Christopher Merle

Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

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Raspberry Pi Print Server

We have two printers in our house, an old Brother laser printer and a newer HP color laser printer. The newer printer has built in wifi and we can print via wifi directly or through the home wifi network. I did have a Raspberry Pi print server set up and working with my old Pi (model B version 1)  and could print via wifi on it. I recently purchased a Raspberry Pi Zero and wanted to set it up as a print server.  Install the following packages:

 sudo apt-get install cups

and then configure user pi

 sudo usermod -a -G lpadmin pi

[Note– It is recommended that you change the default password of pi to something more secure or replace the pi user with another user name  with a strong password as I did for better security]

I have a Brother HL-2140 and you can get the Linux drivers from Brother
http://support.brother.com/g/b/producttop.aspx?c=us&lang=en&prod=hl2140_all

However, it turns out they don’t work on the Raspberry Pi as it uses an ARM chip to run it’s flavor of Linux and not an i386 based Linux, so you’ll need to use HP’s HPIJS driver – PPDs for compatible PCL-5e-based non-HP laser printers

https://www.openprinting.org/driver/hpijs-pcl5e

You can select your printer in this case the Brother HL-2140 and it will generate a PPD file, but it won’t on it’s own as you’ll need to install the follow packages.

 sudo apt-get install hpijs-ppds printer-driver-hpijs

You’ll need to add the driver via the browser. Go to localhost:631 or whatever the IP address is on your network to access the CUPS web interface. Connect the printer via USB to the Pi. Speaking of USB, I recommend getting a Zero4U 4 port USB hub which piggybacks onto the Raspberry Pi Zero in this case v1.3. Make sure which Zero version you have to get the right hub.

http://www.uugear.com/product/zero4u/

I also purchased a case, a wifi dongle, and a mini-HDMI to HDMI cable. I had a USB keyboard, USB mouse, and monitor with HDMI to connect to the Pi Zero Once you have the Pi Zero configured and connected with a wifi dongle and the IP address you’ve assigned it.

My next step is to get a short USB cable and a way to secure the print server to the printer, probably a velcro strip or something.

How much did it cost? The Zero costs $5, but I needed a power supply ($8), wifi dongle ($12), and SD Card ($10). I paid about $18USD for the Zero4U USB hub, plastic case and shipping from the Czech Republic. I’m not counting the other accessories I bought (mini-HDMI to HDMI cable) or needed (USB cable), but just for the making the print server itself it cost about $53. I’m going to leave out the countless hours of frustration getting it to work because I couldn’t get CUPS to work on the Zero to print. It would talk the printer. I could see it try to do something but nothing would happen. It wasn’t until I got the hpijs packages installed that I was able to get it to print. I’d set up CUPS before on laptops. When I started this project wireless print servers were a little more expensive, but I just found one on Amazon for $40. So I didn’t save any money, and I wasted a lot of time getting it to work. So if you just need a wireless print server for an old laser printer, then just buy one, but if you are into Raspberry Pis then this is what I did.

WordPress to Plone

The time has come for me to move away from WordPress. I’ve been saying that for a while. I realized that I could migrate to Wagtail which is a CMS that sits on top of Django, but it requires some assembly. However, I can migrate to Plone much faster, and that is what I intend to do.

I  will continue to support my existing WordPress clients and won’t push them to migrate to Plone. One or two might benefit, but WordPress is a good platform and is well supported. Why should they have to pay for a site twice? I worked with Plone extensively in the past, but not recently. I am looking at it again and it has improved dramatically and is no longer just for enterprise level websites. It can fill some of the niche that WordPress does.

I’m going to give myself 30 days from today to migrate my site to Plone. I still want to work with Wagtail, but mostly I want to work more with Python. It’s my favorite computer language. PHP not so much which is what WordPress is written in. The WordPress community is large, active, and makes up for the shortcomings of the language.  The developers of the language have continued to make it more robust and secure, but that is not where my interests lie.

You have to go with what works for you. Python is easier to maintain and easier for me to figure out what the code of some project is doing if I look at it.

Poetical Mail

I’m testing MailPoet for a client. Normally I use a development site, but I needed a site with content to try it out. My client had been using Subscribe2 and it works pretty good, but MailPoet seems to have a few more features that they desire.

 

MailPoet and Subscribe2 allow you to send emails of new posts either singly or in digest form to subscribers to your website.

The pictures I put in the post are arbitrary. This and the Featured image are from the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Whomper II

What happens now?

As you may have noticed we had an election here in the US. The candidate projected to win lost. Most people are still trying to process the implications of this upset. No one knows what is going to happen now, but many are fearful.gila1

Why would you want to do that?

Because I can. Turns out you can change the default editor font of TinyMCE and if you so desire make it match the font seen by visitors to your website.  You create a special css file place it in your theme and then add a function to functions.php file to load it.

It’s not something that’s ever been on my radar. Much of the time I’m editing in the Text tab (so I can see the raw HTML) and whether I used the Visual tab I always used the Preview button to see what my changes were going to look like, but I can understand why someone might want to change the default font of their editor.

I always learn new stuff from client requests.

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