jueves, 5 de enero de 2017

How I Got My Epson XP-231 to Scan Using Xsane

Mechatotoro gave me a printer Epson XP-231, which also has a scanning function.  After installing the drivers and seeing it print text files and scanned pages, I thought I had it up and running well... until I tried to scan a page to save it as an image:  it would not start the software to scan that came with the drivers.

I tried simplescan and learned that it didn't recognize my scanner.  It saw just the camera.

Then, I tried Xsane.  Same problem.

After a few hours of trying, I stumbled upon VueScan.  I downloaded the trial and BINGO!!!  It worked like a charm.

I was inclined to pay, but realized that the basic version only used the scanner to its minimum.  To get it to work fully, you have to pay a bit more.  Maybe too much for my budget.

Thus, I set forth on a quest to make the scanner work because, unfortunately, Mechatotoro's method did not work in my case: He was using Red Hat based distros and I use Debian based ones.

Thanks to this fine tutorial, I could solve the problem. This is how I got it:

As root, I opened the file:


Depending on the case, you have to uncomment or add : example-backend

I noticed that there was a line reading epson2, and it was uncommented.

Then, I ran on the CLI:


The output looked like this:

# sane-find-scanner will now attempt to detect your scanner. If the
  # result is different from what you expected, first make sure your
  # scanner is powered up and properly connected to your computer.

  # No SCSI scanners found. If you expected something different, make sure that
  # you have loaded a kernel SCSI driver for your SCSI adapter.

found USB scanner (vendor=0x01aa [EXAMPLE], product=0x0001 [EXAMPLE SCANNER]) at libusb:001:003

  # Your USB scanner was (probably) detected. It may or may not be supported by
  # SANE. Try scanimage -L and read the backend's manpage.

  # Not checking for parallel port scanners.

  # Most Scanners connected to the parallel port or other proprietary ports
  # can't be detected by this program.

The line "Found USB scanner (vendor=0x01aa [EXAMPLE], product=0x0001 [EXAMPLE SCANNER]) at libusb:001:003" is the important one here.  I copied it somewhere else to have it ready.

As root, I opened




I looked for the line reading "usb" in both files.  I added in both, as root,  the information of the vendor and of the product I got as my output.  Using the example above, it looked like this:

usb 0x01aa 0x0001

After saving those files, all I had to do was starting Xsane.  Now it recognized my scanner!  :D

martes, 3 de enero de 2017

On commence bien comme ça!

Year 2017 has just started and I'm already experiencing its surprises!  First,  I tried to buy a laptop from ZaReason, but my transaction failed twice.  Upon asking, they told me they are out of stock but will have new computers quite soon.  I checked other vendors, but so far none beats the specs and price of the laptop I intended to buy.

Today, Mechatotoro gave me a nice Epson XP-231 printer as a present.  I did not have much problem to get it up and running (both the printing and the scanning functions) on MX-15. 

However, while I was trying to install the drivers on MX-14, I ran into problems.  BIG problems.  Suddenly, my system decided that every file I selected with the pointer was to be deleted.  Fortunately, it would ask for confirmation and thus I could recover some trivial folders: my documents, my downloads, and my desktop. 

Thinking that maybe my mouse was misbehaving (too bad because it is not even 2 months old), I unplugged it to try the mousepad.  Bad news!  It did not work.

This is quite a way to start the new year!
After that, I thought my MX-14 system was in bad shape and set to reinstalling it from a remastered USB pendrive.  However, the system on the pendrive showed the same behavior.  Not liking the situation very much, I booted MEPIS 12 to see if I had better luck.  No.  The same issues greeted me.

In a desperate move, I opened the laptop, removed the keyboard, the hard drive, and checked the memory.  After being cleaned, they looked better.  Not being able to do anything else, I put the laptop together again and started it fearing the worse...

Well, it is working normally again!  I hope it keeps doing it while I get my new laptop.  The problem is that Linux laptops are not so easy to find here.  Hopefully, I'll find one I like soon.  2017, what a great start!

jueves, 29 de diciembre de 2016

Happy New Year!!!

