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Messages - Rich J

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Hardware Compatibility / Re: Fast OS for an Old Laptop
« on: July 24, 2021, 11:50:39 am »

I have an old laptop (Samsung NP-N110) which uses a 1.6GHz Atom N270, 1GB Ram and a 60GB HDD.  I've install a couple of different Linux OSs (currently running is Mint) but all of them seem to be very slow to do anything.  It used to run WinXP (which I know is an older OS compared to the current Linux OSs), but it was very fast with that.  In fact, most of the computers that I install Linux OSs on (even the more modern ones) seem to be very slow at running up the system and apps.  I was always very happy with using the Samsung, but since XP was dropped, I was hoping to install a Linux OS in its place.  Are there any suggestions as to what OS I might run on this?  It needs to be easy to install (I've noticed some Linux OSs are quite complicated); reasonably safe and secure; and will boot up, open and run apps with reasonable speed.  I don't expect the earth, but knowing how the system worked originally, I was hoping for something similar.


Don't give up on Mint!  Take a look here  -  and try out the recommendations.

Failing that you might look here for an alternative -   ;)

Hardware Compatibility / Re: Wifi adaptor not adapting
« on: July 23, 2021, 06:49:04 am »
I'm trying to learn Linux and have installed it on an old Dell laptop. All OK except for the wifi adaptor.

I got the Peppermint Linux in a disc with Linux User magazine; running the OS from the CD as a trial run the adaptor (a USB TP-LINK plug-in) worked straight off, found the local networks, connected to the router and broadband and ran the internet fine.

So then I installed said Peppermint Linux. The adaptor will now see the available networks but will not attach to my home hub.

Any helpful suggestions, please?

It may be that the onboard Dell wireless card is conflicting with the plug-in?  And being 'old', is unable to handle modern wi-fi..... just guessing here....  Try disabling wifi on the Dell, then plug in the adaptor and see if it works ok.  It's possible that, when in 'try-out' mode on the disc, the onboard card was not activated, thus allowing the plug-in to work.  Failing that, you might have to physically disconnect the onboard card to get the plug-in to work - from memory Dell's are often sited under a plate containing the memory sticks also. Remember to reinstate wifi too.  ;)


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Printer install problem
« on: July 10, 2021, 06:52:40 am »

How do you rate Brother printers compared with HP? In particular, does yours print photos well?   
My HP 7612 has just died (probably due to me using a non-HP cartridge that bunged up the works) so I need another printer. 


Can't compare like-for-like as I've not had an HP printer in many years nor can I vouch for photos as the Brother is mono only.  We do very little printing these days, more docs for the wife's duties at the golf club.  Photo printing was always a nightmare, in fact, it's far cheaper and convenient to get it done at our local Morrisons on an ad hoc basis.  That said, compared to the Samsung, the Brother works very well - straight out of the box.

You might find a look at this site would be helpful -

I found these guys some years ago and, as I'm very much a 'make do and mend' sort of person, decided to go the refill route rather than keep paying through the nose for consumables.  That's when I discovered the Samsung was a pig to work with!  The Brother is a doddle in comparison!

They run extensive tests on all sorts of printers to see if their toner works ok so at least it's worth taking a look at their recommendations, whether you decide to buy from them, or not.  ;)

Hope this helps,


Hardware Compatibility / Re: Printer install problem
« on: July 08, 2021, 08:17:44 am »
I used to have a Samsung laser that gave similar issues so you might try this solution provided to me by Mark in 2014 -

Open a terminal and enter the commands one at a time.  The unified driver 'should' work with most models - if it doesn't you may have to manually search for your specific model on the Samsung site.

My experience with Samsung was not  a happy one.  I bought the printer without doing proper research and had issues both with installation and when the time came to renew consumables so eventually switched to a Brother printer.  The Samsung needed a new 'chip' every time the cartridge ran out, the Brother doesn't. 

Linux Support / Re: Ads in Firefox vs Google Chrome
« on: June 28, 2021, 08:50:00 pm »
I use uBlock Origin, Privacy Badger and HTTPS Everywhere and get no ads or lag in Firefox. 

It may be a memory 'thing' - as in lack of - or possibly a case of tweaking FF to help it along.

Check this out for ways to speed it up -

Look through the list for the FF tweaks - they're safe to implement and are easily reversible if you don't want them.

The site itself is aimed at Mint users but Mint is based on Ubuntu so the tweaks should apply just the same.  ;)

Edit:  Just noticed - there's a separate page for Ubuntu users too   ;)

Linux Support / Re: My scanner doesn´t work on Ubuntu
« on: June 18, 2021, 06:20:48 am »
You might try this -

Copy and paste the instructions, in turn, into terminal.

