Sunday, October 19, 2014

Getting Kolab on Ubuntu

These are the steps I needed to do to setup the Kolab Repositories for Ubuntu. Please note these are minor corrections that are listed from the Kolab Site:

For Ubuntu 14.04: Add the following lines to /etc/apt/sources.list;

deb ./
deb ./

Get the gpg key:

gpg --keyserver --search

To import the key:

sudo bash
gpg --export --armor | apt-key add -

Put the following in /etc/apt/preferences.d/kolab:

Package: *
Pin: origin

Pin-Priority: 501

sudo apt-get update

aptitude install kolab

When asked to confirm that you want to install the package and its dependencies, press Enter.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

How to actually get Kontact to Sync with Google Calendar.

After spending the last few days figuratively banging my head on a brick wall to get Kontact to sync with my Google Calendar I found the proper way to do it, alebeit by accident. Everyone else's how to simply isn't working. So here is the correct procedure.

All do give the correct first few steps;

For Debian flavored distros:
sudo apt-get install akonadi-kde-resource-googledata

for RPM based distros, using yum:
yum install akonadi-googledata

Next they tell you to Select Akonadi Google Calendar Resource. This is incorrect, you should actually select Google Calendar and Tasks.

The following window will appear when you do;

Your's of course will be empty. Click on the Add button at the top to setup access to your Google services. In the next dialog box enter your Gmail address and password.

Lastly you need to accept the following so you can get your calendar and tasks loaded into Kontact;

That's it, your done and Kontact now has access to your Gmail services.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Using Linux As A Promotional Tool

Okay before anything else I need to state the following. The following video is showing how I set my system up to support my Football Team the Houston Texans using graphics and files I created specifically for that purpose. I will not release this setup as a distribution because of the many copyright issues that doing so would cause with the NFL and the Texans. This setup exists only on my Laptop and that is it. However, it does show how Linux can be setup to promote any business, organization, charity, product, service or just about anything one can think of.

I also need to apologize for the quality of the beginning of the video showing the boot up and log in process. I had to use my phone to capture the video as Virtualbox was balking on many things so I couldn't record the screen. The video is nowhere near professional quality but it gets the idea across.

I am running LinuxMint 17 KDE version for this demo.


What's important to look at here is that:

The entire boot to desktop process is all showing the Organization I am supporting.
The creation of the elements used are simple and fairly straight forward to create and incorporate into the Linux system. Though some technical knowledge is required, things can be kept simple or if desired things can be made to be even more impressive using various engine functions in Plymouth, Ksplash and Kwin to wow the target audience.

Those who wish to promote whatever, can do so, essentially for the cost of a DVD, and even print labels on to the DVDs using a specialized printer, which gives a even higher polish to the end product.

It also promotes Linux.

The variations are many, Boot Splash, Login Themes, Desktop Environment, Icons, Desktop Themes and Graphics, and what applications can be used.

Many LUGS use their own distributions to promote themselves. This just taking the concept further.w

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kmail and Gmail: Filters and Operations

Its been a long time since I posted anything here but then, haven't had much to post. However, I recently had a fight with my email management solutions. Thunderbird 32 does not have a Lightning extension available for it. Not good when you rely on your calendar like I do. Also I have discovered that Thunderbird isn't as compatible with Gmail as some other solutions. So I went back to Kmail but did a few things very differently.

As best as I could I made all my email filters at Gmail. Reasons for this is I'm simply tired of making filters. Putting the responsibility on my cloud service (a.k.a. Gmail) means they will always be there regardless of what email client I use.

Thunderbird for some damnable reason did not setup all my gmail folders (Personal and Work were ignored) and that caused me some issues. Kmail, on the other hand does recognize them and loads them.

Nepomuk is the default database for Kmail and as we all know it, and Kmail, are both rather buggy. However, using the IMAP protocol Nepomuk doesn't become a big issue, and Kmail works a whole lot better.

As you can see I have a rather extensive set of folders and sub-folders (Gmail calls them Labels) All folders, filters, and email remain on the Gmail server, Kmail downloads no email (it simply loads the email you are reading like a browser, which is handy.)

Here are the instructions for making labels in Gmail. Here are the instructions for using filters in Gmail.

There is one huge advantage of using Kmail over Thunderbird as well, Kmail actually lets you move email between folders (labels) on the Gmail server. Thunderbird balked on that big time. 

