Showing posts from August, 2011

openSUSE 11.4 Pixma IP2770 driver dependency error

Users who downloaded the provided Linux Canon drivers may encounter a libpng error when installing the Pixma IP2770/2700 on an openSUSE 11.4 system.  After running the file to install the drivers users will encounter this message:

This is due to openSUSE 11.4 having an updated libpng library (a set of files to handle PNG).  The Pixma drivers require an earlier version.  

This issue is easily solved by running Yast's Package manager and searching for libpng.  Select and install libpng2-0.

After installing libpng2-0, run and the Pixma drivers should go all the way through the driver process successfully.

Mandriva 2011 is here!

To visit a quick tour of the improvements made for Mandriva 2011, click here.

I'm personally excited about the release of the new Mandriva Linux distribution and I'm itching to download the ISO now.  However, as a non-early adopter (hey, it took me years to get an iTouch and 2 years to get a netbook), I'll wait if the release is a stable one before taking the plunge (although the temptation will always be around for the next few weeks. . .).

Some of the changes I found very intriguing are the following:

1.  According to the Mandriva wiki, there will be no more official Gnome desktop.  Mandriva has chosen to go KDE 4 all the way!  Now, considering the problems Mandriva has had over the last few years, I understand the need to focus on one desktop and make it work well rather than working on two desktops (though Ubuntu and openSUSE has worked very well at maintaining two main desktops).  If they make an excellent KDE 4 release, I'm all for it since I've been impressed…

Eagerly awaiting Mandriva 2011 . . .

I'm eagerly anticipating the release of Mandriva 2011 which may have been somewhat delayed.  Of course, I'm more concerned about how good the new release is than when it will be released.  Still, I look forward to playing around with a new distribution.  I haven't tested a new Linux distribution since openSUSE 11.4 and prior to that the disappointing Mageia 1.0.

Quick Tip: Crop images with Gwenview

Although Gimp, Digikam, ShowPhoto come pre-installed with openSUSE or in some cases other KDE-based Linux distributions, double-clicking on images in KDE Dolphin will open Gwenview, which in some respects is similar to Windows irFanview

To quickly crop images, click SHIFT+C or click Edit on the menu bar, then Crop.
Resize the crop bounding box and click Crop on the Control bar that appears. Gwenview will offer to save, save as, or save all edited images or undo changes made to the image.

Disabling Startup Services in openSUSE 11.4

Windows users had used msconfig to disable startup items in earlier Windows releases in order to speed up loading times.  openSUSE has a similar  allows users to configure startup applications and services using the Service Manager tool. 

1.  To access the Service Manager, click the KDE Kickoff Menu and then Configure Desktop.  2.  In the System Administration setting of System Settings, click Startup and Shutdown.   3.  On the left hand pane, click Service Manager.   4.  On the lower half of the Service Manager window is the Startup Services.  Uncheck any unneeded services.  The listed services are provided with helpful descriptions to help the user decide if it's an essential startup item or not.   5.  Click Apply and reboot/log off the system to ensure the changes takes effect.If needed, search for the service in question in online KDE or openSUSE forums to determine whether they're important or not.

For my system, which is pretty much barebones as it is, I disabled the followi…

Knoppix Boot and Shutdown Times

For all the praises heaped on Ubuntu for its incredible bootup and shutdown speeds, I'm still awed by the loading of my mobile Linux distro of choice - Knoppix 6.5.   The LiveUSB sits in my bag, always ready to provide the means for file transfers across "secure" laptops and networks. 
On a Lenovo Z360 running with a Intel Core i3 with 4 GB of RAM, Knoppix got me to a working desktop in 37.0 seconds (clocked using iTouch's stopwatch).  On a Dell Latitude E6400  with a Core 2 Duo T9600 2.80 Ghz system assisted by 4 GB of RAM, Knoppix got me going in 42.4 seconds.  Perhaps the only reason the Dell took a little bit longer is because of Compiz Fusion, which is loaded with Knoppix if the system is running an Intel Integrated Video card (The Lenovo had an unsupported Optimus Nvidia card).  
Shutting down before the IT guy or my friend can notice I'm logged in to Linux took 19.9 and 19.1 seconds respectively - a bit long compared to Windows 7 and openSUSE, …

Latecomer Me: iPod Touch iMpressions

I've been a fan of Apple for at least a decade now despite my Windows background and love for Linux.  I've craved for exclusive time with an iOS device of my own with finances and simple needs being the reason I never got around to getting one.  Having received one recently as a gift, I felt that it was my duty to post a long-delayed quick comment on the Apple iPod Touch.

1. Touchscreen - enough has been said about Apple's brilliantly responsive touch screen, but it's only my second  touch-based device after the Sony Reader so be gentle.

2. Size and dimensions - the Creative Zen I've owned for years is so small I keep losing it in my bag, but the thinness of the iTouch is still astonishingly practical.

3. Looks like an iPhone - it's thinness and weightlessness allows me to pop it out and take quick photos without looking like a tourist because of its similarity to the appearance of the iPhone.  Pretending to take a picture has never been easier.

