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desktop linux

Ah, the joys of using Linux in a Windows world. With a couple of Fedora Core 4 installations under my belt, I was pleased that many things just work. But of course the bulk of my attention goes to the many things that just don’t.

I’m trying to use Evolution as an Outlook replacement. I can interact with my inbox on the Exchange server with no problems. However, I can’t see my calendar at all. I push the ‘Calendars’ button, and I see a list of calendars in the pane above the buttons. The calendar view, to the right, is completely devoid of appointments. When I try to select one of the checkboxes corresponding to a calendar, a status message ‘Opening exchange://myusername@domain@server/personal/Calendar (...)’ appears at the bottom of the window for a fraction of a second, as does a checkmark in the checkbox I clicked, but both disappear quickly. It’s so odd. And aggravating.

I did just now manage to mount my Windows partition, after installing the NTFS kernel module. Yea for that.

Fedora automounts my iPod Mini, but I’m at a loss when I get to gtkpod. It tells me iPod Database Import Failed: ‘Illegal seek to offset 654644 (length 4) in file ’/media/ipod/iPod_Control/iTunes/iTunesDB’.‘

I’d like to be able to print to networked printers, but I haven’t been able to locate them using printconf-gui.

Fedora ships a version of xscreensaver without any graphics demos. Granted, it gives you a perfectly functional blank screen, but for anyone who’s used xscreensaver before and expects to be presented with a list of graphics demos to choose from, it looks like a bug.

As for video, I tried to watch the Quicktime clip of Cisco ripping out the pages of Michael Lynn’s presentation on Cisco’s critical vulnerabilities, but neither Totem nor Helix, the two video players Fedora installs, come with Quicktime decoders. I installed a succession of GStreamer plugins before finding the module that decodes .movs: gstreamer-ffmpeg.


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 3rd, 2005 05:53 pm (UTC)
I've been wrestling a bit with Ubuntu lately. Had hope to have a minor geekshare with thewronghands before her Westward migration, but alas. Ubuntu seems happy to load on the laptop, but the package updater seems a bit wonky. I've yet to pin it down. My skillz be hardly 1337.

On another box of mine, RH9. Haven't gone through with nuking it for Fedora yet, for lack of skills. Just getting RH9 compiled on that thing took the better part of a whole evening for me, and I try to avoid any OS that's going to eat more than two hours from disc to desktop. If you tell me Fedora will be less of a PITA, maybe I'll take the plunge. [grins]

Aug. 3rd, 2005 05:59 pm (UTC)
I use mplayer from the command line to watch movies -- it works pretty well for me. And yeah, that video is just astonishing. What a cover-up.

Fortunately, it looks like DHS is going to give them hell -- there's an article in Congressional Quarterly calling them out. Damn. They pissed off the Man, too.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 07:15 pm (UTC)
If it's of any consolation, Outlook and Exchange don't always get along well, either. I spent the better part of an afternoon trying to fix a problem someone had viewing calendars on the Exchange server using Outlook before passing it off to the college's expert, who managed to mostly fix the problem after an hour of two of tinkering with the client and the server. This stuff doesn't work very well even in an all-Microsoft environment.

I've also noticed that Apple keeps messing with the database format on the iPods in recent updates, as they keep breaking Xplay, my favorite Windows iPod tool with every update, so it's very possible that your software is expecting a particular version of firmware's format or something along those lines.
Aug. 3rd, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
I actually have some solutions to your Fedora problems :)
Hi, Katie,

For some of your woes I have answers. For others I can only commiserate.

Have you installed any Fedora Extras packages? That can give you a whole lot more software choices. See: http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Extras/UsingExtras (http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Extras/UsingExtras) for more info. Of course, they don't publish a lot of stuff (like software for playing DVDs or watching Quicktime) and that's where FreshRPMs comes in. Think of it as more better extras. This is where you'll find things like libquicktime and mplayer. Oh, and yeah, they support apt and yum, which also means you can add them to your up2date sources and keep things current the same way as with any Fedora packages. See: http://freshrpms.net (http://freshrpms.net).

Your network printers may not be browsable in printconf-gui but that doesn't mean you can't print to them. If you have the IP addresses and/or server and queue names you can enter that information and it will then find your printers. Most HP printers can be setup using the IP address and telloing printconf-gui that you're accessing via a JetDirect card, bypassing Windows or NetWare or whatever completely.

Evolution, well... I assume you've installed the exchange-connector. If not that may help. In Fedora Core 3 and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 (RHEL4) the calendar sort of worked provided you didn't actually want to setup meetings. Those would go into your local calendar but not into Exchange. (Grrr!)

I so much like working for an all-Linux-all-the-time company, but you should be able to make most everything work even in your Windows world company.

All the best,
(like Katie, just misspelled :)

Aug. 4th, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC)
Re: I actually have some solutions to your Fedora problems :)
Thanks for the suggestions, Caity! I didn't know about FreshRPMs.net; that looks really helpful. I have installed some of the Fedora Extras packages.

I couldn't find a package by the name of exchange-connector, but I do have evolution-connector version 2.2.2-5 installed. I wouldn't expect to have been able to see my Exchange server mailbox without it.
Aug. 5th, 2005 05:01 pm (UTC)
If there is one sure way to induce thrashing convulsions on my SuSE box, it's trying to play whoever's proprietary video format. For a while quicktime vids were always a crapshoot with Xine, but but a little prodding seemed to get them to work. But then the other night I tried to open a wma file and it basically brought down the xwindows system. It went into a 'near crash, save, near crash, save..." loop that I couldn't break. Bleh.

Good luck talking to Outlook/Exchange. I'm not an IT professional, and I even know those two are a total black art. It's basically become a ritual here where I work that the exchange server dies a horrible corrupted death once a year.

Sep. 3rd, 2005 08:18 pm (UTC)
Katie --

I had the same problem w/ my iPod on FC4... look for an upgraded version of gtkPod to 0.94 ... freshrpms should have an rpm.

Be Well --
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )