Topic: Computers HP LaserJet 2600N and Debian

11:02am, Friday 27 June 2008

Just documenting a gotcha I found while setting up my shiny new LaserJet 2600N with Debian.

The instructions say you need Ghostscript 8.54 or later because 8.15 has colour-handling bugs. Great - Debian has 8.54...

dave@zenda:~$ dpkg -l '*gs-gpl*' | grep ii
ii  gs-gpl         8.54.dfsg.1-5  The GPL Ghostscript PostScript interpreter

But wait, my printouts look vile. Colour is blotchy and washed out. Some time later - what's this?

dave@zenda:~$ gs --version

Oh. There's another version of Ghostscript installed...

dave@zenda:~$ dpkg -l '*gs-esp*' | grep ii
ii  gs-esp         8.15.3.dfsg.1-1etch1 The Ghostscript PostScript interpreter - ESP version

Ths fix is to do update-alternatives --config gs and select the gs-gpl flavour. Now I have lovely prints and the colours look fine.

Hopefully this will save someone else the hour's head-scratching over poorly-coloured prints which I spent!

Topic: Computers Cable

8:58am, Monday 16 June 2008

Is this the world's most expensive Cat-5 cable?

Topic: Computers What I do at work

11:18am, Thursday 28 February 2008

The Guardian has a piece on the Sanger Institute. I help herd the "wall of disk drives", amongst other stuff.

Topic: Computers Firefox new window tweak

11:35am, Friday 25 January 2008

To divert links that want to open a new window into opening a new tab instead, go to about:config and set = 3

(Found here.)

Topic: Computers You can call me Ned

3:31pm, Tuesday 22 January 2008

To the amusement of some people, I think I'm becoming a neo-Luddite.

I've abandoned my Palm TE2 PDA in favour of an old-fashioned Filofax. I bought the Palm last year, after my previous PDA (a Palm m505) died due to static shock. However I was disappointed with various defects:

  • The screen produced an audible buzz when switched on.
  • There were obvious bugs in the built-in applications; some manifested as crashes which required a reset.
  • The hinge of the screen cover/protector was very flimsy and is already almost worn through.
  • The straw which broke the camel's back: irredeemable digitiser drift. A tap on the screen isn't registered at the place tapped, which makes selecting icons or menu items tricky at best. The drift is so bad that it's impossible to recalibrate the digitiser. Even third-party apps can't fix it.

So, back to paper. There are a lot of articles on the web about the benefits of a paper organiser, so I won't reiterate all of them here. Just to compare the advantages of my Filofax with the drawbacks I found with my Palm:

  • It's silent.
  • It doesn't crash, and has no bugs.
  • It's robust. (I don't care if I drop it!)
  • My pen always writes where I want it to.

Oh yes, and paper is calm.

The only two real disadvantages are that I can't back it up to my computer; and the cut-and-paste interface really sucks...


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Dave Holland <>
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