4. Default appl…

Linux Application: Using Subtitle Editor to modify Timing Part 2

Continued from Linux Application: Using Subtitle Editor to modify Timing Part 1

Subtitle Editor's clean interface belies its robust functionality.  In most cases the subtitles available online are fairly accurate and only minor edits are really needed.   The most common issue is that the dialogue comes in too late or too early.  To correct this issue, all that is really needed is to "move" the subtitle to when the dialogue starts and everything else will fall into place
1. Subtitle Editor supports the most popular subtitle formats.  Open the .srt file to edit by clicking File and then Open.  The dialogue and the timing will appear just below the video screen with the appropriate start, end, duration, and text columns. 2. In order to ensure that dialogue matches the action, open the video file.  Click Video on the Menu and then Open to select the movie file.

3. Subtitle Editor will not automatically play the movie.  Press the Play button on the movie slider to start the mo…

Linux Application: Using Subtitle Editor to modify Timing Part 1

With the horrible spate of Hollywood of movies being released these days, it's no surprise foreign-language films or animation have become popular.  In particular, Korean, Hong Kong, Japanese, and Thai movies have seen a growth in popularity online.  Downloading and playing them on Linux isn't a problem with video players such as VLC, Mplayer, and Kaffeine (with the appropriate codec packs installed of course).

Downloading Subtitles

For those who ripped their movies or downloaded them, it often happens that the subtitles are missing.  On occasion, some subtitles are even poorly written.  Downloading a different one is easy enough with web sites such as and  There are three things to take note of when selecting subtitles.

1. The language - In, pay attention to the flag for UK, which designates English subtitles.  2. The # of CDs - A downloaded or ripped movie could have come from a DVD, VCD, or Blue-Ray disc. Subtitles follow t…

Updated: HCL for openSUSE 11.4 on Asus EEEPC 1000H

Asus EEEPC 1000H's profile has been updated to reflect hardware compatibility with openSUSE 11.4 in the HCL section of the openSUSE wiki.

In general, hardware compatibility of 11.4 matches that of 11.2 though 11.4 is much more stable.  One concern that remains is that though the FN keys partially work, in particular for the wireless, users would still have to use rfkill to properly switch on Bluetooth and Wi-fi capabilities.

Microsoft, Apple, and the Pantheon of Technology

With Microsoft placed in the unenviable position of underdog and Apple on top of the world, the tech landscape is slowly changing with the old gods being replaced by the demi-gods (such as Google who has received a much-needed hardware upgrade in acquiring part of Motorola's business).  The power within the pantheon of Android, iOS, Facebook, Google Search, Windows 7, MS Office, and OS X is shifting.  Minor members such as WebOS have fallen away.  

Amidst it all, I like to think the open source community and the tireless Linux developers are in the background, maintaining the physics of the real world far from the reaches of the gods but accessible to those who know about their secrets.

Quick Fix: VLC issues with MP4 in Windows

A common issue that pops up in forums regarding the widely popular VLC is MP4 videos having sound but no video in Windows 7. 
To quickly resolve this issue, click Tools and then Preferences.
On the left pane, select Video and on the Output box, select OpenGL video output.  Click Save. Close VLC Player and launch VLC again to attempt to play the MP4 file.  If the MP4 file still does not display video but provides audio, go back to Preferences and on the lower-left hand side of the pane, select All under Show Settings. Place a check on Overlay Video Output.VLC is an excellent player not only in Windows but in Linux and Mac OSX as well, but will occasionally have issues on specific file formats.  Check the forums if one particular format known to work with VLC doesn't play or has issues.

Install Canon Pixma iP2770/iP2700 on Ubuntu using Canon drivers Part 2

After downloading and installing the Canon-provided drivers for the Pixma IP2770/IP2700 series, two Pixma printers will actually be displayed.  One would have the printer name designated during the driver-installation process while the other would have the label iP2700-series

This is due to Ubuntu detecting and installing Ubuntu printer drivers for the Pixma.  After installing the Canon drivers, removing the printer labelled iP2700-series is a safe and recommended step to take.  For one thing, the Ubuntu installation may no longer work after the Canon drivers are installed.  To remove the redundant printer, right-click on the iP2700-series printer and click Delete.

An extra step users may want to take is to set the default paper size and media type in the Printer Options.

One of the advantages of installing Canon-provided drivers is having access to settings such as Scale to fit, Orientation, Mirror, Scaling and Text options which can all be found under Job Options.

Like all printer…

Install Canon Pixma iP2770/iP2700 on Ubuntu using Canon drivers Part 1

Canon provides Linux drivers for select consumer devices on their catalogue including the entry-level Canon Pixma iP2770 series.  Installation is quick and easy with the provided Canon printer drivers.  Before following the steps below, ensure that the Pixma is switched off and no other printers are connected to the Ubuntu system.
1.  To download the drivers, visit the Canon support site for your region or Singapore's driver site for easy downloading. 2.  The Canon support site provides three files.  For Ubuntu, download the second file offered which is meant for Debian-based Linux distributions.  
3.  After downloading the driver, extract the tar.gz file to any folder.  To extract the contents, double-click the cnijfilter-ip2700series-3.30-1-i386-deb.tar.gz.  Ubuntu's default archive manager will open and allow users to select a target folder.  
4.  Navigate to where the driver files are extracted.  Open the folder and double-click the file.
5. A Terminal will open and …