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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Introduction

I normally like to use Twitter straight from the browser but there are some really good Android based apps that work just as well.

Choqok is a Twitter client for Linux that is installed by default with the openSUSE KDE live DVD.

This article looks at the features of Choqok.

Choqok


When you first run Choqok it isn't immediately obvious how you link it to your Twitter account.

In order to do so select "Settings -> configure Choqok".






 To add an account click "Add" and then select "Twitter".


You can enter anything as an alias but to link to your Twitter account you need to authorise Choqok to access it by clicking the "Authenticate with Twitter Service".

Once you have authenticated Twitter you will receive a code that you have to enter into Choqok.

Click "OK" to continue.






There really isn't much to Choqok, which is actually a good thing.

The main window loads with the tweets from the people you follow.

You can post a new tweet yourself by clicking on "Quick Post" on the toolbar.

The timeline will by default update after 10 minutes. If you want to load new tweets before that, click on the "Update Timelines" icon on the toolbar.

If you want to post an image then you can use the "Upload Medium" button on the toolbar.

A new window will appear and you can choose the file on the disk that you wish to upload and the service you want to post it to.

If you want to see your mentions, inbox or outbox you can click on the icons on the left side of the screen.



The strength of Twitter is obviously by the use of hash tags. To search for a hash tag click on CTRL and F.

Enter the search term into the query window and your timeline will be replaced with a list of tweets containing that search term.

Configuring Choqok

As with all the KDE applications, Choqok has a host of configuration options available.

The configuration options can be found under "Settings -> Configure Choqok".





The behaviour settings let you determine how to deal with posts, whether to automatically spell check tweets, set how long it is before the timeline updates and the number of posts to show.

The accounts screen lets you add different Twitter accounts.

The appearance screen lets you reverse the order of tweets, and customise the appearance such as changing the colours and fonts.

Choqok also has a number of plugins available.
























Many of the plugins are selected by default such as the ability to see images and videos, and the ability to extract URLs as the full URL instead of the shortened version.

Summary

Choqok is a very good Twitter client and it has a light feel to it.

It is much easier to read the tweets and search for tweets using Choqok than using the Twitter website itself.

If you are already using KDE then you will probably have Choqok already installed but if not, it will be in the repositories of the version of Linux you are using.


Choqok - A Linux based Twitter client for the KDE desktop environment

Introduction

I normally like to use Twitter straight from the browser but there are some really good Android based apps that work just as well.

Choqok is a Twitter client for Linux that is installed by default with the openSUSE KDE live DVD.

This article looks at the features of Choqok.

Choqok


When you first run Choqok it isn't immediately obvious how you link it to your Twitter account.

In order to do so select "Settings -> configure Choqok".






 To add an account click "Add" and then select "Twitter".


You can enter anything as an alias but to link to your Twitter account you need to authorise Choqok to access it by clicking the "Authenticate with Twitter Service".

Once you have authenticated Twitter you will receive a code that you have to enter into Choqok.

Click "OK" to continue.






There really isn't much to Choqok, which is actually a good thing.

The main window loads with the tweets from the people you follow.

You can post a new tweet yourself by clicking on "Quick Post" on the toolbar.

The timeline will by default update after 10 minutes. If you want to load new tweets before that, click on the "Update Timelines" icon on the toolbar.

If you want to post an image then you can use the "Upload Medium" button on the toolbar.

A new window will appear and you can choose the file on the disk that you wish to upload and the service you want to post it to.

If you want to see your mentions, inbox or outbox you can click on the icons on the left side of the screen.



The strength of Twitter is obviously by the use of hash tags. To search for a hash tag click on CTRL and F.

Enter the search term into the query window and your timeline will be replaced with a list of tweets containing that search term.

Configuring Choqok

As with all the KDE applications, Choqok has a host of configuration options available.

The configuration options can be found under "Settings -> Configure Choqok".





The behaviour settings let you determine how to deal with posts, whether to automatically spell check tweets, set how long it is before the timeline updates and the number of posts to show.

