Mobility Email

Shane Coughlan a fellow of FSFE (Free Software Federation Europe) posted some info on the Wolves-LUG about an Open Source project he is associated with for a mobile mail client that can be used while travelling from location to location called MobilityEmail The Idea is a portable email client that can run from either a USB pen drive or from your computer hard drive, for me the benefit is I can take and access my mail from pretty much anywhere that has Internet access. True you can access mail from a browser if your ISP provides some sort of webmail frontend but if like me you have multiple accounts who wants to browse all over the place checking all those accounts for that all important mail? when one client that draws all mail down into one location is far more convenient.

I did slightly misunderstand and thought it would work on any operating system however if you want to run it from a Linux box you’ll have to use ‘Wine’. With Mobility Email loaded on a 2GB USB pen drive I tested it out on my IBM X20 running Ubuntu Dapper, Mobility ran a bit sluggish but that may be due to hardware and wine rather than mobility. On my Windows XP and 2000 boxes it runs very well, I would have prefered a cross platform plug-and-go solution and I suppose I could write a small wine/mobility exe script but all in all its a pretty cool solution. Check out the project at; http://www.mobilityemail.net You can download it from here; http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/mobility/mobilityemail-1504.zip?download

Hard Drive Failure

Laptop HDDMy Laptop hard drive ground to a halt on Thursday, I have to hold my hands up and admit that I had been getting warning email’s for some time regarding sector read errors but was hoping it could hold out until this weekend so that I could either fix it with fsck or e2fsck. I was just in the process of sending a mail to someone when KMail crashed then the terminal I had open froze and finally everything locked up. Committing the cardinal sin off pressing the power button until the laptop switched off I tried to start it up again, but every time I booted it dropped me to the maintenance terminal “Enter root password or press ctrl d”. I ran the maintenance program (I didn’t really know what I was doing) it asked me if I wanted to merge loads of stuff that was complete double Dutch to me, I said yes and and it did boot but in text only mode, I could hear clunking and grinding going on so cd’d to /home/peter as quick as possible “No such file or directory” WTF?. Now I was panicing, see guess who had just changed loads of settings and passwords? and where was all that info? yep on the dying hard drive and did I have a backup? course not.

I did ls -l /home/ which reported that nothing was there!! I then cd’d to lost & found and after some digging found stuff that related to my home directory I copied all the contents to an external drive and was just about to look around the root directory when the hard drive emitted a sound a bit like nails being dragged down a keyboard and that was it. RIP 40GB HDD. I was now faced with an ever bigger dilemma should I re-install Fedora on another HDD or bite the bullet and switch to Ubuntu? Na, Fedora/RH has been my poison of choice since day one its like that old pullover you just feel naked without it. Two days later my Fedora is almost back to the original and has been backed up hardware failures happen to other people not you, do they?

Get that backup solution in place fast and backup daily or hourly if you can, rsync is probably the easiest and quickest and can be set up to run from cron so you don’t have to get involved the system will run it for you. I did ls -l /home/ which reported that nothing was there!! I then cd’d to lost & found and after some digging found stuff that related to my home directory I copied all the contents to an external drive and was just about to look around the root directory when the hard drive emitted a sound a bit like nails being dragged down a keyboard and that was it. RIP 40GB HDD. I was now faced with an ever bigger dilemma should I re-install Fedora on another HDD or bite the bullet and switch to Ubuntu? Na, Fedora/RH has been my poison of choice since day one its like that old pullover you just feel naked without it. Two days later my Fedora is almost back to the original and has been backed up hardware failures happen to other people not you, do they?