Thursday, January 7, 2010

First Ubuntu print job is second Ubuntu save

In the short 2+ months that I've been using 9.10 Karmic Koala, there have been two tight spots where Ubuntu has come to the rescue.

First, I was in a long meeting where a colleague was running an LCD presentation from a Windows netbook. Halfway through the meeting, the netbook crashed, was irretrievable. No more PowerPoint; in most situations I would have rejoiced.
However, the slides were very much needed for viewing at the time. I thought, "I'm the only other person in the room with hardware. But I've never tried running an display projector from Ubuntu. What the heck, we don't have much to lose if it fails." I pulled out the Ubuntu notebook, plugged in the video cable, found the display preferences, and with a very small number of clicks, Ubuntu recognized the projector and displayed the slides smoothly. Meeting saved.

The second time was tonight. Kid with project due tomorrow. The new printer and MacBook were not on talking terms after a correct installation of correct software including correct printer driver. After a couple reboots, I thought "I really had never thought about printing anything from Ubuntu. As a matter of fact I hate printers. But let's give this a try." I plugged the printer in. Ubuntu detected it, searched and found correct driver and asked to install it. Two clicks later, I get a rainbow of a test page. No 10-point font "test" page -- see the colourful photo of the Ubuntu test page at the top of this entry. After a couple minor formatting changes in Open Office, the kid's project is done.

On to other things.

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