A Reply From Lexmark

After discovering a bug in Lexmark‘s Debian installer, as described in my previous post, and reporting it to Lexmark’s support team, I found a response from Lexmark in my inbox, which was sent on the 18th, and I decided to share it on my blog to show that Lexmark is aware of the issue, and they are actively working on resolving it. Here is the message I received from Lexmark Support:

Dear Dylan, 

Here is your Service Request # 1-5145156021

We recently received your feedback.

Thank you for sharing this information. We really appreciate your time and effort in bringing this one to us. I will definitely forward this one to our software engineers so that we can make the necessary changes to our software. We really appreciate your feedback. It’s through customers like you that we’re able to make improvements in our current and future products.

If you have any more questions or concerns, please contact me at your convenience and I will be happy to assist you. (If I am not available, another representative may reply to your request.)

To respond, please select “Reply” in your e-mail software, and be sure that the past e-mail is included in this reply.

[AOL Users: In order to include the previous e-mail, you must highlight it with your mouse when you are replying.]

If your e-mail client automatically deletes prior e-mail thread information, it will cause a delay while we look up your support history. If this is the case you may want to save the old e-mails as attachments and attach them to the current e-mail.

Lexmark eSupport Team

The driver installation failed because there was a typo in the Lua source code for the Linux Lexmark printer driver. To be specific, the variable “ownership” was misspelled as “ownhership” in one of the lines of the source code. While this is a very easy to fix bug, it prevents the Linux installer from working at all, and I am happy to hear that Lexmark knows about the issue now, and it’s likely that a quick fix will be released. Hopefully this will eliminate the need for my workaround, and simplify Linux printer driver installation.

Fixing Lexmark Printer Driver Installation in Ubuntu 11.04

Recently I just installed the Lexmark printer driver in my 64-bit Ubuntu 11.04 installation. As you may or may not notice, the installer is broken by default in Ubuntu 11.04, and it just exits with an error message, saying

Lua error detected: While parsing install.lua: config/run.lua:1374: attempt to index global ‘ownhership’ (a nil value)

After playing with the installer, I finally got it to work perfectly, so I emailed the Lexmark support team to let them know how to fix this, but for now, I’m going to share what you need to do on my blog.

First, you need to extract the files for the installer. To do this, you need to run

./lexmark-inkjet-legacy-wJRE-1.0-1.amd64.deb.sh –noexec –keep

It’s worth noting that there are two hyphens before noexec and keep. Once you run that command, the files for the installer will be extracted to the tmp folder in the current working directory. For now, just type cd tmp and press enter. Now, open up a text editor, such as gedit and navigate to the config folder in the tmp folder we just extracted. Open up the file “run.lua”. The problem is that Lexmark misspelled ownership as ownhership, which broke the installer. Around line 1484, you will find a line that says

if tonumber(ownhership[1]) == 0 then

delete the errant h in the word ownership and save the file. Now, go back to your terminal and run sudo sh startupinstaller.sh in the tmp folder. The installer will work as expected now.

Update: Special thanks to Mathieu Triclot for your $5 donation! Glad I could help! :)

LibreScribe, My Latest (and Most Challenging) Project

Image representing Livescribe  as depicted in ...
Image via CrunchBase

Over the past few days, I’ve been working on attempting to code an open source Smartpen Manager for Livescribe devices, based off of the work done in Steven Walter’s libsmartpen project, which hasn’t been updated for months. The project is called “LibreScribe”, and the source code is already on github right now. The code will be written primarily in C++, with limited functionality (such as threads) from the upcoming C++0x standard, and it will use wxWidgets for the graphical user interface, which will be built using wxFormBuilder, attempting to follow the Tango guidelines as close as possible. So far, I have only scratched the surface of all the coding that will be necessary, so it would be great if some of the coders reading this would step up to the plate and help out. Even small things, such as documenting functions, adding comments, ensuring source code style consistency, and making it easier to maintain the source code are incredibly important. Right now, there’s still tons of work to do. So much, in fact, that it’s actually easier to list what’s done than what’s left to do. Right now, I’m focusing on fixing bugs and writing functions to check the status of the connected Smartpen. To be more specific, some of the most important bugs at the moment include:

  • When the user plugs in or unplugs the device, the background thread updates the status of the device behind the scenes, but nothing is reflected in the user interface.
  • Clicking the “Device Information” button twice without closing the program results in a segmentation fault.
  • Currently, only LiveScribe Pulse devices are detected. LiveScribe Echo devices should work, but I can’t check the USB product ID property of them without physical access to one.
  • The program is not currently capable of retrieving the name of the Smartpen. More OBEX analysis is necessary to determine how the official desktop client retrieves the name of the Smartpen.

Once I have all of these bugs fixed, I will begin working on adding more of the code from libsmartpen into the project, fixing up existing code, and writing new code. This is probably one of the toughest coding projects I’ve started, but I enjoy the challenge, and I hope to create something genuinely useful to the open source community, improve my own coding ability, and learn new things. I frequently push changes to github, as long as I don’t notice any significant regressions, so you can track my progress in almost real-time. At the moment, the user interface is far from being finished (link is a screenshot), but it’s not too bad. Also, feel free to fork the code base, and make improvements.

Finally, a New Version of Skype for Linux!

After approximately 15 months of waiting, Skype finally decided to release a new version of their software for the Linux operating system. I haven’t tested the new version quite yet, but I know for sure that the old version was incredibly buggy, it always froze, and it was full of irritating bugs. Hopefully this new release of Skype will at least bring the Linux version of Skype a little bit closer to the version of Skype for the Microsoft Windows platform. Anyways, I’m going to go ahead and download the new version of Skype and try it out right now, and I’ll probably update this post with my opinions on the update.

via Switched