openSUSE 2013

Making old e-mails useful again

Post date: Sep 19, 2013 5:38:36 PM

For almost a decade from 1996 to 2005 one of os - Niels - used first JStreet Mailer and later Polarbar Mailer for all e-mail. I was an interesting experience first with the intensive communication on the beta-list while the first product was in beta, and later when a group of volunteers acquired the rights to the code and continued development of the Polarbar Mailer. The last version 1.25a can still be downloaded from

Both these applications stored each e-mail as a separate file in a folder hierarchy created by the user. Unfortunate these pop-files cannot be directly imporated in modern e-mail clients, like KMail. Fortunately the structure of the pop-files are equivalent. to elm-files. Except, that during some periods the files used the X-DateReceived header in place of just Date in the sent folder. This header must be manually edited in order for the sent e-mails to display the correct date. So after changing the file-name extension and editing a few headers the e-mails can be imported in a KMail folder.

The import filter use the same folder name, at the original folder, but with the prefix PLAIN-. This prefix is a bit misleading. I discovered, that KMail displayed character based smileys as graphical smileys after the import, and also showed icons for attachments. However, this only if the user had elected to store attachments in-line.

The in-line versus off-line storage of attachment was an option introduced by the Polarbar Mailer team to cut down on start-up time, since Polarbar Mailer scanned each e-mail at start-up in order to generate the information for the graphical user interface.

Most of the old e-mails have little or no use, but a few contained registration information for different programs acquired during the last few years of the previous century. You can also get the old e-mail to your GMail account by creating some temporary folders om your GMail account, and copying e-mails to that folder in your KMail account.

Upgrading openSUSE using zypper

- from12.2 to 12.3

Post date: Mar 19, 2013 10:44:48 AM

Safepark have started upgrading all our systems to openSUSE 12.3. Our first idea was to perform an online update using zypper, and this was attempted on Lenovo E520 running 12.2, but this failed towards the end while attempting to install Calibre. Also the guidelines on this apprach on indicate, that download and installation would be mixed. Just the way YasT used to work. However, when we executed zypper dup, then all the needed files - almost 4700 - were downloaded before the installation started. We did not investigated the failure further, but proceeded to download the DVD image using our Windows 7 partition.

During install all available software options were selected, since this allows us to switch between the different user interfaces provided by openSUSE, i.e. GNome, KDE Plasma, and several others. Even though we these days mostly use KDE, we like to have the option to select another GUI without having to look for additional software. Even then a complete installation only takes about 10 GB.

On the E520 the base installation was complete in less than ½ hour. We usually turn off automatic confirugation at the start of the installation process, since we have often experienced problems with the network configuration. This the download of release note after our network configuration also failed. It turned out this was because connection could not be established to The installation of patches proceeded normally, and we all had success using HP setup to configure our HP Photosmart All-in-one printer (we don't use the fax). During installation we also noticed, that the single large texlive package has been split up into a large number of smaller package. That should make future upgrades of the texlive system much quicker.

After completion of the install we attempted to login using Gnome, but this failed. We instead used KDE, and after changing from using ifup to Networkmanager for the wireless network we could proceed to install the programs, which are not part of the DVD: Google Chrome Browser, Avast4Workstation for Linux, Skype for Linux, Google Talkplugin and Texmaker. This was the work we attempted to avoid using the online upgrade.

Impression after the first hours of usage is, that YasT have become much faster. That KDE is a pleasure - it even activated the cube without any user input. Furthermore suspend, now works just like I think it should: I close my laptop, and it goes into suspend move, and when I reopen it, it ask for my password before I get adcess to anything. This is cool! We are not that happy with Gnome, even though after installing the mentioned extra software we could log into Gnome.

We have also upgraded two other systems to openSUSE 12.3. One is an almost antic Lenovo R40 - almost 10 years old - which is used mainly for reading e-mails in GMail and connecting with people in Google+. It is doing fine on KDE in openSUSE 12.3. The is a Toshiba Satellite A200, which last Christmas took forever to boot XP, and gives reasonable performance with openSUSE 12.3, but properly would benefit from addtional ram. The Toshiba could be upgraded to 2 x 2 GB for about 400 DDK or around 55 €, which will properly be done later this year.