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04 December 2008 @ 10:11 am
Printers are the work of the Devil  
The plan for yesterday afternoon was to build son-of-custard ... but when I tried to burn a CD of the latest ubuntu server installer it all went horribly wrong (locked up tobias completely). So I switched off tobias & left it, like a wimp. Have to try burning the CD again today - has to happen before I build the server as the burner is going in the server ...

I did end up spending the afternoon sorting out computery stuff anyway - the printer I'd ordered arrived, so I got that installed on my machine. Mostly it Just Worked. Except for the bit that didn't ;) Installed hplip (cups was already there), ran the hp-setup tool, got a test page printed. Printed a test page from the Cups web interface. Tried to print a test page from the Gnome printer stuff (System->Administration->Printing, goodness knows what the thing is called), but failed, miserably. Searched for the error & tried some things that I found as suggested fixes (like changing from the ghostscript-gpl package to the ghostscript-esp package, changed some USE flags ...) and I managed to change the error message, but this one was just as intractible. But then I found a couple of posts in the gentoo forum where people mentioned that everything else seemed to work, just not this one particular fashion of printing a test page. So I fired up Abiword & typed something, and lo & behold! It printed! Got my address label program installed (glabels, it's ace) and it prints too. Still can't print a test page from Gnome, but you know what? I don't much care any more.

Damn annoying to've wasted all that time trying to track down the problem tho, when it was a failure of test page not a failure of printing. I dont really want to revert the changes I made, either, as that might break it ;) Printers are always black magic :/

And now we're almost all set for writing xmas cards. Well, once I double check a couple of addresses, anyway. Now we just have to write the things ;)
Current Mood: contentcontent
Martin Atkins: amusedmart on December 4th, 2008 05:25 pm (UTC)

It's called system-config-printer, and yes, it definitely needs some work.

It looked like it was going to magically configure my printer the other day, but despite finding it via Zeroconf it failed epically by not reading the attribute that says whether it's a PCL or a PostScript printer, forcing me to go do Zeroconf discovery on it myself and read the attribute, and then it displayed a page full of cryptic options that I just ignored and hit "Next" on. :)

I didn't try printing a test page. I usually test by opening a text editor and printing the word "Test"... I don't know what this particular test page looks like, but experience tells me that test pages are often wasteful of toner.

Margaretpling on December 4th, 2008 06:36 pm (UTC)
Thanks :) With a name I might now (if I ever get inspired to) try & find out what went wrong and if there're workarounds.

One reason I use the built in test pages is that normally that means you don't have to worry if the app you're using is properly hooked into the printer drivers/apps ... obviously in this case it failed me miserably ;) Both my first two test pages weren't being run as me (one was root, one was I dunno what user from Cups) so the third one was supposed to show me if it was printing as me.

That & the test pages generally show if it's printing colour etc without having to faff about myself finding something to print.
Albanachalbanach on December 5th, 2008 02:48 am (UTC)
If you have a working box, and a USB stick that's larger than a CD, you can use UNetbootin - I find it a lot less hassle than burning CDs these days.