I want to be able to use lp and print from command line, not just from gui. My Linux box (Debian, running FLWM as window manager), prints fine from applications with print dialogues, for example LibreOffice or evince, but I want to be able to use lp, a2ps, maybe print from xFig, and these all use the lp command line interface, and that is not set up.
I know I can go ($ is command line prompt)
$ lpadmin -d [printer-name]
but what is ‘printer-name’? I have a couple of printers attached by USB, not network.
It’s actually very simple.
$ lpstat -a FUJI_XEROX_DocuPrint_CP305_d accepting requests since Wed 02 Nov 2016 13:26:34 AEDT HL5340D accepting requests since Wed 14 Dec 2016 17:33:54 AEDT Stylus-TX100 accepting requests since Tue 13 Dec 2016 20:19:20 AEDT $ lpadmin -d HL5340D
Getting Wacom tablet to work…it ought to work out of the box, though my system is getting a little old… anyway, the details…
Wacom PTH-851 (Intuos Pro).
$ uname -a Linux machinename 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.82-1 x86_64 GNU/Linux
Debian 7.xx, always kept pretty much up to date.
Don’t usually use gnome, but opened a gnome session and ran the ‘Wacom’ control panel GUI thing. Got:
‘No Tablet Detected’
$ lsusb | grep Wacom Bus 002 Device 006: ID 056a:0317 Wacom Co., Ltd
So the USB device showed up (I am not using bluetooth).
$ xinput list ⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Mouse USB Laser Mouse id=8 [slave pointer (2)] ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)] ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=6 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=7 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard id=9 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ ACPI Virtual Keyboard Device id=10 [slave keyboard (3)] $ lsmod | grep wacom No result.
So no kernel module.
Why not? All the Wacom packages are installed, according to apt-get…. Probably just not loading the module, but… Anyway…
$ cd installs/ $ mkdir wacom $ cd wacom
and download the latest version.
$ tar xjvf input-wacom-0.32.0.tar.bz2 $ cd input-wacom-0.32.0/ $ ./configure $ make $ sudo make install
Warning: you may need to install module-init-tools
$ sudo apt-get install module-init-tools Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done module-init-tools is already the newest version. 0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
$ lsmod | grep acom wacom 56840 0 power_supply 13475 2 nouveau,wacom usbcore 128741 6 ehci_hcd,xhci_hcd,usb_storage,usbhid,wacom $ xinput list ⎡ Virtual core pointer id=2 [master pointer (3)] ⎜ ↳ Virtual core XTEST pointer id=4 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Mouse USB Laser Mouse id=8 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Wacom Intuos Pro L Pen stylus id=9 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Wacom Intuos Pro L Finger touch id=10 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Wacom Intuos Pro L Pen eraser id=13 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Wacom Intuos Pro L Pen cursor id=14 [slave pointer (2)] ⎜ ↳ Wacom Intuos Pro L Pen pad id=15 [slave pointer (2)] ⎣ Virtual core keyboard id=3 [master keyboard (2)] ↳ Virtual core XTEST keyboard id=5 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=6 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ Power Button id=7 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ AT Translated Set 2 keyboard id=11 [slave keyboard (3)] ↳ ACPI Virtual Keyboard Device id=12 [slave keyboard (3)]
And it worked!
Uh oh. I’ve now got four. That counts as mania. This one was on ebay for $10. It had a sticky ribbon tensioner that prevented the ribbon from feeding, and has a few marks, and the case is perished a little and missing the handle of the zip, though the zip works. Came with a Pelikan eraser, too. Not too bad.
While it needs a bit of attention, it is clearly an impressive machine. It has visible margins, a spring-up paper stand, a carriage lock that works from the top, a good-sized return lever, ribbon selector, a ‘1’ key, metal reels on the ribbon, line spacing selector. Pretty much everything except a tab key, which is not something I miss, and more of an office machine feature anyway.
