mungewell

Agents of the Revolution
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Posts posted by mungewell


  1. Good to see that you're getting 'low down and dirty'....

    I assume that you are using CUPS->Raw file, and printing from a windows machine. If the format contains bit mapped graphics, then use colored patches to work out encoding. IE. print out 1 page completely white, and 1 page completely black:

    Q. Do the dumps occupy the same disk space, do they have similar headers or footers?

    Q. Can you print at lower resolutions to reduce the amount of data you have to parse/inspect?

    If you print out a solid black triangle (top left to bottom right to bottom left) you should be able to see line repeat in the data dump. Look at the data in a hexdump, it'll make more sense that way. I assume that the printer is CMYK (or maybe more), so if it's really dump (and all the processing is done on desktop) you should work in this color space.

    Hope this helps,

    Mungewell.

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  2. Your choice of software really depends on what type of data you are backing up, ie you don't want to be backing up the on disk files of a MySQL database whilst the DB is 'live' as it can lead to a corrupted image (as the files may change in the time taken to backup). In this case you can do things like snap-shotting a LVM partion.

    For general file backup, I like rsnapshot which uses a combination of rsync and hard links to create a series of snapshots spaced by configured timing. The use of hardlinks means that the backed up directory takes only a little more space than the amount of changed data since the last snapshot, but still each snapshot appears to be the full file store when you browse through it.

    See

    http://rsnapshot.org/

    If you are placing sensitive data onto optical disk, tape or a remote store you might want to ensure that it is encrypted. There is a handy hack with 'encfs' (FUSE Encrypted filesystem) where the '--reverse' flag can be used to present a encrypted view/mount of a normal (un-encrypted) directory tree. Just 'mount' and Sync/Copy the encrypted view to disk/remote store (without having to do anything to the local store).

    I've also use Unison (which is really a file synchronizer) to keep multiple data stores in sync. It has a CLI or GUI frontend and is cross platform.

    Cheers,

    Mungewell.

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  3. If you have old crap hardware (like me) then your machine might not boot from a USB-stick, you can use the following project to boot from CD or Floppy and then tell it to load the USB image:

    http://www.plop.at/en/bootmanager.html

    It could also be that you have failed to make USB stick properly bootable, I would suggest trying another machine or using Unetbootin (or the like) to confirm that USB does boot OK with a know good image.

    Cheers,

    Mungewell.

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  4. You can also see the system messages with 'tail -f /var/log/messages' (CTRL-C to quit) which will tell you which /dev has been allocated to the drive as it is connected to the machine.

    It's probably not a good idea to 'dd' data to a mounted drive, so you should 'umount' it first (or use the equivilant of eject from a file manager app).

    Mungewell.

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  5. 1) A 'output driver' which would send appropriately formatted data through the ether to the printer. For example this could be used by a windows printer printing through a CUPS shared printer.

    So HBN3 seems to mean 'Lexmark "Host Based Networking"', of which there is also a HBN1 variant. Didn't find any more info though....

    Mungewell.

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  6. Hi Aghaster,

    I would suspect that it is the network card firmware which handles the network/wifi connections and that it passes the data the the printer firmware in a distilled version.

    This would mean that you end goal of printer support could be broken into two parts:

    1) A 'output driver' which would send appropriately formatted data through the ether to the printer. For example this could be used by a windows printer printing through a CUPS shared printer.

    2) A 'printer driver' that would be able to produce formatted data for the above. It is highly likely that this would be a similar format to other Lemark printers, as engineers tend to be lazy buggers.

    You might be able to infer some information by using the 'dump to file' mode of CUPS where print data is just dropped onto a file on disk rather than sent to the printer. You can then share this 'CUPS' printer with a windows box and tell the windows machine that it is a raw queue for a Lemark x4690 printer. The windows printer should then produce the nicely formated data for the printer.

    There's a little write up on how to do this here (yes, I've been doing some hacking on a label printer using the same technique):

    http://etc.nkadesign.com/Printers/QL550LabelPrinterRaw

    Mungewell.

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  7. That marvelll chip shouldn't be a SOC.

    Totally agree, but it doesn't always work that way in industry. I'm not saying you're wrong, but imagine if the the main printer board does not have enough power to run a wifi perpherial but does has a 'spare' parallel port input. The wifi card might be a re-used design which just spits out print data in the style of a PC parallel port and Lexmark don't need to redesign each print to support Wifi, they just need to make a parallel port available.

