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Printers, Linux, HBPL, ZJS, foo2zjs, HBPL1, foo2hbpl1, Fujix Xerox CP205, CP205w, ...

I have a Fuji Xerox CP205 w. Which is a boring colour laser printer from many years ago, and like most laser printers it just keeps working. Unfortunately, it doesn't just work in Linux, so... I searched.   Apparently, it uses a something called HBPL. There is/was a package that supported this that has recently disappeared from the internet made by someone who apparently had a few issues with linux distributions. Confusingly, the nominally HBPL printers are supported by the foo2hbpl2 program in the foo2zjs package (named after the separate - ? - ZjStream protocol). Which would imply that my printer should just work, except that this printer was so cheap it was an HBPL1 printer, which apparently was a subtly different format that foo2zjs's HBPL2 program doesn't support. A few HBPL1 printers (not mine) had manufacturer provided binary i386 drivers that people are having fun with . That's not the sort of fun I really want to get into anyway. The good news is that back in
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The Australian Teenager

A few years ago, I was on playground duty and a charming 17-year-old threw some of his rubbish on the ground. When I told him to sort it out his retort was 'I'm making sure the cleaners have a job'. And this is true, just as if you go and break windows it'll help your local glass company , but. you need to think a bit deeper, right? This kind of immature behaviour reminds me a lot of how Australia interacts with the world, roughly summarised as "do whatever we feel like, as long as we can find some excuse and it might be ok for the economy". After all, we're only one little country anyway, so whatever we do doesn't really matter for the world. Our government is usually just like that 17-year-old: morally vacuous. Obviously, if you're going to harangue politicans for short-sightedness, it's hard to go past climate change. Yes, it's true that Australia contributes a relatively small proportion of the world's emissions, but as a rich count

Some thoughts on multi-member electorates

Because I was thinking about multi-member electorates , I couldn't help but jot down a few responses to common objections. This is not my first rodeo with off-the-cuff electoral reform proposals ( local copy ); hey, someone's got to be interested in voting systems! (1) By reducing the percentage of votes required to win a seat in parliament, the government will become less stable. Having multi-member electorates would pull us towards a more representative system, but runs the 'risk' of requiring more coalitions: just as frequently happens in Tasmania where both Labor/Greens and Liberal/Greens have formed functional coalitions. Of course, there is the possibility that the coalitions are unstable or unworkable; some countries (e.g. Italy, Israel) are notorious for having chaotic governance because coalition partners can and do easily drop support for the government, or simply end up not being able to form a government in the first place. If you truly do value

Keeping the pork in its barrel

One of the depressing moments in NSW politics last year was when the former NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, fronting ICAC over allegations that she had been improperly influenced due to a personal relationship, said: I don’t think it would be a surprise to anybody that we throw money at seats to keep them. Witness also the ex-Deputy Premier's bizarre pride in being known as Pork Barrelaro . You could read this as overdue acceptance of political reality, but for me it's more concerning. It's an indication that pork-barrelling is on the verge of becoming normalised for our political class, such that they no longer feel the need to pretend it's inappropriate. Stolen from Wikipedia And let's be clear: it is inappropriate. When 95% of grants go to politically advantageous seats with almost no process, and notes are destroyed in contravention of the State Records Act, it smells more like corruption than good governance. The previous year, Berejiklian had (correctly) poi

Standing for Something

Short story: I'm going to be a Fusion Party candidate for Grayndler in the next Australian federal election. I even made a Facebook page and a Twitter account , and wrote a political ramble below. Regardless of what one thinks of Dunbar's number and the reasoning behind it, human brains evolved in the context of a small number of people. Maybe there were a hundred people in your group, and you knew people in a few other groups. If you even knew of the existence of a thousand people, you'd probably qualify as some kind of social butterfly. So it's mind-blowingly amazing that we've managed to organise ourselves into societies of millions. But because we can't grasp that many people we've had to rely on what I think of as cultural shorthand. We can't care about everyone as individuals and figure out what's best for each of them, so we instead rely on caring about ideas: religion, political ideology, nationalism, feminism, human rights, and so on.

Streamlining the disposal of second hand goods

I'm a capitalist. Why? I believe that money is the best proxy we've found for getting things done based on need. But I hate that it encourages companies to produce new goods constantly, and that this is a much more successful business strategy than trying to sell second hand goods. One of the curses of rich countries is that the overhead to fix/recirculate goods easily becomes too high relative to people's wages, and many useful items sit around unused.

Carpet stores. CARPET stores. Carpet STORES???

We recently went to our fourth carpet store today. This was four too many. But, now no-one can deny that I am qualified to rant about how their business model is broken and insane. Let me run you through how it works: