iscan for linux can’t find my printer (originally published 2014-02-11, updated 2017-01-02)

Epson’s iscan scanner app

Fixing the config files

iscan error dialogIt’s been a couple of years now that I’ve had iscan installed. Today I wanted to do some high-resolution scanning so I thought I’d try and get it to work as I imagine it might be the best tool to interface between my Kubuntu 13.10 GNU/Linux distro install and my Epson Stylus SX535WD [update: still using same printer-scanner-copier with Kubuntu 16.04, this method still working]. That W in the model number shows I have a wireless connectable Epson. Over wifi I have no problem printing or scanning using the default tools and with the “epkowa” drivers from Epson but attempting to use iscan (“Image Scan! for Linux”) would give an error:

“Could not send command to scanner. Check the scanner’s status.”

In essence I did “sudo nano /etc/sane.d/dll.conf” and made the file there read:

# /etc/sane.d/dll.conf – Configuration file for the SANE dynamic backend loader
net
epkowa

with no other (uncommented) entries. Previously it had an epson2 entry which I think may have been confusing things.

Then I made sure that the /etc/sane.d/epkowa.conf file new where on the network to find my printer. I gave the printer a fixed IP when I installed it, X.X.X.10 [use the proper network address for your printer, not this placeholder]. Read the rest of this entry »

Help me get credit by taking a DigitalOcean trial plus making it in to a VPN using sshuttle.

Have your own server

From $5 per month

DigitalOcean logo

Give $10, Get $25

Everyone you refer gets $10 in credit. Once they’ve spent $25 with us, you’ll get $25. There is no limit to the amount of credit you can earn through referrals.

So, sign up for DigitalOcean using my link and get 2 months of server time for free. If you then decide to keep the server after a few more months I’ll get a credit. Stick around and I’ll tell you how you can use this to run a basic sort of VPN …

Cheats VPN using SSH

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Update on my posts on duplicati: fixed version for Google Drive won’t install on WinXP  but version 2.0.0.79 can be installed and works with OneDrive.

Duplicati backup on Windows XP

Google Docs fails in version 1

Duplicati is now updated to version 2.0-preview as linked from “latest” on their GitHub page. Meanwhile version 2.0.0.86 has been fixed to work with Google Drive where previously it was failing due to Google Docs (sic) updates.

Error message

Read the rest of this entry »

BP petrol price scam? The [probable] truth!

Date: 18 Nov, 2014
Posted by: admin
In: hints & tips|reduce

The most likely maths behind the alleged petrol-pump price scam being reported on Facebook.

I don’t normally share this kinda thing …

Unless there’s bad maths involved!?

Alleged Facebook petrol price scam - screencapture from FacebookOn Facebook usually if a post starts “Ok so I’m not normally one to share things like this but…” then it’s down to some marketing genius trying to dole out product links cloaked as hot tips. So, when I saw this post I assumed that it was something along those lines. Instead (at first look at least) it appears to be a report of over-charging for petrol:

Now I heard about garages starting to clock the pumps to charge you more than advertised so I started putting the test to the theory and low and behold…they were right! Charging me more for my fuel…Bast**ds! Now I can’t belive I never actually checked this before!
As you can see, 1 Litre should cost 123.9 pence, when I put exactly 1 Litre in it came to 125pence!

(Attila ッ Boros, unedited, via Facebook)

So, is this for real. And if it is why would the company advertise the “scam” right there on the pump for everyone to see?!? Read the rest of this entry »

Test of various editors and IDEs for writing Python for beginners.

PR4E (Python) – Programming for everyone

Writing Python for beginners

Python logoI’m doing a Coursera course from the University of Michigan called Programming for Everyone (PR4E). Writing Python direct in to the web interface for exercise submissions is a bit clunky to say the least. So I’m curious what apps other beginners are using to actually write their python code? Read the rest of this entry »

Baby slings experience and advice

Date: 04 Sep, 2014
Posted by: admin
In: life & family|reduce

Advice and experience with a baby sling.

Using a baby sling

My experience of slinging

a small infant in a sling; that's not me!We had a huggababy sling that was great for us. However there are about a million different slings, approximately, so I’d suggest you find a “sling library” and try a few out. Usually the people running it will sell the slings but IME they’re very familiar with the slings and are interested as much in making sure you have a good experience slinging as anything.

Using your sling

When baby is titchy tiny you can lie them sideways, within a few weeks they should be able to be upright (depends on your and baby’s shape). Huggababy have a page showing different ways to wear their sling.

Personally I couldn’t get on with the long piece of stretchy fabric baby wrap we bought from eBay and don’t like all the straps on the “modern” style ones (like Baby Bjorn carriers). YMMV. Read the rest of this entry »


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Flapjacktastic is just a random collection of musings, hints&tips, notes, information ... a collection of stuff really that's overflowed from the brain of this husband, father, potter, business-man, geek ...

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