Kristian Erik Hermansen on 2 Feb 2008 10:45:32 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Debian-SAMBA Goal Summary

On Feb 2, 2008 9:42 AM, Bill Diehl <> wrote:
> 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.

Yes, Samba is perhaps the best protocol to do this!

> 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.

Most mice will work these days.  I am surprised that your Logitech
touchpad does not...

> 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
> Win98SE).

By default, at least in Ubuntu, printing to PDF is automatically setup
for you.  Perhaps it is in many other distros as well.  If not, you
can always scan to PDF using xsane...

> 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.

If it is a winmodem, you might have trouble.  However, you can use
Ubuntu's autoconfig tool to get most modems working, even winmodems...

$ sudo restricted-manager

After you check the box for your modem, you can then install gfax and
efax or hylafax.  I have used them before to send faxes via my
cellphone connected to my computer in 2003 or 2004, which was pretty
cool.  Nowadays I just scold anyone who tells me to use a fax.  It is
dead technology.  I tell them, "...listen, why don't you just scan it
in and email it to me, ummmkay?"  Don't forget to mention that faxing
100 page documents really sucks...

$ sudo aptitude install gfax

> 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
> company.

You SnapScan scanner should work just fine in Linux using xsane.  It
doesn't have "complete" support, but it is the next level down which
is "good" support.  Perhaps some features won't work, but those are
usually the features that you don't normally use either...

> 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.

Cool.  If you want to get smashed in the face with knowledge that will
probably return you back to Windows because there is so much to learn,
try these other distros, which will give you the gory details about
how everything works.  Now, you have to be very brave to go through
them, especially if you are not a programmer and familiar with lots of
this stuff.  I was an undergrad electrical engineering student when I
embarked on these journeys, but maybe you don't have to be :-)

Linux From Scratch (you get nothing but gcc, and have to learn
everything else.  Build your OS from scratch):

Gentoo (gives you a framework for customization, but not completely
from scratch -- a tad easier than LFS):

> 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

GRUB is the standard boot loader on Linux, and it will boot other OSs
as well.  Xubuntu utilizes XFCE and may be what you want to use if you
require a faster/leaner desktop experience...

> 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.

Good luck on your journey :-)
Kristian Erik Hermansen
"Know something about everything and everything about something."
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