Sharing a CUPS printer with Samba

Adding a printer in CUPS has been greatly simplified over the past few years. Yet sharing a CUPS printer with Samba in point’n’print mode is still cumbersome. You will find many HOWTOs on the net regarding this topic, but hardly any explains what happens “behind the scenes”, which makes potential troubleshooting hard.

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dd and damaged media

Recently I’ve tried creating an image of a disk with a single NTFS partition using dd. While copying, it turned out the disk had bad sectors. After a moment of googling I’ve found a tip to use the conv=noerror,sync switches in order for dd to replace the faulty areas with zeros in the created image. It looked like the disk was copied fine, but my attempt to mount the NTFS partition from the image failed with a message from ntfs-3g to run a chkdsk /r on the problematic partition and reboot twice into Windows which was installed on it. That’s what I did, but even after performing these steps an image created using the same method was useless.

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Firefox, Thunderbird: “Server not found”, other applications work OK

Recently I’ve come across a strange situation: Mozilla applications (Firefox, Thunderbird) stopped resolving hostnames. Connecting to servers using their IP addresses worked fine, but when I used a DNS name – the application gave me the finger :( Other programs worked flawlessly. After a lot of digging, I’ve found the culprit – the Kaspersky Internet Security suite.

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Using LIRC to control a TV

Time for a longer entry in response to a four-month-long posting drought :) I’ve been struggling for a long time to get a Logitech Harmony 515 remote to do discrete input switching on a Sharp LC-46LE600E TV. “Discrete input switching” means I wanted to switch the TV to a specific input using a single button press, instead of cycling through all the inputs (which is the only solution using the remote bundled with the TV).

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Firefox 3.6, Flash 10.1 and problems

For a long time I’ve been using Firefox 3.6 with Flash 10.0 and I haven’t run into any problems. After updating Flash to version 10.1 some serious issues emerged – some SWFs caused the browser to hang and the only thing that helped was killing Firefox‘s process using the Task Manager. At least that’s what I thought. Until I realised that if you kill the plugin-container.exe process, the browser “survives”, printing an error message in the place where the SWF object was supposed to be displayed.

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Resetting the TCP/IP stack in Windows

If all network connections in a system suddenly stop working, all fields describing every single network connection’s details are empty and changing the addresses or using the Repair function in Windows is impossible or fails, before you format the system disk you might want to consider checking whether this fix from Microsoft and restarting the computer doesn’t solve the problem. Details about the actions taken by this fix are described in the KB 299357 article.