The accounts screen lets you add different Twitter accounts.

The appearance screen lets you reverse the order of tweets, and customise the appearance such as changing the colours and fonts.

Choqok also has a number of plugins available.
























Many of the plugins are selected by default such as the ability to see images and videos, and the ability to extract URLs as the full URL instead of the shortened version.

Summary

Choqok is a very good Twitter client and it has a light feel to it.

It is much easier to read the tweets and search for tweets using Choqok than using the Twitter website itself.

If you are already using KDE then you will probably have Choqok already installed but if not, it will be in the repositories of the version of Linux you are using.


Posted at 23:18 |  by Gary Newell

Introduction

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) has been around for along time and is as relevant today as it was ten years ago.

IRC works on a client/server basis. A server hosts a series of channels (rooms) and clients connect to the server and join the channels. The clients (users) can then chat to each other using text.

There are a number of IRC chat clients available for Linux but if you are using a KDE based distribution such as openSUSE or Kubuntu then you will have one installed by default and that is the topic for this article.

Konversation

Konversation is the default IRC chat client that is installed with the KDE desktop environment.

When you first start Konversation a screen will appear showing the available networks that you can connect to.

Networks



To add a new network click the "New" button and to edit the details of a network click the "Edit" button.

You can now change the network name, edit your identity or add and edit servers associated with the network.

If you know the names of the rooms you would normally join you can add them to the list of channels to auto join.

Click here for a list of available servers.

 

 

Identities


To edit your identity click the "Edit" button next to identity. 

When you connect to IRC servers you are identified by a nickname.

IRC doesn't work the same way as email or Facebook.

A nickname isn't generally associated with one user (although you can lock a nickname so that it belongs to just you). It is therefore a good idea to have multiple nicknames listed for your identity so that if you can't use your preferred nickname the next one on the list is used.

To add a nickname enter a new nickname in the box provided and click add. You can remove a nickname or nicknames by selecting them and clicking remove. You can change the order of preference by selecting the nickname and clicking the move up and down arrows.

You can create a new identity by clicking the plus symbol next to the identity drop down list. It is therefore possible to associate yourself with different nicknames for different networks.

The icon next to the plus symbol enables you to copy an existing identity. This is useful if most of the details are correct but you want to change just a couple of things.

There are also icons for renaming an identity and deleting an identity.

The away tab on an identity lets you determine how long it is before you are shown as being away in a chat room and the message that appears.

Chat























The default setup has the server details and rooms that you have joined as tabs at the bottom.

When you first log in you will have a list of server connection messages.

Chat rooms are denoted as tabs with a hash in front of them (#suse).

The chat room has a list of users down the right, the chat window with messages in the top left and a place for you to enter your message at the bottom.

Now obviously IRC wouldn't be much fun if you only had one room to chat in. To bring up a list of chat rooms press F5 or select "Window -> channel list".

You will receive the above warning but generally you can click continue and to be honest I recommend checking the "Do not ask again" box.























You can search for the topic of the room you would like to chat in by entering a topic name in the search box.

You can also limit the search by specifying the minimum and maximum number of users that are currently in the room.

When the list of results is returned you can sort the list by channel name and number of users.

To start chatting in a room double click on the room name. The room will now open as a tab at the bottom.

Configuring Konversation

The configuration options for Konversation are available under the settings menu.

From the settings menu itself you can hide or display the menu, toolbar, nickname list and status bar.

Other configuration options can be found by selecting "Settings -> Configure Konversation".































There are settings for pretty much the entire application.


In the chat window you can show or hide the channel topic (shown just above the chat window), show or hide nicknames and determine whether nicknames are shown as real names or not. If you find the background a bit dull you can jazz it up with an image.

The "Nicklist Themes" lets you choose how the nicknames appear in the nicknames window.

From the "Colours" option you can change the colours of all the different messages that appear in the chat window. The "Fonts" option lets you change the fonts for the text in the chat window.

