Tag Archives: Dell Latitude C610

Including OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 menu items in VectorLinux Light 6.0’s IceWM menu

First of all, sorry for not writing a lot (or rather “nothing”, to be honest and use a double negative at the same time) in the past few months. Human reproduction is a time-consuming process indeed (and worth every second of it </crypto-perzine-mode>).

Note: If you want to know how to install OpenOffice.org on your VectorLinux Light 6.0 system in the first place, please read the post “Installing OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 (or indeed any other version) in VectorLinux Light 6.0” on this blog.

So, this blog had just kicked off quite nicely when I had other things to do and neither time nor mind for anything Linux-ish (note to myself: This includes correcting horrible typos in earlier posts). But then I had to get the old Latitude working again and up to scratch, so I re-installed VectorLinux (VL) Light 6.0 and set out to install OpenOffice.org 3.2.0 (the newest version at the time of writing) like I described in my earlier post, when I realized that after installing all the main OO.o packages, there was no openoffice.org3.2.0-slackware-menus-3.2.0-noarch-94xx.tgz in the desktop-integration folder at all. Meaning, I couldn’t integrate the OO.o items in the application menu.

Well, not quite, because of course there are desktop-integration packages. There’s one for Mandriva, one for Suse, one for RedHat and one for “freedesktop“. And there’s the rub, cos I didn’t know (although the most basic search for freedesktop could have told me) or rather didn’t recall  that IceWM is of course an X plain desktop environment, under the roof so to say of freedesktop.org. D’uh! However…

Now, I love my IceWM menu items, and I got used to start any OO.o application from there, so I ran a little search over at the VectorLinux forum, and found out that this is a problem that has also appeared when installing OO.o 2.4 in VL Light 5.9 running LXDE. The issue is based on the standard icon folder in VL being /usr/share/pixmaps/, whereas the desktop-integration package installed the icons to another folder, and the openoffice*.desktop files linked to the icon without a path.

“Now, well, let’s hack at it”, I thought, and did just that: copied PNG files, edited .desktop files, ~/.icewm/update-icewm-menu.sh‘d like a madman, and even resorted to the old mswindows knee-jerk reaction to reboot and re-reboot. Nothing worked. Then I thought it over again, rolled back all changes, and simply installed the freedesktop desktop-integration package.

And tadah? Not quite yet. First of all the main problem remained, namely that although the .desktop files were present in /usr/share/applications/ now, they still didn’t include a path to the icons, which still weren’t placed in /usr/share/pixmaps/ but /usr/share/icons/hicolor/48x48/apps/

There are two solutions to this problem: Either you simply copy the files to /usr/share/pixmaps/, or you include the path where the icons are stored in the respective .desktop files in /usr/share/applications/.

I chose the first option for ease’s sake, then updated the IceWM menu and that was it, problem solved, all the icons showing nicely in the correct (Office) submenu.

Well, almost. For some reason (and I suspect this was due to my fiddling with the PNG files rather than a “system” problem), the Base icon didn’t show. This was, however, easily solved by simply re-building the IceWM start menu from scratch. To do this, I simply had to choose the respective option from update-icewm-menu.sh. Nice one!


Filed under How-To

Installing RedHat RPM packages on VectorLinux (and possibly other distros) using Midnight Commander

Okay, my posts seem to get shorter and simpler by the day, but this comment by user lighans on my last post prompted me to write another quickie about installing stuff in VectorLinux.

Sometimes I’m a bit disappointed, because very few apps offer Slackware-ready (not to speak of VL-ready) packages on their websites for download. Thanks to the great community over at VectorLinux.com, more and more packages become available for VL on a daily basis, but some won’t be (possibly for good reasons).

However, a lot of times, RPM packages are available, as RPM is the standard package format under the Linux Standard Base. Fair enough, you might think, but how would that help me? Well, being a standard, of course there are options provided to be able to install RPM packages on other systems than RedHat or RH-based distributions. In VectorLinux (and quite possibly in all Slackware and even still possibly in most other distros), you have exactly two tools for installing RPM packages to your non-RedHat system: Continue reading


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Installing OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 (or indeed any other version) in VectorLinux Light 6.0

Okay, I still haven’t given any final comments about why VectorLinux is the best Linux distribution for me, but this time I wanna dive deep into the midst of things for a very newbie-specific little how-to.

