lunes, 15 de octubre de 2018

Install, install, install! The dance of panic!

In 2011, I wrote about my bad day installing ZenWalk...  I described how a graceful dance can morph into a hectic aerobic string of contortion after contortion, an accurate metaphor to remember my weekend activities. 
Yes, I used this last weekend to fix some installation problems I had.

1. PCLinuxOS.  Three days after I fixed my Fedora broken screen locker, I updated PCLOS.  After finishing, unexpectedly, the system would not allow me to log in.  I am not sure what went wrong because I update my system regularly... Or maybe I forgot to update in a long time and my OS fell a victim of a false memory of mine?  Whatever the case, I downloaded the June 2018 iso and installed it without formatting my /home partition.  That took care of the problem.  I had to struggle a bit getting my Epson XP 231 scanner to work, though.  That was funny because PCLOS was the only distro that picked it upon install when I bought the all-in-one printer, but this time was different.  I  could not get screenshots with the PrtScr button.  I also discovered that it was because Spectacle had been removed in the installation, so I simply put it back and, presto!

2.  Mageia 6.1.  My Mageia 6 has been working great and, after updating to Mageia 6.1, everything when fine on my laptop.  My daughter's Mageia 6 desktop, however, has been a nightmare and I don know if I should blame the hardware, the UEFI maze, or a defective install media.  The thing is that, one good day, I discovered that the Mageia Control Center would not open and I could not install packages either via GUI or CLI.  The release of Mageia 6.1 was a great opportunity to reinstall and fix that once and for all.  The installation process went well, but the complication was after I dicovered that WINE was not allowing the Windows Steam client to download my daughter's current favorite game.  I reinstalled several times, changed the drivers, tinkered with the WINE configuration to no avail.  And this problem took me to my greatest installation failure: PicarOS Diego!

3.  PicarOS Diego.  My daughter's desktop dual-boots Mageia and PicarOS Diego, a great MiniNo GalpON respin for children.  Since the game she likes is neither running with WINE on Mageia 6.1 nor with Windows Vista, I tried to run it on WINE in PicarOS.  The packages were old, so I updated the system.  Big mistake!  In the end, I was left with an up-to-date  MiniNo that removed all the special tweaks for children and, to add insult to injury, the game would not run at all!

Oh, but the best part was that MiniNo removed the Mageia entry from the GRUB.  So I lost my access to Mageia as well.

Thankfully, in my dealings testing Elive betas, I learned about Super Grub2 Disk, a tool that becomes real handy in cases like that one. With it, I could get back to Mageia once that I had reinstalled PicarOS Diego.  So, in the end, all of my OSs are back to normal.

But I could not solve the issue of the game.

I guess I can let her use my laptop to play her game on Mageia or Fedora.

Or I can use the Windows 10 iso that I downloaded to upgrade Windows Vista on her laptop and see what happens.

sábado, 13 de octubre de 2018

Summary of Seven Days

This is a quick post to list the latest events.

1.  Mageia 6.1 was released six days ago (Oct 6).  I was sick and busy and, because of that, I missed the announcement.  I do not need to install it on my computers, but I will download it to install it on my daughter's machine and fix the problem with the MCC.

2.  Google+ is being killed (Oct 9).  That marks the end of my 3-year experiment with this social network.  Wow, excluding Blogger, that was the only social network in which I have been active for more than a year... I tried Tagged, Hi5, Facebook (before it became so popular here), and YouTube. Right now, I have been looking for a replacement and tried MeWe and Pluspora... MeWe is too Facebooky for my taste.  Pluspora feels like a merge between Facebook and Twitter with limitations and a really geeky flavor.  I guess I will continue my test drive in Pluspora for a while.

3.  Microsoft and the patents (Oct 10).  Megatotoro shared this article with me.   I was confused.  Either Microsoft is changing its position or it is a masked move that, in reality, does not help Linux at all.  Which one will be, I wonder?

4.  My Fedora acted weird (Oct 11).  As I was attempting to update Fedora, some WINE-related packages were not found because the repos were absent.  I updated without them and the screen locker got broken.  I had encountered that before in OpenMandriva, so I switced to a virtual terminal with Ctrl+Alt+F2, logged in with my user and password, and then executed loginctl unlock-session 5.  Then I switched back to the running session with  Ctrl+Alt+F1.

5.  The Forest on Steam via WINE ate up my home space (Oct 12).
I was playing this Windows game on Fedora using the Windows Steam client via WINE.  It works fine, but then the system told me that I was running low on space.  I checked with Dolphin and I had only 340Mb free!  After a while, this number went down to 467Kb.  When I finished the game, I rebooted and my free space came back.

sábado, 6 de octubre de 2018

When Windows 10 Becomes Windows ME...

Wow!  A recent Windows 10 update is deleting personal files from the Documents folder!

That's new.

