Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Debian and Raspbian - Installing a CUPS Print Server and a Proprietary P1102W Print Driver on Linux

The problem was simple.  My printer.  HP LaserJet Professional P1102W.

The solution is a Raspberry Pi Model 3B and a fair amount of configuration.

Thanks, Craig for the (slice of) Pi.

This is how I got it to work on Debian Linux and on the RaspberryPi using Raspbian.  It is not an exhaustive step by step, but I did take notes while doing this because like anything, I will probably need to do this Yet Again.  If So, Maybe I will republish.  Stay Tuned.

The technology starts below at "The Setting" if you just want tech support.

The Back Story.  

Printers are just an annoyance at best in the Small Home Office setting, and this one is no exception.   It is a stripped down laser printer.  It comes with Wifi, and USB interface.  It has a power button, a wifi button, and an X button that I am assuming that will cancel this particular print job.

Since Printer Drivers are usually large to massive beasts that sit inside your computer and eat CPU cycles while only delivering very infrequent work, I avoid installing them. 

However, this printer needs proprietary drivers.  Linux had it in the installation software asking for the blasted things, and most Linux people hate proprietary drivers.

Myself included.

So if the printer does not need the driver to find your wifi, then don't install the driver and see if it works without.

Mine did not.  It wouldn't see my network with wifi and password which means it had to use USB.  I didn't want USB plugged into my computer(s) all the time which means I would have to use a print server.  I didn't want to sacrifice a laptop to that job, so mostly it sat.

If your network has a password to get onto it, you will definitely have problems unless you have ethernet on the printer unlike mine.
It was actually easier for me to send the print file on a PDF to a friend so he could print at work.

Thanks, Kevin.

The Law Of Unintended Consequences.

If you do one thing, you often have something happen that you did not expect or want.

In my case, it's all positive, it's good.

That little computer will become a file server with the addition of SAMBA and a line in the fstab file.  I've done that a couple times and since I made the decision to have a server in the house, the RaspberryPi will function as a "Departmental Server" with its four USB 2.0 Ports, three are available.

Documentation on that to come later when I get working on it all.  I'm happy to have printing working for now.

The Setting.

I was following the Debian Wiki Guide for SystemPrinting at https://wiki.debian.org/SystemPrinting

Setting up the Pi:

Pi has Raspbian installed via noobs, and is up to date.
Pi is booted to desktop and useable via VNC.
Terminal open as root on the Pi.
Printer is not connected to USB.
Printer is HPLaserJet P1102w.

So basically I have a teeny little $35 computer running something that I installed a derviative of Debian Linux called Raspbian.  I used the Raspberry Pi Foundation's recommended installation of Raspbian using Noobs.

Yes, I followed their steps to install Raspbian.
Yes, Raspbian was "vanilla and up to date" by the end of this process.
The Pi saw my network, and I enabled bluetooth, printing, sharing of the desktop via VNC, and that is it.
I did all my prep work on the Pi using the tools linked in the start menu and confirmed with Raspberry Pi Config.

Mind you I would not want to use it as my main machine, but it works well as a print server and allows me to do basic things like surf a few tabs and have a concurrent running game of Freeciv going.

Massive world, playing as Incas, on Easy against 5 AIs if you want to know.


The steps to get the software on the Pi:

In terminal as Root:
     apt install task-print-server

Plug printer into USB and reboot.

On the Pi, surf http:\localhost:631 to see the CUPS home page

Clicked Adding Printer

It wanted logon credentials
    used pi and default password - "raspberry"
    I later changed the default password to something less public and generic.

It immediately said that I was not authorized in the print queue, in CUPS.

I found this exchange on Debian's Forums https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=616718 that said that you have to add the user in Terminal as Root.
  • adduser root lpadmin
  • adduser pi lpadmin
Refreshed the page at http://localhost:631/admin

Got the Add Printer Dialog
     tick box Local Printers,
              HP Printer (HPLIP)     click Continue

I discovered that my Printer was not powered on.
    The printer has a nasty habit of turning itself off every couple minutes to save power.
Turn printer back on.
Returned to the Administration tab.
Clicked Add Printer
Under Local Printers,
    tick box that had my printer name listed as a USB printer
Clicked Continue


Filled in the optional information for name/description/location
    Clicked Share This Printer
    Clicked Continue

Waited for CUPS on http://LocalHost:631 for a bit

Verified the Printer Model Number and Ignored "requires proprietary plug in"
     (more on this later)
Clicked Add Printer



Set Printer Options
     Verified Media Size, Printout Mode, Media Type and Source
     Click Set Default Options

Got a message that it was set correctly.

Perform a few test jobs by printing out nonsense from a text editor.

Page refreshed to show the print queue for the Printer
Printer did not print with "Filter Failure" message, jobs sitting in Queue
  • Note, the proprietary plug referenced earlier is something that some printers need, that is handled after I got things configured.  I'm a bit out of order but I was successful.  If your printer does not require the proprietary plug in, you don't have to worry about this.  This Filter Failure is how I knew it was time to get that Proprietary Plug In Installed.

To Install the Proprietary Plug In:

I ran in terminal - sudo hp-setup -i

For installing plug-in the prompts I answered were
  • 0 (zero) for USB printer
  • d for download - download had error "Unable to receive key from Keyserver"
  • y yes to install
  • Yes to accept the stupid meaningless EULA
  • Y to agree that "this PPD file appears to be the correct one"
  • Enter a location description "Tucked In A Corner Somewhere"
  • Entered through "additional information for this printer"
  • Y to print a test page

At this point I was finished as far as the Pi was concerned.  The Pi would work as a print server for my network.  All I had to do was to go onto the client machine and add a printer.

Adding a Printer on another computer on the network using Debian with XFCE4 looked similar to doing the same task on any other Operating System, if you have used a printer, you have done this before.  On "this" computer, it is in the Applications menu (start), Settings, Print Settings.  Sign on with your handy Root password, click Add, then find your printer.

If you get stuck, I suggest you drop me a line other than "Why are you so tall" or "Who cut your hair, man?" and I can answer some basic questions.  At this point, this document has gotten long enough for a blog article.

If it did work for you, great, let me know!

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Some guy just tried to make a chemistry joke. He got no reaction.

Unfaithful Husband

A wife was beginning to suspect that her husband had become unfaithful, coming home at odd hours of the night with the excuse that he was out playing cards with friends.

One night the couple had plans for a masquerade party, but as the husband was getting ready the wife mentioned that she was not feeling well and would stay home that night. The husband tried to convince her that she would feel better once she got there but, unable to change her mind, he ended up going by himself.

After about an hour the wife got her costume out and hailed a cab to the party. Her husband had never seen her outfit before so she had the unique opportunity to observe his behavior when she wasn't around. Upon entering the party she saw him mingling with scantily clad women, flirting, and being friendlier than she was comfortable with. Rather than ousting him in the moment, she hung back to see if he would go any further.

After a while the dance floor began to fill up, and she watched as her husband approached several women and began dancing with them in a very vulgar manner, groping several and kissing a few. At this point the wife decided that she would catch him firsthand, and moved to his general vicinity.

As expected, her husband approached her from behind and began grinding and touching her in all ways imaginable. After several minutes she suggested that they go someplace more private, and led him to a pantry where he had is way with her. After he was finished, she told him she needed to freshen up in the bathroom and sneakily exited the party, heading home to prepare herself for the confrontation that would take place when he returned.

After a few hours her husband came home. As he approached their bed, she pretended to wake up. "How was your night?" she asked, ready to catch him in his lie.

"It was a great night," replied the husband. "But I'm beat and need to get some rest."

"Before you go to bed, may I ask if you did anything you shouldn't have at the party?"

"The party was actually pretty boring by myself, so I ended up catching a bus to play cards with the guys soon after arriving. As luck would have it, my driver was just about to get off his shift so I lent him my costume and gave him the address!"

