Matthew Rosewarne on 2 Feb 2008 18:41:16 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] Debian-SAMBA Goal Summary

On Saturday 02 February 2008, Bill Diehl wrote:
> 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).

While it's certainly liberating to move one's own machine to Linux, it is a 
whole other ballgame getting someone else to switch.  You'll probably find 
that almost everyone here has taken heat when trying to spread Linux.

> 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.

Usually, linux drivers aren't provided directly from the vendor, since they're 
either part of the standard distribution or non-existant.  Most graphics 
cards are a notable (and extremely irritating) exception, as well as some 
other devices.

You should certainly be able to change the pointer speed, but I'm only 
familiar with doing it through KDE.

> > 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).

> 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
> equivalents.

Oh, I misunderstood what PaperPort was.  KDE or cups-pdf allow you to print 
anything to PDF.

> 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.

Yes, that's how KDE's PDF & Fax printers work, they show up in the printer 
selection along with the real printers.  OpenOffice has a PDF converter, but 
it it only works for OpenOffice.

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

Well, unfortunately not for every need yet, but it does the job for most.

> 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
> handled.

SANE drivers can be found in Debian inside the libsane package, which should 
be installed automatically if you install a scanning application.

> 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.

Of course, having a computer isn't much good if you spend more time managing 
it than you do getting things done.  Debian has a relatively high initial 
time cost and learning curve, but it can return the favour with its 
reliability.  It is unfortunately not uncommon for distributions to recommend 
re-installing rather than upgrading when new versions are released, whereas 
Debian has a relatively anal development process to make sure that upgrades 
don't break your system.

> 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.

IRC is Internet Relay Chat, or online chatrooms.  PLUG has a "channel" (ie. 
chatroom) on the Freenode IRC network.  To connect to it, you need an IRC 
client.  I use Kopete, most PLUG users are console junkies and use irssi, and 
there are numerous others such as X-Chat or Konversation.

The advantage of IRC is the immediacy of the feedback, which can make the 
process of finding answers easier and much faster.  Have a look at the IRC 
page on the PLUG site:

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