As I believe in Linux’ capability to be a “middle-of-the-road” OS for “average” users, I want to focus on something *really* average today, which will hopefully be of use for some newcomer to VectorLinux with average needs, just like myself: how to install OpenOffice.org 3.1.1 on VectorLinux Light 6.0. Continue reading


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VectorLinux Light vs. Zenwalk: Benchmarks [updated version 29 Sep 09]

Have you heard the news? There will be another Ubuntu derivative, this time based on LXDE and hence called Lubuntu. LXDE is a lightweight desktop environment, and this added to the generally high profile of *ubuntu distributions might make for an interesting lightweight distro indeed, and perhaps fresh competition to VectorLinux.

So I wandered over to the LXDE blog post and downloaded both ISOs, planning on testing them against my favourite VectorLinux Light 6.0. These are live CD isos and they proved to be un-installable, so they’re nothing I’m interested in for the moment. Will have to wait till the first installable ISO is out.

However, I was reading up about testing distros against one another for this purpose after being pointed at benchmarking on the VectorLinux forum. In the course of my search I found an interesting post on benchmarking Arch Linux vs. Ubuntu, and I figured I could do a little benchmarking myself Continue reading


Filed under Linux distribution

Cognitive prerequisites for running Linux on old hardware

Okay, I know the title is very big-headed, but I have thought about how finding the right Linux distribution for your old hardware isn’t simply determined by the hardware itself, but equally by how much you know or are willing to learn about Linux. Which is why I want to write about a few things that I think might be helpful to know before you attempt to install Linux (hopefully VectorLinux Light) on your old machine. Please keep in mind that all of this is from my own, a distinctly newbie, perspective and will probably not be d’accord with the experiences, ideas or opinions of more estimated users of Linux or indeed “users” in general. In the light of the latest Win vs. Linux scandal, and coming from years of using Windows myself, I guess this post would be first and foremost addressed to any Windows user who wants to try Linux on their old machine in order to raise it from the dead.

So what in Linus Torvalds’ name, then, are the “cognitive prerequisites” of running Linux on an old laptop? Continue reading

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Filed under General, Linux, Pondering, Windows

Spoilt for choice – spoiled choice: Finding the right Linux distribution for my old laptop

So, there I was, with a new old complimentary laptop. Great, because I’ve never owned one. Not so great, because it was running W*****s 2k and sluggish. As I had to do a little MySQL and PHP and needed to svn stuff, I thought it was a great idea to install Linux.

So far so good, I g**gled, and minutes later was downloading a Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibis ISO. Burnt that, and flew through the user-friendly install routines. “Great”, I thought, “so Linux has changed a lot since I last used it.” Continue reading


Filed under General, Linux distribution

Hardware Check

Before I dive deep into the quest for the right Linux distribution (a matter obviously solved, but undescribed as of yet), I would like to accustom the dear reader with some technical specifications & requirements, i.e. my old laptop. This is just so that the dear reader can approximate whether any solutions provided here may work for her/himself as well.

“There is no such thing as a free breakfast”? Yes, there is! I got a laptop for free. I guess it was state-of-the-art when it was produced and issued, and I must say it still isn’t so bad, Continue reading

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Mission Statement

Perhaps I should really start out with saying something about the ‘why’ of running such a blog as this.

There are already quite a few websites around which deal with running Linux on old laptops (try this G**gle search). However, everybody has different needs, and hence I should probably say a little about what I was personally looking for. Continue reading

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YALOOLB: Yet Another Linux on Old Laptop Blog

So, I’ve got this old Laptop for free (btw: I recently had a discussion with my neighbour about what the word geek actually means, so be prepared for what follows). It’s old, i.e. slow. It had W*****s 2000 as its original OS, and that basically sucked. What I wanted was a laptop I can actually use for stuff (e.g., for writing, surfing, a bit of DTP (LATEX) and whatever might come to my mind I want to do with it, not going berserk of course).

I have a few friends and acquaintances of the geek-ish type, and I ran into Linux when I had to use it on my then flatmate’s desktop pc. Found it interesting then, but never kept track. But now it became an option again. Continue reading

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