Do you know why I don't eat at Applebees or Chilis? Because I'm old enough to microwave my own food.



Ahh, just love laughing at out of control situations like this... how about you?




Randy staggered home very late after another evening with his drinking buddies

He took off his shoes to avoid waking his wife, Kathleen.

He tiptoed as quietly as he could toward the stairs leading to their upstairs bedroom, but misjudged the bottom step. As he caught himself by grabbing the banister, his body swung around and he landed heavily on his rump. A whiskey bottle in each back pocket broke and made the landing especially painful.

Managing not to yell, Randy sprung up, pulled down his pants, and looked in the hall mirror to see that his butt cheeks were cut and bleeding. He managed to quietly find a full box of Band-Aids and began putting a Band-Aid as best he could on each place he saw blood.

He then hid the now almost empty Band-Aid box and shuffled and stumbled his way to bed.

In the morning, Randy woke up with searing pain in both his head and butt and Kathleen staring at him from across the room.

She said, ‘You were drunk again last night, weren’t you?’

Randy said, ‘Why would you say such a mean thing?’

‘Well,’ Kathleen said, ‘it could be the open front door, it could be the broken glass at the bottom of the stairs, it could be the drops of blood trailing through the house, it could be your bloodshot eyes, but mostly ……. it’s all those Band-Aids stuck on the hall mirror.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Training your Fearful Dog - Rack Rides In The Jeep and gets a Bonus Tornado Warning

I'm sitting here with my foot up on the arm of the couch like I am not supposed to do.   I catch myself doing it and put my foot on the floor.

Why?

We just had a massive storm come through.  It's strange because April is the driest month.  There was a confirmed Tornado touchdown in downtown Fort Lauderdale, and confirmed touchdown at the Airport in Fort Lauderdale, or Hollywood.

Mind you, this is strange, and the last major storm that we had approaching this was back last year before the end of Hurricane Season.  I guess November or October.

Driest Month.   At least my grass will get watered.

You see that's the thing.  All these atmospherics and the worst of it is that I'm stuck inside at the Dog Walk Hour with Rack next to me.  He's not freaking out and shivering, just laying there on guard.

Much better than he was.

I still have video on one of my servers somewhere of Lettie, who predated him, running from room to room in my old house in a T Storm in Philadelphia barking at the skies at every thunder clap.

Rack is too laid back for that.   That is a good thing.

As terrified and fearful as he is, there are things that he just will push the fear aside and do.  That is something that speaks volumes.  You see, some dogs never get past their fears.  They sit in a corner and shiver at the slightest provocation.

I know some people like that.

One thing Rack likes is a Ride In The Car.

To say like is a gross mis-understatement.  It's like the world likes its electrical gadgets and its internal combustion engines - an addiction that thinking people, even here in the US know, will come to an end... or else.  That's the thing about Science, it is true whether you believe it or not.

Period.

If I mention that I want to go for a ride in the car in any context, Rack will proceed to speak in
tongues, vibrate, make unintelligible noises, and generally lose his ... cool.

Since I only drive my own car very rarely, and normally to keep the battery charged, it only gets out about once a week.

Now, on his best day, Rack is still a dog.  I'm not delusional, but McNab Dog is as intelligent as many children I have met.  Toddlers not being very focused, and a good herding dog will be.

If I say lets go for a ride in the car, he is at the door, speaking in tongues.  I open the door and he's out to the regular car.  A Sedan.  And will sit next to His Door waiting to go in.  It's not all smooth sailing, if a truck gets too close, he dive bombs into the back wheel wells and hides.

On the other hand, I say "Lets Go For A Ride In The Jeep" and he is torn.  He understands the Jeep-ness of the situation and isn't quite so excited.

The last time I invited him to the land of Jeep, because as you know, anything else is just a car,
he took me up on it.   He walked to the Jeep and gave it the suspicious eye.  Opening the door he hesitated to step in but in he did go.  Parked himself on the Passenger seat and proceeded to give the look of fear that you see in dogs that are excited and terrified at the same time.

