Monday, 19 May 2008

Installing an Epson scanner under Mandriva

Another how-to, brought to you by Mr B.:

To install and use the Epson Perfection 2480 scanner under Mandriva:

1) install "sane" (in package manager, install "libsane", "sane-backends" and perhaps "sane-frontends").

2) login as root, go to /etc/sane.d/ and edit the file "dll.conf" and ensure the line "snapscan" is uncommented (without a # at the beginning of the line).

3) from the CD supplied with the scanner, find the file "ESCAN/" and copy to your desktop (or elsewhere!).

4) go to the directory on your hard drive containing "" and run

$ cabextract

cabextract is a program to extract files from a micro$oft .cab format, which I have described in a previous post.

5) login as root and copy the firmware file "Esfw41.bin" to /etc/sane.d/esfw41.bin

6) run the following (as root):

$ scanimage -L

...and the scanner should be detected!

7) use "Kooka" or "Xscanimage" to use scanner (Xscanimage is from the package "sane-frontends")

Extracting Micro$oft .cab files

Here it is, courtesy of Mr B.:

To extract Microshite .cab files, install "cabextract" (from package manager).
Copy into a directory and:

$ cabextract


$ cabextract -l

to list the files in the .cab.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Fixing dvips

We have a lovely shiney (the case really is!) new computer named Lewis. (This is after Lewis Hamilton, because he is so fast).

Anyway, it was super fast to build and amazingly the whole kit works, even the processor fan started so our new core2duo didn't melt. Mandriva 2008.1 installed quicker than it takes our old laptops to boot up. Now I have to iron out all the little problems getting things to work. (Like why Firefox is thinking every word in the english language that I'm typing is spelt wrong!!!).

First up, I can't seem to convert dvi to ps in Kile. Actually, it doesn't work on the command line either- it says:
dvips: ! Couldn't find header file cm-super-t1.enc.
Note that an absolute path or a relative path with .. are denied in -R2 mode.

R2 is some sort of secure mode. I am using texlive. Part of the problem is that dvips is correct- I really didn't have this file. I installed the following package:


But dvips still couldn't see it where it was hiding (which was in /usr/share/texmf-texlive/fonts/enc/dvips/cm-super). It seems that dvips uses the same search-y doo-dah as TeX, so all I needed to do was update the lists by running


as a superuser. It's happy now.

Thursday, 15 May 2008


Povray is amazing. This post is really just to remind myself of how to render an image with anti-aliasing from the command line:
povray myimage.pov -geometry 640x480 +A0.1