Tag Archives: Ubuntu

Ubuntu 12.04 dual boot with Windows 7 on HP EliteBook 8560w

This wasn’t straightforward. It is now working, but nowhere near “out of the box”.

  • The Windows installer (wubi.exe) didn’t work – it just crashed.
  • The installation from CD got stuck – froze on the “copying files” screen.
  • Followed the nomodeset workaround. This allowed the installation to complete.
  • Windows installation on the HP EliteBook had already used up 4 disk partitions. This does not leave a partition free to install Ubuntu. So I deleted the HP “recovery” partition and resized the main windows partition using “disk management” utility in Windows. Other users have recommended deleting the “HP Tools” partition instead. No idea what the consequences of these choices might be.
  • Installation successful. GRUB looks normal. Could boot to Windows, but could only boot to Ubuntu in safe (“recovery”) mode. Booting to Ubuntu in normal mode produced a screen of junk pixels and a freeze every time.
  • Installed recommended Nvidia drivers while in recovery mode, following automatic dialog prompt.
  • Everything seems to be fine.


See also: http://beradrian.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/install-ubuntu-12-on-8560w/

Horrible Libre Office bug

I was editing an .odt document using LO Writer, saving periodically. While I was away from the machine, the battery ran out. When I switched on again, the .odt file was still there, but contained 0 bytes of data. The entire contents of the document had been lost. I hadn’t set LO to make backups. The copy on Ubuntu One had already synced to the 0 bytes version. Yikes!

Purely by luck, I had booted to my MS Windows partition on the same machine not too long before the power outage. A previous version of the .odt file had synced to the Ubuntu One folder on the Windows partition and was still there to be retrieved. Phew! Of course, had I booted to the Windows partition after the power outage, with an internet connection, that would have synced to the 0 bytes version as well. Horrible.

This was LibreOffice 3.4.4 on Ubuntu 11.10.

The bug is well known, and has been fixed in a more recent version. But the more recent version is not in the Ubuntu repositories yet.

I am now going to do the following:

  1. get the new version of LO.
  2. review my backup procedures. LO can be set to make automatic backups: Tools > Options > Loan/Save (General) > Always create backup copy. This saves a backup file to ~/.libreoffice/3/user/backup/
  3. wonder what other unpleasant issues might be lurking in LO.

Ubuntu 11.10 => HP LaserJet 1200 stopped working

After upgrading to Ubuntu 11.10, my HP LaserJet 1200 refuses to print properly any more. I sometimes get single pages of multi-page documents. I sometimes get “PCL XL error” pages. But usually nothing gets printed at all.

Trying the latest version of HPLIP. The Ubuntu repositories have version 3.11.7. The HP website has version 3.11.12

  1. removed old version of hplip with Synaptic.
  2. downloaded installer from hp.
  3. followed all instructions without incident.

Initially I was back in the same mess as before. However, by repeatedly playing around with deleting the printer connection (System Settings > Printing), adding a new printer connection (System Settings > Printing), and plugging in and out the printer from the USB, and switching it on and off to clear the flashing green light, I managed to get it to work. The problem seems to be that the when the printer gets plugged into the USB, it is recognised automatically, but somehow the connection is incorrectly configured. Now prints just fine from LibreOffice Writer and Evince pdf viewer.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure whether it was the newer hplip version, or the delete/add new printer connection that fixed it.

Ubuntu 11.10 misery

You persuade yourself, and anyone who will listen, that migrating to Ubuntu Linux was a smart move – it’s free, you have control, it doesn’t try and sell you things or manipulate you, it has a short boot-time, you learn more, it isn’t targeted by viruses and malware, it doesn’t use grasping and possessive infantilisms like “My Computer” and “My Music”, it’s fun, you aren’t tortured by shut-down screens that say “Do not unplug or power off your machine – installing updates” that stay there for indefinitely long periods when you need to leave the office with your laptop in five minutes’ time, etc. etc.

Then you upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10…

You can forgive the slightly kindergarten feel of the “Dash”. You reinstall the stuff that gives you back the control you miss from earlier versions. You acknowledge that it actually looks and feels pretty good, and works pretty well.

Then you realise that it cannot, will not, declines to, refuses to, print to your HP LaserJet 1200, which worked just fine with the previous version. You can’t print anything at all! Then you install FontForge, which worked on previous versions, and find that it pulls a segmentation fault whenever you do anything drastic like press the Shift key.

I’m going to start here and here. If they are not both fixed in 24 hrs, I am officially no longer a fan.