“General printer failure” with Pagemaker 6.5

My wife is a middle school teacher. She teaches drama and journalism. Yeah, those go together well 😉 I help her with the school paper layout as I used to do it at the weekly college paper with Chad and Brad. Last night around midnight I finished the final layout tweaks (don’t get me started about PM 6.5 and files from Illustrator!). When attempting to print to a PostScript file for later distilling into a PDF on my other computer, I received the following error:

PageMaker Error

“An error occurred while printing.
General printer failure.

After trying many different things I believe the issue is a file permission issue. My setup is like this:

  • Two computers: My WinXP, and my wife’s Win2k
  • Her computer serves as “home base” in that all files are stored there in a shared folder and I work with them over the network. She works with them locally (duh).
  • PageMaker 6.52
  • Adobe Universal PostScript Windows Driver 1.0.6, printing to “FILE:”

When you print to a file in PM, you can’t really choose where it is saved. It will always be saved next to the .P65 file you’re working with. With that said, I was trying to print to a .PS file across the network where the file was stored. PM didn’t like that. I tried sitting at my wife’s computer and printing the .PS file from the same (but now local) location. Strangely enough PM didn’t like that either. I think the permissions I have on that network share just aren’t jiving with PM. Finally, I moved the .P65 and all supporting files out of the shared folder and into a totally “normal” local file with standard permissions like C:\temp\ . That did it. My print to file worked!

Firefox and Thunderbird with ToggleMINIMIZE

When using Toggle Software‘s ToggleMINIMIZE with Mozilla Firefox and/or Mozilla Thunderbird, you may find that it’s not minimizing to the tray as it should. You need to set a preference in the Moz apps before it will work.

I totally stumbled upon this by accident. I was investigating Firefoxes’ atrocious memory handling and how to deal with it. I found the config.trim_on_minimize Mozilla preference (FYI, I’m still evaluating this to see if I like what it does). After restarting FF and TB, they started minimizing to the tray all of a sudden! To verify that config.trim_on_minimize was the fix, I removed that pref, restarted and tried to minimize to the tray. It didn’t work. So, there’s your fix for that, found on a fluke.

See Mr. Tiensivu’s blog for more info on the Mozilla preference.

Sveasoft Alchemy vs. HyperWRT Thibor

I recently updated my internet connection to a screaming 8 mbit cable connection. This is up from my 1.5 mbit DSL connection. The downside is that I now need to frequently change my underwear when I download something at 1000 KB/second. I’m now a Concast customer instead of a Qworst customer. A lateral move IMO! But I digress…

I had a WRT54G running Sveasoft’s Alchemy doing most of the gateway-type stuff. I wasn’t even using the wireless. When I got the new cable modem connected, I hooked my laptop directly into it. From there, I had a great 8 mbit connection. Ok, off to a good start. But once I plugged the new cable modem into my network setup (with the WRT54G in between me and the internet), things got slow. What’s up?

Skip to the end where I decide to try out a different firmware. I’ve never liked using Sveasoft due to the author’s dick-head attitude and GPL violations. I’ll let you google for that story on your own. Anyway, I thought I’d try HyperWRT. It appears to me that the standard HyperWRT project is a bit stagnant. However, another fellow picked up the code and has been improving it and releasing it as “HyperWRT Thibor” which is what I installed. Once I did that, *poof* I got my 8 mbit speed back! And as a nice side-effect, I’m not running Sveasoft anymore 🙂

To give a little more information, I believe the issue was Alchemy’s QoS handling. I have to run QoS because I have two separate VoIP routers (Vonage RT31P2 & RTP300) that need priority. I tested this theory by disabling QoS in Alchemy and my speed increased. I also tried setting the max up/download speeds on the QoS screen and no matter what I entered I always maxed out around 5 mbit. Again, HyperWRT Thibor does not have that issue.

My details:

  • WRT54G v4
  • Alchemy 1.0
  • HyperWRT G Thibor14

Decided against WestHost, looking at TekTonic

So I signed up with WestHost, but I’ve decided against them. Of course I slacked and didn’t decide this within the 30 day money back guarantee time frame. Oh well, I only signed up for 3 months so not a huge loss.

The reason I decided against them is that I found a post on their forum saying that they have no package management for their VPS servers whatsoever. Ugh. I’m too much of a novice to not have an RPM or apt-get app. Also, WestHost does not provide root access. They have “near-root” but that sounds like “kinda pregnant” and “sort-of dead” to me. Oh, and WestHost’s “backup” is simply you clicking a button on their Web control panel and downloading the tarball it gives you. I’m not impressed.

I was looking at unixshell again which I mentioned in a previous post. After reading their history a bit, I saw that they are a spinoff of TekTonic.net which is a more user-friendly and supported VPS product. I’m currently sending emails back and forth with them to see if they are a viable solution. I’m intrigued because they have:

  • True root access in a true VPS environment
  • Awesome snap-shot stuff, rebooting takes seconds
  • They backup every day and keep the last 7 days worth of backups. Restores are free
  • DirectAdmin . I’m not super familiar with it, but anything would be better than ugly-ass cPanel.
  • Virtuozzo seems like a cool VPS product. You can perform a manual backup of your VPS whenever you want which is nice.

To be continued…