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FireFtp, Firefox, Opera, PNGout

I've been tinkering with the home computer setup a bit:
I have installed FireFTP, a Firefox extention providing an FTP client. As you may remember, I've been on a quest for a decent linux ftp client. My criteria for "decent" are modest: it should deliver the same productivity benefit compared to the linux command line ftp client as WSFTP LE does compared to the Windows command line ftp client. That shouldn't be too hard, one would think. On the one hand, the linux CLFTP is very good indeed, but on the other hand, WSFTP LE is 6 years old and was deliberately crippled compared to for-pay versions of WSFTP. But the clients that people have recommended so far all fell way, way short of that. GFTP has so far come closest, but it doesn't do batch renames or batch deletions from the server, and doesn't understand the meaning of "one directory up". I hear that FireFTP isn't very good, but it doesn't have to be to be better than what I have. I'll just use it a few times in real sessions and see what comes up.
I have also installed a whole lot of other Firefox extentions that seemed neat. We'll see how useful they are.
A few days ago, I installed the linux port of PNGout at home. What I want to do with it is re-compress all old Rogues of Clwyd-Rhan comics that primarily reside on my home machine's disks. A quick test showed that I could reduce the file size by 8 percent, from a size that was itself reduced by 8-10 percent back when I converted the earliest files from gif to PNG. However, PNGout lacks a batch mode, and I'm buggered if I'm going to convert them one at a time. So I will have to beg, borrow or steal a shell script for converting them in a single batch. It's not unthinkable that this is something I could do myself, with a guide to the shell's syntax by my side, but I'd really rather not, because I'm unfamiliar with the syntax, abilities and limitations of Unix shells. It would take me a lot of time and have me pull out hair that I really can't afford to miss these days. (Update: this should do the trick although altering it to do exactly what I want could turn out to be tricky.)

(What follows is probably of less interest to ROCR readers or even regular Waffle-ites, but I'm including it as a memo to self, so that I won't forget what I've done in a few months' time)

While I was busy tinkering, I tried to install Thunderbird, in case I wanted to switch to Firefox for regular browsing. If I did, I'd have to switch on Opera - i.e. another web browser to read my email, which would be redundant, so I might as well check if Thunderbird delivered a decent comfort level with email. Unfortunately, I couldn't get it to run, except as root. Looking at the known issues, I found that (if I understand correctly), I needed to run it as a high-level user the first time anyway, to create config files :

If you install Thunderbird on a multi-user system in an area in which there is restricted access privileges, you must run Thunderbird as a user with access to that location upon installation so that all initial startup files are generated. If this is not done, when a user without write access to the install location attempts to start Thunderbird, they will not have sufficient privileges to allow Thunderbird to generate the initial startup files it needs to operate.

But after doing that, I still couldn't get it to run as a regular user. And what I saw while logged in as root looked ugly as sin anyway, so I can't be bothered to try again.

I cleaned out some older pre-Firefox browsers that had been littering my system. Phoenix and Firebird are now gone. I've kept Mozilla Suite and corporate Netscape for testing purposes, though.

Finally, I did a security upgrade for Opera. The noteworthy thing here is that Opera's website had finally come up with an easy way to determine which linux package it should send me, so instead of the safe fallback choice of a statically-linked package, I picked the dynamically-linked one for SuSe 9.x. It worked: Opera is now slightly uglier (because the menus are in the default style for KDE, which doesn't harmonize with the rest of the app all that well) but a lot faster and leaner. Nice.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 3, 2005 12:38 PM.

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