Turning the corner with Linux

Well it’s been a busy weekend, and my knowledge of and enthusiasm for Linux have increased a bit even if my actual progress hasn’t so much. I’m in the middle of a bathroom remodel, and with a pregnant wife and only one bathroom you can imagine there’s a bit of pressure to get it finished. However, thanks to the extremely long cure time on some of the materials I was using, I had some time to try and address the issues I’ve been having to continue my experiment with SuSE Linux.

First, the mouse issues. I believe they may be my fault. After I booted my new system I was presented with a small dialog box that was telling me that the system had found a mouse, asked me if I wanted to be notified about new hardware in the future. I seemed to recall in the last installation that after seeing this box many times I finally decided we had discovered enough mice, and shut it off. Not sure why that action killed my mouse, but hey, sometimes you just treat the symptoms. I have not shut it off, and I still have a mouse.

Second, I need some education. As I mentioned before, I administered a small network of old SunOS machines back in the very early 90’s, so I’m not completely ignorant. However, like foreign languages and higher mathematics, if you don’t use it you lose it pretty quickly. So I went looking for some books. I think I’ll save a review of them for a different post, but two of them (by O’Reilly) proved to be what the doctor ordered. I even dug out my ancient copy of Unix Power Tools, and had immediate flashbacks to my old job. While configuring something I even used VI, and pulled out an old book for that as well, which also produced the thousand-yard stare for a while.

Third, I’ve learned that Evolution along with PPTP will allow me to get work email on the road, one of the major things that would keep Windows on my laptop. I’m not quite there yet (need to gather server names and whatnot) but everything I need is installed if not configured.

Fourth, I’ve got Samba running on my desktop machine (which will act as our server), and as soon as I can get the computers resolving host names my wife’s Windows laptop should be able to access printers & stuff. This is an area that I haven’t figured out yet – my router is doing DHCP, and is issuing IP addresses to the machines, but it seems the only way to get the host names resolved is to use host files, which require static IPs. I’m thinking that when either of us travels, we’d prefer not to have to change network settings to connect to different wireless network, and won’t hosts files cause cause us to do that?

Then there are some minor things: Kmail seems like it might be nicer than Thunderbird – I like the layout better, I think, and it seems more straightforward and faster. I still have the cursor jumping problem in OpenOffice and elsewhere. Every once in a while my cursor just jumps up a few lines with no warning. I haven’t done a huge amount of writing, but enough to know it’s not just OpenOffice. I have no idea what to do about this one. It seems my comments on boot time caught a lot of attention by those who are very fond of Linux, and while I think it’s still pretty slow, I’ve been using suspend since then and that’s proving to be acceptable. At some point I do plan to dig around and figure out what can be shut off to speed things up a bit. However, I’m not thinking that’s a good idea right now, with my current state of ignorance.

2 thoughts on “Turning the corner with Linux

  1. I’ve had the same problem with the cursor “jumping up” a few lines just as I click the left button on the mouse. I think it must be a software bug. I use a Microsoft “Wheel Mouse Optical USB and PS/2 Compatible”.

    Have you found a solution to this problem yet?

    Like

  2. Hello Jen,

    I never did find a solution. One of the downsides of Linux is that the community generally expects a certain amount of effort from the user in these situations, but at the time I didn’t have it to give.

    Like

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