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This is the third entry in the continuing "cave dwellers" saga and their new lives with Ubuntu. Someone posted a comment on the previous cave dwellers entry about iTunes not working on Linux and I was absolutely sure that it did. It doesn't. Much to my surprise (and disappointment), iTunes isn't available as a native application on Linux. What's a penguinista to do? Try WINE of course!

I installed WINE, downloaded iTunes' latest Windows application and installed the file. Quicktime and some other applications installed but no iTunes. I tried several times--still no iTunes. I googled. Nope, still no iTunes.

I turned to the youngest cave dweller (13) and said, "I know I've heard you play music on this, how did you do it?" He said, "Napster." I then asked him how he downloaded and synced music with his phone. "We don't. Not since you gave us Linux. We have to use Mom's laptop (Vista)."
I sat silent for a moment until my wife said sarcastically, "Linux not working for you, dear?"
"Yeah, it works for the important stuff" I retorted.
I told the boys that I would research these issues and get back to them.

My wife also asked about printing to our printer (Canon iP1600) from their laptop. I said, "I don't have that working yet." The printer is shared off of my Windows XP workstation. I tried using alternate drivers but it's no use, it would never print their documents. My workaround was to copy their work to my Windows computer and print from there. It's just as well, since their papers need much editing and polishing before being turned in to their teachers.

Yes, I updated the system. Yes, I searched for applications and extras to make everything work. Yes, I'm going to wait for 9.10 to see if it makes any improvements before concluding that this isn't going to work for them. Although they aren't particularly put off by Ubuntu's or my shortcomings on these, I still feel responsible.

They can do 90% of what they need to do and 50% of what they want to do on Ubuntu. I still think it's the best choice for them and me. I've heard no slowness complaints, no viruses, no spyware, no oddball connectivity problems and no random freezes requiring a flurry of reboots.

Ubuntu works. Not perfectly. But it works. It's not for everyone. It might turn out that it isn't for them either but at least I'll be able to say we tried.

Write back and tell me what works or doesn't work with Ubuntu or other distros. I'd be glad to try anything to get printers, iTunes and mobile phone syncing to work; so let me know your experiences.

Edited by khess: n/a

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Last Post by khakilang
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Dude, iTunes not working is a FEATURE. That application is a pig :o

Are they syncing with an iPod? Is it particularly new? Lots of older models work. (Apple is a major pain about this, though).
Banshee is a nice iTunes alternative. Doesn't have an online store, naturally, (I recommend Amazon's music store), but it has a really nice design. The Mirage add-in is similar to iTunes' Genius feature. (And no, it is not a clone, which gives it extra points in my book).

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I use GTKpod for my wife and daughter's iPods, and Amarok for my Sansa mp3 player. I supposed I could use one or the other app for all our music players, but I like keeping them separate.

I don't know what to tell you about the printer. Maybe this week I'll try to get my Ubuntu laptop to find and print from the wireless printer at work. If I can get it going, I'll let you know.

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There are a few great iTunes replacements, Songbird is my favorite, also I've plugged in new iPods on Jaunty and they sync just fine with Rhythmbox or even the filesystem. I have always prevented buying products like iPods, Zunes or anything that "lock me in" to certain app or OS. In my Windows days I used FOSS or non Microsoft products because I always planned on moving from Windows to something else (that something else was Linux).

If your printer supports post-script it'll work on Linux, HP and Dell printers also work on Linux.

Canon and Lexmark are a pain in the ass, those are "win-printers", 'hell even Mac has some printer problems. There too many printers in the market.

Here's some info on how to make your crappy printer work on Ubuntu, it's old but it might help you:
http://dayat-chasan.blogspot.com/2007/12/this-is-howto-for-installing-canon.html
http://openprinting.org/show_printer.cgi?recnum=Canon-ip1600

Edited by vs8: n/a

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The problem in this case is not Ubuntu or GNU/Linux at all. Apple has made a business decision to specifically make the iPod _only_ work with software they have sanctioned. The older iPods worked great with a number of applications, but they apparently wanted more control and they needed to make a change so that Free Software no longer worked with their very proprietary hardware.

Spend $40 and get them a sansa or Phillips GoGear that is not broken by design. I've got a Vibe with 4gb of space and it pretty much rocks.

The same is true of your printer bro. It may work well with windows, but as was mentioned earlier Canon and especially Lexmark really do not work well with GNU/Linux as per their manufacturer's wishes. While you are having difficulties, just remember that at least these two are quite literally broken by the manufacturer's design. Also keep in mind that there are other items that are at least as good at these functions that are made by vendors that support GNU/Linux fully.

You and your families troubles and pain with this is real, but just keep in mind where it is coming from...and why.

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I love ubuntu and i think 9.10 will be better than 9.04. but it wont suit your family enough to move them away from having to depend on winXP. WinXp is king! Why? Because it is the king of compatible drivers. I'd love to ditch it - cant get my canon printer to work without it (yes, another canon - thanks canon, for enabling me to waste my money). I even tried the release candidate of windows 7 - its not as good for my old video card - again, no compatible driver for the canon printer. I have a family and i too, try to open source their use of software. Not a hope.

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iPod is tricky as Apple goes out of its way to make things incompatible unless their proprietary software is used (they want to protect the user experience, but I think their Linux approach does more damage than good). Having said that, I have a second gen Nano that works out of the box with both Rhythmbox and Banshee - I guess it's the newer models that cause issues.

In terms of your printing problems, how good is your Francais? ;-)
http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?id=61554

Google Translate will probably get you there:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.ubuntu-fr.org%2Fviewtopic.php%3Fid%3D61554&sl=fr&tl=en&history_state0=

As has been mentioned, it is a massive PITA trying to get Canons and Lexmarks working; depending on how expensive your model was and how old it is, it may be less painful to ebay it and pick up an HP. Even if you get your Canon working this time around, things will probably break as you move to the next Ubuntu version and you'll be starting from scratch again...

HPs have excellent Linux support though the HPLIP driver set (included with Ubuntu) which is constantly updated by HP to support their latest offerings. See recommended models here:
http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/recommended.html

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iPod is tricky as Apple goes out of its way to make things incompatible unless their proprietary software is used (they want to protect the user experience, but I think their Linux approach does more damage than good). Having said that, I have a second gen Nano that works out of the box with both Rhythmbox and Banshee - I guess it's the newer models that cause issues.

In terms of your printing problems, how good is your Francais? ;-)
http://forum.ubuntu-fr.org/viewtopic.php?id=61554

Google Translate will probably get you there:
http://translate.google.com/translate?js=y&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&u=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.ubuntu-fr.org%2Fviewtopic.php%3Fid%3D61554&sl=fr&tl=en&history_state0=

As has been mentioned, it is a massive PITA trying to get Canons and Lexmarks working; depending on how expensive your model was and how old it is, it may be less painful to ebay it and pick up an HP. Even if you get your Canon working this time around, things will probably break as you move to the next Ubuntu version and you'll be starting from scratch again...

HPs have excellent Linux support though the HPLIP driver set (included with Ubuntu) which is constantly updated by HP to support their latest offerings. See recommended models here:
http://hplipopensource.com/hplip-web/recommended.html

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I don't use iPod's so I cannot be much help there, but I do you Songbird and I have used Amarok in the past and they both worked fine with my Creative Zen Jukebox.

Printing, forget it, unless you stick exclusively with HP or Dell. My inlaws bought an all in one HP and I downloaded HPLIP which compiled with out fuss and the printer, scanner and fax all work from their Ubuntu 8.04 desktop.

Keep one thing in mind when using Linux, do your homework first on the hardware side and you should have trouble free computing life.

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Canon ip2200 driver should work for the ip1600.
http://www.openprinting.org

I don't believe in the iPod lock-in approach. What you can do is run a virtual machine of Windows XP, and use that for the iPod and all other Windows only garbage. I prefer iRiver products, they are high quality and easy to use. You can run them either in ifp mode (proprietary, but win/mac/lin compatible) or as a mass storage device (like a usb thumbdrive).

A little research will help you avoid hurdles. You'll still encounter incompatible software, hardware and users but you will avoid malware and inexplicable errors that a reboot sometimes 'fixes'. You also won't need to rip/replace the OS (Windows) annually because it slows down as it ages.

Edited by swiftnet: n/a

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I can't help with Ipod issues, since I never had one. I have a Canon printer and thought I think they make good machines, their Linux support leaves much to be desired. If you are in the market for a new printer HP has great Linux support. Open drivers are always improving for Canons, but if you get stuck with a device that does not work for you check out Turboprint. Turboprint makes great drivers for many of those orphan products out there. I used it on my Canon until the open drivers caught up. http://www.turboprint.info/

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Using the standard discover/setup printer options on my laptop running Ubuntu 9.04 I was able to connect to and print from the wireless HP printer here in my office just now. No issues at all.

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I've had very good luck getting canon printers to work. If the driver provided with Ubuntu doesn't work out of the box, I keep trying drivers for different canon printers, until I find one that works. Hasn't failed yet, though I don't think I've tried your exact printer yet.

The ipod, can't help you with, as I avoid any products with deliberate lock in strategy. There are many fine mp3 players out there. Doesn't help with the current problem though. Have you considered vbox, just for the ipod and the printer ?

David

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Well I have a oddball problem here...So lately when I shutdown my computer for more than say 5hrs (i.e. I got to bed and than wake up) The computer will refuse to load windows normally...everytime I login and before i reach the desktop screen on my windows 7, it gives me the BSOD and shutsdown.

On the other hand, ubuntu logs in and seems to be working fine. No I dont know what exactly is the problem here...most likely windows but I am not sure how this is Windows fault....

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I use Ubuntu 9.10 now and I use to do work like word, spreadsheet and internet. I don't have prove printing on a HP Deskjet 650. Maybe you can check Ubuntu forum "ubuntuforum.org". To see whether they can help.

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