What's New in Linux v. 2.6.28

Heise's got a nice article about what's new, what's hot, what's not in the not yet quite released 2.6.28.

Printer Tip: Cleaning your Print Heads the Cheap&Smart Way

If you use the printer's internal cleaning utils (if they are available for Linux at all), you are likely to lose a lot of ink down the drain. And you usually can't even chose which color to clean. But can do it much cheaper:
  1. Open GIMP.
  2. Create a new full size page (e.g. A4 or Letter).
  3. Change the foreground colour to the color that's making the problem. Use the CMYK color picker and you can e.g. just pcik Yellow or Magenta, which your printer uses. I had a problem with yellow. See the "Y" on 100% on the left side.
  4. Fill the entire page with the chosen foreground color.
  5. If you can, go to the printer settings,
  6. set the Quality to the Highest setting.
  7. set the Malfunctioning Color e.g. +50.
  8. set the maximum dpi.
  9. Print the page, better twice in a row, that's more efficient unless there's just a minor skip in the color. Then keep printing single pages until the color comes back nicely.

Worked great on my Canon MP610! And it does not only save ink from the colors you spare the cleaning, it usually also saves ink from the color your cleaning. Also the ink goes onto the paper and not somewhere in the spongue inside your printer, that has a limited size. And that sponge is known to be the first part to cause problems in Canon printers: At some point it's reported as full and the printer stops working. (You can reset the print counter, but then ink might come out of your printer at some point.)

Google Really is Going Towards the Browser OS

Google just released the native client, a browser plugin that helps to efficiently use the CPU of a machine accessing a web page. Available for many browsers - except the Internet Explorer. After Google Gears and Chrome this piece of Software is another important step towards establishing the technical infrastructure for a Browser Operating System.

Default File Permissions on Creation - Umask

With the umask command you can set, what permissions a file will normally have when it's first created. It's a bit complicated, though: You have to XOR 666 for files and 777 for directories with the numerical permission code you want the file to have. (see man umask for more)

With umask you see the current mask, with umask -S you see it understandably. The default in Ubuntu is umask 022, which means that files will be -rw-r--r-- by default. With umask 026 you can prevent files from being readable and directories being accessible by "other"s (meaning anyone) by default (-rw-r-----).

You can also use the much easier symbols like with chmod, e.g. umask u=rwx.

Opera 10 alpha

I'm right now trying out the newest browser (update) out there: Opera 10 alpha.

This is Opera coming back into the league with a speedier rendering engine that's working better with online applications such as Gmail, Blogger and Google Reader. I've tested them all and I'm quite convinced.

It feels much faster and I notice a lot less hang ups in opera as it e.g. now terminates hung up plug-ins automatically and improved the asyncronious javascript support.

Check for Viruses Online

There's not only the Kapersky Scanner(32-bit only, Java required), but also VirusTotal, which scans a file with several engines at once.

Google Cutting the Costs

While Google's attention to costs may sound good on the first view, I also see dangers of going to far, thus loosing the valuable elite personell google employs - or at least their creativity.

Things like the new designs in Gmail aren't going to bring any revenue directly, but they sure do make a big difference for the user.

Hotkeys in KDE4.1 are broken

If you wondered why it doesn't work for you... it doesn't work for anyone. ;-)
They hope to have it fixed in KDE 4.2, says someone in a forum.

If you need a fix, try out installing xbindkeys-config and save the settings to the default config file and press apply for immediate changes. Works nicely for me.

Blanking External Monitor to Save Energy with Xorg

I've just found out that my external monitor remains on for quite a while in the suspend and off modes (xset dpms force off). The only one that it accepts is standby. Then it turns off right away. And the internal one as well. So that's fine for me. But good to know, isn't it? ;-)

And btw. if you want to use it in a script you have to issue the xset command twice and sleep in between for about 6 seconds. Otherwise they're not really off. Don't ask me why...

Use Dbus in Shell Scripts


Open Source Business Model

Stuart Cohen, former CEO at the Open Source Development Labs, published an interesting arcticle at businessweek which says that as an open source company you have to do more than just deliver support and add-ons. You have to add extra value to succeed in this economic situation, he claims. But unless I missed it he doesn't really say anything what that extra value would be.