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back in the saddle

After a lengthy moving process followed by my RAID array controller failing, I'm fully back to "working order". My office is mostly in a workable state and, now that our home appliances are installed, the house is mostly livable. The oddest part about living here is that our window treatments haven't arrived yet. So, day-in, day-out we are exposed to our neighbors through our 25 windows (-4 bed and bath windows covered by trash bags). There's some metaphor in this, I'm sure.

On the projects front, a few updates. Some time around our move, the recruiter at Garmin stopped returning my phone calls about that job working on their embedded Linux & GTK+ project. "I have recommended you for hire and we're waiting to hear from the project leader to arrange for you to meet the team," turned in to un-returned phone calls. I'm rather disappointed in them; that's horrible etiquette. I hope that HR doesn't treat their employees this way.

Safedesk Solutions, the company I am tech. lead for, has hired both of the lead developers for the Debian Live project. We're paying them to make the Debian Live architecture rock solid and to get the stuff in to Debian officially (an investment in the longevity of the technology). That has resulted in live-package and casper being upload to unstable as well as more stable and supported USB and Network based Live environments. Marco and Daniel are doing great work and I'm glad to have them working with us. So far it's been quite productive.

We're going to be putting out a new version of Safedesk Terminal Server Open Source Edition quite soon. Right after that a new Enterprise version will ship with an updated VMWare Player and statically compiled Mono apps so that we don't have to require the installation of Mono on the target platforms.

The book is getting closer to being complete. That's quite refreshing. I'm registered at Amazon.com as the book's author now. I am quite excited about developments in RubyCLR and Ruby.Net; the .NET 3.0 dynamic languages support sounds fantastic.

I'll be going back to school on Monday. I will register for classes tomorrow. Not sure what I'm going to take yet. Hopefully some CS classes; I'm feeling geeky right now.

The Tomboy++ project should get an update some time this week.

The GNOME Games module should get some SVG love some time this weekend.

Rebuilding all my GNOME desktop settings from scratch has given me a little perspective on Evolution. Bucking advice for people who live in glass houses, I'm going to throw a little stone at the festering primordial ooze that is the Evolution groupware client.

As it happens, every few months, I give the competition in desktop environments a good try so I can stay sharp - it was this practice which allowed me to switch to GNOME a year ago. While rebuilding my RAID array early this week, I installed KDE 3.5.4 and went through the usual rigor of testing it for use with my most common tasks. This means using Konqueror for web, Kontact for groupware, Kopete for IM, and Amarok for Music, and Yakuake for XTerm.

Kontact kicks Evolution's ass at almost everything. Full disclosure: I have been horribly mad at Evolution for a month. It's constantly crashing on me with various bug or just generally having a horrible time keeping track of what the IMAP providers are doing - not to mention leaking memory which it manages to stay running for more than an hour. Here are just some of the things Kontact does better:

  • >Allow me to run calendar and mail parts as separate applications so that I can transfer meeting/date requests from emails to the calendar.
  • Specify folders NOT to check for new mail.
  • Actually move items to the Trash when they are deleted or to a "Junk" folder when marked as Junk. This is opposed the brain-dead "virtual folder" behavior of Evolution which is completely incompatible with any other IMAP client including web based clients.
  • Queue up user interface transactions in a visual way so that I know what has and has not been received by the UI.
  • Work in offline mode without requiring a six-hour long synchronization process. When turning on "download messages for offline access", Evolution basically freezes up and is completely unusable until it finishes downloading every single email message in your IMAP account. For me that meant turning off my monitor and going to bed. It finished right before I woke up.
  • The address book component actually works the first time you use it.
  • There are more but I have run out of steam.

... So, yea. But there's no alternative on the GNOME desktop. We're stuck with this festering pile of crap. I'm really looking forward to some of the Dates/Tinymail integration work that's being discussed. I know that is not the authors' intentions; but damn it would be nice. It would even be compatible with GNOME Pilot.

Ok, there's too much shit to do to write any more. No more updates until the end of the weekend. Ta ta.

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jasondclinton
Jason D. Clinton

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