I still have the bluetooth issue, but at least I have an idea it will be resolved. It's just a matter of how soon. Seems that once upon a time as things were changing Blueman (the bluetooth manager program recommended for Xubuntu 14 and Mint 17 Xfce) had some trouble with PulseAudio and so unloaded the PulseAudio bluetooth module and handled that itself. Or else PulseAudio had an issue, but the result was the same. Then whatever it was got fixed, the do-it-myself work-around in Blueman was removed, but the unloader was left in. Now I wait for a new stable version to reach the repositories so I can update it nicely and have a system without needing an incantation at every boot.
My vacation, which just ended, involved some time in Merrill visiting my mother and other family and friends. It was nice, relaxing week for me. And I brought home a few things, including a printer and flatbed scanner that had been sitting idle for some time. Also, a little USB-cassette gadget that I'd ordered a while back had arrived. All this stuff takes some room and my desk was a cluttered, jumbled mess. So the first order of business (after unloading the car, unpacking, and starting laundry...) was clearing and rearranging the desk. It's better now, but it still wouldn't appear in Better Homes & Gardens. I wouldn't want it to, anyway. It's to be used, not just for display.
The cassette gadget replaces a tape deck and I was amused that the software that was included was Audacity. Sure, the paper said it was Windows & Mac, but the device presents as a USB microphone and I've been using Audacity in Linux for years. But it only worked if I used a USB2 port, not a handier USB3 port. Port speed wasn't important, but that problem lead me to investigate. No USB3 ports were truly working. They had power, sure, but Mint 17 wasn't seeing them right. It was the IOMMU issue again. That took installing Grub Customizer so I could add 'iommu-soft' to the boot parameters and be done. And done it is. I have all the USB ports working again. And the USB-cassette gadget? Works fine, after a little fiddling with PulseAudio settings to get everything just so.
The printer install went very well indeed. I simply told Mint 17 to add a printer and it pretty much went, "Oh this one? Can I download this driver? Wanna print a test page?" and the biggest delay was finding paper. It went so fast that I was disappointed it didn't print, only to find out it had printed. It was just that fast about it. Now I wanted to print stuff, but realized I really only had a need to print a few times a year. At least now I can do that directly and be done.
The scanner took more doing. It's not exactly new. As in, it uses a USB 1.1 connection. And, alas, Linux scanning tools do not support it directly. The result was that while the system saw it fine, the scanning programs went, "What scanner?" The adventure began. Of all the various web pages, this one seemed to be the most useful, even if it was for a different scanner. It has its own problem, which is that Avasys no longer supports the scanner, Epson does. So instead of the Avasys page, I needed Epson's download page and then I goofed and wound up wasting too much time. There are two download pages needed, but three things to download. I kept missing the data file that everything else depended upon.
What's needed? These:
Once I realized that error and snagged the data file, Epson's scanning program installed. Annoyingly, it then went, "Scanner? What scanner?" but Simple Scan finally went, "Oh, look, a scanner!" and works. I seem to need to disconnect & reconnect it for each session, but it does work. And despite USB 1.1, doesn't seem terribly slow. Now, what do I need to scan?