If your primary email account is Gmail, you may want to look into this solution.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

KDE Clock Issues

 In my case, /etc/localtime was a symlinked to something completely wrong so I just deleted it sudo rm /etc/locatime and then created a symlink to the proper file: ln -s /usr/share/zoneinfo/America/Chicago/etc/localtime and the clocked fixed its self instantly.Thank You  f.ardelian for providing the correct solution.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How To Sync Google Calendar with Thunderbird 23 and 24

As many of you know Provider for Google Calendar no longer works with Thunderbird 21 and up. The API hasn't been updated in some time as well. The next obvious issue is that Thunderbird's Lightning extension itself does not support Google Calendar, so how does one get them to sync?

The answer is an often overlooked extension that no one would give a second thought to using if they didn't do some research, synckolab. This extension adds the ability to allow Lightning to use the iCal protocol which Google supports.

To use the extension you will need Lightning 2.5b2 for Thunderbird 23. For Thunderbird 24 its best to use Lightning 2.6b1. Click on the link above for synckolab and save the xpi file. Open Thunderbird and go to Tools >> Add-ons.

Now click the settings icon and select Install Add-on from file. Navigate to the xpi file and select it.

Restart Thunderbird to activate the new extension.

Open up your web browser and navigate to your Google Calendar, go to and hover the calendar name you wish to sync with and when the drop down arrow appears hover on it the select "Calendar Settings" and right click on the iCal button for the private URL (should be the second one)

Now in Thunderbird select File >> New >> Calendar, then select the Radio Button for "On the Network" and click "Next" make sure the "iCalendar" Radio Button is selected and then paste the URL you copied from Google into "Location" and click "Next" Lightning will update immediately.

Its simple, easy and it works. Enjoy

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Time To Be Personal, Frank and Completely Honest.

You are looking at a picture of where I now live. Yep that is a very old (1985 Model to be exact) travel trailer.

Its a roof but now I'm going to reveal some things about my personal life I have never revealed online before.

I am in a personal war with my son's grandmother whom is illegally interfering with parental rights over my 9 year old son. Under Texas State Law she is not allowed to interfere, coerce, or extort in any form that infringes upon my rights as the father. Well she does all that. She even committed perjury (out right lied to the judge) lied to the police and has even physically attacked me (in the hopes of getting me to retaliate so I would go to jail.)

Anyway long story short, with a lot of help from a lot of good people I finally found this old travel trailer and $800 dollars later. The significance of this is that she no longer has control of my living situation. I now have a have a home base and can actually get a decent job.

Ah but there is a rub... I need to repair it and well barely get enough money a month to pay the lot rent and the electric bill (plus keep my cell phone going as well.)

So I am doing the one thing I never wanted to do and had hoped to God I never would do. I am begging for money online but I'm in a do or die clutch situation and have an opportunity to end the living hell I have endured for far to long.

So I am using Go Fund Me to ask for the money I need to repair the trailer for long term living and do it correctly, not just half ass.

Here's the link:

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

We probably have all seen the ads where HP sends a cute baby's picture over the internet to be printed at the home of the family so its ready when they get home.

When it comes to cloud services I like this one especially. HP though doesn't support Linux based computers (Though they do support Android [Huh?!?])

Google has a similar service called Google Cloud Print. I just recently bought a Brother MFC-J430W printer and discovered that it had the ability to connect to Google Cloud so I signed in using my Gmail account using the printer's simple http interface.

Now let me say I LOVE THIS PRINTER. I can print from my phone to the printer over the local wireless network and I can scan from the printer to the phone. (Still working on connecting to the scanner via SANE client over the wireless network. That will be another post.)

It took a little research but I found a CUPS driver for Google Cloud Printer service with setup instructions here so if I ever need to print something and my netbook and I are at a remote location I can send it over the cloud.

Folks this is an extremely valuable service and one well worth having. Check into at

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My Little Android Phone - Hacked and made way better.

Just so we are clear here, I own a very low end Android. The Samsung Prevail from Boost Mobile. Electronically its the same as the Prelude from Straight-Talk (I.E. Wal-Mart) The only real difference between the two is some software and the type of Wireless phone network they use. (I don't mean the carrier network I mean the radio type.)

Now let me make this a simple statement, I love my Android. Despite its low end as a smart phone status.

Why? Cause its easy to root (I did) My network is unlimited data (at least for now) and I use my phone as my Internet Gateway when I can't get a WiFi signal. (Thank you EasyTether Pro.)

Ah but like any good break fix hacker I didn't stop there. I also gave my Phone an extra 2 GB of system space (hidden) so that I could install more apps and really use it for far more than the engineers who designed it thought about.

IMHO, I think all Androids should come with at least 2 GB of internal memory. Again just my personal opinion. Alas though, most do not and mine had a mere pittance of 161 MB. In the world of Android, that's not a lot.

I wanted my phone for business purposes but I did some research on what phones were available in my price range when I got it. Taking into account features and whether I could do something with it once I got it.


