firefox vimperator

Bye bye flash, hello gnash

This afternoon I was finding my computer really bogged down. I was averaging 1.5 loads or so. After a bit of poking, I found the culprit (again), xulrunner. Killed it, was thinking Firefox was junk. Tried out midori and epiphany, they’re nice, but I can’t survive without vimperator anymore. Sad but true.

Then I realized that it’s probably less Firefox and more flash. Uninstalled flash and installed mozilla-plugin-gnash on Debian testing. Youtube was dead. Though I don’t like to admit it, this is a big problem. Did some more poking, found some “greasemonkey” scripts that are supposed to fix the problem etc, installed that, no dice. Then I went on a chat room and someone pointed me to

Basically says to kill all your cookies and block from putting in cookies since there’s some kind of bug with that. Then I turned off greasemonkey by clicking on the icon, and the video was playing but no sound! So I finally uninstalled the greasemonkey scripts and greasemonkey itself, restarted, and voila!

So now when the fix the bug, then presumably it will get all screwed up again.

bash samba

smbclient, beamer, and pgfpages

Today’s problem is that I need to print slides for a poster session that I’m going to. I’ve never printed to the color printer, so I don’t know the share name. Simple:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
smbclient -L

prints all the shares from that server, so then I can just grep the output since I have an idea how the admins name the printers (based on room number, floor, and printer model). I found the share name and made a little shell script that prints to the share. I also found that there’s a number of commands one can send through smbclient to the server and share, such as:

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
smbclient -d3 // -A authfile -c "queue"

and even

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
smbclient -d3 // -A authfile -c "help queue"

for example. Then there’s “cancel”. However on my particular setup, I didn’t see any print jobs listed when I gave the “queue” command even though I knew there was one queued up. Maybe it’d been sent to some 3rd intermediate machine, or maybe it was already in the printer’s memory.

Next, I needed to get my beamer slides printed to the color printer. I printed them, and it turns out they’re shrunk down for no reason (but they’re color, so that’s good). I need them normal size to paste onto the poster board. To do that, I found the beamer manual giving an example using pgfpages (which had a few typos and again used a4paper which is a nuisance since I’m in the USA). Had to investigate pgfpages.sty (since pgfpages has no documentation, surprise). The correct command to get pgfpages to print on my system this time was:

[sourcecode lang=”tex”]
\pgfpagesuselayout{resize to}[letterpaper, landscape, shrink=5mm]

For a while my problem was using curly rather than square brackets for the 3 parameters. Now the problem is that the color laserjet 2500L just prints pages of junk rather than the slides. In the process of dealing with that I found that I could “login” to the print share by doing

[sourcecode lang=”bash”]
smbclient -d3 // -A authfile

and then issue commands like “cancel 1” and “cancel 100” directly. They all succeed, but I never get to actually see the queue.

Finally the other struggle with this morning and afternoon has been with the HP Color Laserjet 2500L itself. Downloading the manual is essential, since the printer has nothing but hieroglyphics on its panel. I don’t know why people think that a red button with a triangle automatically means cancel print job. In any case, reading the manual is essential, since a button was flashing with some hieroglyphic next to it, and I discovered this meant paper jam, which gave me the impetus to actually pull out the toner cartridge (which I’d never done, I don’t maintain this printer) and then find the paper and replace the cartridge. And somehow, now, my slides are actually printing in color.

I think one important thing is to do dvips to get the postscript output rather than making a PDF file and converting to PS using pdf2ps. The file seems alot smaller. It is very slowly printing right now, which suggests to me that one of the older jobs where I did pdf2ps is printing, instead of my latest jobs using dvips.


ALSA and Flash

I’ve long wanted to do this, and I don’t know how it was so simple all along. I have 2 external USB DACs, which go to 2 amps for 2 rooms. there’s also the multichannel audio on the Dell 9300 itself, and for a while I was trying to get Skype working (I’ve given up, though it would be nice to run off of Linux it just doesn’t work reliably enough so I’ve gotten the Belkin Desktop Internet Phone which is working out rather nicely for now.

So I’ve had to learn how to identify and select the various audio devices that pop in and out over time, along with the random cruft that keeps changing things every few weeks. The biggest problem in all of it was getting Flash, and Youtube, to work. It just selects the default ALSA device. I had seen the ALSA wiki a few times, but somehow I just never saw that one part where they tell you how to redirect the default ALSA sound device.

All you do is run aplay -L, and find the device you want for default. it will look like:

Burr-Brown Japan PCM2702, USB Audio
IEC958 (S/PDIF) Digital Audio Output
USB Audio CODEC , USB Audio
Default Audio Device

so the Burr-Brown, by the way, is a FUBAR II DAC which is nice.. and the USB Audio CODEC is the other DAC I have. I don’t know why the label is “default”, but to get it to be the default ALSA device, all i did was make an .asoundrc file with the single line:

pcm.!default front:default

(default would be PCM2702 to get the other one probably) and that’s it. Flash is running through the DAC into the amp and out the speakers in my room. Because the device name is “default” I’m pretty sure I’ll have to muck with the .asoundrc file when I reboot, since I don’t think that’s its permanent designation, but atleast it’s playing through the speakers I want it to play through.