My personal views, thoughts and opinions.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Unreadable PDF under Linux

I receive an email with a PDF document every week. Until I was using Windows everything was ok, but now that I'm happy Linux Mint user I found out that the content is unreadable.

I started my Windows VM only to find out that the PDF is unreadable under Chrome in exactly the same manner as under Firefox on Linux.

Then I noticed the "Open with" option and decided to give Adobe Reader a try. It was showing the content correctly. I had a look at the fonts used in the doc and found there "Verdana".

Then it all come into place. Microsoft fonts are licensed, so they are not included by default with Linux distros. 

I made a search and found out that there is a special package called "MS Core Fonts Installer". A search in Mint's Software Manager revealed the exact name and after two clicks, and my promise that I won't sell the Microsoft precious fonts for billions of dollars when everyone can download them for free, I got the files on my system.

A fast check and ... 50/50 result. I could open the PDF with Document Viewer, but Chrome & Firefox failed to show any meaningful data. Well fair enough. At least I can now check the content with an additional click.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Canon Pixma B200 error

My Canon Pixma MP550 printer went out of ink. I bought new cartridges and the first thing I did when I got home was to try to change them.

I started the printer to check which cartridge was empty. I tried to get to the ink level menu, but the printer brought the B200 error calling for a real technicians and instructing me to unplug the power cord and leave him be.

I decided the error didn't matter, since I can change all the cartridges, as they happen to run out of ink simultaneously, and opened the service cover. Well, needless to say the printer simply showed B200 again as hesitant to bother with anything.

After a short search I came upon various videos on how to fix this. And one of the videos contained a comment with a great link to Tom's Hardware blog.

Inside I found the following steps on how to workaround the issue:
  1. Turn OFF Power
  2. Open the print head bay (as though you were about to change inks)
  3. Turn ON power
  4. Wait for print carriage to start moving to the left and let it go past half way
  5. Before print carriage reaches left hand side (but after going halfway across) shut the cover.
  6. Leave the Printer turned on
  7. Good to go.

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