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Wednesday, February 13th, 2008

Time Event
2:05a
IBM Thinkpad 380z
So, in my adventures to get a version of Linux installed on my trusty old IBM Thinkpad 380z, I rediscovered ZipSlack.

To refresh your memory, my Thinkpad has the following specifications:
p2 233 mghz,
96 megabytes of ram,
2 megabyte Neomagic integrated gpu,
1 gigabyte hdd,
2 pcmcia slots,
Lucent WaveLAN Bronze 802.11b on PCMCIA.

I am currently using FreeDOS to boot into ZipSlack 11, however I think I may end up redoing the whole process and go with an older version of Zipslack. The orinoco driver included in ZipSlack 11 is a bit too new, and while it recognizes the card, I cannot connect to any network. Also, many packages were included in 11 that were not included in earlier versions, thus increasing size. However, it does work. Thank God. Finally.
12:32p
flamebait :) (KDE vs. Gnome)
ok, I know this question might easily degenerate into an unseemly flame war, but I am actually curious to hear about people's recent experiences with KDE vs. Gnome.

The reason I ask is b/c my sister's (not an experienced Linux user by any means) laptop should soon be fully operational, at which point I will need to install an OS for her (Ubuntu or Kubuntu, unless someone has good reasons for me to consider something else).

Personally, I have always used Gnome. I am used to it and I am aware of some of its weaknesses and how to bypass them. Unfortunately, some of those weaknesses involve the Network Manager, which my sister would be using a lot as she is hopping wireless networks.

On the other hand I have never used KDE. I am fully aware of KDE's technical awesomeness, but I lack any first hand usability/stability/performance info.

I am also not that accustomed to actually using the GUI tools, since I always do everything I need from the command line. Although this works very well for me, it does make me a poor judge of what desktop environment would be best for a person that has practically zero interest in learning how to troubleshoot her computer.

Besides, this is a PR issue after all :). She will be out and about with that laptop mingling with her non-technical compatriots. I don't want the impression that people get of her experience with Linux to be that of constant troubleshooting, things not working and being difficult to use.

So, have any of you, my esteemed denizens of the linux community, had any experience with KDE recently? How well does it handle hopping wifi networks and bouncing from connected to disconnected mode? (Gnome likes to freeze the desktop at this point under some circumstances). Is the memory footprint significantly larger due to Qt? How is the responsiveness? (btw, this is an IBM T60 Thinkpad that I will be installing on).

Any info and opinions would be greatly appreciated.
1:31p
Unicode to ASCII Conversion?
Hello folks.

I'm looking for a Unicode to ASCII converter application or script that will convert in a "smart" way. Most conversion tools I know of will simply convert extended characters to a question mark (?). What I'd like to be able to do is run a program to convert "ñ to n" or "á to a" or "ö to o", etc. What tool can I use to do this? There's a lot of info out there about Unicode to ASCII conversion, but I'm having trouble finding a program that will do what I'm looking for.

Either a Linux or a DOS program will work. Thanks in advance!

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