How much! and adverts too

also in beige

The zoo needed pc’s as some of them are well over ten years old and showing signs of hardware issues like forgetting the time** and being a bit slow with other regular seek human movements that persuaded the zoo to flash some cash on stuff..

Naturally i go to a site that i can buy to order rather than buy hp (my blog) or another brand get what we need without the crap copy of windows which is a lot cheaper than in stock and off the shelf from online retailers.


Deselecting windows 10 (my blog) resulted in the zoo shaving £100 off the bill (converted tp usd 130.00 at time i wrote this. So next time you wonder what you could do with an spare $130 makes using open source software a lot of sense.

mafia run microsoft

Apparently I also read that Microsoft are putting adverts everywhere in windows 10 so in addition to buying mafia insurance* from microsoft they also plaster adverts over it.

I am fascinated that people pay microsoft for this software via hardware vendors who i assume do it for laziness and some very shady microsoft sales staff.

Sure we have to install something on the hardware, but even windows needs setting up.

*nice shop window there, we will use it to sell your competitors products and spy on you. ** can break websites will refuse to load if your bios believes its 1/1/1980

strange tales of hewlett packard printers

I and the zoo have a love/hate relationship with older hp printers with non oem ink, we love the ink.  Printer – meh although the printer in question recently kicked the bucket (my blog)  and was replaced.

One day some time ago i was reading slashdot when i noticed that what i write (my blog) was being said by many.   Recently one cartridge was ‘REALLY EMPTY’ and after intervening with a button press since we ignore the hp sensor

This even pissed off the zoo staff  who started printing to a different laser printer which means to hp that the other printers ink wont be touched and so not replaced until its not printing in a missing colour deemed required.

Meg Whitman is ok, what about ebay ?

Meg Whitman is ok, what about ebay ?

Two weeks go by and i check out the printer settings on the server to find it to have defaulted to american letter size paper. rather a4 and when i turn it on its ink level is fine and it does not shutdown on start up, or need a ok pressed.

I of course expect such foul play from Meg and Cary (my blog) as shit ex bosses of HP.

The result for hp is that no ink genuine or otherwise was bought by the zoo.

What really confuses me is that i dont remember downloading a new version of hplip, or changing printer settings on the Linux server to letter size which no sane person directly uses but sends jobs to it.

Its not my reputation HP its yours.

avoid innostore usb drives

About a year ago i purchased a 16gb innostore usb flash drive.  It crapped out on me once again (my blog) and the best format was only ten megabytes and that was with a clearing of the partition table.

I recommend that if you are looking for an usb flash drive steer clear of innostore brand.  The device is awaiting a journey to a ewaste disposal plant.

I had recorded A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night a film which had five minutes of logos and titles before the thing died and then accessed the next item.

If you value data avoid innostore.

upsetting hplip when reinstalling a printer queue

One of the zoos printers was not working via hplip after i compiled it so i deleted it and set it up again for the new printer (my blog). One has real ink and the other has non hp toner (my blog) in it – hplip the linux driver for printing then refused to tell me any other ink levels -genuine or not regardless of the sorry state of guessing ink quantity by this hp software which is best ignored imho.

I feel so chastised*. – still see no purpose in buying hp ‘genuine’ ink after all .

*when the ink does not print it probably means it needs toner.

‘genuine’ toner

An older printer here in the zoo needed toner so i obtained one for it at a very reasonable price. It works and a couple of days later i decided to look up what ‘genuine’ toner costs.

I nearly fell out of the tree when i discovered a 545% difference in price for 1500 pages. That would have been expensive per page.  The non genuine one i bought is apparently rated for 2000* pages – honestly speaking as long as it lasts about the same time as usual i think that genuine toner has lost the argument.

Perhaps ‘posh’ ink should have it written on every document to impress people – a somewhat incorrect footer might say we paid 500% more to print this page.