On unsticking the tensioner, the ribbon started to feed. It was too faded to be of any use, and I get the impression from the sticking that the unit had been in storage and unused for a very long time and could use a little oil. ‘q’ and ‘y’ seemed to stick a bit, with the typebars not returning after a strike; but ths improved with a little use, and with moving the touch regulator all the way to ‘+’. And if things do stick, due to stickiness or hitting more than one key and them jamming, the margin release key doubles as an ‘unstick’ key; very handy. ‘G’ sits a bit low on the keyboard as if its stalk is bent, but works fine. The rubber grommets that seat the lid are completely hardened and crumbling away.
But these are quibbles that can be sorted out with a little care. The key press is very short and definite. It is carriage shift (the paper goes up and down, not the typebars), but on a portable, small machine like this the weight is not a problem. The bell is clear, the whole design careful and extremely well thought out, and the feature set remarkably rich. The text is extremely well-aligned, though even with a new ribbon not very dark. Dark enough, however. In summary, a very fine machine.
Made in Wilhelmshaven by Olympia Werke AG, (Western Germany). Ser. 95-701687 (really good photos of an essentially identical one here).
Just posting a sample of text from reinked ribbon a week or two after doing it. Looks OK to me.
So, it’s not very blue but it is blue. It is pretty even, and has actually improved since I did it. And it has had plenty of time to dry out and it hasn’t, even the bit of ribbon near the paper and which is exposed to the air. Maybe if I left the machine unused for weeks it would dry out, but so far it looks like the glycerine works.
This follows on from part I.
So the next thing to do was get a clean glass jar, drop in twenty or so drops of ink and one of glycerine, then mix. Well, here is a numbered list of things:
(1) I made up a small jig to hold two spools. The spools were not parallel enough, but it was okay for a first pass.
(2) Between the spools I put a stamp pad, and I loaded the stamp pad with some Artline stamp pad ink that had been mixed with glycerine, the latter simply bought from a supermarket, from the cake-making aisle. The ratio of ink to glycerine was about 10:1, possibly richer in ink than that.
(3) I used a glass jar held on its side to push the ribbon against the pad as I wound the ribbon from one spool to the other. I recharged the pad a couple of times on the way.
(4) When I was done I dropped a little excess ink on the tightly-wound spool and let it soak in, just because I had some left. I wanted to see if the glycerine stopped the ink from drying out too quickly, so it was better to err on the side of having extra ink, so that I could be sure that a simple lack of ink was not the problem.
(5) I note that the ribbon is quite old (metal spools) and rather frayed which leads to stray strands of nylon flopping around and giving unwanted spidery lines on the page. Can’t blame the reinking for that.
(6) I found that immediately after reinking it worked pretty well. An hour later it still worked just as well. Next day even the exposed bit of ribbon was still usable, so it seems to work! I seem to have put too much ink into the ribbon, and not as uniform as I would have liked, so probably not much good for serious work, but for a few notes and whatnot it would be fine, and with a bit of trial and error I think I’ll be able to get ribbons that can do almost a well as a bought one, and in some funky colours. Can even experiment with buying a lightweight half inch nylon ribbon and inking it.
I am wondering if a different brand of ink — Horse brand comes to mind — would not need the glycerine added. I’d be interested to hear.
So first I needed some stamp pad ink. I got that at TCF in Canberra. They sell Artline stamp pad ink in 50 cc bottles for about (at time of going to press!) $A6.00 each, which is very reasonable. Most excitingly, it comes in a range of colours — blue, black, red, green and violet. Fantastic. I would like to be able to type in green in particular. I could buy a ribbon, and not for much money, and some nice colours are available, but I’d rather do an experiment first. Now, when I bought my Olympia, it came with a completely dead ribbon. A two-colour ribbon, the customary red and black. It was very dead, though on two nice pressed-metal spools. I also had a nearly-as-dead one on plastic spools. I kept them both for experiments…
Now, plainly you should always reink a ribbon with the colour it was originally. That would essentially restrict me to reinking in black and tossing out the two-colour ribbons. But the ink is only $6, and the ribbons are useless anyway, so a better idea is to monkey around first.
