Random writings on software & product development, running, business and anything else

Category: And the Rest (Page 2 of 2)

General posts that don’t seem to fit another category

Search for the mythical Linux laptop

It is time to get a new laptop for work purposes. The current Dell laptop is now 3 years old, and although it still runs perfectly, it was always a desktop replacement, and never designed to be moved around. And although it originally came pre installed with Windows XP, it has been a Kubuntu machine for most of its time.
So besides being smaller (12-13″ screen), lighter and with much longer battery life, my other requirement was that I do not need Windows installed or pay for the disks. The Kubuntu Linux 8.04 with KDE 3.5 CD was waiting and that would be the operating system.
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KDE4 and back again

For many years now I have been a very happy KDE user when it came to a Linux desktop. Not that I have anything against Gnome, but KDE just felt right. So for a while now I have been looking forward to KDE4 as a big jump to even better functionality, ease of use etc. The KDE developers have been very open that KDE4 is still rough around the edges, but the best way to get the most users and widest use is to take away beta from the title and let it go. Now KDE 3.5 is serving me fine, but with the release of Kubuntu 8.04, this way the chance to give the new KDE a real go.
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Here comes the Feisty Fawn

They promised April 19th and they have delivered. Kubuntu 7.04 has been released. Right now it is downloading (700Mb takes a while even on broadband). I have been looking forward to this with upgraded and new apps, especially K3b and the possibility to try out snapshots of KDE4.

Thunderbird Account Order

This post has been replaced for Thunderbird and Windows 10.

I have a number of different mail accounts which I read using Mozilla Thunderbird. Each time a new account is added it appears at the bottom of the mail list. One new account I wanted to move near the top, but Thunderbird does not give an option to reorder accounts. The answer is to edit prefs.js file. On Linux systems ~/.thunderbird/<your profile>/prefs.js, and for Windows C:Documents and Settings[User Name]Application DataThunderbirdProfiles<your profile>pref.js

Look for a line like: user_pref("mail.accountmanager.accounts", "account3,account2,account5,account4,account1");
This is the line you will need to modify.

So what does account3 mean and which email account does it match?
In the lines above you will find something like: user_pref("mail.account.account3.identities", "id2");. If the id was 2, search in the prefs.js file for user_pref("mail.identity.id2.useremail". This will give you the matching email address.

One little extra if you wish to make a certain email address at the top. It needs to be made the default. See the line starting with: user_pref("mail.accountmanager.defaultaccount"

Remember, only edit this file while Thunderbird is closed.

The VISTA hype leaves me cold

A few ‘news’ stories yesterday about the release of MS Vista, and people lining up at Midnight to get their copy. The usual marketing spiel from a MS rep that sounded exactly like the marketing for XP. I just don’t get it. My main laptop is a dual boot system: XP and Kubuntu Linux, so I am not completely anti MS. But the thought of handing over around $300 for something that doesn’t seem that revolutionary, is a concept I fail to get. Besides the laptop is about 18 months old, and probably would not be able to handle Vista.

I see the retailers are all celebrating the new equipment sales Vista will create, and tonnes of perfectly good PCs on the scrap heap. Great for the planet.

Software Freedom Day

Don’t forget software freedom day this Saturday the 16th. Plenty going on in Sydney, and the rest of Australia. Unfortunately all this weekend I locked up in small business course so will miss the talks and events. But if you some spare time on Saturday, find out what is going on in your local area, and drop in.

Up and running with Kubuntu

Over the years I have tried a number of Linux distributions: Redhat, Mandrake/driva, suse. All had their pluses and minuses, with my preference generally for Mandrake.

Last year when I changed to a Dell laptop as my primary work computer, I again set up a dual boot system. This I didn’t enjoy so much. Many frustrating hours when there are other things to be done. Redhat Fedora 3 & 4 annoyed me no end, getting info about Mandriva was a pain, so I settled with opensuse. Some config on my part but relatively smooth and it did the job with minor quirks.

During this time I had never tried a Debian based system, but I was hearing so many good things about Ubuntu I had to give it a try. I have always had a personal preference for KDE over GNOME, so I went for the sibling Kubuntu. Download the iso file, burn it to disc, and start the install. 6 steps and I was up and running. This I found scary. No extra config or hunting the internet for drivers. System updating was simple, and it just works. I am sure there are issues I haven’t hit yet, but they should be small. If K/ubuntu keeps this up I may just use it on the server.

OpenOffice and the need for Java

With OpenOfffice 2.01 being released last week, I have installed it, and removed both OpenOffice 1.1 and MS Office. So far it has all been positive with just a minor issue with a complex graph from an Excel spreadsheet.

One thing I did notice, and slightly concerned about is the need for the java runtime to have OpenOffice run [I don’t remember this from v1]. It doesn’t cause me a technical issue as I already had the runtime on the PC, but is it really necessary. If Java was not a product of Sun I may have never given it a second thought, but it is. Maybe there was some outcry of this coupling, but I didn’t hear it. Possibly MS should take them to court.


Welcome to the blog. This will contain my random thoughts and hopefully helpful suggestions on the broad development world. Links to useful sites, code and maybe even a book review. Time will tell. Feel free to comment or even disagree, but with the aim of readers and posters gaining something useful.

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