With the upgrade to Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark, I lost the ability to scan with my (previously working seamlessly) scanner, the Epson Perfection V30. I could see in dmesg that my scanner was being detected as Epson and the command sane-find-scanner showed the device:

found USB scanner (vendor=0x04b8 [EPSON], product=0x0131 [EPSON Scanner]) at libusb:003:002

After a month or so of being annoyed by this off & on, I finally buckled down to do the research and find the working recipe. This fix also works on a lot of other Epson scanner models and other scanner brands, too. If you’re having problems scanning, hopefully the links I’m providing here will give you the “launchpad” you need to get going again.

The link that directed me to the ultimate fix came from AskUbuntu. in the second answer that links to the bug report. I want to be sure to give credit to this answer. I bounced around the house calling out “whoop whoop!” after reading partway through that linked bug report and realizing I’d found my solution.

Speaking of linked bug report, here it is, titled “Many 3rd party scanner drivers are broken by a sane change”. It has very long discussion with instructions for various workarounds. There’s a lot of information in there. I’m only going to list the exact steps I followed to get my scanner working. It’s worthwhile to read and understand all of the info in this bug.

Epson Perfection V30 steps:

Bug Response #12: “Today I managed to bring back my dead Epson V300 alive”.

Scroll down to this bug response #12. This step involves copying 3 files and rebooting. If you don’t have those 3 files, then you may not have the Epson drivers installed. You’ll need to go to Epson and download the file, unzip it, and follow the steps to do the install. I already had the files because up until I updated to Ubuntu 17.10, scanning was working very well on my computer.

I copied the files, one of which was a symbolic link. The bug report also says you could move the files, and I assume symbolic links would work, as well. Copy seemed safest to me.

I tested after the reboot and restarting the scanner, with this command:

scanimage -L

and it still failed. Then I tested again as root:

sudo scanimage -L

and it worked. Yay, progress! But I don’t want to scan as root. No no no.

Scanning as non-root user:

Reading down through the bug report further, we come to #19 – getting it to work for non-root users. This involves creating a file in /etc/udev/rules.d and populating it with text. Make sure the file belongs to root. Reboot again. Restart the scanner.

Voila! Scanning with XSane now works for my Epson Perfection V30 scanner, and not as the root user.

I hope you’ll soon be rejoicing at your own restored ability to scan in Ubuntu 17.10.

Thank you so much to staedtler-przyborski for taking the time to help us all out on getting our scanners working again!

I received the LG G Watch at Google I/O 2014, and after a bit of effort joining testing groups for Android apps, I have it fully functioning. Before proceeding with this review, I should give a quick disclaimer. Years ago, when I first adopted a cell phone, I was quite happy to abandon all of my watches. I’ve long thought watches are kind of a pain, so the prospect of once again wearing one wasn’t exactly appealing. With that in mind…

The G Watch pairs with my Android phone via Bluetooth. The battery lasts for almost two days. It works with Google Now and gives me notifications and has a few apps it’s integrated with, and has more apps on the way. The notifications are surprisingly useful and include emails, text messages, weather, # of steps (pedometer), stock prices, Facebook, etc. I can read enough of a snippet of information in a notification to be able to judge if it’s worth pulling my phone out to have a look or not.

LG G Watch in sleep modeIn sleep mode, the screen is black with white text and icons (pictured). That looks quite nice. It can tell when I’m looking at it and wakes up – the screen brightens and turns to color mode with more detail. Notifications show on the watch by default, but I think that can be turned off. When a notification occurs, it makes a slight vibration on my wrist. That is not annoying. When I dismiss a notification on the watch, it also dismisses on the phone. It doesn’t appear to have negative battery consequences on the phone – at least not noticeable. There are some configurations that can be made on the watch and others that are made using the companion app, Android Wear. Android Wear is also used to load new apps, but I haven’t tried that yet.