(found by googling your scanner model)


I am using arch Linux with the kde-plasma desktop environment.

When installing packages using pamac (package manager) I reach download speeds of around 25 mib/s but when using a web browser such as fire fox I reach download speeds of about 2 mib/s.

Why is this happening?

Try a different browser such as Chromium and see if the speeds differ.  If so, consider 'cleaning up' Firefox (see here - section 6 onwards.  When testing, remember to use the same utility (e.g: and the same destination to maintain integrity of results.

I entered the command:
sudo apt install nvidia-cuda-toolkit libnvidia-encode1

After restarting linux, it got stuck on:
Listening on load/save rf switch status /dev/rfkill watch
I waited a long time and forcibly restarted it

Linux startup now stops at:
Started GNOME Display Manager

Linux Debian

Have you tried removing the offending software?  Boot with the installation medium, if you have it and open a Terminal.  Try entering "sudo apt remove nvidia-cuda-toolkit libnvidia-encode1" and then restart.  Does the system boot then?

Linux Support / Re: Not seeking help really, just an observation
« on: April 29, 2021, 08:50:59 am »
Printing problems are not confined to Linux - try 'googling' printer problems in Windows......... ;)

Keith is correct.  Manufacturers generally don't support Linux very well so it's down to the community to provide driver software, which they do, for free......  On top of that, there are so many different models by so many manufactures that require specific drivers per model so it's not surprising that some types slip through the net and give problems.  A good rule of thumb before purchase, is to research makes and models with specific reference to Linux then most issues can be avoided.  I speak from experience!  I blind bought a Samsung colour laser that played up constantly and was also a devil to refill with toner (a particular bugbear of mine) before switching to a Brother laser - much more user-friendly and worked straight out of the box.  A little forethought on my part would have saved me years of hassle and lots of cash!  ;)

As for Linux - I too am into it over 10yrs and counting and, while there have been glitches (mostly of my own, ham-fisted making), my issues have been very few and far between.  I did the rounds of distro's before settling on Mint which I find suits my needs perfectly.  I am by no stretch a 'boffin', just an average user who gives thanks that there are 'boffins' out there who generously give of their time and expertise to provide a remarkable, safe and secure operating system that has cost me nothing at all.  Any quirks I might encounter are a small price to pay, weighed against that.  Not having a go, just my opinion .....

Linux Support / Re: NTFS partition on Ubuntu
« on: April 28, 2021, 08:47:47 am »
Hi Rich J,
I did not specify NTFS when I originally installed Ubuntu.  I have important documents on this drive that I would like to keep.  I have 3 hard drives on my PC, one 500gb SSD which has Ubuntu installed which is the one with the important data on it, 1 250gb ssd which has Windows 10 installed on it and a regular dard drive that has an old version of Ubuntu on it (Gparted is on this drive and that is how I got the screen shot).
Would I be able to use Gparted to convert the NTFS partition on the 500gb SSD to Ext4? 
Failing that what are my other options?
Many thanks

Short answer to this is - I don't know!  I suspect it will be possible but what it will do to the data thereon.........? 

My way would be to copy off the relevant data to an external source (DVD or USB stick), or clone the drive if you have the know-how and then attempt to repair Grub.  If repairing Grub fails, then a clean re-install of Ubuntu to the 500Gb drive would do it.  On reinstall, remember to apply updates first, then update Grub.  This *should* find all the drives and list them at start-up for you to choose from.  When running Windows and Linux together, whether as a dual-boot on one drive or on separate drives, it is always the case to install Windows first, then Linux.  Windows boot loader will over-write settings and will not 'see' Linux, whereas Grub will 'see' all.

When repairing Grub, it is imperative to know where the bootloader files lie and as you have 2 drives with versions of Ubuntu on you need to repair Grub on that one.  ;)  Again, it may be the case that a simple update of grub will do the trick but get those important files copied first anyway - it's always best practice and regular backing up should be a given to guard against this sort of thing happening in the future.


EDIT:  +1 for the advice from Keith above.

Linux Support / Re: NTFS partition on Ubuntu
« on: April 27, 2021, 10:13:35 am »
Hi, and welcome to the forum.

It may be that Windows installer has taken over from Grub therefore does not 'see' Ubuntu.  Also (from my memory) Ubuntu installs using Ext4 - did you specify NTFS when you installed it?  And is there important stuff on Ubuntu?  If you delete those partitions you will lose all data on them and you will need to reinstall from the beginning.

If you can access GParted, you must have the Ubuntu installation medium, so there are options as to what to try to recover Ubuntu.

Linux Support / Re: Partitions
« on: March 31, 2021, 08:56:02 pm »
Hi Guys,

I am running Ubuntu 20.04.2 LTS, GNOME version 3.36.8 on my desktop PC, my wife wants me to install Windows as she doesn't like using Ubuntu.  I have a Samsung 850 Evo 250gGB SSD connected and can be found in the boot menu (see attachment), as you can see I also have a Samsung 850 Evo 500GB hard drive which I am running Ubuntu on.  I also have a very old Hard drive attached, ST500DM002- 1BD142 (TOO slow to run Windows on).  However when I look at my drives in Ubuntu (see attachment), it does not show the 250GB SSD, I can only assume that the partition is faulty or corrupted in some way.  Can someone suggest software that can delete the partitions and set a new one that I can install Windows on. I know this is not a normal Ubuntu question, but if I cannot get the 250GB drive to work then my wife will insist on me removing Ubuntu (as she does not want me to spend any more money on a new SSD). 

OK, found Gparted and it found the 250GB SSD, it shows 232.88 unknown and 1.12 unallocated (see attachment).  Do I just delete the unknown partition and increase the 1.12 allocated?

Hi Jokerman - you can run separate OS's on separate drives.  I did it a few years back when I first began with Linux and had one version of Linux Mint on one HDD as master and a later version of Mint (used for trialling before adoption as main OS) on a second, slave drive.  This worked well as I could leave my *main* OS alone while I played about with my *trial* OS - and make mistakes, safe in the knowledge that I wasn't screwing up my work system.  I don't see any reason why this method wouldn't work with Windows/Linux also but I've never tried it with SSD's so the master/slave thing may be different, or not used at all.  I do suggest you do a bit of 'Googling' on the subject before you make any changes.  As far as I remember, Gparted found both drives and Grub listed both options to choose from on startup.

When dual-booting (both OS's on one drive) you must install Windows first, then Linux.  This is because Grub will find both OS's and allow the options - Windows bootloader will overwrite Grub, hence will not be able to 'see' Linux.

I'm with your wife regarding Ubuntu - I didn't like it either!  I switched to Mint and have been using it for years - as is my wife - and she was definitely spooked about changing from Windows!!  It is more 'familiar' in appearance to Windows so newbies often seem to prefer it, for that reason.  Why not  take a look?


Linux Support / Re: Viewer app for read xml files of Fiscal Notes
« on: March 31, 2021, 09:01:16 am »
There's a utility already in Mint - try this -

Menu/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager.  Click on it and search for basex. Follow the prompts to install it then open the file in question. (From memory, right click on the file and choose *open with* and basex should appear in the list.)  You can set it to always open this type of file with basex.

hope this helps,


Linux Support / Re: installing Linux Mint
« on: March 24, 2021, 09:07:26 am »
Keith and Rich,
I got my 802.11N 150Mbps wireless adapter this morning and plugged in the USB bit and the tiny DVD and it almost immediately recognised my broadband connection and I was for the first time able to see a webpage on the M70. Do I have to keep both in all the time now?
Now the Toshiba Satellite M70 hardware is not supported by Google Chrome so I wasn't able to properly download that so I just have a very, very slow Bing browser.
I am minded to use that laptop as a replacement screen for the broken screen on my Toshiba Satellite C50 in the fullness of time.
What effect would putting Linux on my computer have?
Could I, for instance, get it to run faster?
Also, what browser would I be able to use on Linux?
I am keen to abandon Google and MSoft because of privacy issues.

** No, just the Edimax adapter.  If you leave the mini disk in the player all the time, on start-up the bios will likely look at it first for the operating system boot files and won't find any, therefore throwing up an error.  The mini DVD just contains instructions on how to set the Edimax up and as you have found, it works straight out of the box!

So, to be clear,
1 - the M70 is still running Windows and you are now wishing to install a suitable Linux distribution as a replacement?
2 - we need to know the M70 system specs  (see here on how to find them -  Copy/paste the results into your reply - I assume you are accessing this website via the M70?
3 - Changing to Linux will give you an enhanced computing experience!  It will run faster and more reliably and you will have a selection of browsers to choose from, though the native version that ships with the distro is usually good enough.  One caveat!  You mentioned watching YouTube videos?  Video rendering is heavily RAM dependent - in other words the more memory, the better videos run.  The M70 in original form doesn't have much RAM so it would be wise to check if an upgrade (i.e. increase) in RAM is feasible. On the M70, take a look here - and see what it recommends.

Once we know the exact capabilities of the M70, we will be in a better position to advise you  ;)


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