From Hilbert Space to Dilbert Space


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Computer changes at home
Linux
gmcdavid
I moved my home email from one computer to another this weekend. Both computers are obsolete PIII systems, but I had rebuilt Antrim (in the basement) to use Xubuntu Linux 9.04, while Tyrone (upstairs) runs Slackware Linux 12. I moved my email from Tyrone to Antrim. Next step will be to rebuild Tyrone as a Debian or (X)ubuntu system. Debian and its spawn, e.g. Ubuntu, are much easier to keep current than Slackware.

Technically, I have changed home e-mail clients for the first time since 1993. I have replaced pine by its offspring, alpine. I say "technically" because alpine is very similar to pine. In fact, it cheerfully accepted my old pine configuration file. I also defined a Unix alias so if I type pine it will invoke alpine. I also had to install fetchmail and procmail on Antrim, but that was not hard.

I like (al)pine because it is text based — it runs in a terminal window. This means

  1. It is fast. I get a lot of e-mail and need to deal with it quickly.
  2. I can ssh to Antrim and read my mail from any of my systems.


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I use gnus, which is an emacs mode for mail and news reading, for similar reasons. There's also an LJ client based on it.

I prefer Debian; it's a lot more familiar-feeling than Ubuntu. There's a live root account, for example, rather than starting out insisting that everyone use sudo.

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