    The real kicker in this scenario would be that 'we' suspect there is Linux running on the printer/wifi card and yet Lexmark refuse to support Linux on their customers desktops.

    @mungewell: Did you try contacting the FSF about it?

    Quite honestly, life's too short..... not that I'm putting down your quest. If you've got the time and motivation then good for you. I've got a shitty NAS which just about copes with what I need and no time to follow up on hacking it.

    Mungewell.

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  8. I passed the evening asking questions on multiple IRC channels, and I really think there's a good chance that the printer is running Linux and not some other form of UNIX using a license other than GNU's GPL. I have just sent Lexmark this mail, hoping it falls in the good hands (I'm dreaming in colors):

    Good try, but I fear that it won't get you any where.... unfortunately.

    Regarding the hardware, the Marvelll 88W8638 (i believe) is an ARM SOC, probably the Liberates series but their partnumbers are so screwed up.... On the wireless module the FCC ID is not readable, you can find out a whole load of stuff from the FCC search site.

    I have a IOMEGA NAS which runs Linux and IOMEGA claims they are not required to release source, their customer support department also says it does not support linux even though Linux is mentioned on the box as a supported OS. Fuckwitts!

    Mungewell

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  9. Ohm is right, you should get one with the same voltage and at least the same current (or power) rating. Otherwise you may be risking damage to you laptop. Check on Ebay and the like, you should be able to get one cheaper than that. You might also find non-OEM equivilant.

    You mention a broken wire on the old supply, can this be repaired?

    Mungewell.

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  10. You can check which modules has attached to which IO port with 'cat /proc/ioport'.

    It's been a while since I played with bit banging a parallel port, but this is how I did it back then:

    http://jtag-arm9.cvs.sourceforge.net/viewv...amp;view=markup

    basically:

    init

    --

    if (ioperm(Port, 3, 1)!=0) {

    printf ("ERROR: ioperm(0x%x) failed:\n", Port);

    return(-1);

    }

    --

    output

    --

    outb(JTAG_PWR, Port);

    outb(JTAG_PWR | JTAG_TMS | JTAG_CLK, Port);

    etc....

    --

    I also have memories of using a I2C parallel port driver not so long ago, that might give you some more clues.

    Cheers,

    Mungewell.

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  11. You could also consider using a wireless bridge between the buildings. Traditionally the client end (ie. not router) of these is a little more pricey, but with the various WRT-54 firmwares you can re-configure a router to be the client-bridge.

    If you go ethernet, you can also get 'direct-burial' cable with thick black jacket.

    Cheers,

    Mungewell.

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  12. If you are finding that you system is fighting against you, you could use another machine (library?) or a bootable Linux CD to connect to the internet and download whatever install EXE/ZIPs you need. Then reboot into windows and install the antivirus directly from the harddisk.

    Mungewell.

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  13. I guess some here might be interested....

    --

    The Calgary Open Source Systems Festival (COSSFEST) is a two-day trade show featuring multiple speaking tracks and workshops demonstrating the use of open source software solutions.

    “COSSFEST is an event where people can learn more about open source software and the community around it. It is also an event where the public can meet others with similar interests regarding computers or software,”

    COSSFEST 2009 will be held April 17th and 18th 2009 at the Coast Plaza Hotel in Calgary.

    For more details visit our website:

    http://www.cossfest.ca/

    --

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  14. Download the 1st segment and listened (as it not appropriate to watch videos at work). I would like to listen some more but at 300MByte per 14mins it's rather a large download for both you and me.....

    Are you planning an audio only file?

    Mungewell.

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  15. Sounds like a job for hardware encoding, but I presume that you are using a laptop so sticking a capture card is not so easy.

    There are a few USB devices which can capture composite/audio, or you could use a network based camera. Even MiniDV camera (connected via Firewire) will do pretty good compression for you. At MiniDV you're looking at around 10G per hour.

    Disk space is cheap now days, why not just grab and (re-)encode later? Of course the extreme hardware solution is to capture everything with a digi-camcorder to a *huge* memory stick.

    Mungewell.

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  16. Unfortunately there's money to be made in the standards industry..... the best thing to hope for is that you can find a copy laying around on the net. Sometimes a standard will be adopted by another country/organisation under a different number, and sometimes you can get an almost exactly standard at a different price.

    Personally I find it rediculous that an organisation who is supposed to be promoting standards feels that it has to charge for electronic copies (same a paper in this example), if they want people to use standards then open them up!

    Munge.

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