Hardware to sell!

Here some old hardware I have to sell, everything should still work, but there's no guarantee!

  • Texas Instruments, "Voyage 200 Calculator" (good condition, cables+manuals+batteries, tested) (100 CHF)
  • Huawei, "HSDPA USB Modem E220" (5 CHF)

(Update: the above are the only two things I'm keeping around or haven't sold yet. Contact me!)

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 29 Mar 2013 at 09:48
Categories: Hardware, Longi Comments

CUPS EvenDuplex

Another remind-myself blog-post.
If you've got a printer like mine, which accepts PCL6, and expects there to always be an even number of pages when doing duplex printing, CUPS has a very easy solution for you. Open-source software usually always has.

*cupsEvenDuplex: True

Add that to your PPD file, and voilĂ , enjoy duplex working also when submitting three pages for printing!

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 01 Nov 2011 at 18:04
Categories: Hardware, Software Comments

Brother MFC printers Maintenance Mode

Today my Brother MFC-8860DN printer just decided that, after a paper jam in the ADF, which was quickly fixed, any scanning related functionality would simply be denied...
Even turning it off and on again, pulling the plug for half an hour, nothing helped: as soon as it booted, it just displayed "Please wait" on the display and anything scanning related was refused, printing still worked though.
After some searching on the awesome Internet, I found out that Brother printers have a Maintenance Mode, which can be used to reset the printer when its software gets stuck.

1) To enter Maintenance Mode, turn the printer off and turn it on while holding Menu pressed, you can easily recognize if it worked, as it writes "Maintenance Mode" in big letters and flashes the display.

2) You can now enter codes using the numerical pad, just entering the code is enough, you don't have to press anything else but the numbers, there's no confirmation key.
Here the important codes:

  • 01 - Parameter Init
  • 91 - Parameter Init
  • 77 - Status Page
  • 99 - Exit & Reset

Now, surprisingly, even if 01 and 91 have the same name and display the same thing, they don't reset the printer the same way, at least in my case. 91 seems to be a softer reset than 01, since it didn't work in my case, whereas 01 did and fully reset the printer. 99 seems to be the exit & reset command.
So I deduce more or less the following combinations:

  • 99 - very soft reset
  • 91, 99 - soft reset
  • 01, 99 - hard reset

Basically if your printer face-plants, trying 01, 99 should be your safest bet, as it fully resets the printer; this also means you'll have to set it up again, but other than checking the time and the network settings, there's not much to do, but alas I don't use the Fax, which needs a few more settings to work.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 17 Jun 2011 at 19:04
Categories: Hardware Comments

SSD crazy fast!

Finally replaced the old HD with a SSD I bought in January on my workstation, an OCZ Vertex 2 in 3.5" format, so that it fits in the hot-swap trays I've got.
It's actually surprising that so few vendors have 3.5" editions, as that's what practically all desktops, workstations and servers do have, especially considering hot-swap trays and similar drive bays.
Sure, with 2.5" you can pack more stuff into new-generation servers, but those are still incredibly expensive, and it makes sense on laptops, but that's pretty much it.
Anyway, the results are there: disk operations are crazy fast compared to before. Boot is incredibly fast, actually with OpenRC now, so fast that getting an IP via DHCP was the dominant factor, and changing to a static IP eliminated that one too.
I'm very satisfied with this, and ext4 with the 'discard' option (TRIM support) seems to work perfectly fine.

On the Rig front, I've not done much: some more work went into testing, the typeinfo stuff was completely removed, and a few more checks with regards to sizes and permitted flags were added.

Another project that I'll probably tackle soon is writing a build system that doesn't suck, and that tries to really be minimal, and not support the world and more, it just needs to generate Makefiles (and Visual Studio/Eclipse support probably too). The build itself is left to the relevant tools, this just really needs to gather info about where we're running and the features we want, make that info available to the user (some header file), and generate appropriate Makefiles, which don't depend back on the generator itself, so that you can also just generate generic Makefiles and not need to have the generator installed on every system with all its dependencies. I mostly want to get rid of CMake and its horrible mess of half-baked modules. Anyone wants to help here? It's going to be in Python, and it should support only C/C++ builds.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 13 May 2011 at 10:10
Categories: Hardware, Rig, Software Comments

Now that's technology at work!

I've bought lots of hardware in my life, some better, some worse...
But my last buy, a Samsung SP-H03 pico-projector really leaves me speechless.
I really didn't expect the tiny, low-cost LED projector to perform so well in practice...
The image is clear and very watchable, you just have to turn down the lights some, but that was to be expected. It also has a lot of features and connection possibilities, which all work very well, like just attaching a USB stick to play movies off. And the built-in speaker isn't that bad, you can clearly understand dialogue, but of course an external 5.1 system is better for sound. Attaching it to my PS3 worked without problems, and I tell you, playing Colin McRae Dirt 2 on a 60" screen is awesome! As is lying back on your bed and projecting the latest Castle episode on the ceiling of your room.
Being able to just project stuff anywhere using the battery is really cool, and the whole package just weighs 200-something grams; the fan is almost noiseless, you might hear it in a completely silent room while projecting without sound (during a presentation for example) but that's it, as soon as you have any kind of sound, speakers, a laptop-fan, whatever, you won't be able to hear it at all, and it doesn't disturb you any.
I'm really very impressed by the price-performance ratio of this product, it was the cheapest projector available and it works like a charm, and lots of other professional reviews pin it as one of the best pico projectors on the market. Samsung wins again!
To conclue a video I watched before buying it, I was a little skeptical, but now that I own it I can tell you, what you see on that video is 100% doable in reality.

Posted by Luca Longinotti on 23 Oct 2010 at 18:00
Categories: Hardware Comments

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