Before 2016 ends, I want to wish all of you a joyful and prosperous year 2017.  Thanks for everything!!!

martes, 20 de diciembre de 2016

MX-16: Persistence and Frugality could Bite...

I made a MX-16 (64 bit) bootable USB pendrive to test it.

MX gets better and better!  Since I was swamped with work at the time of the development, I could not help much with testing or translating.

Unfortunately, the translation in my language has evident errors and needs more polishing, but that is not a show stopper, is it?

MX has actually gone a long way from the way its first release (MX-14) was.  I am amazed at the growing collection of handy tools its new MX comes with.  The devs are indeed working hard to simplify tasks without dumbing the distro down.  I do appreciate that!

The first big change I noticed was the GRUB Menu.  Before, I had to press F2 to change the language and the timezone.  Thus, I pressed F2 when I saw the menu... but nothing happened.  I went to advanced settings but there was nothing there about locales.

Thus, I booted the distro in English.  Checked the manual and it did say that you had to press F2.  I guess there was a change that the documentation team could not have ready for the release.  Or maybe I did something wrong.

To try again, I restarted the laptop.  No, F2 didn't do anything. Wondering what to do next, I realized there was another booting option for personalizing the boot up.  I tried that one and bingo!  There I found the options to change language and time zones.

But then, I was asked about persistence and frugality.

I had a vague idea of what persistence is, but frugal installs were to me the same as an amargasaurus: I had no idea what they were!  :P

Still, the options looked quite tempting.  Trying to be witty, I chose the options that looked less dangerous to me.  After all, I was not going to install anything yet.

The distro booted and I played with it to my heart's content.  After that, I turned off the laptop and removed the pendrive.

This guy could have helped me!
My surprise was when I turned the laptop on again.  As soon as GRUB2 loaded, I was welcomed by a loud beeping and the bootloader took a long time to start.  That happened every time I turned the machine on, but the beeping was shortened by pressing F2 or enter, apparently.  Booting with the pendrive did not cause the obnoxious sound.

After repairing GRUB, messing with its files, reinstalling it, googling for possible solutions, and forum checking to no avail, I decided to boot the pendrive and hitting "e" to edit the booting options.  Then, I removed the part of persistence.

That took care of the problem.  Boy!  What a relief! :P

Next time, I'll do my homework before acting cocky.  After all, I am an eternal newbie in the world of Linux!

By the way, for those of you who wish to know more about persistence and frugal installs, here you have some information:

1-  Persistence (courtesy of Pendrivelinux)

2-  Frugal installs (courtesy of Puppy Linux)

domingo, 18 de diciembre de 2016

Metamorphosis with MX-16!!

MX-16 was released some days ago.  I just downloaded the 64-bit version and right now I am downloading the 32 bit one.  Then, I'll make the live USBs from the ISOs.

What's different this time?  MX comes with a lot of custom tools:

MX Original Apps to make common tasks easier


Create Live USB
Remaster tool


Boot repair
Flash manager
Menu editor
User manager


Broadcom manager
Codecs installer
Default look
Panel orientation
Select sound
System sounds


Apt notifier
Check Apt GPG
Debian Backports installer
Package installer
Repo manager
Test Repo installer


Find shares
Switch user
USB unmounter

One-click Extras with Package Installer

Children: Preschool, Primary, etc.
Graphics: ImageMagik, Inkscape, etc.
Network: Skype, Dropbox, etc.
Office: GnuCash, Adobe Reader, Calibre, etc.
System: KDE, LXDE, MATE, etc.
Audio: Audacity, DeaDBeeF, Pithos, etc.
Video: DVDStyler, MPlayer, OpenShot, etc

Advanced LiveUSB

Many new Live boot options
Run in Live mode in 10 languages
Easy Live-remaster to make a custom LiveUSB or your own version to distribute as an ISO
Three forms of Live persistence (i.e., what files are kept on the LiveUSB)
Easy "frugal" installation option
Simple creation of custom snapshots (as easy as: add/remove packages, change settings, take a snapshot)
Automatic check of LiveUSB file systems for integrity
Live kernel installer
Live usb maker

I am eager to install and test this new release!

viernes, 25 de noviembre de 2016

MX-16 Metamorphosis RC1 Is Out!!

