Snow! And Something American Citizens Should Watch

The first cancellation of the year in HR today. The localized weather in the Gorge is just amazing. Dry as a bone in TD, kind of wet in Mosier, snowy in HR, and more snowy still in Odell. The 4WD Excursion is exactly the right vehicle for this, and studded all-seasons are exactly the right tires. Some midwestern folk who see lots of snow and ice may not understand the difference it makes out here. Lots of midwestern towns are basically on flat land, with straight roads that intersect at right angles. When you add lots of elevation changes (hills) and curves that go with a more rugged landscape, a nice little 4-6 inch snowfall can become a serious hazard. The other thing the landscape does out here is channel the weather, so at times (not where I was today), you can get localized ice of various kinds that just shuts down practically everything, sometimes including emergency services. You don’t even need a freak storm for this, just the right combination of factors. If we don’t cancel an event drawing people who travel through several different kinds of terrain, there’s a much higher probability that someone will get hurt than there would be in many midwestern locales. Then night falls early, and the temperature drops…

Now on to something just as practical, and necessary, but much less pleasant. Instead of killer weather: killer people. We need to be ready for either. To that end, every law-abiding, responsible American above age 18 should watch this somewhat disturbing video. The first part is the worst, so if you get through that, the rest will be easy. I post this so that you might begin to think about these things, if you haven’t yet. There are people who would just as soon kill you as look at you, and you wouldn’t be doing them any favors by failing to defend yourself. Then there’s your family…

Busy times and Printing to a Canon iR2230

Clearly, I haven’t posted anything for a while. I’ve thought of some interesting things to post, but couldn’t justify the time it would take. Maybe after Christmas.

By the way, Merry Christmas to all who happen to read this. May the joy of the Christ-child warm your hearts with the love that God demonstrated by sending His Son into our world and redeem sinners through His own death. Remember, the same Jesus has now risen from His grave, and reigns forever over all things for the good of His Church, which He is bringing out of this fallen world to Himself.

Most of what I have learned about computers has been learned when I can’t really afford the time. So I spent the whole morning, and part of the afternoon today getting a new computer set up to print to our church printer, the aforementioned Canon. It’s an old black and white business-level photocopier, and has been very reliable for us. We’re currently at 162,461 letter-sized pages on that machine.

Canon’s print drivers for Linux have improved in the last few years, but their support in the United States is very poor. I’ve been using the Japanese driver, which is named “LIPSLX” for some reason. “LX” at the end is a Roman numeral, I think. Anyway, this new computer is a 64-bit machine, the first in this office. So the OS (Ubuntu) is also 64-bit. And Canon doesn’t provide binary (pre-compiled) driver packages for Debian-based 64-bit Linux. I tried lots of things and learned a lot about the print system (which comes from Apple and is called CUPS). It seemed I was close, but there was no data in the print jobs. Zero copies of zero sheets every time a job went through.

More digging on Google found a thread on a Gentoo Linux forum with an odd post that actually pertains closely to my problem. So thanks to n00b, I was able to create my own binary package files for 64-bit Debian. And they work.

I’ll quote n00b’s series of “less than intuitive” steps below, for future reference…

  • Run the following commands which are necessary to support the binary blobs included in the driver files:
         ln -s lib /usr/lib64
         apt-get install ia32-libs
  • Visit the Canon-Australia support site and download the most recent drivers, currently Linux_UFRII_PrinterDriver_V250_uk_EN.tar.gz.
  • Unpack the file.
  • In the Sources directory, unpack the cndrvcups-common-2.50-1.tar.gz and cndrvcups-lb-2.50-1.tar.gz files.
  • Edit the debian/control files and change all instances of “Architecture: i386” to “Architecture: i386 amd64”.
  • Edit the debian/rules files and uncomment the “dh_makeshlibs” lines.
  • Edit the cndrvcups-lb-2.50/ file and delete all instances of “–enable-static”, “–disable-static”, “–enable-shared”, and “–disable-shared” options.
  • Run the following commands from the Sources directory to build and install the driver software:
         cd cndrvcups-common-2.50cndrv
         debuild binary
         cd ..
         dpkg -i cndrvcups-common_2.50-1_amd64.deb
         cd cndrvcups-lb-2.50
         debuild binary
         cd ..
         dpkg -i cndrvcups-lipslx_2.50-1_amd64.deb cndrvcups-ufr2-uk_2.50-1_amd64.deb cups-ufr2-us_2.50-1_amd64.deb

Buy the whey, I’m using Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit, and I ended up using the “LIPSLX” package produced by the debuild process. Other printers might work best with a different one.