Konica-Minolta Bizhub C220 on Linux Mint 14 64 MATE

I do believe I found a solution for my problem with printing from Linux Mint 14 MATE 64 bit to a networked Konica-Minolta Bizhub C220.
I downloaded the file openprinting-ppds-postscript-konica-minolta_20130226-1lsb3.2_all.deb from here,. I suppose I should have taken it from here, they do though seem to be the same and I installed the one from the binary-i386 directory before I noticed there were two directories and it worked with no problems! The MD5sum, SHA and SHA256 I found here. The driver file does not include the C220 designation so I used C250 which we previously had and that worked without problems then and now.

OpenPrinter driver installation:

  • Double click the .deb and let it install
  • Go to Admin>Printers, Select Add Printer
  • Select Network Printer & thereunder your printer that gives you “AppSocket/JetDirect network printer via DNS-SD” Mine was the second printer instance down under Network Printer.
  • Click Forward after selecting AppSocket/JetDirect network printer via DNS-SD
  • A search for drivers ensues…
  • Select Konica-Minolta C250 and PS(P), Postscript-KONICA-MINOLTA 20130226 (OpenPrinting LSB 3.2) [en], then click Forward
  • Go through the Installable Options, name the printer Location and click Apply
  • In Admin>Printers, select Printer Properties and set them, like paper size in Printer Options.

Now it prints. Any further reports will follow should they become necessary… Phew!

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i7 it is, and SandyBridge to boot

So, I’ve decided to build a new computer! It’s been a while – now some five years since the last new one which has a Pentium D 3.4GHz CPU. The new beast’s parts that I already have are:

Case Corsair Graphite CC600TWM-WHT
PSU Seasonic XPseries 1000W 80PLUS PLATINUM SS-1000XP
Motherboard Asus LGA2011 P9X79 PRO
CPU Intel Core i7 3930K 3.3GHz SandyBridge-E BX80619I73930K
CPU Cooler Corsair CWCH100 Hydro (or H100i)
RAM Corsair PC3-15000 (DDR3-1866) 32GB (8GBx4) CMZ32GX3M4X1866C10R
Video card Asus NVIDIA GTX670-DC2-4GD5 (PCI-Express 3.0)
Boot SSD OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G 120GB (I might add a Samsung 840 Series later)
Optical drive LG BH16NS48/BOX
OS Linux Mint 14 Nadia MATE 64 bit
Storage I have many SATA HDD and NAS so no worries there
Display I have three FlexScan S240W displays connected and working at 5760 x 1200 resolution. Two are on DVI, one on HDMI.

Having put all the hardware together and connected the SSD I removed from another box with LM14, it actually booted up – for a while. It then decided something was amiss and looped at the login screen – even a fresh Linux Mint 14 MATE on a USB did the same… So I Googled the question and the Linux Mint forum came up with this excellent suggestion from “Commando” under Linux Mint 14.1 Login Loop that “just worked”!

  1. At the login screen, press Ctrl + Alt + F1
  2. Log in from the terminal
  3. Once logged in, type the following in the shell, “sudo apt-get install nvidia-current” Note, you must have network access to download the latest drivers
  4. Once done, type “sudo reboot
    (All without “”)

Another thing was that the CPU cooling fans also needed a different setup because they ran at full speed the whole time and the noise was not acceptable. Instead of relying on the Corsair H100 to regulate the fan speed (not available under Linux) I swapped out the rear case fan and the two H100 fans and connected three KAZE-JYUNI PWM SY1225SL12LM-P to a MB PWM fan header that now controls them. There’s a forum article on that here.
That fixed the noise and all is great now. I also installed gkrellm system monitor to see what the temperatures were like – the cores individually hardly ever go over 40°C and the GPU was a cool 35°C. Oh, and I set the H100 to have three segments lit so it pumps at max all the time, but does it quietly.
Update: March 1, 2013

And to crown it all I have three FlexScan S240W displays connected and working at combined 5760 x 1200 resolution. Two are on DVI, one on HDMI. There are some triple screen wallpapers out there. More in HD would be welcome!

 

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Sources for some of my Favorurite Items

As I live in Japan I often buy stuff from outside the country as, among other things, my body size and H:W ratio is different to that of the natives.