Nice to know. *extra toner in the container

Newer hp officejet printers weird setup on Linux

a printer image

The zoo’s hp officejet printer dating from 2007 died when it decided not to print 75% of the things it was asked to do of recent it made some cool grinding sounds indicating something or other. Unwillingly i opted for a newer model (under a hundred in incremental model versiion number) as a quick replacement of which several hours later i am still setting up.

Oddly though the setup was geared up for windows and mac users – no dont work, us linux folk had to use cups to setup basic printing. The printer does not come with a brick to power it just a cable from a plug which from a firm that love there power bricks is different hp power bricks can be a horrible quality.

When the printer is off it is ‘sealed’ inside whether that preserves the ink is a interesting question and an interesting view of a possible design defect solution from hp

The rest of the features like instant ink connecting to its wifi and andriod i gave up on as not important to start with after all printing from our linux pc’s is more important than that.I will come back to that

Hplip (the official linux driver from hp) does not support the printer (and does not show) despite cups getting the printer to do stuff. – is hplip err legacy ? no so i had to compile a newer version from source, ignore qt4 or it will never compile. Then hplip shows the printer that cups can see and scan things.

Perhaps as linux users do not want any more money from us special types ? and I have no idea how you change its default wifi password or join it to our wifi network until i figured out the touch screen with abc as one key and you have to touch the key twice to get a b – not explained in the paper manual but something i eventually figured out wth guessing.

The printer prints in duplex and adds yet another unopened rj11 cable to the zoo’s collection of unused rj11 cables and adaptors for the phone socket since nobody faxes any more.

The paper documentation is thoroughly shit but as long it lasts a long time i guess the zoo will remain happy.

Android printing does work although the eprint app seems very ‘cloudy’* and desiring of optional things not essential if in local range.

Instant ink is another guessing game from hp for us linux folk to figure out and a google link to another link told me that hplip has sod all to do instant ink and is handled by a website that never decide to mention  (i would love to be a mind reader) however within thirty minutes provided you cloud enabled your printer beforehand i had ink setup.  See how that goes in a future post.

hp printer with shit tls

The ink is not as exotic this time and easier to buy outright too.

I suppose i need to find a real manual.  Ho hum it is not to be found on the cdrom disk for macs and windows users.  Sigh. What are hp thinking ?

Despite not being on the disk it is a pdf very much for windows and mac users.  If your me then most of it is useless.

Something also to guess is setting a password for the printers ip address done via a browser with the user name ‘admin’ this feels ripe for to scan and abuse as is there way.

The tls needs an browser exception or no password set.

Five hours later and i think its setup, but not for google print cloud. Oh well.

*not in the sky but internet clouds

Debian jessie to stretch server upgrade notes

I did basic workstations here (my blog) and there (my blog) note the networking issues which is also pertinent to servers Some workstation issues of help discovered early on where

virtual box

Needs help form the incompetent fools at oracle (see wiki) as the kernel modules are now outside the remit of debian support – speaks volumes of oracle.whom generally turn most things into a disaster like java (my blog).- can you wean me off virtualbox with some other manager suggestions welcome in comments.


needs a grub config line and a TTYVTDisallocat=no in otherwise you have no idea if it works or not.when loading you get some messages but without systemd config you will know about a few things see the wiki to set up [not hard]

The server entailed lots of backups and copies of old data all over the place just in case thing go wrong.

Day 1:

After backups change your sources file to stretch, update and apt -f full-update..2784 packages later (3 hours) i had a debian stretch os installed, cannot really call it a server though as fail2ban, postfix, imap and apache barely work.

dns,postgresql and ssh kind of worked though

Sisyphus is still a role model

I think upgrading from i386 to i686 caused the zoo a lot of issues, apt autoremove did not help and i had to remove over a two hundred remains of jessie packages.via aptitude.

Apache2 – cant do cgi and my cgi files did work in jessie

Fail2ban – honestly no idea what is happening here, deinstalled it

Postfix – missing loading four other postfix instances

Opendmarc – is mia

Cyrus – the jump from 2.4 to 2.5 means foo becomes foo_bar – your config files need massive changes, need to reconstuct databases too.   if you know what a DBERROR db5 is then your doing better than i am

Good news printing (cups) works and networking [see above link] survived.  I considered that a win

Day 2

With a fresh pair of eyes, i ‘fix’ crappy virtual box and discover to my delight that the zoo’s cron jobs still work.   I need to remove that trash for something better that does a virtual memory space when i test things.

