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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Why I Almost Quit Linux: Kmail

So you're thinking, "Why would you want to quit using a whole operating system because of ONE program. I mean there are other good e-mail programs out there you can use." Right... but when you are SO frustrated with ONE program you start to question why you even tried to make the change in the first place! I still have Windows on my computer. Why am I wasting my time with this damn program? What is the advantage?

I had to re-center myself, take a deep breath, and re-think why I was trying to use Linux. What is more frustrating, the fact that my Windows machine tries to send stats to Microsoft from my svchost (blocked by ye 'ol FIREWALL) or that I can't back-up a damn thing in Kmail. (More on that later) The answer is simple, I AM sick and tired of Windows "owning" my computer. I want it back NOW.

After a few door slams, some deep breaths, and my morning cup of coffee, I felt better. With the overwhelming sense of self-preservation, or in this case computer-preservation, I decided to stick to my guns. So what if I lose some of my e-mails? They really weren't that important, not compared to the invasiveness of Microsoft.

"So why all the frustration, and why did you almost cave," you may ask? Kmail. Damn Kmail.

(From here to the end is a rant, if you cannot stomach it, move on.)

I have been using Kubuntu for a few weeks now on my desktop. I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience using Kontact and Kmail until yesterday. One of the problems I have with Kubuntu, is there is no obvious way to cause my desktop to go into Standby or Hibernate. There could be some way of doing that, downloading something, altering some file somewhere, but I didn't want to mess with that. I have been reviewing LiveCD's (coming soon) and noticed that OpenSUSE has the capability for standby or hibernate, so I thought, "Hey I will just redo and install SUSE. I've been wanting to try it anyways."

All I needed to do was copy some files to my thumbdrive and BACKUP MY KMAIL. The first was easy, straightforward, and painless. The second, not so much. I looked online for "backup kmail" and thankfully there were many sites on this subject. Ah, it looked simple enough, copy the kmail folder, some config file, and something else ~/Mail, which I couldn't find. But I looked in my kmail folder and sure enough there was all my mail stuff.
*Right-click, copy, finds thumbdrive, PASTE*
Wha... can't write to what? Ok.
*skip, skip, skip, replace*
Nada. Crap! And so I couldn't copy my kmail file to my thumbdrive by use of normal GUI means.

Perhaps it's a user limitation problem, so I thought. I cracked my fingers and got them loose... we're going into COMMAND PROMPT MODE. Being the deft typist I am, I moved quickly to the folder with the kmail file and proceeded to sudo copy it. Something went horribly wrong, I really don't know what it was, but the end result was that nothing was copied. So maybe I can sudo move it. YES! That worked! But now what? Let's go over to my thumbdrive to see what was there. Nothing. Nothing at all. So where they hell did my kmail folder go? I was in a bit of a panic now. Whew! There it was in /media/usbdrive? Don't ask. So I moved it back, then thought, "How 'bout I just back it up with K3B?" That worked. However, to check the backup, I copied the folder from the CD to the original kmail spot to see if my Kmail program recognized it now (before I reformatted). Nothing but errors. *suppresses urge to break something* Let's try...

This went on longer than I would care to share. In the end, I went to the Thunderbird FAQ on moving from Kmail to Thunderbird. I went through those steps and backed-up that way. I have yet to re-install and if I find that back-up method did not do the trick, I've resolved to cut my loses and move on. Honestly, being a glutton for punishment, I might go back to Kmail when it's all said and done but that remains to be seen. I mean, I like the features what can I say. (Except for the DAMN backup.)

So now all is okay, except my OpenSUSE DVD is corrupt or something, so I am presently re-downloading everything. I have had a very frustrating morning, but that inner instinct to give Microsoft the bird has persevered.

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