The G Watch is pretty bulky and masculine looking for my tastes. I’m contemplating if it’s possible to make a new, more attractive and comfortable wristband for it. Either that, or I can go get a bunch of tattoos on my arm and go for a new, tougher look. I always wanted to try looking more edgy… All the hacker girls in movies and on TV are edgy, right? (that’s sarcasm, btw)

The Motorola watch that’s supposed to be shipped to me will have a round watch face. I’m curious to compare the two.

I can send emails or text messages simply by looking at it to wake it up. Then, I say “OK Google”, and follow that with a command. The downside is it uses voice recognition and sends emails and texts immediately, giving me no chance to read and edit what I’m sending. I sent a few very illegible and humorous emails and texts to the hubby before giving up on that. I can also see where it might easily pick the wrong person to send to based on voice recognition, but I’ve been lucky on that front so far.

Voice commands to view my steps for the day or start the stopwatch work really well. It’s been correct every time I tried it, and I’ve been using those two commands a lot. Asking for the current weather also works, but seems less useful, since I can look out the window or step outside to see the current weather.

The big downside that I see to this watch so far is the charger that comes with it. First of all, it’s a powerful magnet (verified this by sticking it to the fridge), and it has a cautionary message not to put it near my other electronic equipment. What? I can’t stuff it in my purse??? Second, is that it comes with a sticky backside. I’m supposed to peel off the plastic cover and stick the charger permanently onto a table. Huh? I can’t travel with it? I’m not sticking it to a table and they can’t make me. Aside from that, it’s small and easy to use.

I tried resetting it to stock, and that was seamless. An update was pushed out already since I’ve had it and that installed during dinner last night. It took only a couple of minutes and was seamless.

I’m planning to download the SDK and make a basic flashlight app (all white screen). I know it won’t make much light, but I think it might be enough for what I use my phone for every now and then. Regardless, it will be an entertaining experiment and an opportunity to decide what I think about developing for it.

Overall, I’m liking this watch and surprisingly, have actually worn it all day every day since I received it (one week so far). I’m checking my steps (convenient since my Fitbit is having issues). I’m using the timer for watering plants outside and for interval training. I’m using it to decide whether to answer the phone when it rings and whether emails and other notifications are worth pulling my phone out to check. It’s useful. If I had to go out and buy one, I probably would not, but only because of my negative bias against watches in general.

Allthecooks Android AppDid I mention that I tried out Google Glass at I/O? That was interesting, too. I tried it with the Allthecooks app. That app is working to solve some of my own pain points; it’s as if they read my mind. (I’ve even been working off and on for the last year to design an Android app for myself to do something similar.) Please check that app out if you have a chance.

I can now see into the near future, and we will all look like idiots walking around talking to ourselves and tapping on the side of our heads (glass) or talking to our wrists and tapping them (watch). Hahaha!

Thanks for reading this. Maybe I’ll see you at Google I/O next year.

Selfie at Google IO 2014

I drew an image for the blog today. It was a very high-tech project, created using colored pencils and a Sharpie on cheap paper, and photographed using my Android phone, lol.

I’m pretty enthusiastic about the books I’ve lined up to read this summer. Many of them aren’t actual real books yet, they’re part of the Manning early access program (MEAP).

The first two I’m reading together because they complement each other:

The next is just because it looked really interesting:

  • Big Data by Nathan Marz and James Warren (MEAP)

Can you tell that I had a coupon code?

Other books lined up to go after the above are Android in Practice, Akka in Action, The Well-Grounded Java Developer, and a Cassandra book that’s a little outdated but should still be good.

Fresh New Blog

May 18, 2013 — Leave a comment

My server died a miserable motherboard death about 6 months ago and I’ve finally decided to put a blog up on WordPress rather than maintain a server or use AWS resources for it. So,  this is it… I’ll eventually port over the less outdated posts, but otherwise, it’s all fresh and new. I’m not currently planning to redirect old URLs.

More to come later…

Fennel Sketch