Fixing Firefox obscured URL in Xubuntu 14.04

The Firefox URL text is obscured

We've been using Xubuntu on "lower end" refurbished computers for awhile now. One of the issues we've run into, particularly with Intel graphics chipsets, is Firefox's URL test being obscured. On the same computer Chromium (the open source Chrome browser) doesn't have the same issue. In our latest case the computer only had onboard or PCI video (no PCIe or AGP) so we were pretty limited in changing graphics cards for better performance. At first I tried the following solutions (which didn't work for me, but may for some):

Use Catfish for searching on Xubuntu 14.04

Catfish file search software

The other day I needed to find a file on a Windows hard drive that I'd mounted as a slave in an Xubuntu system. Catfish file search turned out to be a the simple already installed solution. I was surprised but catfish found all the files ending in .json just by typing .json into the search field - search as it should be. It took a bit to scan the drive (the drive had bad sectors) but catfish came up with a lot of files matching .json starting with the root filesystem folder and checking below.

Missing dependencies for Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks

I've been playing with the Phoronix Test Suite benchmarks lately, specifically looking at: bork (cpu), unpack-linux (disk), stream (memory) using the triad option, and openarena (graphics). Older versions of Ubuntu and the suite seemed to work without intervention, but recently it seems some packages need to be manually installed. Phoronix Test Suite used to install these packages as dependencies. The extra step is a pain, but here's the command for the missing dependencies (mostly for openarena):

Recovering USB key data with foremost

Data recovered by foremost

The other day I was asked to help someone with a failing USB key someone had important data on. In Windows the key prompted the person to format the key, which they didn't want to do since they had lots of data on the key already. In Linux dmesg showed the correct size of the key, but didn't show any partitions. Under both operating systems the key appeared to be write protected so even if the end user wanted to format the key it wouldn't partition or format under either OS. In the end we managed to recover over 1,000 files stored on the key using foremost.

Another Linux success story - printing

The other day I got a request to print a colour sign on our Xerox Phaser 7400 printer. I printed out the sign as it was originally sent in .jpg format. JPG is a lossy format, meaning it strips out some detail to keep file size smaller. The sign didn't look very crisp so I asked for a different version. The sender sent an Adobe PDF version of the sign which when I proceeded to print spat out 15 pages of text (actually I caught it at 10).