From rick Fri Feb 8 09:28:09 2002
Date: Fri, 8 Feb 2002 09:28:09 -0800
Subject: Re: [ILUG] Advice on setting up Linux please

Quoting John Flanagan (

> My main use for the PC at the moment is dial-up internet access using
> ICQ, Internet Explorer, Outlook Express.

Remember what I said about Linux cultural assumptions and habits? Bear
in mind that you'll be hearing mostly from technical users who are
network-centric, who prefer lighter tools and shy from "integration",
who will go to some lengths to have no-hassle hardware and open-source
software instead of proprietary competitors, and who are not allergic to
the command line and getting one's hands dirty.


The following will tend to make your life difficult:
o PCI "winmodems":
o USB in general, and USB winmodems in particular
o ISA internal modems whose serial ports are ISA Plug'n'Play devices
o (sometimes) ISA internal modems generally

The following is absolutely optimal:
o good-quality external modem connectable to an RS-232C serial port

Most of the above is equally true on any OS. You'll just find more
people who acknowledge the truth of the matter, using Linux.

Web browsers, open source:

o Mozilla <= I use
o Konqueror <= I use
o Galeon <= I use
o Skipstone

Web browsers, proprietary:

o Netscape Communicator/Navigator 4.78 (and so on)
o Netscape Communicator/Navigator 6.1
o Opera browser

All the browser options are detailed here:

Some Linux users will elect to install the Shockwave Flash plug-in,
which is proprietary.

MUAs (Mail User Agents), graphical:

o Ximian Evolution:
o KMail:
o Sylpheed:
o Mahogany:
o Aethera:
o Post Office:
o Pronto:
o Spruce:
o Balsa:

MUAs, console, open source:

o Mutt: <= I use

MUAs, console, proprietary:

o Pine:

> I also use it for some spreadsheets,

Spreadsheets, graphical, open source:

o gnumeric: <= I use
o Kspread:
o Calc in OpenOffice:
o xspread:

Spreadsheets, console, open source:

o sc
o oleo

Spreadsheets, graphical, proprietary:

o NExS:
o WingZ and WingZ Professional:
o StarCalc inside Sun StarOffice:
o Xess / Xesslite:
o Vistasource's ApplixWare Office (suite) aka AnyWhere Desktop,
(This was formerly from Applix, and was also available from
SuSE as Linux Office Suite.)

The redoubtable Christopher Browne has pages on Linux spreadsheets
as well as on practically anything else you want to know about Linux

> developing a small personal website

You may want to know about these (all open source):

o Bluefish:
o Quanta Plus:
o PHP4 (especially on the server end):

And of course Christopher Browne has relevant material:

> and an occasional bit of programming using VB.

Depending on whether you like the language or the IDE/RAD tool, see:

o KBasic (open source):
o Phoenix Object BASIC (proprietary):
o GNOME BASIC (open source):


o My list of known IDEs / RAD tools / GUI-builders on Linux:

But you might be happier doing Python development, or one of
a variety of better-regarded languages. Although the tools to do
object BASIC exist on Linux, hardly anyone uses them.

"Is it not the beauty of an asynchronous form of discussion that one can go and
make cups of tea, floss the cat, fluff the geraniums, open the kitchen window
and scream out it with operatic force, volume, and decorum, and then return to
the vexed glowing letters calmer of mind and soul?" -- The Cube,

From: Rick Moen
Newsgroups: linuxworld.forums.articles.1999-12-penguin_1
Subject: Re: Disagree
Date: 4 Jan 2000 23:41:15 GMT
Organization: If you lived here, you'd be $HOME already
User-Agent: tin/pre-1.4-981002 ("Phobia") (UNIX) (Linux/2.0.38 (i486))

Indeed. *I* had no reason to suppose that you hadn't understood
my little essay.

I hadn't responded, myself, simply because I couldn't think of anything
immediately useful to add. I _did_ note to myself that I needed to
create yet another such essay as soon as I can figure out how to
word it, along the lines of "I'm a newbie interested in Linux. How
am I likely to be able to use it fruitfully, and what should I do
to become productive as quickly as possible?"

I haven't written that essay yet, and I really should.

