[nSLUG] Re: Slack upgrade (Was: Card Reader)

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sun Feb 10 23:32:58 AST 2008

Rich wrote:

> A lot has changed in 2.6, the hotplug device has been replaced with 
> Hal/udev and seems to work much better with recent releases.

HAL? udev? ...

A quick google shows a lot of people having problems with udev
ca. 2003-2006.  Is that all in the past?  Are we all happy with the
new tech now?

It does seem like a Good Thing to have pluggable devices "just work".
E.g., I spent quite a lot of time with assorted SCSI cards, hacking
and tweaking to get only one of two flatbed scanners to work and I'm
still messing with a browser-based control  interface for a security

OTOH, Robert Love writes, in an article at

    When the user inserted an audio CD, GNOME Volume Manager would
    play it. When the user inserted a USB keychain device, GNOME
    Volume Manager would mount it and open a Nautilus window. When the
    user plugged in a camera, GNOME Volume Manager would ask if it
    should automatically import the photos into the user's photo
    management application...

Gak!  That's Windoes!  Insert a cd and it automatically finds an
executable and runs it, too?  The whole layer of "automatically doing
what the (putatively) typical user wants" behind the curtain [1] is
anathema.  I'll never be a kernel hacker or competent to modify code
in, say, the Gimp but neither, in many cases, do I want stuff to
happen automatically.

For sure, I'll do my first 2.6 installation on a spare box to see just
what I'm to be blindsided with.

> Could be the hotplug daemon that is causing you [keyboard timing]
> delays.

Yeah, maybe, or the driver.  I vaguely recall something, in one of the
docs I groveled through, that make me think the usb-storage protocol
involves very frequent polling of some kind.

> What version of CUPS and gutenprint (aka gimp-print) are you using?
> Gutenprint is the new name and 5.11 is working really nice - solved
> some issues with graphics on the HP.

>From the Slack 10.1 manifest:    gimp-print-4.2.7 

I rarely use the laser printer but when I do, it's an important letter
or a (typically longish) document or manual.  [2] Brother HL-641 works
fine but I couldn't find any way after RTFM and googling, to get CUPS
to talk to it meaningfully.  LPRNG works great, allows me to pipe data
through any one of several virtual lp devices -- filters -- depending
on the data and plugs into my wireless router so I can print from any
of 6 machines.

As an aside, if I can't google anything useful about some new
technology, I assume that will change in a month or two.  When it's
about something really old -- e.g Brother HL-641 -- I assume the
contrary, that likely there never will be anything more done on the
topic.  I got a real boot out of /etc/termcap circa 1990.  There were
entries for incredibly old and arcane terminals.  I contributed an
Osborne I entry :-) as I was using an Osborne to log into a Unix host
and run Emacs.

- Mike

[1] Or worse, with the hood welded shut.  I'll just have to see, when
    the time comes, if I can benefit from improved hardware handling
    while disabling Windoes-like behavior.

    In a follow-up to Love's article, Dave North (allegedly) wrote:

        Second, it's good to remember to give people an easy way to
        turn off automagic.... One thing that drives me nuts is my
        clumsy inability to find a way to get [my Mac] to not start the
        local photo import/viewing program if I plug my camera in. I
        have much better stuff (some of it written by my wife) that I
        prefer to use, just addressing the camera as a disk. But I
        have to wait through iPhoto first! Annoying.  
        ...don't forget the "get out of jail free" key.

[2] I actually own a [gasp] working manual typewriter for doing
    official forms and the like.  But I have to get my wife to weave
    the ribbons and I make the ink from oak galls, gum arabic and
    melted pop bottles.

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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