Category Archives: wine

The End of Pegasus Mail?

Due to financial difficulties, it appears that the end is near for Pegasus Mail.
While Pegasus has some great features, and is free, it is limited to Windows. This also raises the question of whether or not Pegasus users will be able to easily convert to other email programs. While most email programs can probably handle importing from Pegasus, there are also utilities to aid one in moving from Pegasus to other mail formats.

There are two good utilities, while Windows based, run well in Wine, or in various virtual machines on different operating systems. Both are developed by Fookes Software, Aid4Mail and Mailbag Assistant.

Both are able to convert from one email format to almost any other desired format. Aid4Mail can save messages to MHT format, for ease of viewing in a web browser. Mailbag Assistant is an email archiving and search utility. One can reply to or forward an email in any email box, using one’s current email program.

There is much more to both programs, that will help those with lots of email, from any program move to other formats. Both preserve the original mail files, so the conversion, is really a new set of files. These utilities make it very easy to investigate different email clients if one wants to experiment. Both are fast and can handle very large numbers of email messages.

Wine 0.9

I “upgraded” to Wine 0.9, the new beta version,. Programs that worked before, tend to work now. The upgrade process is to uninstall the old version of Wine first, since prior versions were pre-beta versions.

Two Windows genealogy programs, PAF 5.2 and Legacy 6.0 Standard Edition (free), were easier to get working than with prior versions of Wine. Rather than all the hoop jumping, I had to use the Sidenet wine configuration Utility, which sets up Wine with a default emulation of Windows 98. I then had to install the VisualC++ runtime, vcredist.com, then both PAF and Legacy worked.

They still have some quirks, but the biggest issue with both is printing. Preview does not work, since it is dependent on finding the default Windows printer.

Legacy 6.0 now has a built-in web browser to display news and tips, that does not work.

All of the Fookes software, will install on a default installation of Wine without using Sidenet Tools. The look of the interface is clean, and there is very little that does not work. The biggest things are printing and the pasteboard feature in NoteTab. NoteTab can copy and paste to and from Linux applications, but the pasteboard will not capture text from Linux applications. It does capture from other open tabs. Now that Wine 0.9 makes it so easy to define Windows-style drive letters, one can more easily use NoteTab on a dual-boot system, and use the same drive letter designation for both. You can either share the same ini file or use one for each environment. NOTE: This requires that you use a FAT or FAT32 partition, since Linux can only read NTFS partitions and not write to them.

On the prior version of Wine 20050524, I had MS-Money 2004 working. However, things have changed enough, that I cannot get it to work, and am back to using Windows part-time. There is currently no information in the Wine database about what to do to make it work with the new version of Wine.

As with the past version of Wine, I cannot get my tax program, TaxAct, to work. It installs beautifully, in fact, almost any Windows program install will run without a hitch. However, it complains about a missing file, and will not start. Again, the Wine product database does not help. Using Windows on such a limited basis, as tax time, is not too bad. I have suggested to the TaxAct company that they improve their product to work on Linux. Yes, I know they have an online version that is free, but I have security concerns, plus I want to have control of my data, and I tend to have a more complex tax situation than most.

Wine 0.9 has some cool utilities that make it much easier to use, and there is no more manual fiddling to get a fake Windows partition to work.

The Sidenet Wine Configuration tool, while useful, can create issues. By default it will put the fake C: drive under the user’s home directory, and not under the /home/username/.wine directory. This is easily rectified, but if you are used to the default Wine installation, can totally confuse you.

This version of Wine goes a long way towards making Linux a viable desktop alternative to Windows. Using Open Office 2.0 is great for this too. If you do not have complex graphics, publishing, tax, or financial needs, then you can switch to Linux today. For home users, except for games, Linux is easily a viable option. However, more and more Windows games are starting to work on Linux. The better Wine becomes, the sooner the reality of the Linux desktop as major competition to Windows will occur. In addition, there are Linux products with the equivalent of Windows-based programs that are also getting better all the time, even leap-frogging Microsoft as with Open Office 2.0. Usability and clear documentation are the biggest handicaps to Linux, but that is changing everyday.

Wine Installation

Brief notes using Wine on FC3. It works best with Wine20050524 or newer.
I have been able to install any Windows program, but some just will not run once installed.
The Wine Beta is slated to arrive next week, so this will probably be obsolete.

Use Synaptic for GUI front end to synaptic on FC3.

  1. Start with a working Linux installation.
  2. Install wine -> .wine
  3. Install winetools -> website?
    1. Base Setup
    2. Create Fake Windows Drive
    3. True Type Fonts (Arial)
    4. DCOM98
    5. IE6 – Enables ability to install other pieces for even more functionality
    6. Install Windows System Software – HTML Help – directly launch CHM files
    7. Common Controls – helps buttons, etc. work better.
    8. wine program name – runs windows program from CLI
    9. wineboot – simluates Windows re-boot
    10. winefile – Explorer-like interface, like the old Win3.x File Manager.

Fookes Software on a Good Wine Install:
Readme.txt for all Fookes programs will open in the wine version of Notepad.exe.
Check for updates comes up in all Fookes programs and will launch site in IE or Firefox for Windows.
A4M – Installs and runs. A change was made that lets it work well on Linux.
AE3.5 – Creates album from sample images.
Easy Imager 2.0 – Exit -> “Access Violation at Address 00ADF19B. Write of Address 00405181” It starts with this message, but continues and processes album as on Windows.
Easy Thumbnails 2.8 – Creats thumbnail from sample image, or from images in Linux.
NoteTab Standard 4.96 – OK
NoteTab Pro 4.95 – OK, Replace MS-Notepad Replaces the wine version of Notepad. c:windows stb!!
Mailbag 3.8 – OK!
Firefox for Windows – OK – display of fonts a little off, but it works.
Insight 1.3 – Error “Unable to execute file: c:\windows\profiles\larry\start menu\programs\insight\?…” Shell Execute failed; code 31.” [OK]
eSword – OK!

Computer Solutions

Answers to common computer questions. I will post answers to some of the most common questions I have received as a computer support professional.

Any kind of problem solving, whether it is a mystery novel, crossword puzzle, or computer problem, they all involve starting with the simple and moving to the more complex. Think of this as “narrowing the focus”.

A good example is a puzzle. Most start with turning all the pieces picture side up, then trying to put the sides together. Then one finds objects to put together. This is why the sky is usually last, it is the biggest part, and it all looks the same. but by finding a cloud or area of similar color, the focus is narrowed and bit by bit the picture is completed.

This may help explain why when you talk to a computer professional that they ask you all the same questions you just answered, or just went through yourself. This is because they want to make sure they have covered all the bases. Quite often, a review of the basic questions will reveal that something very simple has been overlooked.

Once the quick and the simple tasks have been tried, one must exercise their patience and persevere until the problem is found. An experienced support person will have a lot more items to review before they enter new territory. You may think that when they talk to themselves and mutter in exasperation that it is time to panic. Unless your support person is running in circles yelling, “The sky is falling”, you know that they are not panicked. It is not time to panic until your technician panics. You may be worried and stressed over the situation, but a good support person will re-assure you and keep you informed of your options.

I am sharing here some useful information that may save you a service call, and unnecessary stress.