Wait, not exactly.  That has happened before with Windows ME around 17 years ago.  In fact, this OS behavior was so famous that it was depicted in the OS-tan meme collection.
Yes... I still miss you, Windows ME.

jueves, 13 de septiembre de 2018

The Blue Bird Effect: Scanning with an Epson XP 231 multifunction printer on Elive 3

Mamerto Menapace, an Argentinian monk, wrote a story entitled "El Pajaro Azul" ("The Blue Bird").  In this story, a prince gradually falls very sick and no doctor can determine the source of his disease. A hermit is brought from his mountain as the last hope, and this wise man tells everyone that the prince is dying of nostalgia.  To get cured, the prince must start a journey looking for a rare blue bird.

So, the sick prince travels all around the earth, in an futile attempt to find the blue bird and become well again.  However, no person has seen the bird and, defeated, he returns home as an old man only to discover that, among all the other birds that he had in his palace, there was a particularly blue one.     

Well, that same thing just happened to me with my Epson XP-231 multifunction printer and Elive 3.0, the new OS on my laptop.

Elive has been running magnificently; I could not be feeling happier.  Nevertheless, the real test of the OS is to get my printer/scanner to work.

The first part, printing, was not that difficult.  Even thought Elive comes with a convenient utility to add a new printer (the same one I have seen in Mageia 6) in Applications/preferences/print settings, the process of adding the printer gets stuck.  But this problem can be circumvented by opening the browser and typing http://localhost:631/ to go to CUPS.  From there, one can add the printer (once that the iscan bundle with the drivers is installed).

Scanning was, on the other hand, a nightmare.  I read lots of forums and tried many solutions to no avail.  Defeated, I ran another search and found a blog post with a procedure that looked promising.  I tried this last solution and, sure enough, it worked like a charm.

The great irony here was that it was Megatotoro, my own brother, who had posted here the procedure that I needed!  I looked all over the internet and the solution was closer than I had imagined, a complete blue bird effect.

In Elive, one has to basically use SciTE as root to open the files dll.conf (to add the line example-backend), epson.conf, and epson2.conf (to add the values that one gets with the comand sane-find-scanner in Terminology).  In my case, I had to uncomment, in both files, the line usb 0x01aa 0x0001 and modify it to read:

usb 0x04b8 0x1102

That was it.

Now I can both print and scan on Elive 3.0

lunes, 10 de septiembre de 2018

One last job for my ZTE Open phone

My first cellphone was a ZTE Open that I bought on 2014.  It ran Firefox OS, which Mozilla discontinued in December 2015.  This meant that cetain apps ceased to work and the phone lost functionality.

I was happy with Firefox OS, but I had to replace it with an Android phone.  My ZTE Open became a museum piece that I turned on occassionally, mainly to play with my daughter some games that still work.

Last week, though, I took the 4-year old phone to an event to serve as an audio player.  I noticed then that the battery has started to swell.

Tomorrow, I will take it to class to play audio again.  I do not know how much time my ZTE Open has left, but it has been a champion.

Good things come to an end...

Elive 3.0 is out! And it is FREE!!

After a long period of development, Elive 3.0 has been finally released today.

Wow, I still remember the first day I saw Elive Topaz 2.0.  Never had I seen a distro most beautiful and efficient.  However, back then, the live CD asked for payment to download an installation module, which put me (and many other Linux users, I learned later) off.

Of course, those days, I was still discovering the world of Linux and Free/Open Source Software, so I had many inaccurate ideas about distros.  I did not know much about KDE or Gnome, let alone mention Enlightenment.  I struggled with GRUB.  I still did not understand the functionality of multiple work spaces and, obviously, I assumed that "free software" was meant to be free of cost.

Gradually, I became more supportive toward the idea of paying for Linux-related work that I loved and that, understandably, was something that I could not do myself due to my technical limitations.  I began paying for Mandriva Powerpacks, for example.  And I donated money, too.

I decided that I wanted to give Elive a chance.  "But I will support version 3," I said to myself.  That was 8 years ago.

Since then, the Linux landscape has changed a lot and those changes have also modified my perspective.  Mandriva, the distro that took me out of Windows, is gone.  Mageia came along, but seems to be stuck at release 6.  I started using PCLinuxOS and OpenMandriva.  I learned how to use GRUB2, made peace with KDE Plasma, and I installed unfinished versions to my main computer.  The unthinkable!

The latter is what happened to Elive.  I have been using beta versions... and I did not mind donating to the project.

Now, I am downloading the long-awaited release of this new version of Elive, which will replace my beta install, and my dream of having Elive 3.0 will become a reality.


miércoles, 15 de agosto de 2018

Elive 3.0 to be released in a month

For those of us who have been following this stunningly beautiful distro, the 8-year waiting seems to be finally coming to an end.

The revamped site of Elive has a countdown indicating that version 3.0 will be released in 25 days.

I can barely wait...