Since I haven't, here's part of a conversation I've been having in
e-mail with reporter who's writing a piece about using Linux in
business (which might help):

Date: Tue, 4 Jan 2000 15:04:06 -0800
From: Rick Moen <rick>
To: [omitted]
Subject: Re: Upcoming Linux distribution reviews

Hi, [name omitted]. Sorry I took my time getting back to you. As you
may know, the entire "DeCSS" legal matter has been involving large parts
of the open-source community, and I've been a busy guy.

On your query regarding workstation/desktop office applications for

You have:

Quadraton Cliq
Gnome Office apps
Star Office
Corel Word Perfect and upcoming siblings

Here are some open-source additions. A few of these (such as Abiword)
I actually _use_ on occasion. The others are just hanging around on my
Debian "potato"-based laptop in case I ever need them. For most of my
needs, I'm a vim / Mozilla / m4 / python / bash / awk / grep kinda guy. ;->

Abacus (small, easy graphical spreadsheet)
Gnumeric (spreadsheet)
LyX (slick graphical front-end to LaTeX)
Magicpoint (presentation graphics)
Oleo (spreadsheet)
Siag Office (includes Scheme In A Grid spreadsheet, Pathetic Writer word
processor, Egon animation program, Xfiler file manager, each of
which is also available separately).
Xspread (simple X version of the old "sc" spreadsheet)
Xpaint (fairly versatile bitmap/pixmap editor) or Tkpaint
Xanim (player for a huge range of animations/movies including Quicktime,
MPEG, MS Video)
TkDesk (desktop/file manager)
GIMP (draw/paint/edit/manipulate images)
amp/freeamp (mp3 audio player)
Electric Eyes (graphics viewer/editor)
dia (diagram/chart/graph editor)

> Am I missing anything obvious? Do you have any comments (quotable or
> otherwise) on this stuff?

Understand that you're asking this of someone who generates printouts
of Web pages like this:

lynx -dump http://foo/ | enscript -G -p - | nc 9100

What I mean is that I prefer small, fast, solid tools that work
well in combination over 50MB-in-RAM wonders like Star Office. So, I
may not be the fellow you want to quote. (That having been said,
Word Perfect 8.0 is pretty solid, and relatively compact in RAM at about
6-8 MB. Nicely done.) I'm also forgiving of the shortcomings in such
open-source efforts as Mozilla milestone 12 and AbiWord 0.7.7 beta,
because I'd rather use, encourage, and help debug open-source projects.

I will say that it's frustrating seeing people using Linux as a desktop
system and never going beyond the MS Windows mindset. Here is what I
keep wanting to shout at them:

1. It's the network, stupid.

The X Window System is a networked protocol! If something you want
to run exists only on your firm's Solaris box, ssh over there and
run it remotely. (FrameMaker used to be my canonical example of
this, but Adobe is now porting it to Linux.)

Want to run X applications remotely on your Win32 boxes? Install
an X server. (Pity that this is underdeveloped on Win32.)

VNC server and client software exists for Linux, too.

Even in a home environment, it's time to stop being frightened by
the word "network". A pair of LinkSys ethernet cards and a crossover
cable is less than $100, and your Linux box can run headless (no
monitor) in a closet to provide file/print service (Samba), Internet
connectivity (as a NAT/IP masquerading router with private IP on
the inward side), a local Web cache (using Squid), and central e-mail
for the other machine and any others in the house you connect up

2. Use SSH! Use rsync! Use cron!

I keep seeing people telnetting. No! Bad user! That became too
perilous to system security, a decade ago. We now have ssh for
remote login, and scp for casual file copying between machines.


I also see people doing trans-machine maintenance manually. No!
Bad user! If you need to replicate a directory every evening between
two machines, you do it as an rsync job over an ssh tunnel,
scheduled as a cron job.

3. In case of extreme need, there's VMware. (

If you absolutely need to run legacy proprietary OSes and don't
have a machine to sacrifice for it, VMware will run damned near
anything (chewing up CPU power somewhat).

4. Save your newest and fanciest workstation hardware for OSes that need
CPU power to burn.

Use for Linux the P133 / 64 MB / 2 GB box you were going to discard
because MS Bloatware 2000 chokes on it. Linux will love it, and
you won't be waiting for drivers.

