Sunday, September 6, 2015

Getting an HP scanner / multi function device to work in Peppermint

I have had a long standing problem scanning documents or photos with Linux (not just Peppermint).

You see, I have a Canon CanoScan LiDe 90, a model that is not supported by Linux. I spent a lot of time reading through forums and even trying a demo version of VueScan. It lists my scanner among the compatible ones, but unfortunately I could not get it to work. Well done for them to have a demo version, because if I had purchased the software and it had not worked - I would have asked for my money back.

I don't scan often, and I am able to use CamScanner on my phone if I have to, but sometimes it is a lot better to scan from a "real" scanner.

If it is a scanner only:

If you have an HP, this should work for you:

Click Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal
Type in: sudo apt-get install hplip-gui
press <ENTER>
Type in your sudo password and press <ENTER>
Press Y if prompted

Once it is installed, click on:
Menu >> Graphics >> Simple Scan

If it is a printer and a scanner:

You will need to install the printer first
Click Menu >> System Tools >> Printers
Click on Add
Select your printer from the list
Follow the prompts to install

Saturday, September 5, 2015

A great source for Linux articles

A website that I really enjoy for Linux news and articles is MakeUseOf.

As Linux use grows in popularity, tech websites are motivated to do more articles on Linux.

From apps, to distros to Raspberry Pi stuff - you will find it all here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

How to auto-enable Numlock on a laptop

If you have a laptop with a numeric keypad, you probably want Numlock to stay on. I got tired of pressing the button after every startup and went in search of the menu item for it. I did not find one, I searched further and found the answer:

Install numlockx.

Click on Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal
Type in:
sudo apt-get install numlockx
Press <ENTER>
Type in your sudo password and press <ENTER>
Click on Menu >> Preferences > Default applications for LXSession.
Click on the Autostart tab.
Under Manual autostarted applications, type numlockx in the box and click Add.

This is what LXSession configuration should look like, once you have made the change.


You can reboot to test, but it should work. It works on my Lenovo, but there are people that report that it does not work on their machines.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

How to play MKV files on Peppermint Linux

Now I have to give a big shout out and thank you to ConfigX, from the Peppermint forum.

This type of file is a container and a special codec is needed to read it.

Open a Terminal window, click Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal
Type in:
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-restricted-extras
Press <ENTER>
Type in your sudo password and press <ENTER>

Now when trying to play MKV files with VLC, it will work.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

How to easily kill slow or unresponsive programs and windows

(this tutorial originally appeared on the Peppermint forum, it id by mattosensei)

Have you ever been faced with a laggy, unresponsive or crashed application and program window?

It happens - though for me, much less in Linux than in Windows.

Sometimes you can't X out to close the program but you do want to close it down.

There is a very quick and easy terminal command you can use to 'point and kill' the unresponsive program. Simply open up a terminal window using CTRL+ALT+T and then type the code below and hit enter:

xkill

You will then see a X-hair appear. Just hover it over the window that's not responding and click the mouse button. Voila - the process/window/application will be killed.

Note: don't try to kill by clicking in the taskbar at the bottom of your screen as you will inadvertently kill Nemo (the desktop manager running your user interface  ;))

Anyway, a handy little tool in case you're not aware of it. 8)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

My "new" rig

It's been a long time since my last post here, sorry for that. A few things lead to this, mainly my problems in dual booting Windows 8.1 with Peppermint 6 and also because I donated my trusty Lenovo S10e netbook to my mother.

So I was stuck without Linux...

Two months in, my Lenovo i3 laptop started to slow down - as Windows 8.1 is horrible. I started longing back to the days when I had a fast computer.

Yesterday I found someone trying to throw away a computer, it had an interesting case and I asked him if he would mind if I "salvaged" it. He said, "be my guest" Turns out it is a pretty sweet computer:

It has an antec case!

For a list of specs:

Mobo:
Foxconn
CPU: Dual core Pentium CPU E5300 2.6 GHZ
RAM: 2 GB
Graphics Card:
AMD RV730 PRO [Radeon HD 4650]

I still can't believe he was throwing this away.

So here is a screenshot, I've installed Conky, but have not changed the default wallpaper (Peppermint 6 is out, I need to do a review at some point).

Linux truly is amazing at repurposing hardware that would have been considered obsolete.

Long live Peppermint Linux!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Linux in business - Part 2

Preparation:

This is the most important part of your switch to Linux. Rushing through this part is a very bad idea, so please don't do it.

Identify your needs

What software do you need to run on a day to day basis?
What does each machine in your company need to be able to do?

Explore cross platform software

Before switching, check out cross platform software that has a Windows and a Linux version. Firefox, Google Chrome, LibreOffice, etc. all has versions for both platforms. If you are familiar with the software you will end up using the transition will be a lot easier.

Start checking if your hardware & peripherals are Linux compatible

Most computers and laptops are Linux compatible, but it is still a good idea to find out before you start.

Also a lot of peripherals are simply not Linux compatible. I have a Canon Lide 90 scanner which works on Windows XP, VISTA and 7; but refuses to work on Linux or even Windows 8. What am I saying? Updating your operating system will not guarantee that all your devices will play nicely.

If your printers, plotters, scanners, etc. are not Linux compatible - can you afford to replace everything?

What is the easiest and most reliable way to know if my peripherals are compatible?


Burn yourself a Live CD and boot up Linux, without installing it you are still able to test it. This way you know for sure that your hardware is or is not compatible. It is not difficult to do.

1. Go to http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ and download Unetbootin for your software platform
2. Go to the Peppermint OS web site and download the 32 bit / 64 bit version (if you are a Windows user, right click on My Computer, then left click on Properties. The version of Windows you are running should mention 32 or 64 bit)
3. Run Unetbootin that you downloaded, Click the button with the 3 dots (bottom right) then locate the Peppermint ISO you downloaded in step 2, double click it
4. Plug in a flash drive (warning, it will format the flash drive so use one that does not contain important files)
5. Click on Drive (bottom center) and select the flash drive
6. Reboot
7. Press F2 or Del (depending on your computer) and select Boot from Flash drive, in the boot settings menu.
8. Save and reboot
9. Select Try Peppermint OS when your computer starts up, if you select Install it will install Peppermint (either alongside Windows or erase your hard drive, depending on your choices)

When you shut down, unplug the flash drive and when you boot up again you will be in Windows again,

This is only a very basic tutorial, This will let you try Linux before installing, you can connect your peripherals and try to install them (if you have problems with that, please ask the friendly folks in the Peppermint forum, as they are much smarter than me).