I'd intended for today's entry to be the first one done completely under Linux, but that turned out not to be possible.
I've made a fair amount of progress. My primary mail client is now Evolution
running on my Linux box. It's by no means as full-featured as Outlook 2000,
but it seems to have all the essentials. I'm really looking forward to Evolution
1.1 or 2.0 or whatever they call it. There are a lot of convenience features
that need to be added, and my guess is that the programmers are working on
them for the next major release. But Evolution is Good Enough for now.
Among the features they really need to add is a usable Outlook import facility.
Mozilla mail imports Outlook messages and address books, so there's no reason
why Evolution can't do the same. It is, after all, aimed at the corporate
Outlook market, so it's pretty much mandatory that it be able to import data
from the application that it's intended to replace. Instead, the current
release of Evolution says that it can't read Outlook files, and actually
recommends using Mozilla Mail as an intermediary to get Outlook messages
The Outlook-to-Mozilla part works great. Mozilla's import grabs Outlook messages
wholesale and puts them (and the folders that contain them) in a separate
set of "Imported Mail" folders in Mozilla. It goes downhill from there, though.
As far as I can see, there's no way to bulk import the mail from Mozilla
to Evolution. Instead, you have to import it folder by folder. That at least
does work properly, but it's quite time-consuming to replicate the Outlook/Mozilla
folder structure in Evolution and then import folder by folder into Evolution.
What's worse is that there is apparently no way to import address books into
Evolution. The best Evolution can come up with is to suggest mailing your
contacts to yourself. I couldn't come up with any convenient way to do that
in Mozilla, so I fired up Outlook, selected every contact in my Contacts
folder, and sent them all as one huge mail message. That arrived in Evolution
fine, but there was no way I could find to extract that data from the message
and put it into Evolution.
So I decided to try sending my contacts one-by-one as v-card file attachments.
Actually, I had too many contacts, so I decided to use my Subscribers list
instead. I tried mailing one subscriber record as a vcard, and that worked
fine. I opened the message in Evolution, and there was a button at the bottom
of the message that said "Add to Addressbook" or something similar. Fine.
So I spent the better part of an hour emailing each Subscriber record as
an individual v-card attachment. Only after I'd sent them all and retrieved
them in Evolution did I learn that the process didn't go as smoothly with
most records as it did with that first test record. Evolution did in fact
import the v-card data, but the resulting records were incredibly ugly. Each
of them took up a full column in Evolution's Contacts display, with lots
of little boxes and strange characters in the Notes fields.
After that, I tried everything I could think of, including exporting my Contacts
records as comma-separated-value ASCII files. Nothing I tried worked. In
each case, Evolution told me that it didn't have an importer for the format
At that point, I decided to pend getting my contact data over to Evolution
and move on to something else. Apparently, I lost my mind, because I decided
to upgrade my system to KDE 3. (I should mention here that any bad things
I say in this or future journal entries about stuff that happens is not criticism
of the people who are helping me. It's pointing out that I do these silly
things because I'm silly.) Greg Lincoln had sent me a link to the site where
I could download the rpm's for KDE 3 stable for Red Hat 7.2. I went to that
site and downloaded, as Greg suggested, every file I found there except the
language support files. I don't need support for Croatian or Norwegian or
any of the other languages, but I did grab everything else.
I stuck the downloaded files in the /home/thompson/kde3 directory. Once I
had them all, I brought up a command prompt window, executed su to make myself
super user, changed to the /home/thompson/kde3 directory, and used the command
rpm -Uvh *.rpm to install KDE3. Being an optimist, I was at that point expecting
the process to complete normally and give me KDE 3.0. Instead, I got a whole
bunch of error messages about failed dependencies. Oh, well. Everything seemed
to continue working normally, so I assumed that the rpm installer was smart
enough to check for dependencies before doing anything to the existing installation.
That seemed to be the case, and everything continued working normally.
So I continued playing around with various Linux stuff, planning to ask Greg
later what if anything I should do about KDE 3. It was then that I decided
I was going to use Linux to do this page for tomorrow (today). Planning to
use Mozilla Composer, I fired up Mozilla. Big mistake. It appeared to start
normally, although with the ugly old Netscape skin. I clicked on Task - Composer
and Composer came up apparently normally. I called up this page, which is
located on the Windows server, and it came up, apparently normally.
Then I got to thinking about version numbers. I'm running 0.9.9 on Windows
and wasn't sure what I was running on Linux. So I made the big mistake of
clicking Help -- About. That brought up a new Navigator window and locked
Mozilla up tight. All of the Mozilla windows were still visible, but none
of them responded to any commands, including my attempts to close them. I
searched in vain for an equivalent to Windows' Task Manager -- End Task command.
Mozilla was covering my desktop and wouldn't go away. I couldn't move, minimize,
or close the Mozilla windows. What was worse was that if I started another
program like Evolution or Solitaire, the resulting program window was underneath
the frozen Mozilla windows. I could of course get a fresh desktop by clicking
2, 3, or 4 down on the task bar, but nothing I did would fix the frozen windows
in my primary desktop.
Eventually, I rebooted the system. The Mozilla windows were still there,
but I was able to close them. So I took the Gone With the Wind approach,
and decided to think about that problem tomorrow. As I was using Evolution,
I made the mistake of clicking on a link embedded in an email. Instead of
firing up Konqueror, Mozilla came up. I'm not sure how or why Mozilla ended
up associated with html files and I really wish I knew how to change the
association back to Konqueror. Because each time I click on an embedded link,
Mozilla comes up and freezes.
So I decided to upgrade Mozilla to the current version. I used Konqueror
to go over to the Mozilla web site. I found the rpm for Mozilla 0.9.9, downloaded
it and double clicked on it to bring up the GUI rpm installer. I told it
to install the 0.9.9 version, but again I got a failed installation due to
a bunch of dependencies. Obviously, I needed more than just the one rpm.
There were a half dozen or more, but I foolishly assume that just the one
10 MB one would be sufficient. Obviously it wasn't.
There was also a tarball version that was a bit larger, but I didn't get
it because I don't remember the procedure for extracting and installing from
a tarball. I seem to remember from the hazy distant past that I'd need to
download the tarball, run tar -xvf to unzip the files, do a chmod, and then
execute an installer executable. Or something like that. But vague recollections
from years ago aren't good enough. Come to think of it, it may even have
been a .gz file rather than a tarball.
So I went back to download the rest of the Mozilla rpm's. I got all of them
downloaded, fired up a command prompt, became superuser, changed into the
download directory, and typed rpm -Uhv *.rpm
. This time I got only one failed dependency: "mozilla = 0.9.2.1 is needed by galeon-0.11.3-2
". So again there's no joy. I can see that failed dependencies are going to be very aggravating.
When I went to bed last night, my primary desktop was still cluttered with
Mozilla windows-that-will-not-die. This morning, they're all gone. Very strange.
At any rate, that's why I'm typing this in Mozilla 0.9.9 Composer on my Windows
- more stuff going on, including several helpful emails, which are over on the Linux Chronicles page
(yes, I've decided to start logging what I'm doing with Linux).