New Printer “Just Works” in SUSE 10

This post was originally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 22 March 2006.


Well, here's a first for me: go to local Dick Smith's, buy a cheap printer, for my wife (HP Deskjet 3940, AU$66). Because I don't really care about printing from Linux, I didn't care if it works or not on that OS, just bought whatever Windows printer was cheapest.


Brought it home, plugged it into my PC (in Windows) and it works, after installing drivers and software and about 15 mins of setup time.


For the heck of it, I rebooted to Linux to see what would happen. Well lordy “New hardware detected: HPdeskjet3940” and an offer to set it up. After 5 minutes — just accepting all the standard options — out comes a test page, in colour, bi-directional and fast.


Neat. Linux is ready for me....

?? New template doesn't work ??

This post was originally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 20 March 2006.


New del.icio.us rolls do not appear at right-hand side of this site, even though they did in Preview? Strange. Maybe it's a blogger glitch? See what happens in a few days, I suppose...


UPDATE: 2006-03-20 12:45 -- Not a glitch. Strange behaviour when I commented the del.icio.us block in the template. It seems that the comment block wasn't terminated? Odd. Fixed by removing my comments. This is sub-optimal, but works at least.


Organising my bookmarks

This post was originally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 20 March 2006.


I've added the new “tag roll” and “link roll” to the right in this blog's template. Looks great, but examining my tags reveals I'm a bit disorganised, huh?


That's nothing, you should check out my tags in Flickr. Definitely could do with some improvement there.


Tags are a great idea. The trouble is, I'm uncertain how best to use them. That is, what are the best tag words to attach to a link or photo so that I can find the right one again? How can I best group my del.icio.us tags into Bundles to facilitate research? Should I even try?


I guess only experience will help. So I'll keep persevering :-). Also, since tags are social, looking at how other people have tagged their stuff could be instructive too.

Alternatives for data transmission in over-secured areas

This post was originally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 9 March 2006.


The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) is the international community of network experts who have been designing the main Internet “standards” for the past 30 years or so. These include such landmark standards as RFC822 (email) and RFCs2045-2047 (MIME). New standards continue to be published and implemented today.


Two IETF contributions may be especially helpful for our current issues at work in transferring data between two isolated systems. For the published IETF documents, see:



(please note the publication dates when reviewing these recommendations)


Of special note: RFC1149 has been implemented in Bergen, Norway: http://www.blug.linux.no/rfc1149/

Emacs dunnet solved

This post was originally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 8 March 2006, and then updated at sinewalker.wordpress.com on 26 November 2006


I found this in a slashdot post while trawling for my own net handle... a cheat for the Emacs game dunnet:

get shovel, look shovel, e, e, dig, look, get cpu, look cpu, se, get
food, se, look bear, drop food, look, get key, sw, get bracelet, ne, nw,
nw, ne, ne, ne, e, look bins, w, w, put cpu in computer, type, toukmond,
robert, ls, uncompress paper.o.Z, exit, look paper, type, ftp gamma,
anonymous, toukmond, binary, send lamp.o, send shovel.o, send key.o, send
bracelet.o, send paper.o, quit, rlogin gamma, worms, get lamp, get
shovel, get key, get bracelet, get paper, e, n, e, drop shovel, drop key,
drop bracelet, drop paper, get weight, d, drop weight, nw, u, get
statuette, look statuette, get floppy, se, d, nw, ne, drop floppy, w, s,
e, turn dial clockwise, turn dial clockwise, turn dial clockwise, turn
dial counterclockwise, turn dial counterclockwise, turn dial
counterclockwise, w, n, e, get life, get shovel, get key, get bracelet,
get paper, get floppy, d, nw, u, se, d, nw, nw, s, s, s, s, put diamond
in chute, put bracelet in chute, s, get gold, e, e, s, d, look urinal,
put gold in urinal, flush, n, sleep, d, sw, e, u, dig, look, get
platinum, d, w, ne, u, s, put platinum in urinal, flush, n, d, sw, w, d,
e, get towel, look towel, d, s, s, s, look pc, put floppy in pc, reset, ,
dir, type foo.txt => xxx (combination), exit, n, n, n, n, n, u, look box,
put key in box, u, u, ne, ne, get axe, d, n, w, xxx (combination), cut
cable, exit, get key, e, n, get lamp, get license, get silver, w, put
silver in mail, n, n, e, e, e, e, e, get coins, get egg (in rooms 60 to
78), w, w, w, w, w, s, s, put egg in mail, put coins in mail, n, n, n, n,
e, e, e, e, e, look bus, in, s, s, s, w, w, w, w, w, nw, out, n, get
bone, e, e, get nitric, press switch, n, get glycerine, w, look bone, get
jar, get ruby, s, w, s, in, se, out, e, e, e, e, n, n, put nitric in jar,
put glycerine in jar, drop jar, in, n, n, put ruby in disposal, d, get
amethyst, u, put amethyst in disposal, d, ne, sw, u, u, w, w, s, w, s,
se, s, e, s, w, type, rlogin endgame, drop license, drop bone, drop key,
get diamond, get gold, get platinum, get amethyst, n, n, n, n, get bill,
n, get mona, s, drop bill, drop mona, drop diamond, drop gold, drop
platinum, drop amethyst, s, s, s, s, get silver, get egg, get coins, get
ruby, get bracelet, n, n, n, n, n, drop silver, drop egg, drop coins,
drop ruby, drop bracelet, n, quit

