2002 02 28

                    LINUX NEWS
        Resources & Links From CramSession.com
            Thursday, February 28, 2002


1) Sean’s Notes

2) Linux News

Star Office 6 Not to be Free for Linux?
PHP Security Update
Sun's Blade Servers Coming This Year
CrossOver 1.1 Plugin Announced

3) Linux Resources

How to Find What You're Looking For
Non-Programmers Tutorial For Python
Redefine The Fine Manual
Programming: The First Steps
Installing and Using AIDE

4) App o’ the week

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1) Sean's Notes

I've got to say that in the past week, I've evolved.  Not in
the Darwinian sense, but in the email client sense.  After
being a devoted PINE user for years, I decided to give
Evolution a shot.

Evolution is an MS Outlook clone written by the GNOME
project, with significant backing from Ximian.  Since I
already use Ximian GNOME for my desktop, a couple of clicks
within red carpet was all I needed to get the software

Running Evolution for the first time brings up a dialogue
asking me information about my mail server.  I'm using IMAP
so that my mail remains on the server, and setting it up
was very easy.  But mail is only one part of Evolution.

Like Outlook, Evolution takes care of the calendar, contacts,
and to do lists.  One of the promises of this client is Palm
Pilot support.  This is where my evolution had to slow a bit.

Installing Evolution also installs the Palm Pilot conduits.
Unfortunately, something is drastically wrong with Ximian's
control centre, as there is no way to enable the conduits
once you've installed them.  After a fair bit of searching,
I found the following:


In a nutshell, I have to downgrade my GNOME Control Centre
to 1.4.x (I was running 1.5.x).  Once I grabbed the 1.4 RPMs
from rpmfind.net, I was in business.  As an added bonus, I
found that in the same place, I could use AvantGo to download
web pages to my Pilot, and even tell my computer to
synchronize my Pilot's time on every HotSync.  Did I mention
these are all separate products (including the Outlook Sync)
in Windows?

On the whole, I'm finding that I'm able to manage my email
more efficiently than I was with PINE.  One of the many
features that helps is called "VFolders".  Rather than moving
email to a folder (and out of my main INBOX), VFolders allow
me to create a view of all my folders based on user specified
criteria.  By creating a VFolder of email addressed to
swalberg@cramsession.com, any message in any folder (or just
the ones I specify), destined to my CramSession account show
up in one place while still being stored in the original
folder. I can still sort email into folders after I've dealt
with it, but with my VFolder, I can see the total picture.

Another handy feature is the Summary page.  Like Outlook's
"Outlook Today" page, I can see how much email was backed up,
or what appointments I have this week.  What it also shows is
the current weather and headlines for my favourite news sites.
Customizing the content of this page is also very simple.

It hasn't been all roses, though.  I've still yet to find
a good way to display my main inbox.  If I put most recent
messages first, deleting a message moves my cursor down (i.e.,
away from the new messages).  If I reverse the order so that
new messages appear at the bottom, it is difficult to see new
mail because it won't scroll the window when new mail arrives.
Minor cosmetic things, but after having the ability to
customize this behaviour in PINE, it is somewhat of an

Minor imperfections aside, Evolution has handled my mail
like a pro.  Response is snappy, the GUI (and keystroke
shortcuts) intuitive, and it has an all around pleasing look
and feel.  I've tried many GUI email clients but always ended
back up in PINE.  This time, I've evolved.  I've got a new
email client now.

Long live the Penguin,

swalberg@cramsession.com  <-- Now powered by Evolution!

PS - Last week's article on programming resources asked for
recommendations on books for C programmers.  A couple of
readers wrote in to suggest K&R's "The C Programming
Language" (ISBN: 0131103628) is the definitive guide to the
C language. While it's not geared for someone just starting
out, it is a valuable reference if you run into problems.

2) Linux News

Star Office 6 Not to be Free for Linux?
This article (long url, translated from German) says that
SUN is going to charge money for the Linux and Windows
versions of Star Office 6.0.  No mention of the price, and
SUN's site seems to be silent on the issue.  Not that I'm
complaining, Star Office is a great product, but is the
"business won't use it because it's free" issue really the


PHP Security Update
If you're running PHP, be sure to upgrade to the latest
version of 4.1.2.  There was a bug found in the way that
the module handles uploads, and ranges in severity depending
on the version being used.


Sun's Blade Servers Coming This Year
"Sun will release two types of blades this year: those
using Intel chips and the Linux operating system, and
those using Sun's UltraSparc chips and its Solaris operating


CrossOver 1.1 Plugin Announced
Despite being compatible with Microsoft in many respects,
Linux still has difficulty reading MS Office files, and
playing Microsoft Media files.  CrossOver is a plugin that
uses WINE to run the Windows binaries for the Word viewer,
and the Media Player.  Though it is commercial, the price is
small compared to what you get.


3) Linux Resources

How to Find What You're Looking For
The "find" command is indispensable for keeping control of
your filesystem.  Not only can you find files based on name,
but other criteria such as size, ownership, or modification
times can also be used.  This is one command every admin
should be fluent with, and this article will help you get


Non-Programmers Tutorial For Python
Many language tutorials out there assume you know how to
program in one language or another.  Since this is not always
the case, I was happy to see this Python tutorial, made for
people who have never programmed before.


Redefine The Fine Manual
Much like Linuxdoc, this site stores How-To files.  This
time, though, the files are concise explanations of single
concepts, such as how to connect to a remote device with a
serial connection, or do a particular task with X-Windows.


Programming: The First Steps
"Many people seem to be wondering whether they should get
into programming, and how they can do it. The truth is that
programming itself is very simple - most people do it
already, and don't even know it."  A great article by
CoolNameDenied, a Cramsession regular.


Installing and Using AIDE
AIDE is an Open Sourced replacement for Tripwire, a program
that keeps checksums of key binaries for verification in the
event of a suspected break in.  The syntax of the
configuration file is quite cryptic, and like Tripwire can
easily be set up improperly (thus removing any security
benefit), so this step by step guide will be useful.


4) App o' the week
A while back I set out on what I thought should be a simple
task -- find some software to create a Gantt chart.  This was
more difficult than I had thought, as each package was at
various stages of development.  Then, while looking for
something else, I found MrProject.  It'll do Gantt charts,
calendars, and track resources. I'm no project manager, but
I think this is a pretty handy tool for those looking to get
rid of MS Project.


(C) 2002 BrainBuzz.com. All Rights Reserved.


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