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Color laser printer

We bought a Brother color laser printer for our business.

After a lot of research and deliberation opted for the HL-4050CDN printer (the C stand for color and the N for network).

The openprinting database mentions that it _mostly_ works but I took the chance anyway because I knew brother itself issued a cupswrapper for their own linux lp driver.

You can download the wrapper and driver here.

FAT32 FS and file limits

My newly edited backup script has a tar command that bailed out after a certain point.

I bought an external HD with a USB interface and it turns out the single parition is in the FAT32 format which does not allow file sizes over 4GB.

So reformat it to f.e. ext3 and be on your merry way.

Record playback with Pulse Audio

Suppose you play a music stream through firefox and you want an easy way to record this.

Do the following steps

  • Install Pulse Audio Device chooser
  • Start it and choose Volume Control from the menu
  • Select the 'Input Devices' tab and select 'Monitors' (bottom right)
  • Set this device as default
  • Start the Sound Recorder application
  • Select the Recording tab
  • Select Application (bottom right)
  • Go to Sound Recorder and start recording, the application should appear in the Recording tab

Rescale 1080p to 720p with ffmpeg

I use the ubuntu v8.10 (intrepid ibex) distribution.

At first I could not tell ffmpeg to use the h264 codec no matter what I tried. It seems ubuntu comes with a stripped version.
Then I realised my only other option was to build it from source.
Fortunately there is great howto detailing the exact steps for my linux distribution.

Follow the instructions to the letter and you should have no problem. At this time I use r17987 (from the trunk).

To rescale a movie to 720p in one pass:

MythTV and DVB-S2 card with a Technisat Multytenne dish

My Hauppage HVR-4000 arrived just before the weekend.
The online store,, I bought it from has been really punctual in the follow-up and delivery so kudos to them!
I suspected this weekend will not get me much sunlight...

Anyway saturday morning I launched myself in the installation of the HVR-4000.

Before the actual insertion of the card Mythbuntu needs to be upgraded.
Upgrade mythbuntu 8.10: 'update-manager -d' should offer you an upgrade path to 'jaunty'. This is necessary since we want to use the new S2API in the 2.6.28 kernel to enable DVB-S2.


Automount usb storage

Being fed up with using pmount and editing /etc/fstab to mount usb devices?

Then apt-get usbmount!

Edit /etc/usbmount/usbmount.conf to add the 'vfat' filetype.

EDIT: No, usbmount is obsolete compared to pmount. This has been a long-running PITA and I finally found the problem. If your gnome-volume-manager refuses to automount you should probably check your /etc/fstab for errors. Mine had an uncommented comment.

Upgrade to Mythbuntu

I took a shot at installing Mythbuntu over a working but dead-end custom Debian installation. A few helpful remarks:
  • When configuring tv-out during installation I forgot it is normal when getting no signal on the monitor after the reboot of the first installation. So choose recovery boot option and select the option to repair x when given a choice.

Open LDAP on Debian

Begin by installing the server with a 'apt-get install slapd'

Optionally you can install this web admin tool: 'apt-get install phpldapadmin'.
It's great to easily add entries with the predefined templates.
According to this wiki you can change the awkward login to avoid typing the full dn of the user you want to login with.
Edit the phpldapadmin.conf file:


Debian etch on a Asus P5GC motherboard

The onboard NIC is not detected with the default kernel.
Add the debian backports repository to your sources.list: 'deb etch-backports main'. Don't forget to do a 'apt-get update'.
You need this to download a more recent kernel image. I used 'aptidude' to select the following packages.

  • linux-image-2.6.24-etchnhalf.1-686
  • atl2-modules-2.6.24-etchnhalf.1-686

Restart and the onboard NIC should be detected.

Server installfest

Half a week into my one week vacation I decided to go ahead and upgrade my server to a respectable HD size.

Debian woody was chugging along fine but I wanted to check the Ubuntu server edition anyway.

Unfortunately I struggled for a whole day to get my RAID up and running but without success.
This is what I learned:
It would seem that the device files would NOT be created on time before the mdadm script during init would run.

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