To start, a couple of categories may be useful:

Shoes & Boots
The footwear brand I now swear by is KEEN and I wear little else except perhaps no shoes. Keen make all kinds of products, but for me the sandals, boots & shoes are the most important as I always had fitting problems which with Keen disappeared. Keen shoes & boots are well made, have a big toe box and the sole support is legendary.
This source list has been relatively up-to-date for a while now even though source pricing and shipping policies do change. Keen products I get either at Amazon.com, REI.com, Backcountry.com, SierraTradingPost.com, TheWalkingCompany.com or maybe ShoePeddlers.com basically in that order as Amazon’s shipping often wins out in total pricing and some of the others’ shipping is either slow, expensive or they don’t have the model I’m looking for.
Sandals, shoes & boots can be best ogled online at Zappos.com as they have the best product presentation, but as of this writing don’t ship to Japan. The US KeenFootwear.com site is often not representative for their assortment as they produce for distributers and so not all models/colours are on their site. They also have a Japanese site if your size is not excessive and shoe choice not expansive.
My favourite boot models are Targhee II Mid, Bryce Mid WP, Gypsum Mid and Incline High.

Juicers
I now own two juicers. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.
The first one I got was the Green Star GSE-5000 Elite Jumbo Twin Gear Juice Extractor, a monster of a juicer capable of producing juice from almost anything from apples and oranges to leafy greens, leaving a quite dry pulp to dispose of. It will also make nut butters and also sorbet or an ice-cream similar substance from frozen bananas or other frozen fruit. Apart from its size and weight it’s a bit noisy too and cleaning the screen after use I found quite laborious.
The second juicer I purchased because of what I consider the Green monster’s shortcomings is the Omega VRT350 Heavy Duty Dual-Stage Vertical Single Auger Low Speed Juicer. This juicer is an upright, or vertical, design, hence the VRT designation. The HD means that it has a screen of a new and stronger material that doesn’t show early signs of wear as, according to reports, the older white one did. The Omega VRT 350 HD is not suitable for making nut butters, but will juice anything else from apples and oranges to leafy greens as long as the produce is chopped into pieces before feeding it in and making sure that fibrous and crunchy juicy produce is fed in alternately to prevent blockage – which I have yet to experience. It does this quietly and the juice produced is excellent with little pulp in it. The residual pulp is relatively dry (not as dry as the Green monster’s though) and cleaning is a breeze. This juicer I use very often as it is so easy to use and clean whereby the Green monster gets used only occasionally for those special things the Omega can’t handle.

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Samsung Galaxy Note II (SC-02E)

Well now, this is the phone/tablet I always imagined! It has a fantastic Screenshots_2012-12-06-16-28-48display, a quick processor and umpteen other positive features all centred around the Samsung idea of how things should be done – not always the best for some individuals, but not bad most of the time. I, for example, installed the Nova Launcher to accommodate my idiosyncrasies! There are so many new things, like multitasking and the Note app that need some time to get to know. I haven’t got anywhere near mastering them. A screenshot is made by using the pen, touching the screen with it and holding the pen button until the screen flashes, then you must touch the check mark at top right to save the shot.

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Konica Minolta bizhub C220 network printer on Linux Mint

Well, I just got our Konica-Minolta C220 network printer set up to work with Linux Mint 13 Maya 64bit. The drivers available with the Linux distribution are not suitable. Nevertheless, the only really confusing part is that CUPS versions and driver versions don’t match making the choice a guessing game. What I chose to do follows:

Linux European language drivers for the Konica-Minolta C220 network printer, one of the C360 Series, can be downloaded from here, click USA (direct here).
On that page choose Color Products / bizhub C220 / Drivers / Linux. Click the Show button at right below the selection boxes and download C360 Series Linux v10001.0000.zip – Unzip that file and go to CUPS1.2 / EN and note the location of KOC360UX.ppd for the following CUPS setup.

Open CUPS in a browser using http://localhost:631/ – Install CUPS though Synaptic Package Manager if not already available.
Select Adding Printers and Classes, click Add Printer, select the C220 under Discovered Network Printers: (top one usually), then type in a Location (e.g. Office) so you know where to pick up your hard copies. click Continue.
On the next page there is an option at the bottom Or Provide a PPD File: Click Browse and go to the extracted KOC360UX.ppd mentioned above, select it and click Add Printer.
After that the Default Options can be set – most are already set correctly, but under General the default paper size should be chosen (A4/Letter) and then click Set Default Options.
That should do it. Now a test page can be printed by selecting Administration/Manage Printers, select the printer and click Maintenance/Print Test Page.
If multiple printers are connected to the computer it might be good to set a default printer in Administration/Manage Printers/<PrinterName> – Administration/Set As Server Default.

