Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Good! Because I didn't...

Yesterday, I wrote about the decision of changing my GNU-Linux distrobution away from Fedora Core. I went so far as changing my server over to Debian: more on that experience later but I decided to uinstall and reinstall OpenOffice before taking the plunge and wiping out the hard drives on my workstation.

I did it using the yum commands:
yum remove openoffice*
followed by
yum install openoffice*
using the international version of OpenOffice. I went to sleep, leaving the computer to do its work; there was almost 2GB of data that flowed across the monitor but the end result is I have a fully functioning OpenOffice suite.

The Replace tab is back in the AutoCorrection!

Good! Because I didn't want to go the trouble of doing a "windows" on my machine. The dreaded R&R: Reformat & Reinstall. It's like I said: I really do like RedHat - nee: Fedora Core and was hating to see it go.

Thanks guys for fixing the problem...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Fedora: I love you but...

I have always been a big fan of RedHat. In fact, it is the only GNU-Linux distribution that I have consistantly used, beginning with RH5.0 up to the present, which is Fedora: Fedora Core 4. So great is my nostalgia for RedHat that I still have all the CDs from the earlier versions of the OSes; and apart from a slight dabble with Mandrake and SuSE, I have been faithful to the company from North Carolina.

I have always used the GNOME desktop also. I do not know anything about KDE, except that it was billed as a full-fledge suite as apposed to GNOME, which in my opinion is nothing but an interface for the applications that run underneath it: call it eye candy, if you wish. However, there is nothing wrong with either philosophy, and as such I have always stuck with GNOME.

RedHat and used GNOME: these have been my mainstays for a long time but there has been a troubling aspect of the CORE with the recent release of FC4 and I though have tried to bring attention of this little annoyance to the parties involved, I must relate there has been no NO effort to fix this problem.

I use OpenOffice for writing: I don't have much time for anything else; none to tweak or fine tune my system. Yes, I do realize that there are provisions for that but all I want to do is simply load programs and go.

AS AN ASIDE - This is going to be an increasing requirement of USERS whenever GNU-Linux becomes mainstream. USERS will simply want to load programs and go; not get into the nitty gritty of doing stuff. I wonder if the community is prepared for this daliance but...

Back to my story

There is a quirk with Fedora's OpenOffice!

This quirk is that the autocorrect function doesn't work properly. I have cross-checked this functionality with other distributions: Ubuntu, SimplyMEPIS, OpenSuSE, PCLinuxOS; mainly live CDs and this function is in all of them BUT not in Fedora.

I have reported this to the OpenOffice.org team and though they have repsonded, very kind of them, it is not their problem. However, the folks at Fedora and let's face it, this is mainly RedHat have not so much as send an acknowledgement.

One would think, there would be an automatic response to all email, even if a body would take a while to actually read the emails but alas, there is no such thing; at least in my case.

The problem in Fedora Core's version of OpenOffice is the Replace tab in the AutoCorrect function simply isn't there.

It doesn't exist!

Whether this has something to do with their implementation of OpenJAVA or not, I do not know. What I do know however, is this feature disappeared after OpenOffice went to the official 2.0 designation; it was there in the 1.9x.xx releases but NOT the 2.0 and later releases.

This has caused considerable stress for me as my entire reportoire of quick-spell-replace word have vanished from my computer; all with the click of the upgrade-mouse.

Fedora has done several updates to OpenOffice since then but the funtion has NOT returned. I have uninstalled the software and reinstalled it twice but this not helped either. I have checked three forums; fedoraforums.org, linuxquestions.org and openofficeforums.org and there has not been any help with the resolution of this matter.

Incidentally, I have recompiled OpenOffice from source and install the official release but this has not helped; the replace feature is just not there.

For the sake of conversation, I will leave out making comparisons to either MSWord or Abiword: that is not my intention. Suffice to say that I have used MSWord numerous times in the past and have had my share of Redmond headaches and Abiword, well let's say that is coming along quite well, maybe someday I will switch all my work to that.

So, it is with great sadness that I am preparing to switch my computers from Fedora to another GNU-Linux distribution. I have tried Ubuntu on my laptop but I am not quite comfortable with it as a replacement for my workstation. Ironically, the phenomemon of sticking with something with the known as opposed to trying the unknown is weighing heavily on me right now.

This is also the problem the FOSS community faces as it try getting Linux mainstream. However, the biggest difference here is that I am reluctant to give up one brand of Linux for another BUT I will; am already looking at Debian becasue I cannot do without that replace feature in OpenOffice.org


Plus, Debian comes with a network install...

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I am not a programmer...

I a not a computer programmer.

Period!

In fact, I cannot write one lickety-split of code, except if I copy someone's work but I have this problem that I would like to see some smart coder work on in his or her spare time. I have a nVidia triple output video card: FX5600 with 256MB memory; nice card running under Linux...

The problem is that I would like to have this video card display a different wallpaper on each monitor. The thought process for the program would include the following ideas...

01. There would an option to activate this feature: Option TwinWallpaper

02. The images should be stored in the wallpaper default location

03. Alternatively, they could be saved in the home directory: /home/usr/.wallpaper (hidden by default)

04. The images should support all formats; tiffs, gif, jpeg, png, etc.

05. The images should be able to be displayed as the following options: center, tile & fullscreen

06. The images should support random changing, either by a timer or at boot; default: stationary

07. The /home/usr/.wallpaper directory need only be specified for rotation

How would the code for something like this look like?

I haven't the slightest idea but... not even windows have this.

This is the year...

I ran across this article, "http://www.linuxlaboratory.org/index.php?title=2006_is_NOT_the_year_for_Linux_on_the_Desktop" while browsing one of my favorite sites, http://lxer.com; and though I agree with the general tenor of the piece, I wish to take exception and state why 2006 is the year of the desktop for me.

I recently dumped WinXP from my laptop and install Ubuntu. Yesterday's post explains it: http://www.blogger.com/posts.g?blogID=13881323. The combination of an ever increasing bogged down machine and the constant rebooting after applying MS updates and patches forced my hand. This laptop, though not spanking new, is less than a year old and I feared GNU-Linux wouldn't work but Ubuntu did the trick; right out of the box, if I may add.

I updated the Hoary distribution to Breezy Badger by simply following the instructions in the Hoary 5.04 release notes; presto, this laptop rocks...

But I do agree with the author about the disparing lack of software in some areas. http://fredmt.blogspot.com/2005/12/service-please.html is one such area that desperately need attention but I can only hope these areas will be address by entrepenreur and to that end, I do promise to lend my financial support: buying their product is the least that I can do.

I have six (6) computers in my house; five desktops and one laptop. Four have Linux on them and the other two just sit idle; sort of a reminder to a monopoly. So for me, 2006 is my year of the desktop and this is how this war will be won: one user at a time, one computer at a time...

There will never be a year of the GNU-Linux desktop and it will be over by the time, some journalist recognizes it. So take solace and cheer up guys, for apart from being in good company, I cannot think of any other place that I would rather be: I like these odds...

Monday, January 09, 2006

From WinXP to GNU-Linux...

I kicked the Windows XP operating system off my laptop after having one too many problems. I was having problems with this thing; a Compaq presario 2100 with a 40.0 GB hd, 256MB memory and a CDRW drive but a word about these so-called hardware manufacturers before I detailed the conversion and my choice of linux distro.

It is simply rediculous that teir-one manufacturers can make such power lacking machines. No laptop should be made with anything less than 384MB of system memory; 512 if the video memory is shared and 64MB of that number should be devoted exclusively to video. CPU speed should be at least 2.0 GHz.

But back to the main thrust of this post...

I had loaded on this laptop the following MicroSOFT products: XP professional, OfficeXP, One Note, Internet Explorer & Spyware beta. Additionaly there was Norton 2005, AVG antivirus and Zone Alarm. These seven programs; no more, no less.

Yet, whenever I turn on this laptop it took forever to boot, and then there was the whole shebang of dealing with upgrading the thing, which seemed to be whenever I'd turn it on: this usually resulted in at least one reboot per boot.

And to make matters worse, Outlook Express wouldn't work. I tried everything under the sun but for whatever it was worth, Outlook Express would not connect to the internet. Ironically, the laptop worked fine whenever I used a Linux LiveCD and this is what tipped me over the edge.

After a couple of months of trying; the laptop was out of warranty or else I would have returned it, plus it was a gift which made it sentimental, I finally wiped the HD clean and install Ubuntu. I finally understand Steven Vaughn-Nichols comments but hey, the laptop works great. It is not my regular machine; that is a regular desktop computer with RAID 0+1 configuration but this latop cannot be beaten for couch connectivity: surfing i all I do with it...

The count in my house now stands at: GNU-Linux - 4; Windows - 2.

And I do not turn on the Windows computers either.

Now to give this laptop to my significant other and watch her reaction...

Master moment: Priceless!

If I was google...

I think Google dropped the ball with their google pack. After all, the rumor mill had it that these guys were bringing out something called a google cube.

Why?

I haven't the slightest idea, except to say these people were enthralled by the Mac mini; but that is no big deal, one way or another...

Google should have launched a 15 inch widescreen laptop based on AMD Sempron family of processors: keep it at the 2.0 GHz level. A 40GB Hard Drive and 512MB Memory with a DVD burner would do the job. It would be wireless, of course but the trick would be in the OS. Google could have offered either WinOS, or any flavor of GNU/Linux; and they should show the price differential since the only difference would be the windows tax.

The laptop would be an excellent idea and would sell because of the portability associated with the project. The software is mostly free; all of it is, actually but many people, including me would have gone for the idea:

A Google laptop...

But people from the FOSS community would be sadly mistaken, if they should ever think Google helping out the community because this company has a symbiotic relationship, of sorts with Redmond: for Google will become ever more dependent on MicroSOFT if they were to produce their own brand of laptop; and let us not forget, Google cannot load their google pack onto a computer and sell it.

Licensing issue!!!

However, Loveno could and what better way to sell a Goggle designed laptop. See it with the big-G, embossed in the top.

Those guys in Taiwan would have also love this idea...

Making millions of these things for sale in the US-of-A.