Sunday, April 21, 2013

TurboPrint for Linux

I've been a long time Linux user now for almost 15 years.  Part because it is free, part because of the community of users and part for the stability.  I could go on and on with other things I love about Linux but this post is about one thing in particular; Linux printing.  By far the worst printing I've ever experienced was on Linux. I cannot recall one time that I really enjoyed printing on Linux and it all boils down to one thing; drivers.

If you are fortunate enough to have good drivers then you are one of the lucky ones. If however you've been one of the unlucky ones like myself, you might want to take heed to TurboPrint.  I was reluctant at first to even download it and try it because my printer version wasn't even on their supported drivers list. But what harm could it do after all they offer it free for 30 days and I could just delete it if nothing worked.

During setup I was impressed with the step by step details it give in the terminal. Printing out what was going on is thoughtful of the developers and wasn't necessary but an extra effort on their part. Once installed I opened up TurboPrint and went through the user guided setup process which was actually fun. Fun in the sense I wasn't overwhelmed or lost.  I quickly added my printer and selected the first driver on the list (as I noted earlier my driver wasn't listed).  Finally, I opened up a huge PDF file with 16 pages and clicked print all.  All pages printed in under 1 minute.  A note worth mentioning, before I installed TurboPrint this PDF file was extremely slow.  On average one page was taking 5 minutes to print.  So total time would be over an hour to print all 16 pages.  Thank you Turbo Print! You have saved me and my wife lots of slow printing headaches and now I cannot really complain at all about Linux.:-)

On conclusion I have not yet purchased the full unlocked version just for sake of testing it out thoroughly. But believe me I cannot wait to purchase it.  This app is worth every penny.

Quick update: I have purchased the full version and no problems at all.

Link: Turbo Print for Linux

Thursday, April 11, 2013

KDE KWin Window Manager Tiling Making Window Behaviors stick on full screen

KDE window manager has a hotkey for enabling tiling.  Shift+Alt+F11.  This feature enabled tiles windows by default.  A handy feature when needed but if you enable this by mistake like I did it is a real pain in the ass to work with.  All windows open up maximized by default and require at least a minimum of three clicks to drag around and adjust.  There is a hotkey you can press to skip the additional three clicks but not a normal user thing I do.

Under normal circumstances normal users wont press Shift+Alt+F11 by mistake but I press Shift+Alt+F12 a lot to switch off and on the desktop effects for Wine base games.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nook for Linux

I have Nook on my Android device which is okay but hard to read some tables and images.  On my Linux Ubuntu desktop I have been reading my Nook library via a web interface called Nook for Web from the Nook web site. The interface is okay but lacks some very handy features like searching and bookmarking.

Today I found out the PC version of Nook works on Wine.  Wine is a Linux program that runs a lot of PC programs.  I already used Wine for games and other stuff thus downloading Nook for PC was not a problem.

The good news so far is the Nook for PC installs and runs fine without any problems.  My library is also syncing with no problems.  One thing I have notice is the sync speed is rather slow but this could be a network issue on my side.

After syncing my library I was able to read the contents as normal.  I can also search the contents for key items which is very important.  What is missing is all my Android Nook bookmarks.  They are not migrated to the PC Nook app for some odd reason.  What a disappointment.

Overall I would say the PC Nook for Linux Wine is worth the time.  Much better than the Nook for Web provided online, adding the ability to search, highlight, and bookmark are tremendous benefits.  The lack of migration between Android and PC with bookmarks and notes is annoying but I can live with it.

To the left is a picture of Nook for PC running on my Linux Ubuntu system. And to the right is Nook for Web.