Had to be a phone I could root, Tools to do so had to be easy to find and download with clear instructions. I didn't want a brick, I wanted a phone I was in control of.

Had to be able to get my laptop onto the Internet, whether it could do that with an app or had the function already built in. (Boost does not include that function on their phones BTW.)

So when my low on space warning kept going off I did all I could but finally I realized I had to break down and get a SD card with more space. I went with a 16 GB card.

Initially I just backed up the 2 GB card that came with my phone, shoved the 16 GB card in its place on the phone and restored my files. (Super easy to do.)

Despite removing a lot of crap apps off the phone and cleaning up the cruft after rooting it, I still didn't have a lot of room available. I moved every app I could to the SD card but forget having any real good apps that actually did something. Add I have a Angry Birds addict in my 8 year old son... You get the picture. I mean the phone only has 43.9 MB free on the internal storage available now and that barely covers the minimum amount needed for buffering. Despite giving myself the extra 2 GB of storage for the internal operations the phone itself doesn't see it and I still have all my needed system files on that 161 MB that cannot be moved. Now you are probably asking, "How can you use an extra 2 GB of storage for the system memory if the phone doesn't see it?" As in all things Android the answer is; "There's an app for that."

GParted and Link2SD

First and foremost Android is a Linux system. What makes it Unique is that it plays well with Windows. In part because the SD cards are formatted using FAT32 and secondly because Google's interface is made to work friendly with Windows. Of course it works very well with a Linux based PC as well. Though for some oddball reason rooting requires a Windows based PC to accomplish.

In order to utilize link2sd you must have a rooted Android device. (Phone or Tablet.) Now some Android devices running Gingerbread and up can use ext4 but most will only access ext2. Check the specifications on your device to find out. ext4 is far superior to ext2 and if you can use it do so. My phone in this case is not compatible with ext4, which means ext2 for me.

You should get a bigger SD card for this 8, 16 or 32 MB. It doesn't really matter.

Start with GParted and prep your SD for link2sd. You will be creating 2 primary partions with partition one being FAT32 and partition two being ext2. The reason for this is that link2sd uses the second primary partition for its operations.

Before starting this process make sure that any and all data on the card is backed up. This especially important if you a preping a card that has already been used in your Android device. You will lose EVERYTHING that is not in the cloud. Including contact data not synced with Google. BACK UP YOUR DATA FIRST.

Start up gparted as root: (This is usually the only way it starts. However,...)

In right hand corner click the drop down and select the device that is your SD card. It will NEVER BE sda.

Most new sd cards will be pre-formatted in FAT32 format. Click on the partition in the list. If you have more than one partition on the device already then most likely the secondary partition is not removable. This may cause a problem if you cannot remove it and you may need to get another sd card if this is the case.

Unmount the partition(s) as shown above.

Now we want to create a new partition table as shown above.

The warning box pops up to let you know the consequences of your actions. Click Apply to continue.

Now create a new partition as shown above.

On a 16 GB SD card your settings should be so for the FAT32 device. On any size device use 1024 in the "Free space following" box to get an extra 1 GB for your system 2048 for an extra 2 GB. Use these numbers exactly to get the proper allocation.

Use the remaining space for your ext2. If your device is capable of using ext4 use that instead.

Click the commit changes button to start the partitioning process.

This is the final warning dialog. box. To this point nothing has happened. Once you click Apply your SD card will be wiped clean. MAKE SURE YOUR DATA IS BACKED UP BEFORE CLICKING Apply.

You will see a progress dialog next. BTW pressing cancel may hose you SD card so don't touch it.

The last dialog box lets you know the process is complete.

link2sd How It Works:

link2sd uses hard links to trick Android. Since link2sd is the only app that actually sees the 1 or 2 GB of space on the SD you created. (You can make Android see it by editing fstab on the device and force mounting it. This is unnecessary and I wouldn't suggest it.) What link2sd does is place binaries, dex and lib (if the app has any) in the hidden space on the SD card. then places links in place on Android's file system. Android sees the links as the actual files

PRO: Allows extra system space since a link takes much less space than the file being linked.

CON: Anything moved by link2sd will definitely load slower and has a huge chance of running slower as well. Unless you're really desperate for system space (like I am/was) keep as much as you can on the actual internal memory. Not all apps play nice with link2sd and you can have weird problems pop up when they don't.

Apps that can be moved to the SD card without link2sd should be done that way instead. The purpose of link2sd is to help manage space on the internal memory so it can function properly, not manage your apps. link2sd should be used for apps that you install that cannot otherwise be transferred to the SD card.

On that notation link2sd will not move core files and preinstalled apps at all. This is a fail safe. While link2sd has an option to convert preinstalled apps to user apps, it rarely works and the usual result is loss of that app. I highly suggest you never use that option.

