Matthew Rosewarne on 2 Feb 2008 14:10:43 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Debian-SAMBA Goal Summary

On Saturday 02 February 2008, 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.

Samba is indeed the preferred way to connect Windows machines to Linux 
machines.  I find it somewhat awkward to use, but fortunately I don't have 
any 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.

For the most part, a mouse is a mouse regardless of vendor; there's no 
particular advantage in buying from logitech or anyone else.  It should be 
possible to get your touchpad working though, what model is it?

There's a KDE control panel for mouse settings, but I'm not sure what you'd 
use other than that.

> 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).

I doubt there's anything that uses .max files, but there are plenty of 
scanning applications.  I use kooka, which can scan to various image formats.

In KDE at least, you can print anything to PDF by choosing "Print to File 
(PDF)" in the print dialogue.  There's also the cups-pdf package, but I've 
never used it.

> 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.

Again, I know that you can do this in KDE bu choosing "Send to Fax" in the 
print dialogue.

> 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.

Scanner drivers are handled by SANE, and it appears your scanner is supported 
by the "snapscan" driver.

> 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:

That's quite an impressive showing for someone new to Linux, I'm sure you'll 
be right at home.

> 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.

Fortunately, that card is well-supported by the free radeon driver.  Setting 
up X is something of a pain in the rear, but either setup should be doable.

> 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.

The best thing to do is come to the meetings, the next one is this Wednesday 
downtown.  It's also a very good idea to hang out in the #plug IRC channel.  
There are no shortage of PLUG members who run Debian on their machines.

> 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, and feel free to ask for help.

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