Sunday, September 6, 2015
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
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
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
Click on Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal
sudo apt-get install numlockx
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
This type of file is a container and a special codec is needed to read it.
Open a Terminal window, click Menu >> Accessories >> Terminal
sudo apt-get install lubuntu-restricted-extras
Type in your sudo password and press <ENTER>
Now when trying to play MKV files with VLC, it will work.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
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:
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
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:
CPU: Dual core Pentium CPU E5300 2.6 GHZ
RAM: 2 GB
AMD RV730 PRO [Radeon HD 4650]
I still can't believe he was throwing this away.
Linux truly is amazing at repurposing hardware that would have been considered obsolete.
Long live Peppermint Linux!
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
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.
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
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).
Saturday, March 21, 2015
(please note that I am writing this from a South African perspective)
People in business have specific needs. What will work for home users will not always be a good fit for business. Businesses need software that is secure, easy to use - but does not always need to be easy to set up.
Most people are linked to Microsoft and feel they do not have a choice. With outdated computers, running outdated software. But there is.
There are a lot of companies that still run Windows XP, which today is not a safe move. Why are so many businesses sticking with outdated software that leaves them vulnerable?
1. Keeping up with new software licences is expensive
2. Hardware is expensive, and a lot will need to be replaced when upgrading the OS
3. Support for Linux is lacking / hard to find
After going a little more in depth with these points, we will look at how to set up a small businesses with Linux as the OS, set up a small office network, find a point of sale solution, find a few printers that they can consider, a backup solution and a few other things that will probably come up.
It is going to take a while to compile this and I don't want to reinvent the wheel here so where someone has a great guide I will link to it, instead of redoing it.
If you have any experience in this field, a question or a comment then please post it in the comments.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
The only thing that is a deal breaker for me, is that there is no WhatsApp for it yet. I am sure though that as the platform grows that it will come.
Would you like to run Ubuntu on your phone? Hopefully Canonical have steered clear from the spyware they used to build into the desktop version of Ubuntu in this version.
The mobile phone world needs at least 3-5 strong players so that everyone stays on their toes.
Thursday, March 5, 2015
So I have decided it would be better to reinstall Windows 8.1 SL with media downloaded from Microsoft and not Lenovo. While scanning with Avast anti virus, I found multiple "infections", addware or spyware or crapware. Whatever it is, I don't want that on my laptop. I do trust that Avast removed everything, but I might as well go all the way here.
The important thing to do now (before formatting or anything else) is to do my homework.
I am currently downloading an ISO from Microsoft, from here.
I created a Live USB, here is how I did it:
- Downloaded the 64 bit ISO from www.peppemintos.com
- Checked the md5sum 2eb905b8ff3005ef2fa52e32517d0e5f using Winmd5 free from here.
- Next used Unetbootin to create the Live USB
At this page, I learned how to boot from a flash drive. Which I did to test and see that Peppermint does in fact run on my laptop. Good news so far.
More homework underway. Updates to follow as soon as I have progress and time to report.
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
- Remove the trial version Anti Virus (normally McAfee)
- Remove Wild Tangent trial version game pack
- Decide on an anti virus to use, and install it
- Decide on Office software and install it
(Granted, I am unable to purchase a laptop with Linux preinstalled. So this all happens after you have installed Linux)
- Update your system
- No trial crapware to ignore
- Some distros come with Office software, otherwise choose and install
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
I invited forum members from the Mybroadband forum and the Peppermint OS forum to help me with the poll by voting. While some said they would not vote until Red Hat and server versions of Linux where listed, others took the time to vote. Not a lot of people voted, but it seems that most people believe that Windows is still the best option.
I understand that not everyone is ready to embrace Linux, but with students (using Office and web browsing) I do still feel that Linux is a viable option. If you really need Microsoft Office and you don't want to try to run it in Wine, then consider running their web app versions. Go to mail.live.com and sign up for a free account.
I have done a bit more digging about Chrome OS, as I believe that I did take a very harsh view about it. Consider the Amazon top 100 list of best selling laptops, in the top 20 listed items you will find that 6 of them are Chromebooks. Surely Google is doing something right with Chrome OS, or else nobody would be buying these things.
I do however find it sad that it is not as easy to buy a laptop with Linux installed. Dell is said to have a line of laptops for sale with Ubuntu on, but I would rather not run Ubuntu. Part of the problem is, I suppose, that there are so many different flavours of Linux that are available.
Anyways, a big thank you to everyone who voted. I hope to have another poll up soon.
Sunday, February 15, 2015
It is sad though when a distro ends. I understand that most projects (especially the smaller ones) do not make a profit. It takes a lot of love, commitment and time (and even money!) to create and maintain a version of Linux. Life changes and sometimes our priorities change and we don't have the time to do the things we used to.
My blog has a point and I am finally there:
If you are running Linux, no matter if it is a small distro or one with hundreds of thousands of users - you should learn a little bit more about Linux in general and broaden your horizons. What would you do if your favourite distro stopped tomorrow? If you only know how to use KDE or Gnome, and tomorrow both projects ended - what would you use? I am not encouraging anyone to be paranoid here please. The fear of change and trying new things is what keeps a lot of people locked into Windows, obviously if you have migrated to Linux from Windows you don't fall into that category. But what could it hurt to try something new? You might find that the really like the MATE desktop if you tried it. You might just encounter a new Linux distro that does things differently, (not that you have to switch) but you might learn a few tips & tricks from them.
Getting comfortable with something for too long and cause stagnation. When was the last time you used a different media player, for example? One of the beauties of Linux is that there are many thousands of apps out there. You don't need to try all of them, but having a broader set of general knowledge would not be a bad things either.
Don't go and change everything all at once now, but when and if you do have some free time - learn a new app along the way and explore a new desktop environment. You might just be surprised by what is out there.
That being said, I was able to do something I have not been able to get right with any version of Linux to date. I was able to use Bluetooth tethering between my phone and netbook, so that I did not have to plug into a wired network connection to install wifi drivers. Why does this matter? Well, for a lot of people they get stuck here, without an Internet connection you can't really go very far. I usually plug into my router with a network cable, but this was nice too.
I formatted my beloved Peppermint 5 installation and installed Elementary OS, which was a quick and painless install.
Something I missed, was a program called Task Manager. When I had a problem with Dropbox (the panel icon disappeared and my whole Internet connection basically froze while it tried to download 2 GB), I was not able to open Task manager and close Dropbox. I could have Googled what the Terminal command for this would have been, but my Internet was otherwise occupied.
I found their forum weird, not bad. Just very different from what I am used to.
With even their settings menu modelled after the look and feel of Mac OS, I am very surprised that Apple has not sued them for replicating their system too closely (I mean, remember this story).
All and all, because Elementary OS is based on Ubuntu and Debian I found installing applications easy, and I was able to get work done. The majority of my Linux experience has been with Ubuntu derivatives and at this point - I don't want to relearn everything I have learnt.
Considering that I did a blog post showing how to make Peppermint look very close to Mac OS, I don't really see the need to install an OS just because of the way it looks. What happens when I get tired of the "look"? What happens when I want to change the look?
The Elementary team has worked very hard to make a distro that is light and looks good and they have done a good job. Something about it just did not feel right to me. I would still encourage you to test it, because you might love it more than I did.
I have since formatted my HDD again and have installed Peppermint 5 again. Home sweet home. Going on a holiday is nice, but it is great when you get back home to your own house. Your bed, your tv everything set up the way you want to have it.
Do you distro hop? What have you tried recently?