I drove out of the driveway and down the street to the first major intersection and he was fine.  I give him what he needs, a way to find success.

In this case it was to go for a ten mile circuit of the area and back.  Nothing special.  About 16 or so KM.

He managed to even relax.  Having him on two lane roads helped since there were few large trucks with evil diesel engines.  He will avoid those even on a walk.  He will try to tear my arm out of its socket trying to get away from those.

Once a few years back on a similar loop, he dove under my feet on the Interstate 95 which was actually terrifying especially since I need both feet to pilot the car.

Manual Transmission which means here in the US it won't get stolen.

In the intervening years, he's had plenty of exposure and while it didn't look like it mattered, it did.

The solution is to keep exposing your dog in safe and small ways to things they dislike.  Eat some of your peas, kid, they're good for you.

Rack found out, they are good for you, and he got to actually enjoy a ride in the Jeep.  He was
still tense, but visibly happier at the end of the experience.

At this point "Do you want to go for a ride in the Jeep" is not a sentence of fear, but an invitation for excitement.  Sure he wishes it was a conventional sedan, but here he can go with Dad In A Ride In The Jeep!

And isn't that all a kid wants?  Even furry kids?

Now that the rain has stopped... Hey Rack, Hungry yet?  Time to eat!

Good boy!  Gooood Boy!


Sunday, April 8, 2018

What does WebMD have in common with the rest of the internet? They think everything is cancer.

An MIT linguistics professor was lecturing his class the other day.

"In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. However, in some languages, such as Russian, a double negative remains a negative. But there isn't a single language, not one, in which a double positive can express a negative."

A voice from the back of the room said, "Yeah, right."










An owner of a peanut package factory walks in to find a dead body and calls the cops.

The owner nervously watches as the cops arrive, they walk in, stand around the body and whisper quietly. One of the cops points out a small bracelet on the man’s wrist and the other cop nods in agreement. The cops begin to leave when the owner speaks up.

“What’s happening?”

“It’s nothing, just an allergy. This happens all the time,” the first cop says.

“But someone died,” the owner replies.

The second cop retorts “Yeah, it’s just another nut case.”

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies. Really good friends help you clean your toilet.

Now, There's a ridiculous title for a joke posting!


Once there was a set of triplets separated at birth

One was named Juan, another was named James, and the third was named Ahmal. They all grew up in their own paths, although there were some similarities where James was the odd one out despite not knowing it. Juan and Ahmal both grew up to be doctors, for instance, while James grew up to be a successful businessman. James was also the only one to not have children; Juan and Ahmal both had 3.

Well, at some point James found out he was a member of a set of triplets. He did some research, made some calls, and did DNA tests. He found out who his brothers were and decided to try and track them down with the help of an assistant who claimed to have known both brothers. James told the man he wanted to meet both brothers within a year, and the man, hesitatingly, obliged.

About 6 months into their journey, James was relieved to finally hear the words, "Well... Juan works at this hospital. Good luck." He got out of the car and walked towards the hospital, a surreal experience. He goes in, asks to see Juan, and waits. After about 15 minutes, Juan comes out and the brothers reunite at last. They spend the afternoon together catching up, and at long last James lets him get back to work.

That night he goes out to the car. The assistant says, "Are you ready to go home now?" James is astonished. He reminds the man of his promise to let him meet both his brothers, not just one. The man sighs and says, "Come on, man... if you've seen Juan you've seen Ahmal."

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Downtown Fort Lauderdale From The Causeway

I get asked to do things by people.  For some reason I get drafted to do a fair amount of heavy lifting.  Sure go ask the 6'4" guy, 193 CM, he'll do it.

Well I did whine a bit, probably more than I should.  Ok, Ok, a lot more.  I'll shaddap.

This was for a very good friend who has done quite a lot for me.  I have helped him and his company out a lot in the past with technology issues, as well as this sort of thing.  Sometimes it even goes both ways like the time I installed a power battery backup for their servers.  Bolted that right into a cabinet.  I had to do the same thing for the company I was working for very shortly thereafter so it was nice not to have to use my own responsibilities as a guinea pig for that sort of thing.  I will call it on the job training.