The one I like to change is the positioning of the tabs and that is because I am used to using XChat. From the "Tabs" option you can change the tab to be on the left instead of at the bottom.

There are a whole host of behavioural settings and notification settings as well.

Summary

IRC chat is a great resource for support and if you get stuck with an aspect of the distro you are using search for the support chat room for that distro.

There are chat rooms for loads of different topic areas so you should find something that you like and not all of the rooms are geek zones.

If you are using a KDE based distro there is no need to install any other IRC Chat Client.

Konversation works just as well as any other IRC client that I have used.

If you aren't used to IRC chat then it is worth visiting the Wikipedia page for IRC Chat and there is also http://www.irchelp.org/.

Thankyou for reading.


Konversation - A look at the default KDE IRC Chat Client for Linux

Introduction

Internet Relay Chat (IRC) has been around for along time and is as relevant today as it was ten years ago.

IRC works on a client/server basis. A server hosts a series of channels (rooms) and clients connect to the server and join the channels. The clients (users) can then chat to each other using text.

There are a number of IRC chat clients available for Linux but if you are using a KDE based distribution such as openSUSE or Kubuntu then you will have one installed by default and that is the topic for this article.

Konversation

Konversation is the default IRC chat client that is installed with the KDE desktop environment.

When you first start Konversation a screen will appear showing the available networks that you can connect to.

Networks



To add a new network click the "New" button and to edit the details of a network click the "Edit" button.

You can now change the network name, edit your identity or add and edit servers associated with the network.

If you know the names of the rooms you would normally join you can add them to the list of channels to auto join.

Click here for a list of available servers.

 

 

Identities


To edit your identity click the "Edit" button next to identity. 

When you connect to IRC servers you are identified by a nickname.

IRC doesn't work the same way as email or Facebook.

A nickname isn't generally associated with one user (although you can lock a nickname so that it belongs to just you). It is therefore a good idea to have multiple nicknames listed for your identity so that if you can't use your preferred nickname the next one on the list is used.

To add a nickname enter a new nickname in the box provided and click add. You can remove a nickname or nicknames by selecting them and clicking remove. You can change the order of preference by selecting the nickname and clicking the move up and down arrows.

You can create a new identity by clicking the plus symbol next to the identity drop down list. It is therefore possible to associate yourself with different nicknames for different networks.

The icon next to the plus symbol enables you to copy an existing identity. This is useful if most of the details are correct but you want to change just a couple of things.

There are also icons for renaming an identity and deleting an identity.

The away tab on an identity lets you determine how long it is before you are shown as being away in a chat room and the message that appears.

Chat























The default setup has the server details and rooms that you have joined as tabs at the bottom.

When you first log in you will have a list of server connection messages.

Chat rooms are denoted as tabs with a hash in front of them (#suse).

The chat room has a list of users down the right, the chat window with messages in the top left and a place for you to enter your message at the bottom.

Now obviously IRC wouldn't be much fun if you only had one room to chat in. To bring up a list of chat rooms press F5 or select "Window -> channel list".

You will receive the above warning but generally you can click continue and to be honest I recommend checking the "Do not ask again" box.























You can search for the topic of the room you would like to chat in by entering a topic name in the search box.

You can also limit the search by specifying the minimum and maximum number of users that are currently in the room.

When the list of results is returned you can sort the list by channel name and number of users.

To start chatting in a room double click on the room name. The room will now open as a tab at the bottom.

Configuring Konversation

The configuration options for Konversation are available under the settings menu.

From the settings menu itself you can hide or display the menu, toolbar, nickname list and status bar.

Other configuration options can be found by selecting "Settings -> Configure Konversation".































There are settings for pretty much the entire application.


In the chat window you can show or hide the channel topic (shown just above the chat window), show or hide nicknames and determine whether nicknames are shown as real names or not. If you find the background a bit dull you can jazz it up with an image.

The "Nicklist Themes" lets you choose how the nicknames appear in the nicknames window.

