A free software developer adventure

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Migrating to Suse 10.1

This week-end I went back to my parent's house in the East of France. As always I was asked to clean the PC and make it work correctly. This included solving the issue causing the mail client stoped sending and receiving mails. This was an easy fix : there was no more free space and as always, I wonderered where was the free space gone (as always my sister knew...). Anyway, some years ago I had conviced the family to switch to Linux and had set-up a Fedro core 2. Everybody was quite happy with it but some features where lacking like accessing easily to USB devices (some times the automount was morking and sometimes not...). I though it was a good reason enought to switch to a new distribution : Suse 10.1. As I was also wanting to test it myself it was a perfect time ! From the beginning to the end, everything went smoothly. I started installing the basics, then :
  • configured e-mails (and migrated the old account),
  • tested USB devices (I love the way the sysinfo kio shows information and give access to the devices to users),
  • installed the internet software (Adobe Reader, Java, flash Player...)
  • installed the multimedia libs (mplayer, realplayer, mp3 codecs...),
  • installed the MS TTF fonts,
  • and finished with the nvidia drivers, xgl and compiz (completely useless, but so good looking)
The only two problems I encountered during all this were about having the mp3 support in amarok and getting the nvidia drivers to work. For the mp3, I first followed the opensuse documentation explaining that you can solve the mp3-codec lack by installing the helix-amarok engine from the non-oss software repository. This works well as long as you do not log out. As soon as I reboot the amarok engine is xine-amarok again... Do not know why but the preferences are not kept. Finally, I followed this link explainning that if you install the xine libs from packman it also works, and the trick was done. For the nvidia drivers, I followed the very well written tutorial from Novel. Everything went right until I called sax2. There my screen resolution was not recognized and the image was out of range ! I solved the problem by specifying to Sax2 a resolution : sax2 -r -m 0=nvidia -V 0:1024x800@60 This resolution was not recognized by sax2. This seems to have forced sax2 to autoconfigure the correct resolution. From this point, everything worked like a charm ! Once all this was finished, everybody started using it. My sister discovered Amarok and she loves it ! I explained her how to get the lyrics the CD jacket and infos about the atists and she really enjoyed re-discovering the titles of her favorite artists. She also liked the xgl effects (but I disabled them because not everyone likes them). For my mum the fact that the mail client stays the same that under Fedora Core 2 was the most important thing. Everybody is now just happy. I love Suse 10.1, it's really well done ! PS : As many people explained it already, yast is not working so well for setting repositories compared to the previous version, but I am sure an update will correct that soon !

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Chart2 : building the new chart module

I've just finished compiling OOo with the new chart moudule enabled on m166. As always, when a resync is done with a milestone, new issues rise... Only two new issues this time and one related to Java 1.5. I also updated the chart2 wiki page.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2006

OpenOffice.org Calc Tip : typing data

In Calc, one often wants to enter data quickly on several lines. Hence, once you have entered the first line, you click on the beginning of the second line and so on for each line. As, using the mouse is too exhausting for power users, here is a trick for you : - Select a range of cells - Click on the tabulation key Each time you press the tabulation key, you will move to the next cell and once you are at the end of a line, the selection will go back at the beginning of the selection on the following line without clicking.

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