Make and Model: KONICA MINOLTA C360SeriesPS(P)
Driver: KOC360UX.ppd
Description: KONICA_MINOLTA_KONICA_MINOLTA_C220

Oct 18 update:
Oh dear, it doesn’t always work! I’ll have to dig a bit and find out why. I’ll need a few days as I’m away in the woods over the w/e, hopefully without rain…

2013 Feb 28 Update:
I searched and searched and at long last found, with the help of Ubuntu Launchpad Bug reports, some relief from the problem that the Konica-Minolta Bizhub C220 would not print on Linux Mint 14. Here is an extract and How To:
Open LibreOffice, go to File>Printer Settings -> Properties -> Device
Set Printer Language Type = Postscript (Level from driver)
Now it’ll print from LibreOffice and Firefox. This should still be fixed but at least printing is possible with the workaround. The report is here.
The driver I used was KOC360UX.ppd I found out about here, the actual download is here, and is now also available here. No, I haven’t found out how to make the LibreOffice setting permanent, nor whether this KOC360X.ppd is different from the other one…

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Straight banana?

Demon Barbers: I’ve Never Seen a Straight Banana.

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Samsung Galaxy S3 SC-06D – my recent update

With a huge sigh of relief I have at last been able to sideline those horrible launchers called docomo Palette UI & Touchwiz on my Galaxy S3! I now have the wonderfully simple and effective Apex Launcher and everything is in Android. It looks and feels like stock Android again, specifically ICS. Note the five icons at screen bottom. Desktop icons can be stacked without a folder and apps are also sorted alphabetically in the app drawer. I left all those unused and doubtful apps that both docomo & Samsung installed in the app drawer.
I have resurrected my copy of the xPhonePro phone & contacts app I bought in Feb 2012 and originally found too complex. Now though, it looks as if I’ve learnt something, or their update worked wonders… it now works well and has nice icons – with pictures if I want. Resizing favourite icons is still not quite intuitive – hold a finger on the screen in Group view to enable Edit, then select menu. Voila, three options including sizing become available. I expected the setting to be in Preferences like all the others!
Now the only things the Galaxy Nexus has better are the curved screen and thinner shapely body that gives the hand an idea of its orientation!

Update: October 08, 2012
And now I’ve had to change the launcher again because Apex Launcher kept crashing or freezing things so I installed GO Launcher EX and lovin’ it! The interface is now almost Android – without crashing!

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docomo NEXT series Samsung Galaxy S3 SC-06D

Sorry for the delay, but I’m not an avid blogger…
Nevertheless, I have now passed on the docomo Galaxy Nexus SC-04D that is no longer available at docomo. When asked they said it was a phone for devs to play with! Actually in my direct experience it was the best phone they ever had, including the current top-of-the-line SGS3, especially because it had a minimum of the docomo interface/service crap installed and the phone was close to having the unadulterated Google Android ICS interface! Oh, and I loved the SGN’s curved screen that eliminated all reflections and was perhaps designed to fit in a hip pocket, or any other pocket for that matter, as the human body has no straight parts at all. Where’s the newer phone with such a wonderful curved screen?

This post though deals with the newer Samsung Galaxy S3 SC-06D with which I have replaced the SGN. The reason for the replacement was that an employee needs to join docomo, docomo doesn’t have a good calling discount plan for Xi and I always want to try the newest device. Well, apart from Xi (a.k.a. LTE) and an SD card slot it looks like I got the raw end of that deal!

First impression is unfortunately that docomo has messed up a perfectly good phone with all their unnecessary crap! They have given it two possible “Home” selections, the Samsung Touchwiz and docomo’s own Palette UI. The former prevents other apps scrolling the background image as ICS allows in favour of its own method and the latter adds so much crap that it makes accessing the simplest functions a scroll job and generally makes the phone difficult to navigate. It’s unbelievable! So, as it turns out, the smaller evil is Samsung’s Touchwiz. Docomo president Ryuji Yamada seems to write the docomo UI mess in stone when he says he prefers Android devices over iPhone due to the open nature of the platform!

That said, I wish there was a way to get to the ICS UI without too much trouble and keep the docomo radio software. Any suggestions as to how to easily circumvent docomo and get back to ICS/JB user interface basics on the SGS3?