From the "Colours" option you can change the colours of all the different messages that appear in the chat window. The "Fonts" option lets you change the fonts for the text in the chat window.

The one I like to change is the positioning of the tabs and that is because I am used to using XChat. From the "Tabs" option you can change the tab to be on the left instead of at the bottom.

There are a whole host of behavioural settings and notification settings as well.

Summary

IRC chat is a great resource for support and if you get stuck with an aspect of the distro you are using search for the support chat room for that distro.

There are chat rooms for loads of different topic areas so you should find something that you like and not all of the rooms are geek zones.

If you are using a KDE based distro there is no need to install any other IRC Chat Client.

Konversation works just as well as any other IRC client that I have used.

If you aren't used to IRC chat then it is worth visiting the Wikipedia page for IRC Chat and there is also http://www.irchelp.org/.

Thankyou for reading.


Posted at 22:33 |  by Gary Newell

Introduction

I remember the first time I used the internet. The year was 1997 and I had been working for a company called Data Sciences for about 2 years prior to the IBM takeover.

IBM came in and suddenly Windows was out the door and in came OS/2. Every employee was given a desktop computer and a brand new IBM Thinkpad.

One of my colleagues who sat behind me suddenly announced that he had access to the internet. To be honest I didn't really know much about it but looked over my shoulder to see what the fuss was about.

With Netscape Navigator open my colleague asked me to think of a subject. As soon as somebody asks me to think of something my mind goes blank and a bit like Dan Ackroyd's character, Ray Stantz, in Ghostbusters, it suddenly popped in there..... Billy The Kid.

My colleague typed in the name of American's most famous outlaw into the search engine (can't remember which one it was) and sure enough a number of pages popped up providing pictures and information.

Shortly after this experience I signed up for the internet at home for the first time. There were only a couple of providers available in the UK and they consisted of AOL and Compuserve.

I signed up to AOL. There are a couple of things to note about AOL back in 1997. One was that it took a very bad internet explorer and added an extra layer of naffness to it. The other was that there was an instant messaging service called AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Back then of course the top speed achievable at home was 56k and I remember that I started on a 33k modem.

AOL Instant Messenger wasn't the only chat service on the scene. Yahoo Messenger came along and it really was the Facebook of its time. Other ways to chat included using ICQ and IRC chat.

Nowadays of course the majority of people use services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Hangouts to chat.

AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC and Windows still provide an instant chat service and that is what today's topic is about.

About Kopete


Kopete is a KDE based tool that can connect to AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, Google Talk and Windows Live.

Using Kopete you an access a number of different messaging and chat services through a single interface.

It has a very familiar look and feel to most other chat clients that have come out through the years including Windows Messenger.

When you first start Kopete you will have a blank window because you haven't added any accounts. To add an account press the "Click to add an account" link at the bottom of the window.




A new window will appear allowing you to choose from a number of different services.

Some of these I have heard of and some I haven't.

Which ever service you wish to use click on the name and click "Next".




AIM



Each service will have a slightly different account information screen.

For AOL you have the basic setup, account preferences, privacy, visible and invisible tabs.

To add your account enter your AOL screen name and if you want to automatically log in, click on "Remember Password" and enter your password.






Notice that there is a "Register New Account" button for people without an account. When I clicked this button I was taken to a web page that clearly isn't right.



The AOL instant messenger service is alive and well however and you can sign up by visiting http://www.aim.com/.

To sign up for a new account click on the "sign up" button.



Simply enter an email address, password and your date of birth.

An email will be sent to you to confirm that it is a real one.

Click on the link to activate your AIM account.

You can now enter your AIM email address and password into Kopete.


The "Account Preferences" tab has server and port information.

Unless you are having issues you can generally leave these settings as they are.











The "Privacy" screen lets you determine who can see when you are online.

"Allow all users" lets anybody see that you are online. "Block all users" prevents anyone from seeing that you are online.

 "Allow only contact list's users" lets only your friends see that you are online. "Block AIM users" prevents AIM users from seeing that you are online.

