Moved from Gnome to Mac

My last post was a follow up on Debian testing. This ran for a couple of months pretty smooth, but still it hang now and then. I had to use VMWare workstation with a Windows XP inside to run Outlook as still many of the features weren’t working using my Linux hacks.

When it crashed my VM crashed also. This had the consequence that now and then the VM got corrupted. So restoring backups was necessary. In the end it took me more time than I was willing to sacrifice.

As I didn’t want to switch back to Microsoft, there was not much left. Apple released their MacBook Pro with Retina display and this made me decide to finally switch (back). After almost 10 years of using a Linux desktops as my main environment, I abandoned it (now and then I had a secondary machine, one was Mac).

I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and it works pretty well. Okay it also crashes now and then, but I have yet to see this happen during a presentation.

The downside of Mac is off course that they try to hook you into each and every one of their products. I’m still using an Android phone and we still have a lot of Linux servers and other non Mac stuff running, so I won’t give in.

Switching from developing on Linux (and Windows) to Mac is also difficult in the beginning. As on Mac the keyboard layout is totally different from the regular LATIN-BE settings. However once you get used of it, it works pretty ok.

Like I mentioned I’m using a Retina display. The consequence is that not that much applications support the High Resolution, this gives a lot of applications a blurry look.

There is one thing I really love and that is the fact that switching from my Dell to my Mac, I suddenly got multi touch support on my trackpad. 2 finger scrolling and 3 finger gestures for switching between virtual desktops and calling expose to get an overview of all my apps and screens is just sweet. I know the reason I didn’t have this on my Dell is because Dell didn’t put the right hardware in, but that’s always the issue with all those vendors. They seem to always have som flaws in their configurations. This one I really have to hand to Apple. When they put together all the components, they seem to have figured out pretty well what are must haves and what are nice to haves. e.g. I don’t have a cd/dvd station in my system. During these months I still have to find the need to use it. Everything is online, you don’t really need this. If needed I still have a usb CD/DVD station from installing servers  that didn’t have CD/DVD stations.

As I also spent a lot of time talking to customers figuring out what is a must have and nice to have, it’s nice they manage to do this quite well.

Any way, enjoy your 2013. I hope to post some more stuff regarding the things I’ve been doing lately.

Debian Testing Follow Up

In one of my last posts I said I upgraded my laptop from Ubuntu to Debian Testing (after tried Fedora 16 for a couple of weeks). It’s been running for almost one week now. I crashed once (when I hooked up the beamer for doing my presentation.) Not the best moment.

However to be fair. It’s much faster, more stable, more usable,… I’ve seen a lot of people complain about Gnome 3. I for one like it. I’ve been a Linux desktop user since somewhere around the year 2000. I’ve tried almost everything. This for me is a good release because it makes my daily routines faster. To be honest I had to install a couple of gnome-shell-extensions but that was why they build the system as it is.

Finally being able to reply to mails coming from Exchange without the need to fire up a vmware image feels really good and off course also improves the experience a lot. (Or starting Davmail first and starting the email client.)

As I also have to do presentations on a regular basis, I do miss a tool that comes close to what keynote can do. However I’ve seen a couple of people doing some nice presentations in the cloud that look much nicer than the Libreoffice presentation but I still need to look at that. Any suggestions are always welcome! (Google Docs also seemed descent) Off course something that would be as good as Keynote would be even better 🙂

Finally able to send and receive mails from inside Linux without fuss

After I installed Debian 6 testing I thought “Lets search for exchange support again”. I do this on a regular basis I still have to face Exchange a lot. (unfortunately)

I found evolution-ews (exchange web services). So I tried installing it, no problems.I added a new account using EWS. I put in the link to our exchange server and withint a couple of minutes my mail was synced with my laptop. I can now send receive mails within my Gnome 3 desktop without the need for booting a vmware with Windows and Outlook.

Ok I still don’t see my calendar, but I do see my my mail coming and I can send,reply,attach,… without fuss.

Thanks guys behind Evolution.This will save a lot of time on my end.

Printing in Gnome

Today I had to print +30 invoices. I had created 30 pdf’s but couldn’t find a way to print them all at once. In Windows you just drag them to the printer you want to print on (doesn’t matter what format) and Windows does the rest.

Does anybody know how you can do this in Gnome, this would be very handy at the end of every quartor 🙂

alps touchpad multi touch

A couple off weeks ago my Dell Latitude E6500 arrived, it was installed with a Windows 7. Off course it was only a matter of hours before a fresh Linux kernel was doing the heavy lifting on that machine.