I was told that mine later had to be cut out of that rack because batteries in a power conditioner and battery backup have a nasty tendency to swell.  Given about three years, swollen batteries will warp the case and lock everything in place in the server rack.  Get out the tin snips, it looks like a giant iPhone blew its battery pack.

That day was simpler.  Get a small refrigerator to the roof of the office block and leave it open to allow it to drain.  Come back the next day.

While I was waiting for things to settle and get ready, I was invited to a cup of what I call Office Coffee.  That's appropriate since I was the taste tester for these things.

One sip and "It doesn't taste right.  Your water temp is too high.  It's bitter".

Office coffee has a bad reputation but any bitter coffee can taste better by reducing the brew temperature.  Don't even get me started with Starbucks, I won't drink it willingly.

I have had this exact Kona blend before but I made it with my French Press.  Bring water in a kettle to a complete vigorous boil.  Wait 20 seconds, no less, for the kettle to cool to the correct temp, then brew normally.

Ahhh, coffee nirvana.  But this was ... wanting.  There is a coffee company in the London that brews at 92C to 93C if you are looking for exact numbers.  I do it by waving my kettle in the air for 20 seconds.

I finished the brew, then we went upstairs.  With the refrigerator.  And my hands slipping and sliding the whole way with my mind repeating "I Think I Can! I Think I Can!"

Truth be told it wasn't so horrible, and the view up there was quite nice.  Coffee or the heavy lifting both.

The city centers of South Florida from Jupiter through West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami are in discrete pods.  If you stand in the right place they line up like you would waiting in a queue.  Plop! There's downtown Miami with Miami Beach next to it.  A little ways North is Aventura.  A little further is Hallandale with its massive towering condos packed too closely together.  Hollywood, then downtown Fort Lauderdale and the Beach behind it.

That day was brilliant, beautiful, and breezy.  Fort Lauderdale shined in the sun, becoming a playground once again for the sun worshipers.  A couple miles away over the palm trees it rose above the squatting homes below the tree line.

And all I had to do was help move an office fridge to get to see it.  Rather a nice bargain if you ask me.

The next day we moved it back downstairs after we chased the mosquitoes that colonized the water dripping from the little freezer in that short time.

Taking a sip of coffee, I commented "If you can, drop the temperature in this coffee machine a few degrees.  It will taste better."

The look I got I think was a bit disbelieving but I know if it happens, I'll get a report back.

Don't overheat your coffee while brewing.  You may end up on a roof with a story to tell.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Fools Day Dad Jokes!

The thing about April Fools Day is I have always called it Amateur Day.  People smearing peanut butter on door knobs, pranks done left and right, and websites doing annoying things in the name of fun.

Well it's also a Sunday and my own brand of bad jokes are expected.   Oddly they get read as much  the Wednesday posts that I try to keep fresh and relevant, and not repeat myself.

At least I try not to.  Once in a while... after all there are only so many times I can refer to the same thing.


At any rate, here's your Dad Jokes for the day.  A couple for the road...


A frog wanted to know about his future and goes to meet an oracle. The oracle prophesied that in his future, he will be touched by a beautiful lady.

The frog grew curious and wanted to know when and where it would happen, to which the Oracle replied, 'next year, in a Biology lab'!



Karen met a magician .....

Magician: "Think of a card, any card."
Karen: "OK"

Magician: "Visualize it in your mind."
Karen: "OK"

Magician: "Is it the King of Hearts?"
Karen: "No"

Magician: "Is it the Ace of diamonds?"
Karen: "No"

Magician: "What is it then?"
Karen: "My husbands Credit Card!!..




Two football players are practicing...
One asks the other: "Do you want the ball?"
The other one answers: "No thanks, I'll pass."


And finally for today ...



My friend keeps trying to cheer me up.
He keeps saying "Cheer up, man! It could be worse! You could be stuck underground in a hole full of water."
I know he means well.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

My boss ordered me to take a diversity awareness program. I shouldn't have said I was lactose intolerant.

