Archive for September, 2012

200,000 visitors

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

I started this blog exactly 2 years ago, in Sept. 2010. Today we passed a new milestone. Thanks everyone.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

Remove some parts of a PDF file

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

You have a PDF file and you want to remove some parts of it, for instance the page numbers.

Use the program “pdfedit”. Select the object to be removed and press Del. That’s all :) At the end save the PDF.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

The unprintable PDF file

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

I’ve been trying to print a PDF file for a week :) We have a network printer here that requires authentication when a print job is sent. Everything seems to be fine but nothing comes out of the printer. First I thought the file was too big, so I tried to send it in two pieces. Nothing. Send it in smaller pieces. Still nothing. Did the admins block me? But I can print other things. What’s going on?

Well, there must have been a problem with the PDF file itself. I could open it, browse it, but for some unknown reason the printer didn’t eat it. Here is the trick that worked for me:

pdftops die.pdf
# produces
mv die.pdf die.pdf.bak
# produces a correct die.pdf file

The new PDF file caused no problems.

Categories: bash Tags: , , ,

Getting an Artec e+ Pro Scanner work

September 15, 2012 Leave a comment

I have an Artec e+ Pro scanner that I used years ago under Windows XP without any problem. It’s a great scanner, I liked it. I found it a few weeks ago and today I wanted to use it. Well, I was too naive again…

(The exact text I have on its box: Artec e+ Pro Scanner, 1200×2400 dpi, 48 bits true color quality).

The official driver for this model is up to Windows XP. I only have Windows 7 and Linux, so first I tried to use it under Windows 7. On the installation CD there is a SETUP.EXE that I opened in Windows XP compatibility mode. The installation of the driver went smoothly but when I opened the application and clicked on “Scan”, it told me that a Twain driver is missing. I was looking for it everywhere but I didn’t find it. In the forums I read that Artec didn’t make a Windows 7 driver for this model.

OK, it won’t work under Windows 7. Then I thought: “Hey, let’s try it under Linux too!” And you know what? It worked! :) Here is what to do.

There is a scanner howto for Ubuntu (see here). I installed xsane but it dropped me an error message similar to this: “Failed to open device 'artec_eplus48u:libusb:001:003': Invalid argument.” Fortunately there is a page that explains how to configure this particular scanner for xsane (see here).

The page ArtecEplus48uConf explains the configuration of a 48U scanner. However, my scanner must be a variation of this scanner, its official name is “e+ Pro”. But they are very similar. Here is what I did to resurrect my e+ Pro scanner:

  • download the firmware 1200.usb and extract it (you can also copy it from the official CD)
  • copy the file 1200.usb to /etc/sane.d/
  • edit the file artec_eplus48u.conf and modify the part shown below
# This section is for the Artec E+ Pro
# Note, that the name of the firmware file is called 1200.usb for
# this device
usb 0x05d8 0x4004
option artecFirmwareFile /etc/sane.d/1200.usb
option ePlusPro   1
option vendorString "Artec"
option modelString "E+ Pro"

I only had to edit just one line to precise the path of the file 1200.usb.

Now xsane should be able to handle your scanner correctly :)

Update (20120916)

There is a solution to make it work under Windows 7. Install XP Mode, which is a virtual Windows XP inside your Windows 7. In this XP I could install the official CD and I could use the scanner.

When I launched the scanner application, it still said that the Twain driver is missing. But then XP noticed the new hardware and asked for a location from where it could install the driver. After specifying the XP folder on the CD, the Twain driver got installed.

Update (20160216)
I wanted to scan on a new machine. I followed the steps above but xsane didn’t recognize my scanner. I managed to solve the problem but I would like to share my journey that led to the solution :)

First, I tried “sane-find-scanner” that dropped me several Acces denied warnings. Using “sudo sane-find-scanner” found my scanner:

found USB scanner (vendor=0x05d8, product=0x4004, chip=GT-6816) at libusb:001:003

The command “lsusb” also found it:

Bus 001 Device 003: ID 05d8:4004 Ultima Electronics Corp. Artec E+ Pro

In the config file above we had this line for our Artec E+ Pro: “usb 0x05d8 0x4004”, so everything is good so far.

Let’s check out the device file for Bus 001 Device 003:

$ ls -al /dev/bus/usb/001/003
crw-rw-r-- 1 root root 189, 2 Feb 16 16:24 /dev/bus/usb/001/003

At this point I didn’t notice that the group “all” had no write permission…

I also tried to launch xsane with sudo and it worked! Hmm, then there is a permission problem. Let’s figure out what goes wrong:

$ strace xsane 2>&1 | grep EACCES | sort -u
open("/dev/bus/usb/001/001", O_RDWR)    = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)
open("/dev/bus/usb/001/002", O_RDWR)    = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)
open("/dev/bus/usb/001/003", O_RDWR)    = -1 EACCES (Permission denied)

OK, so there is a permission problem with the file “/dev/bus/usb/001/003”. Let’s do this:

$ sudo chmod a+w /dev/bus/usb/001/003
$ ls -al /dev/bus/usb/001/003
crw-rw-rw- 1 root root 189, 2 Feb 16 16:24 /dev/bus/usb/001/003

And after this I could use xsane as a normal user! :) Problem solved.

I didn’t figure it out all by myself. I found the solution here.

C-64-ify yourself

September 13, 2012 Leave a comment

Drag and drop your image, download the pixelated result.

Categories: commodore Tags: ,

Remove arrows from desktop icons (Windows 7)

September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

To get rid of the arrows on the desktop icons in Windows 7, use the Ultimate Windows Tweaker.

Mount a truecrypt volume from the command line

September 9, 2012 Leave a comment
sudo truecrypt <truecrypt-file> <mount-point>

This will open a GUI window where you can specify the password.

If you want a full CLI solution, check out this page.

Update (20130617)
To unmount a volume, do this:

sudo truecrypt -d <path-to-truecrypt-file>
Categories: bash Tags: ,