You can download link2sd to your device via the Google Play Store.

When you first run link2sd its going to ask you what file system type the second primary partition is. Select ext2 (or ext4 if you used that) and watch link2sd work its magic.

link2sd can be configured to automatically move programs to the SD card. (Works on newly installed apps only. If you have any already installed you will have to move those manually.) I use this option myself because I can still move the app to the SD card user partition if link2sd does not need to handle it. It saves me a lot of hassle as well.

On a neat little observation, apps that don't have libs seem to run absolutely fine while those that do definitely run slower. The only issue I have had so far is having to much going at once. Something I never really dealt with before since I never had the ability to run a lot of apps do to memory limits. Well I still have them but just a lot less of them. (I think I nearly over heated my poor phone yesterday.)

If you need more space on your internal storage in Android, link2sd is definitely worth looking at.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Getting to the brass tacks of the desktop!

I'm sold on Zorin OS to provide my desktop solution and as a Zorin 6 RC tester have had great joy in finally rediscovering my desktop. Zorin however only gave me the base to which I had to add and define my desktop set up.

Keeping in mind that as for as it goes Ubuntu is doing their damnest to push Unity despite it being unpopular among most users. The same can be said with Gnome Shell in Gnome 3. The gnome-panel application in Gnome 3 is also extremely limited. MATE and Cinnamon are both extremely immature options and both don't seem to be getting the support they need to be viable options.

Oddly enough Avant Windows Navigator seems to provide the solution even if its not as robust as I would like.

AWN has the ability to give me the controls I want in, for the most part, the way I want. Plus, thanks to the Zorin team, I have the use of GnoMenu again.

So yes I can my show support for my American Football team again this year. Of course I had to modify the XML code to make it work with the command set for Zorin and the modifications I made.

Originally I had removed gnome-panel but I had to reinstall it in order to get alacarte to work correctly so I could edit menu entries. This is an Ubuntu mod as alacarte is deprecated by the Gnome development team. Since there is no menu editor replacement as of yet Canonical built a work around solution to keep alacarte usable for the time being.

Of course I like having a system monitor up and going. Gkrellm has been my choice for several years because of its small initial footprint and many options. It really doesn't work well with Unity or Gnome-Shell but does very well in my current setup.

I configured Compiz-Fusion to have the cube. I also compiled and installed Emerald to handle my windows decorations.

So now the over all system configuration is the closest I have ever gotten since 12.04 was released and yes, I plan to stay with it as long as I can with Zorin.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Zorin, AWN and the State of My Linux Desktop

I have no love for Unity, Gnome3 and KDE kept having indexing issues. The so called Next Generation Interface is not an easy flow on the desktop and to be honest many default features are extremely annoying. So what's a guy to do?

Well oddly enough I found my answer with Gnome3 minus gnome-shell and gnome-panel. Yep both are removed and Avant-Windows-Navigator (AWN) supplies the answer for my windows management. I achieved this little miracle thanks to another Ubuntu based Distro called Zorin. Thanks to them I have this look:

Even better I have found my favorite menu program is working in Zorin:

Yep that's GnoMenu you're looking at. But wait there's more:

Compiz-Fusion and the oh so famous cube are working as well. There's still more:

My Windows Decorator is Emerald.

So do I have the desktop I want? The answer is 99% of it. I say that because its not what I'm used to but as a replacement its great and in time I'll become used to it and will be cruising it just well as I did Gnome2. You can get Zorin HERE and as soon as I get it together I will put my How To together on how I got my system setup. Or have a custom ISO available (if I can get the damn thing uploaded.)

UPDATE: I posted My ISO image to Google Drive. Its a 2.8 GB monster and there are configuration issues so unless you really want a beta version that has no current support channel to speak of I can only say enjoy. Its available HERE

The MD5 Sum is available HERE

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Latest Laptop

Okay I just replaced my burned out Gateway MX-8111 Laptop with a Compaq CG56-115DX. I got an extremely good deal for the unit $120. Still being sold new at $365 recommended retail price. While it is a 64 Bit machine (I have Xubuntu 11.10 64 Bit installed) the processor is only a single core CPU. (AMD V140) If you paid the full retail price on this unit it really isn't worth the cost of doing what I am planning, which is upgrade the CPU to an AMD Athlon Dual-Core Mobile P340 which matches the current MHz and wattage rating of the V140.

Its not the best solution for getting myself back to where I need to be but overall more cost effective than any other route I would have been forced to go. Though I will most likely go with the 8 GB RAM upgrade first, since that will initially do the most good. The only real thing I am not happy about is that it has no built in Media Card reader. Not a major issue but not all USB Card Readers are Linux friendly so I have to do a bit of research to find one that does.