"Allow only from visible list" lets users specified in the visible list see that you are online. "Block only from invisible list" blocks the people in the invisible list from seeing you.


The "Visible" and "Invisible" tabs allow you to add contacts to the relevant visible and invisible lists.

This gives you full control over who can see when you are available.

One reason I am not on Facebook is that I just don't have time to spend chatting all the time and I found that when I was on Facebook (and before that Yahoo) that people would just start chatting 10 seconds after logging in.



ICQ


ICQ was very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. (but then again so were Webrings).

Instead of having a name you are given a unique ICQ number to identify you.

For some reason when I think of ICQ I am taken back to a day when people thought it was a good idea to have magenta backgrounds with yellow text and flowers on them, and menu systems were created within frames.

If you are still an avid ICQ user simply enter your ICQ number and password.

If you would like an ICQ number then click the "Register New Account" button.

Now all you have to do is enter your name, email address and a potential password and the dreaded CAPTCHA.







After signing up you will have an ICQ number. Use this number and password within Kopete.

The account preferences and privacy tabs work in the same way as for AIM.



Google Talk


You might prefer to use Google hangouts but it is possible to chat using a Google account within Kopete.

To create an account click "Settings -> configure" from the menu.

From the manage accounts screen click "Add account".

The type of account to add is "Jabber".

Rather than use the option to register an account I would recommend going to Google and creating an account there.


When you have an account enter the email address in the Jabber ID and click the remember password checkbox if you wish to log in automatically. Enter the password for your Google account.


Check the "Use SSL encryption" and "Override default server information" boxes and enter "talk.google.com" into the server name box.

The "file transfer" tab lets you enter proxy information if you aren't connected directly to the internet.

The "Privacy" tab enables you to determine how notifications are handled.






Windows Live Messenger


If you have a Windows live account then you can add it to Kopete.

To create an account click "Settings -> configure" from the menu.

From the manage accounts screen click "Add account".

Select  "WLM Messenger".



If you don't have an account you will find that the "Register new account" takes you to an invalid page. To create a Windows Live account visit https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx.

Enter your email address and password into the basic setup tab.

The "privacy" tab lets you determine which of your contacts can chat with you online.

The "connection" tab gives basic server information and unless you are having issues can be left alone.

Finally the "General" tab lets you determine what happens with regards to the use of custom emoticons.

Other Accounts

I haven't covered all the account types but you can generally work out the information required for each service quite easily. If you can't register for an account using the "register new account" it is likely possible by visiting the website of the service itself.

There is a Skype plugin but I would recommend using Skype itself.

There is also an SMS account type. I tried to get this to work and I worked out quickly that you need to install SMSSEND via the YAST package manager.

Being in the UK it is hard to find any HTTP to SMS services. Even when I did it was hard to get it to work with Kopete. I have managed to get SMSSEND to work but that is for another day.

Managing Accounts
























To manage your accounts click on "Settings -> Configure".

If you have added multiple accounts then you will see them all grouped together under "Default Identity".


Your identity is used to determine what people see when they look at your details.

You can of course have just one identity for all your accounts.

It is possible though that you want to have different nicknames on different services and use different email addresses.

To add a new identity click the "Add identity" button.




You can now create the details for the new identity by providing the information you wish to disclose such as name, nickname, email, phone numbers etc.

When you are finished click OK.

To move an account to the new identity, click on the account and drag it over the new identity.

If you need to change details of an identity click on it and press the "Modify identity" button.

If you want to add a new identity but with most of the details of another identity click on the identity you wish to copy and then select "copy identity". You can now edit the details that need to be changed.

You will notice that the "Manage accounts screen" has a number of icons down the left side including accounts, contact list, status, behaviour, chat window, video and plugins.

The contact list tab lets you determine how contacts are grouped, whether photos are displayed, set fonts and colours and determine the layout of the contact list window.

The status option shows the list of available statuses. You can add and remove statuses and even group statuses.

