Connecting Mint to an Android device

I recently got myself a Samsung Galaxy Trend Plus mobile phone.

I also bought a 32Gb microSD card with a view to storing some sound files.  However, on connecting the device to my laptop I discovered that though I could see and read files on the SD card, I was unable to transfer files onto it.  The only way to load files to the SD card was to physically remove the card and plug it into the laptop using a card adaptor, which was messy and tedious.

There is a solution however, and that is to install gMTP.

First run the following -

sudo apt-get install libmtp-common libmtp-dev libmtp-runtime libmtp9 mtp-tools gmtp python-pymtp

Then this -

sudo apt-get install libusb-dev

You should now see gMTP available on the main Menu (under All Applications).

Connect the phone and run the programme.  Click "Connect".  In the event it says that no RAW devices are found, just wait a few seconds for it to detect the phone.

Once connected you will be presented with an drop-down option of connecting to the phone or the card.

Files can now be transferred as normal.

From AVI to MP4

I have quite a few video files which I like to watch fro time to time.

I used to use an XBox 360 as a media player but that finally gave up the ghost.  I switched to an original XBox which I got from a good friend.  That too recently died the death.

A couple of weeks ago I invested in a WD TV Media Player, which is essentially a solid state interface between a file store and  TV.  On screen it is very similar to XBMC.   

It claims to play all flavours of video.  Their list states it will play AVI (Xvid, AVC, MPEG1/2/4), MPG/MPEG, VOB, MKV (h.264, x.264, AVC, MPEG1/2/4, VC-1), TS/TP/M2T (MPEG1/2/4, AVC, VC-1), MP4/MOV (MPEG4, h.264), M2TS, WMV9 and FLV (h.264). 

I did however have some problems with some AVI files (I'm still waiting from a response from their Support on this).   The files would play for about three to four minutes before dropping out without warning or error.  The files in question play perfectly in my laptop Media, so I reckoned on a problem with the file format. 

I tried converting them to MKV using HandBrake but while the resulting files apparently worked they crashed again around the thirty minute mark.

I decided to try converting to MP4.

After a lot of research and a few program downloads (that either didn't work or wouldn't do batch processing) I came across WinFF.  On the face of it, that would do everything I required.  However it failed on my first attempt.  The solution is to install an extra package – libavcodec-extra.

I ran a test on one of my dud files and the resulting MP4 worked perfectly.

I now have a spare PC sitting quietly in a corner working its way through all my AVI files.

I reckon that will take a while!

Running KDE programs in Linux Mint 7.1 Cinnamon

I have just upgraded to Linux Mint 17.1 Cinnamon 64bit.

For various reasons, I did a complete format and install, so the following may not affect those just doing an upgrade.

There is a small problem with running some KDE applications.  As an example, I installed KNetWalk [a small timewaster!] and this is the menu bar that is displayed -

Dud KDE Menu

With a bit of research, I found the answer as submitted by Clem.

apt install kdelibs-bin kdelibs5-data kdelibs5-plugins

Rerunning the application, this is the result -

Fixed KDE Menu

Just in case anyone has similar problems…….

OpenBVE broken on Linux Mint 17

Due to a bug in the libraries, OpenBVE won't run on Linux Mint 17.

The fix is straightforward, as follows -

Download the following files

For 32-bit machines:

For 64-bit machines:

Using Synaptic, find 'ligdiplus' and uninstall it.

Install the two downloaded files in the order libtiff4 followed by libgtiplus.

Install OpenBVE.

That's it.

A final note: Update Manager will inform you there is an update to libgtiplus.  Right-click and select "Ignore updates for this package."


I recently did a fresh install using Linux Mint 17 V2.  Some time later I tried installing OpenBVE.  It failed.

The cause this time is apparently another problem in libgdiplus, causing it to crash if it can't load an image. 

The solution -

In your OpenBVE installation, locate the the files "Data/Menu/icon_parent.png" and "Data/Menu/icon_folder.png".  Both these files are saved in "indexed colour" mode.  Using Gimp [or your application of preference] open these files and export them in "RGB colour" mode overwriting the originals.

The value of Partimage

A while ago I started messing around with Partimage.

Partimage is a simple to use piece of backup software which takes a snapshot of a partition and saves it as a file.

The hard disk on the machine I use has a straightforward set of partitions -

Partition 1 contains the Windows Restore files that came installed on the machine.

Partition 2 contains the boot sector.

Partition 3 contains Windows 7.

Partition 4 is an extended partition and contains the Linux install with Swap, Root and Home in their separate partitions.

Naturally to benefit from Partimage you will need an external drive, either networked or USB drive.  I would also highly recommend Ultimate Boot CD (which contains Partimage) for the event that a partition becomes corrupted and the machine becomes unbootable.

When I started experimenting with Partimage, I created backups of the first three in the list above with a view to combining 2 and 3 as one partition and doing a standard Windows install. I abandoned that as there were too many specific drivers required for the machine and it was a lot simpler to leave things as they were.  I rarely use Windows anyway.

A few weeks ago I had a problem with this machine – "No Operating System found".   I tried all the usual tricks but nothing worked.  Then I remembered my experimental backup, so I ran Ultimate Boot CD and reinstated the boot partition from my USB drive.  The restore itself took a matter of seconds and the machine was fixed.

This morning, the same problem occurred – "No Operating System found".  I knew what to do this time and was up and running in a minute or two.

It just goes to show the value of backups.

They are the difference between a working PC and an expensive brick!