

OK, now I'm trying to run setup, and I'm getting the old error while loading shared Libraries: libmythtv-0.17.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory. OK, Check for the file, and yes, it exists in libs/libmythtv in the mythTV directory, but it's not on the path.

OK, so I make a symlink to the library to somewhere in /usr/local/bin since that's on my path. Nope, same error.


Oh, OK, once again google to the rescue: the MythTV mailing list had the answer. Edit /etc/ld.so.conf, run ldconfig and things should work. I have no idea how common that is, or how dangerous. Guess I'll find out.

OK, got the setup program running, but the extremely sparse instructions to do with the Capture Card Setup don't help.

  • Choose the appropriate settings for your particular tuner.

There are no choices available. I think I have to take a step back and make sure that Linux understands that I have a TV tuner video card.



Journal Journal: Start to install

OK, downloaded the 0.17 version of MythTV a few days back, today installed it and read the README.

It lists a few things, so first I tried to install libttf, a.k.a. FreeType. Mandrake had something called FreeType, so i installed that file. Next?

Next was libmp3flame, which Mandrake had not heard of, so I went to the web site at http://www.mp3dev.org/, got the source tar ball, and did ./configure, make, make install. The make install died, possibly because I have to be root .. yup, that was it. Next?

Next was QT, and here Mandrake wasn't that helpful -- searching on QT presented a pile of things, and when I selceted the QT and MySQL piece, Mandrake pointed out that I'd need the MySQL library as well. Then I remembered that MythTV needs MySQL, so I thought I'd better install that at the same time. That was when I got bad signatures for the libmysql2-4.0.18-1, MySQL-client-4.0.18-1, perl-Data-ShowTable-3.3-9 and perl-Mysql-1.22_19 Mandrake RPMs.

Throwing caution to the winds, I accept these bad signatures and continue on.


Journal Journal: Creating an audio/video workstation -- part 1

Goal: Build an audio/video workstation and personal video recorder (PVR) running Linux using a donated machine that needs a CD and hard drive. Install MythTV (mythtv.org -- version 0.17 has just been released!), be able to edit and sequence audio, video, burn CDs and DVDs.

So far, I've managed to get the CPU in its enormous server case (P600, 512M RAM), and have installed a 20G system drive and a DC/DVD burner. I replaced the existing video card with my ATI All-in-Wonder card with coax in and TV In/Out, and I have installan Mandrake 10. The 80G data driev is not yet installed.

That's just an outline, and doesn't talk about fiddling with the jumpers on the back of the CD drive, popping the CMOS battery out of the motherboard in an attempt to circumvent the BIOS password, eventually breaking down and reading the manual to discover the Much Easier Way -- just move a jumper and everything's reset.

I also tried to install the FreeBSD 5 that I bought at YAPC 2004 in Buffalo -- it failed because the installation process said that it wasn't able to detect a CD drive. (Hello? What did you boot from?)

Then Mandrake 10 wouldn't install either.

So after a lot of fiddling around, I tried replacing the fairly new ribbon cables with a ten year old ribbon cable -- and the installation worked fine. And that's not to mention the 80G drive that I had on the secondary IDE channel -- I'm thinking that both of the new ribbon cables are borked, and I'm not sure what I can do to confirm that it's OK. I sure don't want a flaky ribbon cable in this system.

How tall is this case? I still have space for two more hard drives and five more CD drives. It's 625mm high, or about 24.5 inches. Tall.

Next: Plug the 80G drive back in, build a file system (ReiserFS?), download and installed MythTV. Maybe see if I can get a better video screen than the tiny 14 incher I have now.

Slashdot Top Deals

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra