Bill Diehl on 2 Feb 2008 09:41:38 -0800

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[PLUG] Debian-SAMBA Goal Summary

Dear Members:

When I first posted to this list, my primary goal was to find out if my 
queries were appropriate for this group.  That is why I did not post 
much detail.  I greatly appreciate your reception.  Now that I know 
you are all OK with my questions, I can summarize my goals.

Of highest priority is getting networking set up among my Debian-
based computer and the 2 other Windows 98SE computers in our 
house for file/folder and printer sharing with my computer being the 
host.  My research led me to believe that SAMBA was the preferred 
method to connect a Linux machine to Windows machines.

Second, it looks as if I will have to abandon my touchpad (built into 
my keyboard) because the manufacture does not know when it will 
release the Linux driver under development.  So, I understand that 
Logitech supports Linux well and I will want to find a good wired, 
PS/2, optical, scroll-wheel mouse (perhaps with 3 buttons) with 
drivers for Debian and Win98SE so I can configure pointer speed, 
size, etc.

Third, I would like to find a utility that replaces PaperPort, to which I 
print statements and receipts to archive in digital format.  PaperPort 
creates .max graphic images, which may be bitmaps or TIFF - I am 
not sure.  Because I have so many of these images and it is 
convenient to keep digital documents, rather than wasting paper, I 
would like to find something compatible.  If such is not available, I 
could start using PDFs - which would lead me to find a good PDF 
creator/converter/printer driver (I currently use PDF995 with 

Fourth, I have a U.S. Robotics Courier V.Everything Fax/Modem 
which I use to fax documents directly from applications via HotFax 
Message Center through COM2.  I will need to find Linux 
compatible drivers and fax software so I can continue to fax 
documents when needed.

Fifth, being able to continue using my AFGA SnapScan 1212u 
scanner would be greatly desired (or replace it with one having 
Linux and Win98SE support).  AFGA sold its scanner division and 
very little support is available for this scanner from the new 

Right now, the above are what keeps me from using Debian as my 
main and preferred OS (vs. Windows, that is).  When I first 
embarked on learning to use computers 20+ years ago, I started 
with DOS 3.3, a book by Peter Norton, and a mentor.  It was fun 
playing with batch files, ANSI codes, and alternate configurations.  
Learning to tweak Linux configuration files to make things work as I 
want them brings back some of that fun.  I suspect, though, I will 
have to learn it step-by-step with mentors and published materials 
just as I did with DOS and Windows over the years.


Through multiple trials, I learned how to get a bare bones install of 
Debian-Etch.  When it first booted, all I had to work with was a 
command prompt.  Using various books and online sources, I 
began to install only what I wanted.  It was not so much a matter of 
speed but my desire to minimize the clutter and overhead from 
installing things that did not serve my purposes.  For a newbie, I 
thought I did well when I accomplished the following:

Installed and used Aptitude to install only desired apps, like:
Midnight Commander
Text Editors (can't remember their names, now)
Adobe Reader
CUPS for 2 USB printers (HP LJ 1200, Canon i560)
Audio mixer (can't remember which one(s))
Some others that I can't remember right off.

When needed, I used a text editor to tweak the configuration files 
to refine the apps, like IceWM so the menus worked as I wanted 
and X to set up dual monitors on an old ATi Radeon VE (7000) 
dual-head video card.  Eventually, I'd like to learn how to set each 
monitor as a separate desktop, rather than an extended desktop.  
Unfortunately, not being able to resolve the 5 issues noted above 
made me revert back to using Win98SE and I've now forgotten 
most of what I learned.  Hopefully I will recall much when I start 
working with Debian again.


I was all ready to go with Ubantu, before deciding on Debian, until I 
learned that it would not work with my preferred boot commander 
(System Commander).  It did run slowly on my machine from the 
CD, as I expected, but there was something about it that was not 
appealing to me at the time.  A young fellow who I helped with 
partitioning his hard drive and installing Ubantu thinks it is just as 
wonderful as many on this list do.  I have nothing against Ubantu, I 
just wanted to start from scratch and create a system configuration 
that suited me just for fun.  So, I chose Debian.


To accomplish my goals with Debian, I know I need help and I want 
to have fun with it (Windows has been useful but not much fun).  
Helpful mentors, books, lists, forums, websites, etc. are what I will 
need as I plod along learning Debian and Linux step-by-step.  At 
this time, I don't have the time, energy, or ability to play with 
different distros.  Considering how much I've achieved with Debian 
so far, the few goals that I listed above should be achievable.  If I 
have to abandon Debian, then I will consider other distro, as others 
have recommended.


Before I can post more specific questions and perhaps 
configuration files/settings for review, I have to refamiliarize myself 
with what I've installed and configured.  I will also utilize the 
resources that have been offered so far.  It may be slow going but 
having connected with you folks has given me new hope and 
inspiration.  Thank you for your support.

With Gratitude,
Bill Diehl

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