One beautiful afternoon in the Garden of Eden, Adam calls out to God, “Lord, I have a problem.”

“What’s the problem, Adam?” God replies.

“Lord, I know you created me and have provided for me and surrounded me with this beautiful garden and all of these wonderful animals. I appreciate all that you have given me, but I’m just not happy”, Adam answers.

“Why is that, Adam”, God asks.

“Lord, I know you created this place for me, with all this lovely food and all of the beautiful animals, but I have no one special to share it with and I’m lonely”, Adam explained to God.

“Well Adam, in that case I have the perfect solution. I shall create a woman for you”, God told him.

Perplexed, Adam asked, “What’s a woman, Lord?”

God replies, “This woman will be the most intelligent, sensitive, caring, and beautiful creature I have ever created. She will be so intelligent that she can figure out what you want before you want it. She will be so sensitive and caring that she will know your every mood and how to make you happy. Her beauty will rival that of the heavens and earth.. She will cook and clean for you and do everything that you ask without ever complaining. She will provide every sexual need and fantasy you will ever think of and meet all of your sexual needs. She will bear your children and raise them without complaints. This woman will be the perfect companion for you.”

“Wow! That sounds great,” exclaimed Adam. “Where is she?”

“Not so fast,” said the Lord. “A woman this fantastic is going to cost you.”

“How much”, asked Adam.

“An arm and leg”, God replied.

Adam thought about this for a moment, then replied, “What can I get for a rib?”

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

My Noisy Neighbor

The other day, I had a weird moment.

Walked out into the yard, and there was a bird.

Grey, black and white.  Perched in my Bougainvillea arbor.

It was singing.  Well if you could call that singing.  It was making a row.

For the family here in Los Estados Unidos, that means it was bloody loud.

It was also my Snow White moment.  It stayed there long enough for me to get quite close and quite a few pictures of it.  The whole while it was there, it was making noise.   Loud enough to echo off the shed and some of the other buildings around us.

As I walked around my yard and the pool, I was being serenaded by my little friend.  Loudly.

Of course me, being who I am, I would chatter back.  Loudly.

"Hey Bird!  Noisy Bird!"

BRAKKK FWEEP BEE BEE BEE BEE!

Rack was out with me, he just cocked his head to one side.  Then he cocked his leg to another and added some uric acid to my green onions.  In a pot.

"Rack, don't water my pots!"

More head tilts as a Monarch butterfly dive bombs his head.

There was another butterfly strobing along the hedges.  Flashing yellow pinstripes on a black suit, this second butterfly was hovering around me, and what was left of the Night Blooming Jasmine hedge that is hedge in name only.

BEE BEE BEE BEE!

"What's up NoisyBurd?"

More indiscriminate loud chatter from my feathered friend.

"Man you are LOUD today"

BEE BEE BEE BEE!

At this point the butterflies have dispersed, Rack was hovering around me.  He may have zero hunting ability, and zero prey drive, but he does know how to herd ME.

Looking down at my feet I saw two brown jeweled eyes set in black fur.  Rack wanted back in the house.

I get in and I say Goodbye from my shouty little bird friend.

I'm told that my neighbors are also hearing my bird.  It's keeping them up.  Ok, so it's March.  Spring Time.  Male Birds are feeling Testosterone from their testicles that have grown to allow the next generation to be produced, what did you expect, Silence?

This has been going on for the next couple days.  More chatter.  Every morning, he's parked himself on top of the bougainvillea.

Thankfully I haven't discovered a nest in my yard.  My Neighbor Joe is hoping he doesn't discover one there.  His windows aren't Hurricane Impact Glass.  They let sound and breezes in.  Maybe he'll take our suggestion that he get those done before the next storm season.

Meanwhile I'm wishing my feathered friend to pay him a visit next door.  He has been at 3 in the morning in full voice.

I'll keep my hearing protection handy for the next couple weeks.  I don't hear him, but Joe does.