Saturday, March 28, 2015

Linux mint battery not detected

Sometimes the battery in a laptop is not detected by Linux mint. This is indicated by the battery monitor icon having an X in the corner and the battery charging light not coming on. Querying the hardware in shell will show the battery as not being installed.

Usually this is caused by the battery having gone flat when the laptop was put on standby rather than being fully shut down. To fix this do the following:


  • Plug in laptop and boot up.
  • Log in with username and password.
  • Shut the laptop down and leave power supply pugged in.
  • After a couple of minutes the battery charge light should come on.
  • Now switch on laptop.
  • Battery indicator should be working and show a percentage.


Sometimes no icons will be displayed on the desktop.
This is also caused by the battery going flat on standby or by the shut down after standby not working correctly. Usually rebooting will fix this.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Diamine equivalents to the Conway Stewart fountain pen inks.

With the demise of Conway Stewart last year we have lost one of the few large British fountain pen manufacturers. Its possible that the brand may be relaunched at some point, but the company that existed since the 1990's is gone and the factory broken up and sold off.

Conway Stewart also marketed a range of inks in 80ml bottles, of which I have used Kingsand and Bodmin. These were manufactured by Diamine and there seems to be quite a lot of it still in stock at retailers. The price is only slightly higher than Diamine 80ml bottles. They will eventually run out and people will want replacements so this is what I think the Diamine equivalent colours are (CS = Conway Stewart):

CS Bodmin = Diamine Jet Black,
CS St. Blazey = Diamine Classic Red
CS Kingsand = Diamine Ochre
CS Tamar = Diamine Royal Blue
CS Tavy = Diamine Denim
CS Edgcumbe = Diamine Lavender

I can't guarantee they are exactly the same, but they are very close and might just be relabelled. I have CS Bodmin and Diamine Jet Black and can't tell the difference.




Wednesday, February 11, 2015

How to use Spotify Web Player when you can't install Flash

Ever wanted to access Spotify from a computer where you do not have Admin access? The Spotify web player uses Flash and there are no plans by Spotify to change this because of DRM issues. However, there is a work around if you have Flash and Firefox already installed in another Windows computer.

Go to www.portableapps.com and download and install Firefox portable to a USB memory stick.

Look for two files with names like these these in the plugins directory of your installed version (usually located at C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\data\plugins) :

Flashplayer.xpt
FlashPlayerPlugin_11_5_502_135.exe

Copy them.
Navigate to the portable version on your memory key at:
/portableapps/firefoxportable/Data/plugins
And copy those files into  that directory.
Restart the browser and it should work.

If you do not have access to an installed copy of Firefox you can download an older version of Flash as a zip file and extract those two files. However, you will likely get out of date warnings when you want to run it.