Reading around the web, it is clear that there are essentially two schools of thought on reinking a ribbon (assuming you are going to bother at all). First, some just say wind it onto a spool as tightly as you can, so that it is a sort of single mass of nylon, put ‘some’ ink on it and let it rest, possibly rotating it periodically, to let the ink spread through the ribbon via capillary motion. The other method talks about inking a stamp pad, laying the ribbon on the pad, laying a weight on the ribbon and pulling the ribbon across the pad under the weight. This on the surface sounds more convincing, but also more effort. And I only have one stamp pad and it is purple/violet, not that that would be a bad colour to have for a ribbon.
So, what I am going to find out initially is: does the lazy method work, and does it work on a ribbon that used to be two-colour but is very dried out? Some articles talk about rejuvenating ribbons using a spray of WD40, but I want to steer clear of those kinds of solvent chemicals for now. That will come along if it looks like the ribbon won’t wet properly.
Anyway, I wound the ribbon onto one spool, keeping it under tension just with my fingers. (Using very dry but two-colour ribbon, so may make a horrible mess.) I started with just a few drops of ink, since I had no idea of quantity, but that did very little. So more and more, but the ribbon was blotchy, as if the ink was not spreading enough. Tried adding a few drops, rotating ribbon a few degrees, and repeating until a full circle. Left ink to spread for some hours. Looked unchanged, as if it had not spread. I am thinking it is the wrong ink — it seems to wash out in water, which suggests it will dry off too fast. This was confirmed when the ribbon that was exposed to air (the bit between the spools, when I put it on the typewriter) was a different colour (blue) to the eye, but when I tried to type on it after a few hours it gave me the same almost-invisible red and black the ribbon had had before I dyed it.
In other words, the ink was drying out and ceasing to do anything except crufty up the ribbon.
So the experiment was dead, except I tried one more thing. Even though I knew the ribbon would not keep, I tried making a wooden frame to hold the spools, placing a well-inked stamp pad between the two spools and winding the ribbon from one spool to the other while pressing the ribbon against the stamp pad with the back of a wooden spoon. Visually, the ribbon looked far more uniformly inked, and when I went to use it right after the test, apart from getting ink on everything when I threaded it on the typewriter, it worked quite well — too dark, if anything.
Hence, I have the following conclusions: If I try this again, I’ll research the ink I use better first (I had read on the web that stamp ink was the way to go, but I assume not all inks are equal). Also, I’ll make an improved version of my wooden frame and use the stamp pad method rather than just expecting the ink to spread.
‘pod’ is an interesting word because it has a two-fold rotation axis.
Live and learn.
So I am trying out this old Brother Deluxe 700T manual typewriter. It is is nice condition, and seems to work perfectly well. The bell sounds dull and the ribbon is faded but does feed. The machine works well and it is my only machine with a ‘1’ key (instead of using ‘l’) and an exclamation mark (!). On the other hand, it feels sloppy and tinny compared with the Dora and especially the Hermes, which feels like it was machined from solid lump of steel where this feels more like it was riveted together from pressings. Good pressings, I suspect. It’s in great nick and set me back $20, which is pretty reasonable. I’ve put a two colour ribbon in it, since the other ones have black.
I can’t be bothered inserting pictures carefully, so here they all are:
Quick wipe with a bit of Jif on the casing, no cleaning of the machine itself required, and away it goes. The case is very plasticky, and looks quite flimsy, so I am quite impressed that it is so intact; I suspect it has not been used very much. No doubt being owned by me will see to it that the plastic lugs and springs and other vulnerable bits get broken. But in the meantime it gives me another unit to, well, put somewhere.
Nagoya B75635279, means was made Feb 1977. ‘JP-7’ model, under the hood.
