[Durham] Newbie looking for help

Richard Mortimer richm at oldelvet.org.uk
Mon Mar 3 10:50:50 UTC 2014

Hi David,

Welcome to our community!

On 03/03/2014 10:13, David Walland wrote:
> Hopefully, as I get into Linux (Xubuntu is merely a start point - I used
> to program in 6800 hex machine code 30 years ago and I'd love to get
> back into some advanced programming again) I'll be able to get my head
> around all these things, even if it's a bit slower on the draw these
> days than it was then.
Sounds good. Open source really does allow you to get involved with just 
about anything and if you want to cook your own project (like you 
mention below) you can often "borrow" some code from another project 
that will help you to get started. Of course you should be careful to 
respect the license on the borrowed code.

> I also want to work on a couple of projects which require me to be able
> to use the screen and mouse.  It is *SO* difficult to find a way into
> understanding how to interface in any sophisticated way with the video
> drivers!
Well without knowing what you plan on doing my first suggestion would be 
to see if you can do what you want with a web browser and HTML5. Its 
amazing what can be done with that these days and it can save a lot of work.

Failing that if you want a more low level access then one of the Qt or 
GTK environments may help. It may also be worth a look at SDL (Simple 
DirectMedia Layer) http://www.libsdl.org/index.php

Of course there is quite a lot of complexity in all of this so starting 
slow and steady and trying many of the examples that a Google search 
finds is often a good idea.

Happy Hacking.



> Regards
> David Walland
> On 2 March 2014 22:14, mark <mark at aktivix.org <mailto:mark at aktivix.org>>
> wrote:
>     Hash: SHA256
>     Hi David
>     On 02/03/14 13:26, David Walland wrote:
>      > I'm just transferring my XP machines to Xubuntu (*steep* learning
>      > curve) and would be glad of help.
>     Good choice! I'll give you some pointers to get you started.
>      > a) I'm a lover of RPN calculators and usually have Free42 on
>      > everything. I'm still trying to work out how to put this onto my
>      > Xubuntu machines. Please spell it out, as I'm really new to Linux
>      > and haven't even learnt where things go when they're downloaded
>      > yet!!!
>     Where things go when they're downloaded depends on how what software
>     you're using to download them; for example, if you're using the wget
>     command at the terminal, they'll land in your current working
>     directory; if you're using a browser like firefox with default
>     settings, you'll probably be downloading to
>     /home/your_username/Downloads/
>     For the purpose of downloading & installing software however, you need
>     to get your head around the concept of package management. Different
>     linux distributions do this differently, but xubuntu inherits it's
>     package management system from Debian, another distro from which
>     ubuntu is derived. A package is a bunch of files together with their
>     destination paths, information about software dependencies and
>     conflicts (which should be painlessly resolved by your package
>     management software - you hope...), checksums and some pre- and
>     post-install scripts.
>     In your situation, you could open a terminal emulator and type "sudo
>     apt-get update" which refreshes the list of packages your system knows
>     about, which are all signed by ubuntu (i.e. highly unlikely to contain
>     malware). You may have to confirm your password. Then when it's
>     finished working, type "apt-cache search rpn" which will tell you what
>     packages contain the phrase "rpn". To get more info on any of them,
>     you type "apt-cache show [packagename] | less". These packages are
>     fairly sure to work with your system; when you've mastered this you
>     can try finding packages from other sources. They end with ".deb" but
>     before you try to install any, find out how to verify them.
>     Say you decide to install "grpn", you'll need to type "sudo apt-get
>     install grpn" which will locate, download, cryptographically verify
>     and install the "grpn" package. You can then launch grpn from the
>     command line or XFCE menu (XFCE is the desktop environment that comes
>     with xubuntu) probably under 'applications - accessories'.
>      > b) We have a Canon Pixma MG3100 3 in one scanner/printer/etc linked
>      > via our WiFi which I cannot find out how to address from the
>      > Xubuntu machines.  I imagine I need exactly the right drivers but
>      > can't find them.  I understand there is something called CUPS which
>      > may help but diudn't even understand the explanation of this let
>      > alone how to use it/set it up.  **HELP!!!**
>     I'd recommend configuring your printer to have a static IP on your
>     LAN, configure your router not to allocate that IP when giving out
>     DHCP leases, then use the xubuntu GUI tool to add your printer -
>     knowing the IP address and model number is usually enough, although
>     I've never used that model myself so YMMV. If you get stuck, try a
>     search engine of your choice to find if other people have specific
>     experience to share. I tried and found
>     http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2059522
>     Good luck,
>     Mark
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