5. Heed the cautionary tales and tips in my "rants" essays.

The reason I put them there is so I can refer people there for
my personal answers to common questions. Much of it concerns Linux.

6. Anyone thinking of installing Debian needs to read . Local Debian developers agree
on this point, and I'm being urged to submit it for inclusion in
the next release, after rewriting and rearranging it.

> Do you think WINE will ever work well?

I am told that it works well enough that people run Win32 Quicken on it.
However, it always seems strange that people would go to all the trouble
to create a Linux box, and then want to run Win32 applications on it.

There are multiple reasons why this puzzles me. First, wouldn't you
run Win32 applications on your Windows box, instead? I mean, surely
people don't think you're allowed to have _only one computer_?

I mean, companies are throwing away Pentiums in their dumpsters, for
heaven's sake. Grab one and use it as a very fast Linux server, if you
don't want to buy a second machine.

Second, what's so mesmerising about Win32 programs? I can't think
of any that I'd want to run. If I wanted to run games, probably I'd
do it on a Sega Dreamcast, not a computer.

And then, if you _really_ need to run a Win32 program within a Linux
X session, remember point #1 (It's the network, stupid): Do it via
VNC from your Win32 box.

Cheers, "I'd say it's latke-esque. Sort of like
Rick Moen Kafka-esque, only less depressing."
rick (at) -- Deirdre Saoirse

From: Bryan -TheBS- Smith
Organization: Theseus Logic
To: Ian B MacLure
Date: Tue, 9 May 2000 11:40:56 -0400
Subject: [svlug] My take on apps -- RE: DocBook, Framemaker on Linux

On Tue, 09 May 2000, Ian B MacLure wrote:

> Any feel for staroffice. My take is that its not ready for the
> sort of industrial strength usage you would put it too but for
> most "civilian" uage it seems fine,

I've been using StarOffice's StarImpress for almost 3 years now
(since version 3.1). I actually prefer it over PowerPoint.

Other than that, this is my take on apps:

- Word Processing: Hate all (always have on any OS)
- Text Processing: LyX w/SGML and/or DocBook
(why waste time with WP?!?!?!)
- DTP/Frame Layout: FrameMaker (Linux Demo), KWord? (future)

- Spreadsheet: Gnumeric, StarCalc for Linux/Windows compat
(I hate Excel,

- Presentation: StarImpress on any OS, period
(HTML w/browser is also good,
PowerPoint is the only Microsoft app that is
tolerable, but SI is much, better IMHO, esp new 5.2!)

- HTML Editor: StarWord is a very good WYSIWYG editor
(if you use Netscape Composer, dump it for SW!!!),
otherwise, it's GVIM for me, or LyX/LaTeX conversion
for documentation (see the HOWTO HOWTO), and W3C's
Amaya when I want 100% standard HTML (start with GVIM
or LyX/LaTeX, then pull into Amaya for *TRUE* WYSIWYG
preview and syntax correction/cleaning).

If you have a mixed Windows-Linux world, it's StarOffice. It's
word processor, StarWord, is adequate (just like MS-Word, but I'm
biased because I HATE word processors, period), although its
spreadsheet, StarCalc, really sucks (at least on Excel conversion
-- Gnumeric is 10x better). StarImpress ROCKS and it has replaced
PowerPoint (the only tolerable Microsoft app) and the new 5.2 beta
adds all kinds of new features (leading over PP 2000??? ;-).

I find StarWord is a perfect replacement for Netscape Composer. If
you are using Composer chuck it and start using StarWord. Amaya is
another excellent WYSIWYG HTML editor, 100% standards compliant,
but unlike the others, you canNOT simultanously WYSIWYG and markup
edit (e.g., it's good for post-processing for final publishing

Being an old AmiPro/1-2-3 user (and miss them both greatly,
because even Excel still does not have all the features of my
5-year old 1-2-3 release 4, let alone fast and sleek AmiPro), I
anxiously await KWord. I've played with AbiWord and it looks like
yet another word processor. KWord is a frame-layout DTP package
that should cater to us old AmiPro users (I'm hoping ;-).

> I <option><s> ( or equivalent ) every few minutes or so as an
> automatic reflex. A habit picked up many years ago on IBM
> and DEC iron of various weights and its mostly worked for
> me but yes if I were writing extensively I'd be backing
> up to zip a lot and burning CDs daily.

