[TAG] Article Ideas
jimregan at o2.ie
Mon Jun 7 20:16:44 MSD 2004
Geoff Ericksson wrote:
>1) Using laptop at multiple locations.
>Different locations need a different setup. For example, I use yum or
>apt-get to keep my system up to date which needs to know what the proxy
>server is. Web browsers also need to know what the proxy is. Et
>cetera. I got sick of manually configuring all these things so I
>eventually wrote a script (available if you are interested) to take in
>an environment variable (set on the grub command line) and set up the
>configuration files appropriately for each location. Eventually I made
>the changes easier by setting up a local proxy server on my laptop and
>just change my proxy server's configuration. Which leads me to
GNOME Setup Tools has a way of setting up different network locations,
which you can choose from a list, to quickly change network settings. I
haven't used it, but it looks nifty.
>2) Set up a local proxy server.
>I chose squid because I could apt-get it. Did I make a good choice?
>Would another do a better job? I've since noticed that debian has one
>My setup of squid basically involved googling problems until it worked.
>Then I stopped. I still don't really understand what I did. Have I
>left huge security holes open due to my ignorance?
>It would be nice to be able to go back though the mozilla history when I
>am offline and be able to see pages that I have looked at. Can squid do
>When I dial in to my ISP can squid automatically start going to my
>regular websites and pre-cache stuff?
I don't know, but on my system there is a default script called
/etc/ppp/ip-up which tests for sendmail, and if sendmail is installed,
it tells sendmail to send any mail in its queue. You could always write
a script to have lynx go to these sites, and pipe the output to /dev/null
Mozilla has features built in to do this. When you bookmark a site, you
can set an option to have it watched; Mozilla then tries to load the
page at whatever interval you set, and can be set to inform you when the
>6) Accessing hotmail
>I wanted to be able to access my hotmail account in my mail reader.
>hotwayd solves that problem. Is there another solution? Can hotwayd or
>any other similar program allow access to other web based mail accounts?
hotwayd is designed to access Hotmail's proprietary version of WebDAV
(just as Ximian Connector does for the Exchange Web Adaptor), so it's
not likely that it would be of much use for any other web site.
>7) Printing photographs
>My wife wants to print photos easily. I still haven't found an easy
>solution. Problems are things like how to put 4 photos onto an A4 page
>easily. Any ideas? Do I need to write something?
You could create a template in Scribus, or a frame based word processor
such as OOWriter or KWord, which has 4 image frames set to quarter the
page. I've attached an OOWriter document which does this.
>9) Running windows software
>Software that I buy for my kids is Windows based. :( . Do people have
>success with wine? I can't get sound going for wine, any ideas where I
>should be looking? How do people use wine? (e.g. do they have a
>separate "windows window" with start button, etc, or do they just try
>and get windows apps running transparently? ) Potential article: wine
Sound in Wine *is* a pain; but it's one of the most actively developed
areas. I intend to cover using individual apps in Wine, as well as
showing how native apps compare. If you give me a list of apps, I'll
have a look at them, if I can get them (legally!).
>10) Mounting network drives
>At work I am not allowed to NFS mount network drives. My current
>solution is to use the samba client to talk to the solaris machine
>running the samba server. What a completely nuts world! Has anybody
>had success using an ssh mount?
You're better off using samba; NFS doesn't do well in translating ACLs
between Unixes, while the Samba team have extended the SMB protocol to
>12) Treating CD-RW as a removable disk
>How do you do it under linux?
You need the pack writing patch to your kernel, but there are tools.
>13) Fax / Answering machine
>Can I use my linux box as a fax or an answering machine?
Yes. There are so many ways of doing this that it's almost scary :) The
hot topic of the moment seems to be using Asterix PBX to do VoIP.
For FAX: http://www.hylafax.org/
For answering machine: There are some instructions for setting up mgetty
here - http://www.wlug.org.nz/LinuxAnsweringMachine
Asterisk (http://www.asterisk.org/) does voice mail; but if you're just
using it for one person and have no intention of using VoIP, it's overkill.
>1) Choice of distribution
>How did you choose your distribution? I'm sure that would be an
>interesting story. I chose Mandrake initially because it seemed
>friendly but it had problems with my hardware (Dell Inspiron 8000).
>Redhat 8 fixed those problems so I stayed with Redhat and then moved to
>Fedora. I tried to put debian on in between an upgrade and it was _so_
>hard that I eventually gave up. I'm sure that with enough effort
>applied I would have eventually got there but my wife and kids only have
>so much patience.
I'm using Mandrake because it's the most up to date (desktop wise) which
Linux Format included on their cover DVD. I prefer Debian though, and
I'm setting aside a week to switching over.
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