Monthly Archives: October 2007

I got IMAP on Gmail

With all the buzz surrounding the IMAP feature added to Gmail, I wanted to check if my account created almost three years ago made it to the list. Yes it did. Well, everyone seems to be posting a screen shot. So here is mine 🙂

Gmail IMAP Option

I am sticking to POP3 for now using Evolution mail client. I archive the mail I download via POP3 and its always available to me under the All Mail link on the web interface. So there is no real problem that I see.

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon Screenshots

As promised, here are a couple of screenshots of Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon with CompizFusion and Avant Window Navigator

1. Expo Plugin

Expo Plugin

2. Shift Switcher

Shift Switcher

3. Water Effect

Water Effect

4. Avant Window Navigator

Avant Window Navigator

I could not capture the screenshots of the rotating cube. Any ideas how to do it?

Update: Oct 25, 2007: Adding the cube effect screenshot

cube.png 

Evolution on Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10)

I have been using the Evolution email client on Ubuntu Feisty Fawn (7.04) regularly for email as well as calendaring. I access my Google Calendar from Evolution. Why? The simple reason is at the click of a mouse on the calendar on my panel, I can see the appointments and tasks for the day.

This is when I installed – yes, clean install with the /home partition intact – Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon (7.10). When all other applications retained their settings, I was bewildered to see that Evolution did not even start. I had about 500 emails and 150 contacts in the address book. The only consolation is I had a backup of the address book.

I removed Evolution completely and reinstalled it. Nothing improved. I tried to remove the .evolution folder from my /home partition. Still nothing happened. I thought of sorely missing my most beloved feature and installed Mozilla Thunderbird and downloaded all the email from my Gmail account. I tried to install the Lightning calendar add on for Thunderbird but that did not look good. It by no way was going to show my tasks in the panel calendar.

Then I read a little and found that the new version of Evolution in Gutsy did not like the older one and spoiled the older versions settings. So I removed the .evolution folder from /home and also the .gconf/apps/evolution folder. I rebooted. I then started Evolution and voila it started up with the wizard to add email accounts. I added my email accounts and then downloaded a few emails.

I was still skeptical. I rebooted and checked if Evolution could come to life. To my relief it came up. I then configured the calendars, imported my address book from the backup and off I went. The upside is that I was again able to use Evolution and the downside is I had to download my POP3 email twice over. That’s almost 800MB a real wastage of bandwidth.

Well, if you were wondering about what I am talking about, here it is. See the convenience, can you?

Calendar

Installing Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon) on Dell Inspiron 6400

I got hold of Ubuntu 7.10 aka Gutsy Gibbon yesterday. This post will detail the experience of installing it on my Laptop. The computer is a fairly new – about 6 months old Dell Inspiron 6400/E1505 running on an Intel Core 2 Duo T5300 processor at 1.73 GHz, 1 GB RAM, Intel 945 Graphics and a 120 GB hard drive, dual booting with Windows Vista Home Premium and Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn).

The steps

Backup critical files
Boot from Live CD
Start Installation
Boot into Ubuntu
Reboot and check if Windows is alive

I wont be dealing with partitioning here since I already have my hard disk partitioned and running Feisty. The partitions are like this 10 GB for / (root) as ext3, 10 GB for /home as ext3 and 1 GB for swap. Another 30 GB as FAT32 for sharing files with Windows Vista. For more information on partitioning refer my earlier post.

Note: The Dell Inspiron 6400 has a 50 MB FAT16 partition. This would raise questions during the installtion of GRUB. If an error message comes up during the installation saying that one of the partitions has inconsistent sectors or allocation units, click Cancel. Do not click Ignore. If there is a second dialog, click Continue.

Boot

The Live CD booted up faster than Feisty and the desktop response was also way better. Wireless networks and wired networks were detected and configured. I began the installation.

Installation

The installer also showed great improvements in speed. I selected the timezone, language, keyboard and then landed at the partition step. I selected to format my root partition and retain my home partition. The advantage of having a home partition is that all customizing and preferences would be retained across all the applications, unlike in Windows where a reinstall would install a set of ‘My’ folders. Installation was complete in 12 minutes. I always hold my breath when the installer reaches the grub installation part. No problems there, even though the Migration Assistant did not detect Windows Vista, GRUB did as it did in Feisty.

Boot into Ubuntu

I restarted the computer after the installtion and booted into Ubuntu. I heard the login sound but saw no splash screen. Either none was used or it appeared for a really short time for me to see it. A new dark wallpaper greeted me but it was still brown :(. CompizFusion was enabled by default but the Compiz settings manager was not installed. I installed it using the command sudo aptitude install compizconfig-settings-manager. I got an array of settings on that one.

I was skeptical if my Intel 945 GMA would handle all those effects. But except that the settings manager which showed some latency in response the effects were in full glory. I will post the screenshots in my next post since I don’t have my laptop with me right now.

Bluetooth is back and worked too. This was one reason where I needed to boot into Windows. I installed the codecs for common audio formats and changed the theme to Clearlooks. The new Clearlooks theme is really good compared to the old one.

Applications

The major ones:

GNOME 2.20
OpenOffice.org 2.3 for Productivity
Mozilla Firfox browser
Pidgin for IM
Evolution for Email

Evolution failed to run :(. I even tried deleting the old .evoltuion folder from my home partition but in vain. It would start and abruptly quit. I tried reinstalling and even that did not help. I use a lot of calendering with email and Thunderbird is not my choice. Evolution displays the tasks and appointments right in the calendar which is very useful. I am not sure what is wrong. Hope an update would fix it soon. Until then its only webmail.

Boot into Windows

I rebooted to check if Windows still made it. Yes it did. It showed up on GRUB and booted well too.

Conclusion

A hassle free install and great improvements. Evolution failure is a big minus and Nautilus sometimes showed signs of slowness. Apart from that I think its a great OS for a casual user. My windows use would now be limited to gaming alone.

Casual Read

One of my friends has recently started blogging. Titled Casual Read, her blog speaks about inspiration, attitude, positive thinking and a host of other things that we come across in everyday life.

Her post today talks about priorities in life. So if you are interested head over to Casual Read have fun.

You can also reach there using the first link on my Blogroll 🙂

Whats happening to Zooomr (again)?

Well, even fully knowing what was going on with Zooomr a couple of months back, i signed up for the service yesterday.  My experience was not all that cool.

First, I tried to upload photos from my Ubuntu box and failed miserably. I tried both Firefox and Opera. No luck. I then read the zooomr blog and understood that there was a problem.I would like to note one thing. The blog they have linked to says Flickr uses a similar tool for upload and faces similar problems. if Flickr faces similar problems, then it does not imply that Zooomr should face the same issues too.

Ok, the purpose of my post is this. While I uploaded a few photos using my Windows box, I notice a general latency using the site. While I was able to switch between blog view, detail view and square view, I was not able to select an individual photo and delete. I need to delete some of the photos I have uploaded and I have been trying to get this done for two days. The response I get from the server is Zero Sized Reply

Can someone tell me how I can delete the photos?

One other thing. After I logoff and try to login from that screen, I keep getting the message Logout  Successful. Guys, I am trying to log in and not out. Providing unlimited space is one thing, providing a usable service is another. I prefer the latter.

I know there are a few of you who would tell me to use other services, fine. But, please fix your site since it gives new users like me a bad idea of what you are doing.

Blog action day

Here are my tips for the Blog action day:

1. Optimize power usage – switch off computers when not in use

2. Optimize paper usage – use electronic documents wherever possible

3. Optimize fuel oil usage – use alternate energy where possible.

Easy. Isn’t it 😉