Before I used the Dell I was using an Acer. I was pretty satisfied but it was already an old machine. One thing I really liked about it was the multi touch scrolling, much like you have with Apple. For those who don’t know. If you are surfing and you have to scroll down. You just put both your fingers on the touchpad and drag them down. The page will scroll. On my Dell this didn’t work however, so I started investigating and after a while I found out that Dell uses a ALPS touchpad. Most other vendors use a synaptic touchpad. It seems the people from ALPS haven’t released any (good) documentation and therefor the Linux hackers can’t enable the multitouch.

This seems to be the first downside of my new Machine. For the rest pretty much everything worked out of the box. Wifi, Compiz, … Even my new usb headset with micro worked out of the box. Only real thing you have to add is the MP3 codecs.

Switching back to thunderbird

On my windows and mac machines I’m using Thunderbird but on my Linux machines I was using Evolution but after a lot of crashes and latency with my Imap store I switched also to Thunderbird. I have to say I’m glad I did, everything seems to working much better now.

Wonder why evolution is still the preferred mail client for gnome as I have the feeling that Thunderbird is a much better product?

Fedora 8

I just upgraded my Fedora 7 to Fedora 8. I didn’t notice to much difference. Okay the login screen looks much better 🙂

However I did install Compiz-fusion. This is really amazing, MS and Apple still have a lot of catching up todo if you look at this. I followed the tutorial on the Howto site but I still have to run Compizmanager as a separate process. I really like the new features (flatten your desktop, group applications on a virtual plane,…)

My girlfriend is doing here internship at some schools. She demoed Ubuntu and Beryl. The day after she had to bring Ubuntu cd’s for all the kids in here class. My little saleswoman is doing great, don’t you agree?

Ubuntu gutsy + Google Calendar

This weekend I upgraded my main desktop from Feisty to Gutsy. It went pretty smooth I have to admit. Just click upgrade and it works as it supposed. I had installed the Ubuntu Studio theme and that got upgraded too. When my X came back up I was really amazed, I had to remember to close my jaw.
I really like the gray theme I have now. It’s much more clearer than the former one. (I could have switched to another one, but didn’t want too 🙂 )

I also noticed they ditched Gaim and switched to Pidgin. I was using it already on my F7 and works perfect with my 2 hotmail,1 google and 1 jabber account 😛

Another thing I really like is that nautilus now has the Documents,Photos,… folders in the main opendialog-form.

I have to conclude it feels like another successful iteration of the Gnome desktop and Ubuntu distro!

On planet gnome I saw this article. In the feature list it states

• Viewing default calendar
• Creating/modifying/deleting the appointments

Hubba hubba, /me wants this for his desktop. I use Google Calendar all the time. My girlfriend even uses it. I still have to find a better Calendar web application! I even get notified by SMS.
At the moment I just import it as a read only calendar, so getting the other CUD features is … … SWEET

Quicksilver on Linux

Another thing that got mentioned on the user group was the lack of a Quicksilver copy for Linux. As I find it hard to believe this didn’t exist for Gnome, I searched a bit and it seems Deskbar is doing this kind of stuff. I just put it on my top menu and I think I’m gonna use it a lot. It really looks nice, eve the plugin is nice.

Probably it will add a lot of extra load on your network with all the web calls it does. But hey I don’t have any limit so … 😛

Switch from hunderbird back to Evolution …

Today I switched my default mail client back from Thunderbird to Evolution.

I installed Beagle and I want all my mails to be indexed for searching. I lost 10 minutes searching for a stupid mail today (yeah, it’s really stupid heaving 5 large mailboxes that you use frequently)

After installing I started replying some emails and I noticed that my Nautilus mounted SSH folders were included in the add attachments screen. sweet The Thunderbird version didn’t have that option and that was pretty stupid. I had to copy the files locally and then attach them 🙁

I did notice however that the response off Thunderbird is much better than Evolution, but hey at my customer I’m have to use M$ Outlook so I’m glad when I’m back at my office using Evo.

I also stopped using Amsn, I also fully switched to Gaim. Okay the integration with the MSN messenger service isn’t as good as Amsn but Gaim also gets indexed by Beagle. I was already using Gaim for my Jabber and Gmail friends but not yet for my MSN friends. So you guys are now on my Gaim list and are being indexed 😀

You get the point, my whole entry is about indexing. Lets see how much more efficient I get in the future.

On a side note, I now seem to have my spelling checker enabled in Firefox. So I’ll pay more attention on my writing skills as some of you seem to have problems with my bad English!