This is the release announcement by Anticapitalista:

Ahead of schedule, MX-16 release candidate 1 is available for further testing.
We have quashed many bugs and added improvements since the first public-beta1.
eg Horizontal panel now defaults to the bottom rather than the top.
The dev team hopes that, with additional feedback, the final should be ready very soon.
Please help us by testing and reporting any issues that crop up.

Get it here:https://sourceforge.net/projects/antix-linux/files/Testing/MX-16/

Torrents here:

64 bit - http://linuxtracker.org/index.php?page=torrent-details&id=1aea41cd87e786fe332c5c524e1336c33f035c03

32 bit - http://linuxtracker.org/index.php?page=torrent-details&id=ab64a00e3d97d4f1bfd0def28acb735b8c86317f

It is built on the reliable and stable Debian Jessie (8.6) with extra enhancements from the antiX live system and up to date applications provided by the MX Linux packagers.
Just like previous versions of MX, this release defaults to sysVinit.

Available in 32 and 64 bit.
The 32 bit version ships with 2 stable 3.16 Debian kernels (pae and non-pae), while
the 64 bit comes with the more recent Debian backports 4.7 kernel to cater for newer hardware.
All kernels have been patched against the Dirty COW exploit.

Both iso files weigh in at around 1.2GB in size.

What does MX Linux ship with?

* Xfce4.12 is the desktop environment.
* Latest Firefox 50 for browsing and Thunderbird 45.5.0 for email.
* VLC 2.2.4 caters for videos and Clementine 1.3.1 for playing and managing your music.
* Full LibreOffice 5.2.2 suite
* Shotwell 0.24.1 digital photo organizer
* Pepper Flash Player - browser plugin
* Chinese and Japanese fonts included on the iso
* gimp 2.8.18
* grub-customizer 5.0.6
* gscan2pdf 1.5.1-1 GUI to produce PDFs or DjVus from scanned documents
* mx-clocky attractive desktop-agnostic analog clock
* mx-debian-backports-installer
* openjdk-8
* samba shares
* smtube - watch youtube videos without using a browser - ideal for low-powered laptops.
* Security: Passwords and Keys 3.14.0

Further improvements and enhancements to running Live from a usb stick or frugally from a hard drive.
New! - live-kernel-upgrader - as it says, upgrade the kernel and remaster a running Live system
live-usb-maker - new cli tool to install a full-featured live environment to USB device that boots legacy and UEFI!

miércoles, 2 de noviembre de 2016

Open Source Is not an Unknown Concept Anymore

I remember when, several years ago, Mechatotoro and I started to use Libre Office and moved to .odt for all our word processing needs.  Some colleagues did try to force Microsoft file formats on us in spite of the university's approval of ODF.

But slowly, more people have come to understand that open source is here to stay and that closed source is neither better nor safer. At the end, most of the complaints by closed-source defenders can be reduced to the following:

1- They are used to X and don't want to learn anything new.

2- They want to use open source but are locked into closed source.

3- They think closed source is better because X has more features. [Which, by the way, most people don't know about or don't really care for because they don't use such features and probably never will.]

4- They had a negative past experience with open source and did not care to update their knowledge.

5- They don't really know what they are talking about but pretend they do. 

6- They simply prefer closed source as a personal choice.

In spite of all that, I've noticed that more students know about ODF and some of them are using Libre Office themselves nowadays.

An interesting case happened a few days ago: a student who wants me to direct her thesis is interested in using Twine, an open source tool for writing interactive texts.

The world is changing.  Many just don't really see how it is doing it.