So I'll have to play again, and make a map too... 'cause it's the geek thing to do.


UPDATE: 20081126 - Finding the egg

As noted in the cheats above, the egg is in a random spot between rooms 60-78 (inclusive). Here are two stategies (besides peeking at the dunnet.el code) for finding the egg:


  1. In the pokey Unix environment (in-game) do directory listings of all the rooms between Main and Fourth St, intersecting between Maple and Sycamore Ave. If the room contains the egg, it'll be listed as egg.o in the Unix environment. Note where it is, then go and fetch it.
  2. Head along Main St looking for the egg, then up and down First, Second, Third... &c. until you find it.

Another idea to try (theoretical, but interesting, from TimHorse' comment below):


  • Login to pokey as the wizard, then type echo $dun-room-objects to find out where ALL of the objects are, find the egg (item 18, see $dun-objects) then have a look at $dun-rooms...

More ideas to try as the wizard in pokey (from some tips at the Dunnet author's hints page):


  • dun-current-room=tloc to go directly to the room containing the egg
  • dun-items='(append 18 dun-items), to add the egg to your inventory directly (a truely moby hack)

I'm actually motivated to play this game on the train tonight...


I still haven't made a map, maybe one day. It should be fairly simple to use the code as a starting point, but the up/down could be tricky to map.

DVD-CSS in SUSE

This post was origionally published at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 7 March 2006


There are excellent instructions for installing/patching SUSE to play commercial (CSS encrypted) DVDs. I had no trouble following them either. Wonder of wonders.


The whole issue of libdvdcss being “illegal” in DMCA-enlisted countries seems to be mute now, from my perspective... so long as your intent is only to watch movies that you have legally obtained (and not fincancial gain), then it should be fine — if it's good enough for the MPAA, then it's good enough for me. This would seem to me to work well with Australia's existing copyright law, which specifically grants fair-use copying and playing anyway, and goes against the dogma of the DMCA.

Problems with my CD recorder

This post was originally posted at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 10 February 2006.


I think I may have figured out the issue with my CD recorder. It seems to fail more when the weather is hot (as in, more than 32° C ambient). The internal case temperature would be in the low to mid 40s then, and this is probably close to the maximum operating temperature for the device (a SONY CD-RW CRX140E).


Bummer.


So, either I confine my CD writing to early in the morings on hot nights, or I evaluate some sort of cooling solution.

“Free as in Coke”

This post was originally posted at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 10 February 2006.


Was thinking about the Free as in Freedom, vs Free as in Beer analogy and I found a problem with the Free as in Beer offering.


Beer is actually already nearly Free as in Freedom, since the process to produce your own beer, and many good recipes are public domain. So maybe the analogy should be “free as in Coke™”. This works better, because someone can give away Coke bottles full of CocaCola™, and this is not the same as being given the secret recipe to make your own Coke.


Just a thought, anyway.

Alaska could learn from Massachusetts

This post was originally posted at sinewalker.blogspot.com.au on 24 January 2006.


In reference to this Slashdot articleabout Diebold electronic voting data availability.


Adopting Open voting/documententation standards would curtail these sorts of issues, without the FUD of forcing constituents to switch… However, I think that blaming it on Diebold is only a scape-goat to hide corruption in the voting system, so it's likely to remain…