As a phone and internet browser the SGS3 is quick and doesn’t have hangups due to its 2GB of RAM, but Xi (LTE) is very patchy and outside the metropolis is hardly worth the electronics. It’s a bit like the early days of Foma; when it worked it was fantastic, but that didn’t often happen for some years. The same applies to the 1segTV function. At least Xi falls back to the next best wireless coverage mode and doesn’t cut out like Foma did. The SGS3 has tethering capability that works well – as now also does the SGN after an update! One point to note and to answer the unasked question: the Samsung Galaxy Nexus has a different SIM card to the Galaxy S3 so interchanging SIMs is not an option, apart from the fact that the docomo Nexus has no LTE and so a different docomo plan.

Finally, all that I can say from my experience is that it’s a great pity phone service companies don’t give users the choice of reverting to the originally designed interface as the OS designer, in this case Google/Android, do their thing best and they really seem to have a lot more depth of expertise in user interface design & layout and knowing what is right and easy and what does not help in using a phone. It is, after all, one of the things that helps set iOS apart, other than the hardware design.
When will mobile phone operators realise this would give the consumer the openness even docomo talks about and let the better UI win?

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My Galaxy Nexus

Having had this phone for a while and tried a few apps I’ve come to a short-list that suites my purpose. The Desktop looks as the picture on the right – screenshots are a breeze: press & hold power button + volume down simultaneously and it’s done! The wallpaper is “Sun Rise Live Wallpaper (Free)” and has birds flying past on occasion. Then there’s the weather widget with clock and alarm, that’ll also show the battery level, from “Fancy Widgets” and I also found a relatively good replacement for the default calendar called “Business Calendar Free” as my favourite iRT Calendar that as yet won’t run on ICS! One important and very good addition that I actually paid for is the “xPhone Photo Contacts” app that really excels. Below is a list of apps installed on my GN.
Alarm Clock (1.0.3)

Alarm Clock Plus (4.9)
CNN IN ANY LANGUAGE (1.3)
iris. (4.0)
iRT Calendar (1.4.733)
OpenOffice Document Reader (1.3.2)
Alarm Clock Xtreme Free (3.3a)
Apps Share (1.0.3)
BBC News (1.3)
Business Calendar Free (1.1.8.7free)
CNNGo (1.3.0)
CX (2.4)
Dropbox (2.1)
Fancy Widgets (3.5.5)
Lookout (7.6-b5787a3)
Notes Lite (1.0.74)
SanDisk Memory Zone (1.2.6)
ShareMyApps (3.1.3)
Skype (2.7.0.907)
SugarSync (3.5.1)
Sun Rise Live Wallpaper (Free) (3.2)
xPhone (1.6.1)
Zedge (2.8)
Generated by ShareMyApps

[edit: list updated March 15, 2012]
Not a huge list, but enough for my current needs. Another important ICS feature is the multiple icon stacks one can make and thereby packing much more onto one screen. Google does this by default when the phone is new with the Google icon stack in which there are some 9 or 10 apps. Behind the little red squirrel on my desktop are 4 other apps, all to do with file storage in the cloud.
I haven’t found a satisfactory alarm clock yet. For all of them I need glasses to see when waking and I do not want to hit snooze!

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More about our camera collection

Canon EOS60D

Canon EOS60D

There is also a Canon EOS60D with a Tamron 18-270 mm Di-II f3.5-6.3 lens in our arsenal. That camera has settings that are easily accessed and understood. I really wish Sony would emulate them in this respect – no, not copy, but find a way, à la Dieter Rams’ 10 design principles, to sensibly access the current sets of adjustments without having to delve into a labyrinth of menus. Sony took a leap at the “less” but not the “better” of his design philosophy. A great pity.

The Canon is a classic camera with all the functions where you’d expect them in a quite large body. The Sony NEX-5 body on the other hand is unexpectedly small and powerful with the caveat of menu maze with little or no hope of escape, whereby the Sony 18-200mm f3.5-6.3 lens underlies the laws of physics and is necessarily large.

On a practical level I like both cameras for different reasons; the EOS60D for its ease of use, quick action-shot settings and its speed of operation, the NEX-5 for its lightness, small size and general handiness and constant live view – except of course the setting labyrinth which does spoil the overall functionality.

If I’m going to take a series of action shots I prefer the biggish EOS60D as the settings are so much easier, and especially quicker, to find and manipulate.

I love carrying the NEX-5 around as it’s light, but even after some time with it I’m never quite sure if I have the right settings for the shot about to be taken, especially on the spur of the moment…

My conclusions are: NEX-5 makes good shots, but an insecure shooter. The EOS60D ensures good shots and shooter confidence, but tired arms and neck. I don’t think getting a bigger bag, finding a suitable binocular harness and/or lifting weights is the real answer here either.

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