Conclusion: The type is clear, with excellent contrast and readability. It has a paper stand, an eraser table, 1, 1.5, 2 line spacing, fixed but useful tab stops, a carriage lock (that I cannot get to work, though I can’t see anything wrong with it, so probably it is me), a ‘1’ and an exclamation mark (bang!) and an asterisk (*). I would say the selection of characters is probably superior to my other machines. It feels tinny but actually works very well and is lighter than my other machines (because uses a lot of fairly thin plastic). If results are important and ‘feel’ is not, it is an excellent machine. If ‘feel’ is as important as results, it does not match up with the Hermes. Brand new it would have been a lot cheaper than the Hermes (and it was cheaper second hand as well, though of course none of them cost much) and probably cheaper than the competing Olivetti, though, so I can see why there are so many Brother typewriters around.
Note: This is a pointless note to myself.
I wanted to install my old LaserJet II on a Win 98 box. There’s only one trick to this; go here: ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/printers/software/ and get the file lj120en.exe (or whatever language) and put it on a USB drive, after installing USB software on Win 98, which I outlined here. Or get the file into Win 98 directly if it is networked, or via a floppy or a CD or whatever. The exe file can be unzipped using any zip program, or you can run it and let it unzip itself. Note that if you can find out which file you need from this repository, you may well be able to use the other files there to install any number of devices. This is just one example; but HP do not keep old drivers on their website, so this is a useful site to know about.
Then just use Settings -> Printers -> Add Printer and click through the various dialogues and tell it to find the files wherever you have copied them to (‘Browse’ button). Then make sure your printer is connected and turned on and has paper in it, and go and see if the test pages works. It did for me.
Why? I have an old PC non-networked and an equally old printer with plenty of toner but no connection to a USB-only modern machine, and I just want to use the old hardware to print out some rough drafts.
The Hermes 3000 is, from what I have read on the web, widely regarded as a very fine machine, often making it high in the ‘top ten’ lists of the best typewriters for actually using (as distinct from collecting). I have just two typewriters, both purchased for use rather than as collectables. The first was an Olivetti Dora, a pretty bog~standard portable from the late 60s, made in their Barcelona factory and to some extent built down to a price — it has a plastic case, and omits common features like a paper stand, tabs, and touch adjustment. Having said that, it also leverages years of development by Olivetti, and it is a pretty solid and useful typing machine. It is currently in the little lean-to (well, hut made from a converted packing case) that we have down the back of the property, where one can go an do some typing without electricity or distraction. The 3000 is a different class of machine; heavier, metal, full-featured, with multiple tab positions, touch control, four position ribbon height and so on. Interestingly, it still does not have a separate key for unity (one) or for exclamation mark, both reuse other keys (the one is an el, l, and the exclamation mark is a single quote above a full stop, 1). The Hermes is nicer to type on. The force needed to get an even imprint is less, the keys feel more solid and yet better conforming under the fingers, and I find the typebars (hammers with letters on) jam less often. Having said that, I doled out the extravagant amount of $50 for the 3000, which is right at the top of what I was prepared to pay; Mine is from the late 60s, and has the second generation shape, squarer than the much-lauded rounder shape of earlier ones. I don’t mind. A typewriter’s curves are not a prime consideration, as far as I am concerned, although it they could be reason not to make the purchase; I doubt I would have bought a third-generation 3000, since they are boxy and plastic (and not made in Switzerland, I believe, whereas mine is a Swiss one).
It sounds great. A pile of sheets of paper accumulating on the desk is a very satisfactory thing, and provides motivation to keep working. I’m not connected to the internet, which adds to my ability to focus. On the downside, it is a little noisy and I feel inhibited from typing in the house at night.
Here, below, Is an example of the text from the 3000. The typeface is smaller than there Dora, although the same machine was available with different typefaces of course.
Bottom line; speaking as a pretty ignorant typewriter user (I know little abut their history or folklore, I don’t know what brand of machine Hemingway used or anything like that, and I have not sampled a wide variety), the 3000 feels like a quality machine. It goes as fast as I can, and has a nice loud bell and exudes a feeling of solidity and careful design. I can see why they are so highly regarded.
And now I just have to stop myself from turning into a collector.
This post was written on the 3000 and scanned in using this script, then fixed up in LibreOffice.