Cyrus Imap

Gets weirder and werieder

  • it listens on http port 8008.(REALLY)
  • mboxlist and deliver commands seem to be not used
  • sasl logins are from the twilight  zone

I got a paired down (brand new config) that kind of works although three zoo domains cannot open the mail.



goes to version three expect to use one of these (not here)  If like the zoo you have more than more postfix instance then your need systemd to start it as the init.d scipt is dancing with the faeries and now only loads /etc/postfix.


defaultseedonly becomes testonly – spf has to have some kind of issue and alert you about with debian upgrades or you never know your doing one.

Day 2 was kind of a success.  Even if the mail was flowing in via my actions rather than a systemd startup action and postfix and cyrus kind of work i think.

I began to feel that debain might work rather than simply tell me that estortic_command_lines may have changed.

Day 3:


Issues are caused by old sockets in cyrus.  Go to your imap mail store directory and the sockets directory and delere.  I did not have to delete *.db’s but even after a reconstruction its not explictly something advertised.   – I appear to be able to receive and process inbound mail

postfix systemd

With the magic of a console i started other instances of postfix and it appears to work my additional systemd scripts dont work one shows a bash shell and the others no bash shell – i hate systemd.- i might need postfix-multi but do not like the idea of it with my existing config,

Day 4

Good news first – amavis seems to work no issues, and now back to problems

apache cgi/mailgraph

I have weird apache error codes but not a meaning as to what they mean i think

  • ah000128 start
  • ah000169 restart
  • ah001909  ssl mismatch (warn)
  • ah002811 script alias issue ?
  • ah000094 ?

google searching for those is a miss they like 404 error codes  – cgi is well broken but that seems down to perl -i had to get rid of perl -wT and run perl -w so getting there.

Moving mailgraph.cgi to cgi-bin fixes the issue (we just need the images which are called via javascript url method).  I gave up /usr/lib/cgi-bin and did cgi-bin my own way.


appears to work unhindered like Jessie not a fuckup


Apparently does work – just reconfigure from scratch


version 9.10 apparently means it now do caa records without encoding, it has a geoip feature that it loves to advertise.


worst thing: cyrus imap

less worst thing perl ‘changes’ (cgi)

stuff to still fix

  • clean out etc old entries
  • postfix start up ‘issues’
  • remove on disk backups
  • opendmarc reporting is not working
  • check email sending with dkim (works locally)
  • postgresql 9.4 refuses to load but the 9,6 version means i do not have load it twice – a bit botched but progress

notable mentions to spf – good to see that i still had to change something.

Hope that has not put you off but that was my rather fraught upgrade experience.  Perhaps i should have gone from Jessie i386 to 686 and then to Stretch.

I can work on the issues at a more leisurely pace now

The pingbacks to this site below update on this post and resolve issues i had.

Obsolete printers

a printer, not from the zoo

One of the zoos printers was starting to jam more and more often despite attempts at ‘cleaning’ it after nine years i discovered that it could not be fixed and the parts where not made or unavailable even from spare part websites.

It kind of works and looks ok but to bodge fix it meant superglue on cracked gears and a large hole in the bottom of the case (requiring power tools the zoo does not own) of which the results of only apparently worked temporarily should you google hard enough.

It is kind of a shame to chuck it away but second hand printers are not easy to obtain and new printers allow printing from android (my blog) where cups support for older printers is a game of Russian roulette and costs money rather then being a simple will it or wont it to maybe.

The zoo did not complain about it dying which is unusual.  – usually the response is – thats not right can it be … Anyhow its dead and going to where dead printers go.

