Lightning (or lack of) on Suse 10.3

I spoke too soon in my last post. I installed the Lightning extension for Thunderbird and thought everything was good to go. At first glance everything in the calendar addon looked as it should. I should have configured it before posting though because it doesn’t work. It doesn’t respond when I try to add events or tasks, and the calendar view is mashed up in one corner.

For some reason the build that Rob had working on his suse 10.3 isn’t on the project page anymore and we won’t get into the details of why I can’t just get the xpi from him. I tried the nightly and every build in the project history but no luck. What a bummer since I was looking forward to the updates since the version I was running on Windows. Needless to say, neither of us is currently running Lightning. It’s beyond me to tell you what is causing the problem or what to do to repair it. I can however, point you towards other apps:

I went back to GoogleCalendar for a few days but missed the look and feel of Lightning. I’m also wary of creating a dependence on Google. And I hate that they know everything about me. Reading around for other Linux calendar options I decided to try out Korganizer — and I’m very pleased. I think even if Lightning were an option I might stick with Korganizer. The look and feel is very similar to Lightning, and I can have it open with or without running the mail client. Sometimes I work better if I shut down the email — but I still like being able to add to my task list so this is working out well so far.

There’s support for import and export of calendars using iCal so that will be the next step.

Back to SUSE

Spring break this year provided time for a needed format and reinstall. Leaving were an old install of windows x64 that I hadn’t used in a year or two, the current windows xp which I booted most often in case I wanted some photoshop tools, and an install of suse 10.2 that I hadn’t used much since I finished my C course last April.

I did the backup, Rob did the reinstall but by the time that was done I had a major paper due so I spent those hours on my laptop instead of the desktop since the laptop was all set to go and the new install of Suse 10.3 would need hours of tweaking (and remembering how to tweak since I’m still a Linux newb).

Finally today I got the machine turned on again and started digging around. I installed my favourite extensions in Firefox:

and decided that it’s time now to put some real effort into del.icio.us for syncing bookmarks. The profile backup I did in Windows with MozBackup won’t be easy to bring into Linux — I figure I’ll have to restore it on a second profile on my laptop then import the bookmarks into Delicious. If only I’d saved the bookmarks.html file before I formatted…

I also decided to install Chatzilla — since I’ve joined LinuxChix and plan to join in the irc there.

Then it was over to Thunderbird to start setting up some email and the addon I’ve been missing the most: Lightning. Lightning is the schedule, task and calendar add-on that works inside of Thunderbird. I started using it in the late fall and it was exactly what I’ve been needing. There’s a quick task list that is visible from the mail pane and the calendar allows multiple calendars so that I can categorize and track the many activities and people in the house (and my own multiple identities – heh).

I downloaded Lightning without any problem but it wouldn’t install because I’m running 64-bit Linux. Then I found this hack:

Hack for 64 bit Linux users
by p stucke on March 15, 2008 (rated 10)
This add-on can be installed on a 64 bit Linux system with a small hack.\n\n1. Extract the archive to a folder.\n2. Open install.rdf in a text editor.\n3. Change the following line: Linux_x86-gcc3\nto\nLinux_x86_64-gcc3\n4. Save the file.\n5. Zip the contents (not the entire folder, just the contents) of the folder.\n6. Rename the archive to: lightning-0.7-tb-linux_64.xpi (or something similar)\n7. Install the add-on.\n\nThat\’s it. Upon first launch, the GUI loaded incorrectly, but after a restart, it worked as expected.

Written just 5 days ago and here was the key I needed to get my Lightning working! It took some decoding to unscramble that hard-to-read formatting (\n = new line) but here’s what I realized p stucke was saying:

  1. Extract the archive to a folder.
  2. Did this by right clicking selecting “extract to” and extracting all files into a folder in my home directory (the default location)

  3. Open install.rdf in a text editor.
  4. Navigated to my home directory, found the folder and file, right click > Open with > Other > Utilities > Editor > KWrite. There may have been other choices sooner but this is the one I was familiar with.

  5. Change the following line: Linux_x86-gcc3 to Linux_x86_64-gcc3
  6. Found that line at the bottom of the document and typed in the changes.

  7. Save the file.
  8. No problems here, just saved and closed KWrite.

  9. Zip the contents (not the entire folder, just the contents) of the folder.
  10. Selected everything in the folder, right clicked then Compress > Compress as > Zip Archive.

  11. Rename the archive to: lightning-0.7-tb-linux_64.xpi (or something similar)
  12. Good old F2, same as always.

  13. Install the add-on.
  14. Back to Thunderbird > Tools > Add-ons> Install > navigate to the home folder with the new zip and Open. Everything worked on the first try!

So now it’s just a matter of setting up my tasks and calendars — and all my email addresses of course. ;)

I’m pretty happy.

Google Calendar: scheduling every other week

Google calendar has some handy features for scheduling repeat events. For classes this works fabulously because I can set “repeats Mon, Wed, Fri” or “repeats Tues, Thurs” or repeats weekly, monthly, daily, or yearly. Birthdays naturally go yearly, and aikido and gymnastics go weekly. I can set a stop date: “repeats weekly” and then use the date picker to browse through the calendar to summer vacation or whenever the event ends.

The thing I cannot set that is driving me buggy (more…)

Calendar Apps

I’m looking for a nice, useful and usable web-based calendar-organizer application for organizing my ever increasing crazy life. I’m already a happy Mozilla user of Firefox and Thuderbird so checked to see what the Mozilla team had for me. It turns out, not much. Lightning and Sunbird, while they have nice names, are still too much in development for me to take my chances. I’m okay with bugs like “data loss” when I’m just playing around but when there are important meetings with important people to keep organized, I need something a little more reliable. (This as of June 2006). (more…)