So instead of just saying "away" you can say "feeding the cat" or "eating my tea" etc.

The behaviour option lets you set various behavioural settings (who knew?). You can set things like whether an icon appears in the system tray, determine how messages are handled and set your initial status. You can also set things like how long it is before you are set as being away.

The chat option lets you choose the fonts, styles and layouts for the actual chat windows.

The video option lets you configure your webcam for use within video chat.

The plugins option lets you choose which plugins are used. By default the history plugin is checked which logs all chats. There are also plugins for auto replacing text, bookmarks, highlighting messages and translation.

Contact List


The contact list will show your contacts from all your accounts.

If somebody is online the icon next to their name will be green.

To start chatting simply click on their name.

If you right click on the name of a contact you will see more options such as the ability to send the contact a file, an email or a single message.

You can also move the contact to a new group such as friends or co-workers.

To add a new group click "File -> Create New Group".

Enter the name of the group and click "OK". To add users to the group you can right click on their names and move them into the group or you can drag the contacts to the new group within the window.
  
To add a new contact click the "Add" button and select the account to use.












The window to the left is for Windows Live Messenger and simply lets you enter the Windows Live Accout Name.






 
Note that you will start off looking at your default profile but you can switch profiles by clicking on the little dots in the bottom right corner.

You can set the status of each account by clicking on the "Status" button on the toolbar.

With regards to the identity you can change your avatar by clicking on the little image in the bottom left corner.





You can use your webcam to take a picture for your avatar or you can click the "Add Avatar" button.

As you can see I have turned myself into Britney. (Less said about that the better).





Chatting


To chat, just enter text into the bottom window and it appears on your friend's screen. They type something back and it appears in your top window.

Other things you can do is send a file, add emoticons and invite other people to join the chat session.

There are some commands you can use as well that are useful. The most useful one to start with is /help as this shows you how the other commands work. Another useful command is /url. If your friend sends through a link you can use the /url command to open the url in your default browser. (You don't even have to copy and paste it).

Summary

If you still use instant messengers then Kopete is a great alternative for AIM, Yahoo messenger, Windows Live messenger and many others.

It isn't complicated to set up most of the common account types and the chat interface is fairly intuitive. It feels like most other tools that do the same task.

Thankyou for reading.

















Kopete - a great Linux based instant messaging application for the KDE desktop

Introduction

I remember the first time I used the internet. The year was 1997 and I had been working for a company called Data Sciences for about 2 years prior to the IBM takeover.

IBM came in and suddenly Windows was out the door and in came OS/2. Every employee was given a desktop computer and a brand new IBM Thinkpad.

One of my colleagues who sat behind me suddenly announced that he had access to the internet. To be honest I didn't really know much about it but looked over my shoulder to see what the fuss was about.

With Netscape Navigator open my colleague asked me to think of a subject. As soon as somebody asks me to think of something my mind goes blank and a bit like Dan Ackroyd's character, Ray Stantz, in Ghostbusters, it suddenly popped in there..... Billy The Kid.

My colleague typed in the name of American's most famous outlaw into the search engine (can't remember which one it was) and sure enough a number of pages popped up providing pictures and information.

Shortly after this experience I signed up for the internet at home for the first time. There were only a couple of providers available in the UK and they consisted of AOL and Compuserve.

I signed up to AOL. There are a couple of things to note about AOL back in 1997. One was that it took a very bad internet explorer and added an extra layer of naffness to it. The other was that there was an instant messaging service called AOL Instant Messenger (AIM).

Back then of course the top speed achievable at home was 56k and I remember that I started on a 33k modem.

AOL Instant Messenger wasn't the only chat service on the scene. Yahoo Messenger came along and it really was the Facebook of its time. Other ways to chat included using ICQ and IRC chat.

Nowadays of course the majority of people use services such as Facebook, Twitter and Google Hangouts to chat.

AOL, Yahoo, ICQ, IRC and Windows still provide an instant chat service and that is what today's topic is about.

