• Linux

    Migrating from Microsoft SQL Server to PostgreSQL

    One of the servers I manage at work is still running Microsoft Windows 2000. This system is hosting a few old forgotten web sites and it runs Microsoft SQL Server containing a few databases still in use. This server was already there when I started working at the university. Fortunately I never had to do much work on it and there never was a serious crash: it would have been a serious headache for me restoring this system because I do not have much knowledge about Windows and SQL Server. During some spare time at work I decided taking a look at migrating the MS SQL Server databases to PostgreSQL.…

  • Linux

    Migrating mail from KMail to Evolution

    At work I am busy migrating some Linux desktop users from an old Slackware 12.0 system with KDE 3.5 to Debian Squeeze with GNOME 2.30. So I had to migrate the e-mails from KMail to Evolution, a task which was not that trivial as you would hope at first. On these systems, the mails were saved in ~/Mail. This directory did not contain a standard maildir structure or mbox files, but some weird mix of those two. I do not know whether this is typical for KMail or whether this was a peculiarity on these systems because the e-mails have been migrated from even other e-mail clients and versions in…

  • Linux

    Mandriva’s future?

    Now that my blog is not aggregated anymore on Planet Mandriva, I can safely express my opinion about Mandriva’s future without offending too many people. Recently it became clear that Mandriva was once again in serious financial trouble. Mandriva 2010.1 was even delayed because of that, although not much explanation was given. In the end the company was saved by a new investor, but how things will involve in the more long-term, remains unclear. Probably because of the financial crisis and the uncertainty of the future of the company, more and more employees started leaving the company, among them some people who played a very important role in the development…

  • Linux

    Why prefer Debian GNU/Linux over another distribution

    Quite some time ago I wrote a blog post explaining why I preferred Mandriva over other distributions. But I have now switched to Debian GNU/Linux, so it is time for an update. I will mostly compare with Mandriva because that is where I come from and what I know the best, although most points are rather universal. So, these are some reasons why I prefer Debian GNU/Linux over other distributions: All officially released Debian GNU/Linux stable versions are supported for a long time. Where most other free distributions are supported for about 1,5 year, this is much longer for Debian stable. For example, security updates for Debian Etch were published…

  • Linux

    A wise server migration

    Yesterday I migrated two servers at work to a new machine. The old machines were pretty underpowered: a Pentium III 1 Ghz system (with 384 MB RAM if I remember correctly) and a Pentium 4 system. The new machine is a Dell Poweredge R410 with a Xeon E5504 processor, 12 GB RAM and a PERC H700 RAID controller (which is actually a LSI MegaSAS 9260) with 3 750 GB SATA disks in RAID 5. The hardware is pretty nice (although I am not happy at all with the way Dell treats its customers, so I will rather prefer other vendors in the future, but maybe more about that in a…

  • Linux

    Debian on desktop systems

    What I expected to happen some time ago, is finally becoming reality: Debian is now my favourite distribution for desktop systems. First I installed Debian on my new Samsung N210 netbook and I was very pleased with the result. Shortly after that, my father experienced a bug while trying to print in Firefox on Mandriva 2010.1. It would fail to print and there were errors related to ps2ps (if I remember correctly) in the Cups log, hinting at some bug in Ghostscript. Actually it was not the first time this bug hit us, I had seen the same problem some weeks ago. As analysing and having this bug fixed would…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Samsung N210 netbook on Debian GNU/Linux

    With the upcoming holidays in sight, I could not resist buying a netbook system to take along with me on my travel to Italy. So yesterday, I received a brand new Samsung N210. I chose this system because it is not too expensive and it appeared about the best netbook in this price class according to many reviews. Especially the battery time, keyboard and matte screen are praised a lot. It also seemed to work nice in Linux, which was of course also an important requirement. I have removed the Windows 7 Starter edition which was installed on this system and installed Debian GNU/Linux Squeeze (currently testing) on it. I…

  • Linux,  Mandriva

    Improving battery life time in Linux

    Today I received a new battery for my Dell Latitude E6400 laptop. The old battery (a 6 cell one) only lasted for about 15 minutes any more, 1,5 year after I acquired this system. The new battery is a 9 cell version. gnome-power-manager estimates I should be able to run 6 hours now without a charge, which corresponds with what I expected. Now that I have a new battery, it is time to take a look again at trying to lower power consumption as much as possible. On my system I am using Mandriva 2010.1 Cooker with GNOME 2.30 and laptop-mode-tools 1.54, but this howto should apply (sometimes with slight…

  • Linux,  Uncategorized

    Server and blog update

    Tonight, I updated the server on which this blog is running from Mandriva 2010.0 to Mandriva 2010.1 Cooker. The update went very smooth. The only problem I discovered is that the bacula-fd init script seems pretty broken so I made some bug reports about that. At the same time, I updated WordPress to the latest version 2.9.2 and installed a new theme, the Arjuna X which looked nice at first sight. All visitors using Internet Explorer will get a banner with a recommendation to update to a better browser thanks to the No IE Welcome plug-in. I hope more people will put up such a banner on their website in…

  • Uncategorized

    Enjoy life!

    If you have been following this blog for some time, you will have noticed that lately I have been posting a lot less than in the past and that I also reduced my Mandriva packaging activity. There are many reasons for this, which all come down to this: I have the feeling I can spend my time in a more useful and pleasant way than by creating bunches of Mandriva packages every day and being active on the Cooker mailing list, like I used to. I expect I will not be able to resist to updating a package now and then, but because I am considering switching to another distribution…