09 October, 2006

Now watch this - and wait till the end!

..or maybe all of you have seen it already?

BTW: You can find the whole thing at http://www.matrix-xp.com

03 October, 2006

No "New mail" sound notification on Notes client for Linux?

That can happen, if you decided to try an unsupported config. I - for example - had the problem on my Kubuntu install.
The solution? Install "esd" sound server (now default in Gnome), the Notes client uses this software to produce any sounds.
A final notice: The sounds for notifications are located in "/usr/share/sounds" and the Notes client won't let you browse any other directories...

25 September, 2006

Jabber on Dapper? Not that easy!

If you wanted to run Jabber 1.4 server on Ubuntu Dapper (6.06 LTS) you seem to be out of luck. The unsupported version (from Universe) works great untill the last client disconnects. Then it dies silently - no log entry, no error in /var/log/messages, nothing.
It turns out that the version in Dapper Universe was compiled with gcc 4.x and this simply does not work. You have to compile it with gcc 3.x. Or - download and manually install a version from Debian repositories. Look for jabber_1.4.3.3_i386.deb.
On a sidenote: Why would anyone want to install version 1.x when there is a newer 2.x line? Bacause the 1.x uses simple XML config files where 2.x uses MySQL to save account details. For an internal deployment 1.x line seems just OK and it can run on much weaker harware, too.

13 September, 2006

Vendetta Online - online MMORGP for Mac/Linux geeks

Ever heard of Eve online space sim MMORPG? If you happen to run Linux or Mac, you're out of luck. The thing is Win-only and even the servers run on Windows. So the Linux client is highly unlikely. The same applies to some other popular games like Entropia Universe or Star Wars Galaxies online.
So - what's left for a Linux/Mac geek to have some fun? Well, you can try Vendetta online - http://www.vendetta-online.com (BTW - Windows version's available, too). The game has been in development for some 4 years, the "pay stage" has been a year or so. The community is rather small but responsive. Don't expect thousands of players online - you should expect rather tens - the total number of active players is somewhere around 300-400.
How does it play? Pretty well - you select a nation (Itani/Serco/UIT) and you are ready to go.
The skill system is simple but efficient - you have five different areas you can improve: Combat/Light weapons/Heavy weapons/Trading/Mining. You improve by using these skills and by completing special missions. So there is no "automatic learning mode" like in Eve, everything is hard-earned.
You can choose your fate - improve your stats in one particular area (though the first three are somewhat dependent). And as you progress you can buy better ships and equip better weapons - you know the line...
There are updates to the game engine (almost) every saturday. The game interface and functions have changed quite a lot since I subscribed. We even were blessed by robotic pirate ships in the "grey space"!
And more is to come - the devs are planning a real economy, creating introductory missions for newbies etc. The game is 10 USD/month with some discount if you subscribe for longer periods (6 months is 49 USD). You get free 8 hours online to try the game and I can guarantee you won't want your hard-trained character to disappear.
And finally some screenshots.

02 August, 2006

Lotus Notes on Linux works

Want to try Lotus Notes on Linux? Now you can. IBM finally got decided that Notes on Linux is needed and created a full-blown client. Well - actually it is a plugin for Workplace client, which is a plugin for Eclipse. Ever heard of a box inside a box inside a box...?
But any way - thanks for the effort. The result is pretty good, for a first version.

First you have to find the download on Passport Advantage. And even if you select Lotus or Linux as your preferred downloads you won't find it. Look for this:
IBM Lotus Notes Client 7.0.1 for Linux eAssembly English(CR41WNA) - filename is C93D1NA.zip

It is a hefty download - some 380 MB - and the only supported system is claimed to be Red Hat Linux.
So I did some testing and tried several distros to see if I can make it work on them. On all of them I had to follow the install procedure for Debian and create the gre.conf file described here

CentOS 4

Install as described in the manual, instead of Mozilla 1.7 install Seamonkey ("yum install seamonkey"). Do not forget to create the apropriate gre.conf file, use 1.7.13 as Mozilla version.
Works as expected, the only problem here is that CentOS is sort of too conservative for me.

SUSE 10.1

Works both under KDE and Gnome, the only thing I had to install besides Mozilla was OpenMotif package. Head for Yast to find it.


Works both under Ubuntu and Kubuntu (Gnome and KDE).
A very comprehensive How-to on Ubuntu forums


  • The client is not as slow as I feared. Actually it is quite bearable. I daresay it is faster than running the Win client through Wine.
  • The "international" bugs (those related to 2-byte characters) seem to be gone. Thank you, Java!


  • I am totally unable to run it on Ubuntu on one of company Dell notebooks. It installs fine and even the initial setup runs OK. Then something happens and all subsequent runs end up running NDS, The interesting part is that my home installation on Kubuntu works just OK. Maybe it is the 1600x1200 resolution..
  • Vieving attachments usually ends in NDS, running them does not work at all. I have to save them first to disk and open them from there.

  • One final warning - the client works only under KDE or Gnome. Under Windowmaker or IceWm I experienced some strange UI incosistencies where parts of database design were missing.

All in all - "Close but no cigar". The client is quite OK, but the instalation is too quirky. IBM should take some notes (pun intended) and make a decent installer or a proper RPM/DEB for the next version.

Where'd you get the coconuts?

- We found them.
- Found them? In Mercia? The coconut's tropical!
- What do you mean?
- Well, this is a temperate zone.
- The swallow may fly south with the sun or the house martin or the plover may seek warmer climes in winter, yet these are not strangers to our land?
- Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?

..and in case you wonder where did you hear this dialogue - it is The Monty Python's Quest for the Holy Grail.
And No, I won't be writing about Pythons here (maybe just from time to time). I would like to write about things that I am struggling with - technology, computers, software - you get the idea. This is a start and I hope I will have enough time and energy to make this blog somehow regular.
Josef out!