About Kopete


Kopete is a KDE based tool that can connect to AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, Google Talk and Windows Live.

Using Kopete you an access a number of different messaging and chat services through a single interface.

It has a very familiar look and feel to most other chat clients that have come out through the years including Windows Messenger.

When you first start Kopete you will have a blank window because you haven't added any accounts. To add an account press the "Click to add an account" link at the bottom of the window.




A new window will appear allowing you to choose from a number of different services.

Some of these I have heard of and some I haven't.

Which ever service you wish to use click on the name and click "Next".




AIM



Each service will have a slightly different account information screen.

For AOL you have the basic setup, account preferences, privacy, visible and invisible tabs.

To add your account enter your AOL screen name and if you want to automatically log in, click on "Remember Password" and enter your password.






Notice that there is a "Register New Account" button for people without an account. When I clicked this button I was taken to a web page that clearly isn't right.



The AOL instant messenger service is alive and well however and you can sign up by visiting http://www.aim.com/.

To sign up for a new account click on the "sign up" button.



Simply enter an email address, password and your date of birth.

An email will be sent to you to confirm that it is a real one.

Click on the link to activate your AIM account.

You can now enter your AIM email address and password into Kopete.


The "Account Preferences" tab has server and port information.

Unless you are having issues you can generally leave these settings as they are.











The "Privacy" screen lets you determine who can see when you are online.

"Allow all users" lets anybody see that you are online. "Block all users" prevents anyone from seeing that you are online.

 "Allow only contact list's users" lets only your friends see that you are online. "Block AIM users" prevents AIM users from seeing that you are online.

"Allow only from visible list" lets users specified in the visible list see that you are online. "Block only from invisible list" blocks the people in the invisible list from seeing you.


The "Visible" and "Invisible" tabs allow you to add contacts to the relevant visible and invisible lists.

This gives you full control over who can see when you are available.

One reason I am not on Facebook is that I just don't have time to spend chatting all the time and I found that when I was on Facebook (and before that Yahoo) that people would just start chatting 10 seconds after logging in.



ICQ


ICQ was very popular in the late 1990s and early 2000s. (but then again so were Webrings).

Instead of having a name you are given a unique ICQ number to identify you.

For some reason when I think of ICQ I am taken back to a day when people thought it was a good idea to have magenta backgrounds with yellow text and flowers on them, and menu systems were created within frames.

If you are still an avid ICQ user simply enter your ICQ number and password.

If you would like an ICQ number then click the "Register New Account" button.

Now all you have to do is enter your name, email address and a potential password and the dreaded CAPTCHA.







After signing up you will have an ICQ number. Use this number and password within Kopete.

The account preferences and privacy tabs work in the same way as for AIM.



Google Talk


You might prefer to use Google hangouts but it is possible to chat using a Google account within Kopete.

To create an account click "Settings -> configure" from the menu.

From the manage accounts screen click "Add account".

The type of account to add is "Jabber".

Rather than use the option to register an account I would recommend going to Google and creating an account there.


When you have an account enter the email address in the Jabber ID and click the remember password checkbox if you wish to log in automatically. Enter the password for your Google account.


Check the "Use SSL encryption" and "Override default server information" boxes and enter "talk.google.com" into the server name box.

The "file transfer" tab lets you enter proxy information if you aren't connected directly to the internet.

The "Privacy" tab enables you to determine how notifications are handled.






Windows Live Messenger


If you have a Windows live account then you can add it to Kopete.

To create an account click "Settings -> configure" from the menu.

From the manage accounts screen click "Add account".

Select  "WLM Messenger".



If you don't have an account you will find that the "Register new account" takes you to an invalid page. To create a Windows Live account visit https://signup.live.com/signup.aspx.

Enter your email address and password into the basic setup tab.

The "privacy" tab lets you determine which of your contacts can chat with you online.

The "connection" tab gives basic server information and unless you are having issues can be left alone.

