(If you are new to this series you are invited to start reading from DAY ONE)

Day 4 of this series, and I am beginning to feel at home in my new environment. There are a few niggles that I will want to address today, among them my Atheros WiFi card not coming out of sleep, and a networking issue that I have when I am on wireless at the office…

08:29

I have been working on the laptop since 06:50 – I have noticed that sometimes KDE hangs at login prompt. I decided to wait it out and it took a whole seven minutes before I was able to log in. I used CTRL+ALT+F1 to open a terminal while waiting and TOP showed X and PLASMA to be the culprits. Between them they varied CPU use between 31 and 90% and system load was at 1.9 and slowly dropping.

Now a system load of 1.9odd while booting or coming out of hibernation/suspend is not odd, but I find the fact that it stalls my login very irritating.

I decided to suspend once I had logged in and drove to work. At work my laptop would not come out of suspend, again X and PLASMA thrashing the CPU.

In the end I had to kill X and it relaunchedautomatically and logged in smoothly.

Network

I have a weird issue. When at the office, and using WIFI to connect, I lose connection to the local proxy server/gateway from time to time. With Ubuntu I never did. Currently at the office I have to use a network cable to ensure a stable and reliable connection.

I suspect it has something to do with the firewall that Mandriva comes with. Our Gateway is flagged as portscanning my laptop from time to time when I am on wifi, and I am guessing that the firewall blacklists it and then I lose connection. I have tried to whitelist the server via the little “Interactive Firewall” link when right-clicking on the network connection, but it does not let me do that.

That is my challenge for the day…

I am off to go drop off a company car, so will update later… today I am going to a client to troubleshoot their network – I might boot into my Ubuntu installation since it has all the tools I need and I cannot trust my Mandriva install to give me reliable results until I have sorted out the connectivity issues I am having at the moment…

21:00

Wow. What a day it was. I never got around to dropping off the car – I got stuck at that client with their network, and was there most of the day. Then when back at the office I needed to do some work. Home was busy tonight and I literally only had time to blog now.

Here are some quick thoughts.

Things that Linux needs.

Migration Tool

When I was using Ubuntu I was using Evolution. Now that I am using KDE4 I am using Kmail. I know it is possible to migrate my mails between the two – the mbox format is pretty universal, but Linux needs a utility that does all of the following when you migrate desktops, and yes I am casting the net WIDE here.

  1. Mail and Mail settings migration.
    I want to be able to export all the information that is kept in Evolution/Thunderbird/Kmail/etc and export it – Mails, Account settings, filters, signature, spam rules and inbox structure and be able to import it into any other FLOSS mail client. Using Imap comes closest at the moment. Evolution has a nice import utility for Outlook PST’s and some other files – but something for us lazy/braindead users would make the world a much better place.
  2. Browser settings migration
    Browser settings should be easiest to automate – most distros use Firefox nowadays after all. It should not be too hard to migrate your history, bookmarks, rss feeds and crucially saved passwords from one install to the next, or from one distro to the next.
  3. Other Files/Preferences
    More and more programs interact with the internet these days, and allows you to save preferences for each. I would like something that migrates my .ssh folder between installs, my stored music service passwords and settings (Amarok and Rythmbox both interact with many online services nowadays) notebooks – I love the brilliant Tomboy note taking app that Ubuntu has, and like that it synchronizes with Ubuntu One.
  4. Files – Like Documents and Pictures
    Most distros today also use a rather standard directory structure in /home. A utility should be able to take all your files and stuff you keep there and move them across. It is actually possible with most distros to simply copy your whole /home and paste it and go on with your life. I have not had this work faultlessly for me yet though, maybe I am just too unlucky…

KDE Wallet does some of what I want, but I am not too sure I would be able to migrate from KDE to another desktop environment with Wallet. If it is possible and it has worked for you – lemme know please?

This thought experiment brings me to something else…

Kontact

Bril-i-ant.

I have used Kontact somewhat in the past, but never heavily. This evening I decided to give it another look and I am very pleased. Everything is there, RSS feeds, Mails, Notes, Notebooks, Calendar, Contacts, To Do Lists, Journal and even a Time Tracker! Heck I am still not sure I have covered anything.

This might be the application that keeps me using KDE4 from now on. Gnome does not (to my knowledge) possess a single management utility such as this. If there is an application available that is able to do this in other desktop environments I want to know about it.

Kontakt  Summary Page
The awesome Kontact Personal Information Manager (Click To Enlarge)

I am gonna experiment with Kontact tomorrow – I have a lot to do and want to see how it does at helping me organize my day.

Summary Day 4

I am honestly beginning to feel at home in KDE4 – I never thought I would when I started out. A part of me still likes the simplicity of Gnome, yes I like the simple things.

I predict that when Gnome3 comes out many users will dump Gnome for KDE, and many of those will be people who migrated to Gnome after being allienated by KDE4. If Ubuntu do not want to lose a large userbase to better KDE4 distros they should either stick to Gnome2, go their own route with a seriously awesome Desktop Environment, or put some weight behind the Gnome3 project and iron out some of the many problems that plague Gnome3 at the moment.

Right – see you guys tomorrow then – I am excited to see what the day will bring…

(Click HERE for DAY 5)

Related posts:

  1. Using KDE 4 – Day 7
  2. Using KDE – Day 6
  3. Using KDE4 – Day 3
  4. Using KDE4 – Day 2
  5. Using KDE4 – Day 1