Yeah, but that does LITTLE if the save command in Word corrupts the
file, and even the backup file. Data integrity, NOT save
speed/backgrounding should be priority #1 / default in Word. Hence
why I have to complete exit Word, then use the file manager to copy
to 2 other systems (as well as use Xdelta to check-in on the file
server itself for revision control). Simply using Save-As (to
another drive/system) in Word can cause corruptions too!

F--- you very much Microsoft for making features/speed the standard
at the expense of data integrity.

> "Samba Unleashed"..... Hmmm, $39.95 @fatbrain.

Steve Litt, a former CA resident and recent Central Florida
transplant is the main author.

> We actually have a samba setup in the office to support the few
> Wintel boxes we have ( well one W2K user who pisses and moans
> about how "we" need to convert our entire operation to W2K [ including
> the Flight Simulators { 15 ton boxes on hydraulic jack types IYKWIM } ]
> so he won't have to run W2K in "crippled" mode ).

As a longtime NT user (since before 3.1 was even released), I
*AVOID* Microsoft solutions at all costs. I have personally
experienced drastically lower TCO and higher uptimes as a result of
using OSS solutions. Any change Microsoft had at producing an
half-way descent OS died when they created "Chicago."

Again, tell your friend that he needs to *AVOID* using Windows 2000
at all costs! It's an invite to slavery. And I speak from
Microsoft's own cronies too!!!

Use the tools that get the job done best. Right now, Linux fills
about 75% of those roles IMHO. Now if I could get us over to
100% StarOffice.

-- TheBS

Bryan "TheBS" Smith -- Engineer, IT Professional and Hacker
TheBS ... Serving E-mail filters to /dev/null since 1989

svlug mailing list

Re: Applix and Red Hat Software Announce Applixware for Red Hat Linux
From: Donnie Barnes (
Date: Tue, 21 May 1996 01:15:40 -0400

> No database???
> I need database that can work with web dynamically.
> Oracle is too expensive :)

Not to sound crass, but buy one of the many commercially available
databases already out there. Empress comes to mind, and they have a web
kit available already. They are also a ton cheaper than Oracle, and a
darned good value considering how powerful it is. Also, since it's SQL
based, you can use Applixware to build a client side interface to your
database. Handy, eh? Don't need Applix? Use the 4GL GUI builder that
comes with Empress to do your client side. Only need a web client? Use
the optional web kit.

See for more details...

No, we're not really pushing them, but it is a good solution. There are
others, and I welcome those using the other solutions that work under
Linux to point those out as well. Linux is not database poor by any could also use mSQL along side Applixware pretty nicely, I'd


Donnie Barnes
Software Engineer
Red Hat Software, Inc.

From: "W. Craig Trader"
Newsgroups: de.comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.linux.misc,comp.os.linux.developement.apps
Subject: Re: Looking for: Free SQL multiuser fast DBMS
Date: Fri, 09 Aug 1996 13:19:54 -0400
Organization: Kaizen Works, Inc.
X-Mailer: Mozilla 3.0b5aGold (X11; I; IRIX 5.3 IP22)

Jene Novakovic wrote:

> I'm looking for a RDBMS or OODBS with:
> - SQL interface
> - more than 20 simultanous users
> - more than 50 simultanos sessions
> - hash- and bintree-indexing
> - DBMS users unlinked with systemusers
> - Running under Linux 2.0.x
> - etc
> Does anybody know of a DBMS?

Your choices are going to be:

1. Ingres (unsupported RDBMS)
2. Postgres (unsupported ORDBMS)
3. Postgres95 (semi-supported ORDBMS)
4. MiniSQL (supported semi-RDBMS)

But I don't believe any of these is going to support your
requirements. You might check comp.databases and comp.databases.object
for more data, but those are the only free/cheap RDBMSes available.
You should be able to locate the latest sources for each via AltaVista.

-- \Excellence can be attained if you... \
W. Craig Trader \Care more than others think is wise... \
Senior Software Engineer\Risk more than others think is safe... \
Kaizen Works, Inc. \Dream more than others think is practical...\
703.733.2853 \Expect more than others think is possible. \

A general "equivalent applications" list: