Windows 8.1 Drivers for Brother HL-5250DN

I had a little trouble installing the correct driver for the printer but eventually got it to work — here is how it went.

The manufacturer says the driver is already included with Windows OS:

brother HL-5250DN driver 01

However, I could not complete the driver setup instructions because the setup program (Add Printer) hung when I clicked on the “Windows Update” button, as directed.

So, as a first workaround I did the following:

  • I chose from the “generic” list of Brother drivers the one called “Brother Laser Type1 Class Driver.”

This worked just fine for a few prints I needed to do before I found some time to troubleshoot.

Later, I opened up the printer properties window and clicked the “New Driver” button:

brother HL-5250DN driver 02

Then, find and click “Brother” in the Manufacturer list. Then click “Windows Update.”

brother HL-5250DN driver 03

Wait a minute or two for it to finish downloading the drivers, and then the Printers list should show a bunch more drivers. Find “Brother HL-5250DN” and select it, then proceed through the rest of the dialogs to finish it out.

Once that is done, you should be back in the “Properties” dialog window. Make sure to click OK or Apply so that the new setting is saved.

Getting SharePoint libraries to sync to Windows desktop using OneDrive

I am now attempting to follow Microsoft Tech Support’s recommendation:

  1. Install a Registry entry. Instructions here.
  2. Open command prompt and type the following commands:
    1. %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset
    2. %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe
  3. Enter credentials and try to sync files again

The Registry Entry part has me download a .reg file containing the following lines:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


The file downloaded with a .txt filename extension and so I had to first change this to .reg. Then, I double clicked the file and OK’d through the dialog boxes. When completed, I got a confirmation message saying that the registry entry was added successfully.

Executing the commands at the command prompt shutdown and restarted the OneDrive client. I have two OneDrive for Business drives sync’d to my desktop — both were shut down by the first command and both were started by the second command.

Upon starting, the OneDrive clients appear to be checking each file for changes.

Next, I logged into via both Internet Explorer and Firefox. I then opened OneDrive and went into my SharePoint library. I first tried clicking the “Sync” link in Internet Explorer, which did not work. I next tried the same in Firefox, and got the following popup:

sharepoint sync after onedrive registry and reset

“Microsoft OneDrive” is the option that worked — “OneDrive.exe” just opened up my existing synced OneDrive on my hard drive.

And now, all is well and the SharePoint library has synced to my local hard drive!

3D/GPU-related display problems with Atom editor on Xubuntu 16.04 VM

Was having a problem with Atom editor on a new Ubuntu/Xubuntu 16.04 virtual machine. Launching Atom using the --disable-gpu option seems to fix the problem:

$ atom --disable-gpu


Next, need to figure out how to modify the application launch item in the Whisker Menu so that it executes that command instead of the vanilla $ atom command.


CUPS and network printing on Linux

CUPS and network printing on Ubuntu GNOME 16.04, to be specific. CUPS is an open-source printing system for Mac OS, Linux and UNIX which I don’t know much about yet but appears to be pretty widely used judging by my limited googling.

Via Ask Ubuntu, a CUPS web dashboard can be accessed via the URL http://localhost:631/

Continue reading “CUPS and network printing on Linux”

Resetting a Brother HL-5250DN printer to factory default settings

I have an old Brother HL-5250DN black and white laser printer that I found via Craigslist. I want to set up the printer as a network printer on my home network — the first step is to factory reset the printer so that I can regain access to the admin control panel!

Continue reading “Resetting a Brother HL-5250DN printer to factory default settings”

Linux pagers: less is more

When you are on the Linux command line and you want to view the contents of a file, you can use the less program. less is a newer pager program that replaces the older pager program, more. Hence the joke: less is more.

less is new and improved, so in almost all cases it will be preferred over more (maybe there will sometimes be compatibility issues with very old programs, or shell scripts, in which case more will be used).

Continue reading “Linux pagers: less is more”

Playing DVDs on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

DVDs did not play out of the box on my Ubuntu Desktop 16.04 LTS machine. I was able to fix this by doing the following.

First, entered the command:

$ sudo apt install libdvd-pkg

After the package and dependencies finished downloading and installing, it launched a short guided prompt sequence. I answered yes to all prompts — the only one really worth paying attention to was a choice to have the thing automatically update itself. It sounded like it has to build itself from source every time or something, so I guess it is a little non-standard in this regard. The prompts then told me to run the following command, which I did:

$ sudo dpkg-reconfigure libdvd-pkg

This popped up another little pseudo-graphical terminal prompt screen which, if I recall correctly, just asked me if I wanted to install the thing, which I answered in the affirmative.

After I completed these steps, all was well and I can now play the two DVDs I have tested without any problems.

I discovered this fix via a page on the Ubuntu wiki, RestrictedFormats/PlayingDVDs. According to the wiki, the actual software package that does the work is called libdvdcss2, and the libdvd-pkg package is a convenience package that makes the install easier.

Non-breaking hyphens in Microsoft Word

I’ve encountered a weird little use case for non-breaking hyphens in Microsoft Word, and I have found the way to do it at this blog entry at Allen Wyatt’s Word Tips: Ctrl+Shift+- (or Ctrl+_).


The non-breaking hyphen is used to keep a hyphenated phrase together across a line break. So, for example, the phrase “non-breaking” when occurring at the end of a line would not do this:


Curated lists on Github

There are a large number of list repositories on Github spanning dozens of subjects. There is a sort of in-joke in the naming convention: they are for the most part named “awesome-{topic}” e.g. awesome-sysadmin. Someone (bayandin) on Github totally beat me to this, but here’s a partial list (unfortunately in no particular order at this time):

tools of the trade
vim and tmux
android (JStumpp)
big data
swift (Wolg)
data science
machine learning
front-end development
public datasets
web performance optimization
computer vision
mac OS
working remotely
C (not github)
MaterialDesign (google UI visual design philosophy)
UI motion library animations
interview questions
bioinformatics, machine learning, data science, related languages
application security
natural language processing (NLP)
swift education
nodejs (vndmtrx)
internet of things (IoT)
information security (infosec)

Installing Visual Studio Code on Ubuntu 16.04 using dpkg

Yesterday I posted a note about manually installing the Atom editor on Ubuntu 16.04 using dpkg. A friend recommended that I try out Visual Studio Code for Python development, and I was pleased to discover that it is available in a .deb package for install on Linux. I used the same command to install the VS Code .deb:

foo@manchoo:~/Downloads$ sudo dpkg -i code_1.4.0-1470329130_amd64.deb 
[sudo] password for foo: 
Selecting previously unselected package code.
(Reading database ... 303742 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack code_1.4.0-1470329130_amd64.deb ...
Unpacking code (1.4.0-1470329130) ...
Setting up code (1.4.0-1470329130) ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus (3.13.3-6ubuntu3) ...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils (0.22-1ubuntu5) ...
Processing triggers for bamfdaemon (0.5.3~bzr0+16.04.20160415-0ubuntu1) ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf-2.index...
Processing triggers for mime-support (3.59ubuntu1) ...