Checkpoint: Printers & CUPS Edition

Sharing my printer — an HP Color LaserJet 1600 — through my FreeNAS home server is an exercise in futility. There were two methods to try including:

  • Method 1: passing the printer to a Windows Server 2012 R2 install sitting in phpVirtualBox
  • Method 2: through CUPS

Method 1

I got the printer recognized in VirtualBox using this guide but it wasn’t recognized in the Windows Server 2012 R2 Device Manager whatsoever. There were allusions to VirtualBox not recognizing USB 2.0 devices but even when I forced it to

Method 2

Installing CUPS was not as straight forward as I thought it would be. I followed a couple of guides and in the end I was able to get CUPS to recognize the printer and share it out but unfortunately I was unable to get the driver installed to enable printing itself.

What now?

Thankfully this printer isn’t critical. The print quality deteriorated to the point where it’s no longer suitable for legitimate work. This means I have all the time in the world to get this working and at this point I might just wait for the next version of FreeNAS that will include Bhyve, FreeBSD’s hypervisor. Hopefully that will sort out all these issues and the printer will just work.

I started Uncharted 4. I’m finding myself feeling old when playing it because of how much this instalment evolved compared to its predecessors.

Savestate: AAA Sky Falls

Assassin's Creed Unity Glitch

AAA games faltering

DRIVECLUB, Halo: Master Chief Collection and Assassin’s Creed: Unity are still suffering from technical issues. They have networking issues, graphical glitches, performance drops and sometimes a combination of all the above. And these are just the high profile titles that have severe issues. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has its own controversy over dedicated servers but it’s being overshadowed.

Instead of dwelling on what is happening, I want to know why this is happening. The easy answer is to blame aggressive publishers that want to make holidays. But we’ve seen plenty of publishers make those timelines in the past.

What’s changed for this year?

Although we’re technically a year into the newest generation of consoles, we’re still not out of the woods yet with regards to console transition issues. Seven years ago, the first Assassin’s Creed debuted to horrible framerate issues and bugs as well.

In the case of DRIVECLUB, you can chalk this up to inexperience with networking. For the folks at 343 Industries, I can’t imagine it’s easy to get four titles humming along nicely (even if they’re remasters).

These are just excuses that I’m making up for these developers. They’re not going to tell us why these games are broken but they’ll continue to ask for forgiveness and patience while you wait.

Consumers are paying money for working products and if they can’t deliver a working product within the launch window, they should be eligible for refunds. It might be tough to convince a retailer to take back an opened game, but those who’ve purchased titles from Sony or Microsoft’s digital stores should receive a refund if they so desire.

Also, thank goodness for built-in recording and screenshot functionality.

Mario Kart 8 DLC Pack #1

Over at Nintendo’s little island of fun awaits Mario Kart 8’s first DLC pack. I bought it the dual pack and look forward to trying the new content. I just don’t know if it’s going to be sooner or later.

Random Thought of the Week

I’m addicted to Florida Natural Fruit Snacks.

Building a new home server?

intel_logo.pngAnd suddenly I have an opportunity to build a new home server. My sister is looking for a cheap PC which opened up an opportunity to offload one of my older PCs. The home server, powered by a Core 2 Quad 9300, 6GB of RAM and an SSD will be more than adequate for everyday computing.

But what would my next computer be built on? Haswell? Again? I just built a computer with Intel’s latest architecture last year. There’s a new set of chipsets and the S series of CPUs are widely available now but I don’t want to go back to the well twice within a generation.

So for now, I’m going to dig back into the computing archives and give an aging AMD Athlon 3800+ powered PC a new lease on life. Strap in video card, an SSD and everything should be okay. I hope. I just want to buy some time for Broadwell which is slated for a Q2 2015 debut.

Checkpoint: ATI Mach64 Edition

Checkpoint - ATI Mach64 Edition

I installed the AMD Radeon HD 5770 in my home server thinking I will be using it for RemoteFX. Unfortunately “Enterprise” level Windows 7/8 licenses were required so that idea came to a crashing halt. So I left the video card in there doing nothing but consume power.

Finally after months of doing nothing, I decided to rip out the 5770 PCI Express video card and install a lowly ATI Mach64. I had this and an Xpert 2000 PCI video card on hand because PCI expansion ports weren’t going anywhere anytime soon and I figured I would need them again one day. I wasn’t wrong.

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