Printing, Completing & Scanning PDF Documents

As a contractor I often have to fill in and sign various contract agreements. These are usually tens of pages in length, and while I only have to sign one page, I still must scan in and send back each and every page, even the untouched ones. It would help if a PDF with form filling abilities was supplied, but hey, that’s only rarely the case. This is how I do it. (On Linux – Windows users mileage may vary!) Continue reading Printing, Completing & Scanning PDF Documents

Getting Arduino Working from a Windows 7 VirtualBox Guest

Do I like problems or what? 🙂 I’m running Linux Mint 17.2 as my host, and I have a VirtualBox 5.0 VM running Windows 7 Professional. I decided I’d like to be able to run the Arduino software from within the VM, but not talking to an Arduino, but to a bare bones setup and programming AtTiny85 devices. The following might be of use to other people’s needs as it explains how the FDTI device cane be automatically assigned to the VM rather than to the host, when plugged in and the VM is running. Continue reading Getting Arduino Working from a Windows 7 VirtualBox Guest

A Couple of Useful Linux & HP-UX Tricks

Recently at work, I was on an HP server and needed to grep -B3 a large log file to find the three lines prior to a number of Oracle error messages I was searching for, in order to fix things. It turned out that HP-UX doesn’t have the -B (or the -A) options. Bummer. A bit of awk fixed the former, but the latter I leave as an exercise for the reader as they say! Continue reading A Couple of Useful Linux & HP-UX Tricks

Thunderbird – Message Filters stop Working on Email Download – But Work Ok Manually.

I think this topic has the longest title of all my postings! Never mind. Have you ever started Thunderbird fetching your emails, and encountered a pop-up message that starts off by saying “The message could not be filtered for folder ‘whatever’ because writing to folder failed“? Read on for the cure. Continue reading Thunderbird – Message Filters stop Working on Email Download – But Work Ok Manually.

VirtualBox – Sending Special Key Combinations to the Guest OS.

As standard, VirtualBox has a menu option (machine->Insert CTRL+ALT+Backspace or Insert CTRL+ALT+DEL) which is fine if you need these key combinations sending to the guest and not grabbed by the host, however, how can you send CTRL+ALT+F1 through CTRL+ALT+F8 to a Linux guest OS to get it to startup one of its virtual consoles? Continue reading VirtualBox – Sending Special Key Combinations to the Guest OS.

Beginner’s Guide to Arch Linux on the Raspberry Pi

The ARCH Linus distro for the Raspberry Pi is not the normal one used by the masses, but the benefits of ARCH are good in that it is a rolling release distro. That means, you never have to reinstall it to be on the latest version.

Note: The information that follows assumes that you have installed ARCH from the NOOBS installer. The latest version of ARCH has changed the networking system in use. Continue reading Beginner’s Guide to Arch Linux on the Raspberry Pi

NOOBS For Raspberry Pi

Updated 11th January 2015 to document NOOBS 1.3.11.

NOOBS is the latest user friendly installation system from the Raspberry Pi. It allows you the ability to choose one of 7 (currently) Operating Systems to run on your Pi and a separate data partition to save your possibly shared data. You can pick and choose and change your OS at any time you wish simply by rebooting and holding the SHIFT key down. However, any user data on the SD card will be lost each time.

NOOBS is “New Out Of Box Software” by the way. Want to know more? Read on… Continue reading NOOBS For Raspberry Pi

Need to Compile a 32 bit Application on a 64 bit Linux System?

I have a small utility that I need to use from time to time. I wrote it back in 2009 when 32 bit systems were all the rage. It reads a certain type of data file and outputs lots of, ahem, interesting information about the contents. When I compiled it on my 64 bit laptop, it produced complete and utter rubbish! How did I fix it? Continue reading Need to Compile a 32 bit Application on a 64 bit Linux System?

Statspack Snapshot Fails ORA-01400 Cannot Insert NULL …

Oh hum. An 11.2.0.3 Enterprise Edition production database has statspack taking a regular snapshot under the control of a dbms_scheduler job. For no apparent reason, the snapshot started failing with ORA-01400 Cannot insert NULL into PERFSTAT.STATS$SYSTEM_EVENT.EVENT. This was an interesting one to fix. Continue reading Statspack Snapshot Fails ORA-01400 Cannot Insert NULL …