Compiz bug fix: scale plugin (aka. exposé) only shows current workspace

Ubuntu 12.04 suffers from a regression bug in Compiz, when activating the scale plugin with the key combination Super+W only the windows of the current workspace are shown. The released fix has been taken back because of troubles implementing the fix without breaking any shortcuts.

Here is a PPA containing the fix. Execute the following command consecutively.

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:timo-jyrinki/compiz-12.04-fix-933776
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install compiz

After a restart Super+W should bring up all windows from all workspaces.

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Canon LBP6000 does not print in Ubuntu 12.04 LTS (64-bit)

Save yourself the trouble and do not buy a Canon LBP6000 laser printer!
It will not run under Ubuntu 12.04 LTS "Precise Panglion" (32-/64-bit).

Just a quick notice on a printer I recently bought totally confident with my previous excellent Ubuntu printer support experience. Previous laser printers I had like two of the Brother HL line (HL-2030 and HL-2070N) worked out-of-the-box. Not so with the LBP6000.

I spent several hours trying every trick I found on the web. There is quite a number of users struggling with this printer. My conclusion after a weekend of try and constant error is that the LBP6000 does not print under Ubuntu 12.04. I tried both 32- and 64-bit Ubuntus. Basically I’m presented with the problem presented here. It apparently installs flawlessly, however refuses to print a page.

It seems though, as if the printer was working on previous Ubuntu versions, but not on todays most recent LTS version (october 2012).

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PDF printer in Wine applications

I’m using MS Office under Wine once in a while. As I work a lot with PDF files I constantly miss the option to quickly save/print a PDF version of a Doc(x) file without the need for additional software.

You won’t get around installing additional software, however it couldn´t be made any easier. You just need to install the package cups-pdf from your standard repositories.

sudo apt-get install cups-pdf

Restart whatever application want to print with and you’ll hopefully find a PDF printer in the Wine printer dialog. Your PDF will be in a new folder in your home directory called  “PDF”. I tested this under Ubuntu 12.04.

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Cuttlefish Unity app indicator icon fix for Ubuntu 12.04

My last post was about Cuttlefish. What I did not mention, is a little annoyance with the indicator icon under Ubuntu 12.04 using Unity. It does not really fit into the monchrome indicator app menu.

The application is installed to /opt/ and even comes with a monochrome indicator app icon. However it is no used by default, so I was constantly distracted by the alien purple icon in the indicator bar. Here is an easy fix to the problem:

cd /opt/
sudo cp tentacle_indicator.png tentacle_indicator.png.old
sudo cp cuttlefish_indicator.png tentacle_indicator.png

The middle command backs up the original indicator file before overwriting it in the next step with the monochrome icon. Of course you can replace the icon with whatever icon you wish. However, being a cuttlefish user I’m obviously very lazy, so that’s enough of a fix for me for this cosmetic problem.

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Switch device-specific Xmodmaps upon USB event with Cuttlefish

I described in an earlier post how to switch keyboard bindings on an Apple keyboard using Ubuntu using Xmodmap. Now, this works great, however I do use the external keyboard just at home with my laptop docking station. When on the move it gave me the unpleasant side-effect that the keybindings on the laptops keyboard were switched too, making the previous fix on the external keyboard a pain on the laptop keyboard.

This is Cuttlefish enters the game, it was created within the 2012 Ubuntu App Showdown and was one of the best submissions. It is a tool that helps you trigger a specific event upon a defined stimulus. In my case I have two possible stimuli, either the external keyboard is connected or it is not. For either scenario there is a reaction described in the above figure.


Using this setup it enables me to type on either keyboard as I am used to. Cuttlefish can be installed via PPA:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:noneed4anick/cuttlefish
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install cuttlefish
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Recover images from SD card using PhotoRec

For whatever reason you might find yourself one day missing all your pictures form your digital cameras SD card. No need to be desperate, there is a great piece of open-source software called PhotoRec that can help. Although it sports no GUI it’s not really necessary after all, it’s pretty straightforward.

In Ubuntu 12.04 you can install it via the Software Center choosing the metapackage testdisk. After successful installation PhotoRec can be started in a terminal (Alt-Ctrl-T) by the command

sudo photorec

Here choose your device and filesystem you’ll like to recover data from and a destination with sufficient space where to save the recovered data. Recovering a full 8GB SD card took approx. 10h for me, so maybe plan an overnight recovery.

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LaTex via HTML to Word using tex4ht/htlatex

I write my thesis in LaTex using Kile. It is great and in comparison to using either WYSIWYG office suite, I actually have fun writing. Kile is by far the best LaTeX editor for my needs, although Texmaker gets pretty close.

Once in a while I’m sending drafts to my tutor for correction. This would be no problem if I could just send the .tex and .bib files. However my tutor is used to the MS Word correction and review system. Therefore I tried to find a straightforward way to convert my .tex files into a .doc/.docx file. After 3 days(!) of complete frustration I finally succeeded. Here is a quick report on what I did to get a .doc file with the following things working:

  • tables
  • figures
  • bibtex references
  • in-document reference
  • equations

what doesn’t work:

  • figure dimensions ignored
  • figure crops ignored
  • minipages

My setup consists of 2 tex files containing tables, equations and lots of figures and  a bibtex file. Finally what worked for me is converting the tex files into an html document using htlatex.

create the file myhtml.cfg with the following content:

 {\Needs{"convert \csname Gin@base\endcsname.pdf
 \csname Gin@base\endcsname.png"}%
 \Picture[pict]{\csname Gin@base\endcsname.png}%


This file is necessary in my case to display my PDF figures in the html document. Then execute these commands one after another.

pdflatex document.tex
bibtex document.aux
htlatex document.tex myhtml

The latex command above can be simply “latex document.tex”, however I use pdflatex. Now, open the html document with either LibreOffice or MS Office and save it in the desired format. That should be it.

Here’s the catch. If it works smoothly for you I’m more than happy, if you encounter problems, I want to mention here that in the process of my frustration I followed a guide on on how to update tex4ht, which seems to be the metapackage of htlatex. I cannot reconstruct anymore if updating did the trick finally or not. The update process is a real pain in the ass, however if you really need to convert I think tex4ht/htlatex is your best shot at doing so.

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