Its replacement is a tale worth regaling to you which you will enjoy and you will read some point in the future.


a first look but systemd networking sucks

So after this (my blog) i decided to see if could reproduce the config in systemd something i loathe (my blog).

to recap eth0 – dhcp, eth0:1 et al static ip config

WARNING: systemd-networkd is not running, output will be incomplete.

1 lo loopback n/a unmanaged
2 eth0 ether n/a unmanaged
3 wlan0 wlan n/a unmanaged

3 links listed.

When turned on and configured the operation column changes and uses a green text er not impressed, getting one interface configured is for simpletons and i achieved that. The virtual addresses left me bewildered.  It kind of shows up but systemd only shows physical adaptors

It seemed to me despite man paging and a basic web search that an interface with more than two ipv4 addresses (not an ipv6 and and ipv4 [dual network stack]) is not possible and be kept separate.

Here was ifconfig with systemd

eth0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
inet6 fe80::82fa:5bff:fe0a:1fe4 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20<link>
ether 80:fa:5b:0a:1f:e4 txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)
RX packets 2704 bytes 1441236 (1.3 MiB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 3101 bytes 446983 (436.5 KiB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING> mtu 65536
inet netmask
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10<host>
loop txqueuelen 1 (Local Loopback)
RX packets 24 bytes 1362 (1.3 KiB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 24 bytes 1362 (1.3 KiB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

Maybe i need to hairy eyeball the stuff more and as this is a testing machine is not mission critical but it true than systemd as networking provider would be limiting – i went back to /etc/network/interfaces which shows something like.

eth0: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
inet6 fe80::82fa:5bff:fe0a:1fe4 prefixlen 64 scopeid 0x20<link>
ether x txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)
RX packets 2704 bytes 1441236 (1.3 MiB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 3101 bytes 446983 (436.5 KiB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

eth0:1: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
ether x txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)

eth0:2: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
ether x txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)

eth0:3: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
ether x txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)

eth0:4: flags=4163<UP,BROADCAST,RUNNING,MULTICAST> mtu 1500
inet 172.16.0.* netmask broadcast
ether x txqueuelen 1000 (Ethernet)

lo: flags=73<UP,LOOPBACK,RUNNING> mtu 65536
inet netmask
inet6 ::1 prefixlen 128 scopeid 0x10<host>
loop txqueuelen 1 (Local Loopback)
RX packets 24 bytes 1362 (1.3 KiB)
RX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 frame 0
TX packets 24 bytes 1362 (1.3 KiB)
TX errors 0 dropped 0 overruns 0 carrier 0 collisions 0

Well done Potterang

Anyhow systemd seems to be limiting what the average linux os can do – pretty standard behaviour for the gnome and systemd developers.

Systemd and its continuing megomanic plans seems to be a very very bad decision.

Andriod phones above version 5

Bananas was dealing with an ape with mobile phone envy (my blog) and who found a better deal than there relative did even if the gratification was not instant.

As I do not suffer from mobile phone envy (my blog) I soon discovered that version 6 (cyanogen*) and 7 android versions appear bloody hard to buy or cost (not rent) over $500 us dollars for the phone with that version.  Version 5 appears to not have this problem

Being practical it appears the android upgrade path is closed to many through lack of choice. I wonder if this is a choice or a governmental order.

When the phone arrived  – i had to figure it out despite my hate of phones (beyond the ape with mobile phone envy) and being a cheap phone it appears to do most things and honestly for a £70 phone running the most easily available version of android and i think i could get used to it despite my cack handed setup – eg no google account since the install kept freezing at that point.

Complaints – It needs a better web browser – not google, and the paper instructions came in French so figuring out how even how to put the battery in back was a mystery even for the French and since i did not want to break it with too much brute force I had to find a pdf manual and see a video on how to insert the battery.

I had a fun hour and half swearing at the thing before handing it over – hopefully for i never see for year – alas my peace was interrupted so its off to the library and pick up a rare book for the ape with mobile envy.  Sigh

Would i buy one ? maybe but i prefer a real computer.

*bought by microsoft and shut down let the fud (my blog) begin