Containing whatever I enthuse over

Archive for November, 2006

Velazquez Exhibtion

Posted by clissold345 on November 30, 2006

The Velazquez exhibition is on in London until 21 January 2007. The best time to go (that is, the quietest time) is probably toward the end of the day. In a given room there’s usually at least one picture with few people looking at it, so (ignoring the catalogue numbering) I look at that picture first. I look at that picture with all the concentration I have, walk round the middle of the room a few times to rest my eyes, and then decide on my next picture. If I like a picture I sometimes look at it from the left, from the right, from near and from far.

In paintings of the 1630s and later Velazquez sometimes paints fabrics with what seem flicks (or flickers) of paint. The flicks of paint don’t attempt to be an exact representation of the fabric, but on the other hand they never become arbitrary or casual. The fabrics are sometimes contrasted with the machined lines of armour or stirrup or sword. For example, in the picture of Guzman on horseback (from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York):


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Grub Stops Working

Posted by clissold345 on November 14, 2006

Suppose that you have linux and another operating system (e.g. Windows) installed on your PC. You normally start your PC using Grub (Grand Unified Bootloader). Then one day Grub stops working. The instructions below give one possible way of fixing the problem.

Grub consists of two stages: stage1 and stage2. I assume Grub stage1 was installed on the first partition of your hard drive and Grub stage2 is installed on your linux partition. I assume that the problem with Grub is that Grub stage1 is corrupt or has been overwritten.

Boot your PC from a linux rescue cd (the cd needs to have a copy of grub on it). I used System Rescue Cd.

At the command prompt enter:


to start the Grub command shell.

To find which partition is your linux partition enter:

find /boot/grub/stage1

To set the Grub root device to be your linux partition enter:

root (hd0,x)

where “(hd0,x)” is the partition name output by the previous command. On my computer the linux partition is (hd0,6).

To reinstall Grub stage1 enter:

setup (hd0)

To quit the Grub command shell enter:


To reboot your PC enter:

shutdown -r now

Remove the linux rescue cd from the cd drive. Your PC should now reboot using Grub (just as it did before the problem occurred).

Note: The above instructions work for System Rescue Cd version 0.2.19

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Epson Ink Levels

Posted by clissold345 on November 1, 2006

I have an Epson Stylus Photo R300 printer. If your printer is /dev/usb/lp0, the following command (issued as root):

escputil -i -r /dev/usb/lp0 -u

displays the ink levels for the six ink cartridges in the printer.

Here is an example of the output:

Output from escputil

If you’re using Centos, escputil can be found in the gimp-print-utils package.

If you’re using Ubuntu (as I am), escputil can be found in the escputil package. On Ubuntu my printer is /dev/usblp0 so the command is:

escputil -i -r /dev/usblp0

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