Bill Diehl on 2 Feb 2008 15:50:22 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Debian-SAMBA Goal Summary

On 2 Feb 2008 at 17:10, Matthew Rosewarne wrote:

> 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.

My goal too would be not to have any Windows machines.  I have 
to get comfortable with a Linux install before switching my other 
family members' machines to Linux.  I also have to learn how work 
around "Windows Only" situations, like the webinar company that 
requires XP (no Linux or Mac support). 

> > 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?

The touchpad works as a mouse pointer only, which requires too 
many strokes to move across 2 monitors.  The scroll and zoom 
zones as well as the 3 buttons are not functional without a driver.  I 
do not know if there is a way to change the pointer speed without a 
driver.  It is made by Cirque and is embedded in my keyboard 
(Input Center).  I contacted the company about a Linux driver and 
was told one is in development with no release date.

> 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.

PaperPort has a printer function that allows me to print documents 
and web pages directly to it as if to a printer.  I just have to decide 
how important the conveniences that I have set up are or find Linux 

> 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.

These are all things I would have to relearn.  Currently, pdf995 acts 
as a printer driver to which I can print right from the Print window in 
any application.  If I recall, OpenOffice has a PDF converter built-in.

> > 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.

That's good to know.  Apparently there is a Linux solution for every 

> > 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.

Yes, I did check out the sites that Kristian (thank you) provided.  
Perhaps if I use one of the Ubuntu versions, this issue will be 

> > 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.

Having Debian about 80% configured as I want it is what makes it 
so hard to abandon.  With a little help, I thought I could finish the 
configuration and use it regularly.  However, as others have pointed 
out, I am spending too much time and energy trying to learn so 
much and get things working that the frustration is draining and the 
fun is gone.  Thank you for your acknowledgement, though.

Fortunately, I have one primary hard drive partition available and 
plenty of free disk space to try other distros without wiping out my 
Debian install.  As I learn more, I may keep going back to it to see 
what I can get to work without the pressure of needing it to work.

> > 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.

With help from other forums, I was able to figure out how to set up 
an extended desktop like I use for Win98SE.  There may be times 
when separate desktops on each monitor could be useful but what 
I have works well now.

> > 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.

Since I am pretty much homebound, attending meetings would be 
challenging - thank you for the suggestion.  I am not sure what 
"#plug IRC channel" is, means, or how to access it.  I would like 
more help with completing my Debian install, even as I try Xubantu 
or other variation.

> > 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.

It looks like I will need all of the help I can get.  Thank you for your 


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