Finally the "General" tab lets you determine what happens with regards to the use of custom emoticons.

Other Accounts

I haven't covered all the account types but you can generally work out the information required for each service quite easily. If you can't register for an account using the "register new account" it is likely possible by visiting the website of the service itself.

There is a Skype plugin but I would recommend using Skype itself.

There is also an SMS account type. I tried to get this to work and I worked out quickly that you need to install SMSSEND via the YAST package manager.

Being in the UK it is hard to find any HTTP to SMS services. Even when I did it was hard to get it to work with Kopete. I have managed to get SMSSEND to work but that is for another day.

Managing Accounts
























To manage your accounts click on "Settings -> Configure".

If you have added multiple accounts then you will see them all grouped together under "Default Identity".


Your identity is used to determine what people see when they look at your details.

You can of course have just one identity for all your accounts.

It is possible though that you want to have different nicknames on different services and use different email addresses.

To add a new identity click the "Add identity" button.




You can now create the details for the new identity by providing the information you wish to disclose such as name, nickname, email, phone numbers etc.

When you are finished click OK.

To move an account to the new identity, click on the account and drag it over the new identity.

If you need to change details of an identity click on it and press the "Modify identity" button.

If you want to add a new identity but with most of the details of another identity click on the identity you wish to copy and then select "copy identity". You can now edit the details that need to be changed.

You will notice that the "Manage accounts screen" has a number of icons down the left side including accounts, contact list, status, behaviour, chat window, video and plugins.

The contact list tab lets you determine how contacts are grouped, whether photos are displayed, set fonts and colours and determine the layout of the contact list window.

The status option shows the list of available statuses. You can add and remove statuses and even group statuses.

So instead of just saying "away" you can say "feeding the cat" or "eating my tea" etc.

The behaviour option lets you set various behavioural settings (who knew?). You can set things like whether an icon appears in the system tray, determine how messages are handled and set your initial status. You can also set things like how long it is before you are set as being away.

The chat option lets you choose the fonts, styles and layouts for the actual chat windows.

The video option lets you configure your webcam for use within video chat.

The plugins option lets you choose which plugins are used. By default the history plugin is checked which logs all chats. There are also plugins for auto replacing text, bookmarks, highlighting messages and translation.

Contact List


The contact list will show your contacts from all your accounts.

If somebody is online the icon next to their name will be green.

To start chatting simply click on their name.

If you right click on the name of a contact you will see more options such as the ability to send the contact a file, an email or a single message.

You can also move the contact to a new group such as friends or co-workers.

To add a new group click "File -> Create New Group".

Enter the name of the group and click "OK". To add users to the group you can right click on their names and move them into the group or you can drag the contacts to the new group within the window.
  
To add a new contact click the "Add" button and select the account to use.












The window to the left is for Windows Live Messenger and simply lets you enter the Windows Live Accout Name.






 
Note that you will start off looking at your default profile but you can switch profiles by clicking on the little dots in the bottom right corner.

You can set the status of each account by clicking on the "Status" button on the toolbar.

With regards to the identity you can change your avatar by clicking on the little image in the bottom left corner.





You can use your webcam to take a picture for your avatar or you can click the "Add Avatar" button.

As you can see I have turned myself into Britney. (Less said about that the better).





Chatting


To chat, just enter text into the bottom window and it appears on your friend's screen. They type something back and it appears in your top window.

Other things you can do is send a file, add emoticons and invite other people to join the chat session.

There are some commands you can use as well that are useful. The most useful one to start with is /help as this shows you how the other commands work. Another useful command is /url. If your friend sends through a link you can use the /url command to open the url in your default browser. (You don't even have to copy and paste it).

Summary

If you still use instant messengers then Kopete is a great alternative for AIM, Yahoo messenger, Windows Live messenger and many others.

It isn't complicated to set up most of the common account types and the chat interface is fairly intuitive. It feels like most other tools that do the same task.

Thankyou for reading.

















Posted at 00:27 |  by Gary Newell

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

This is just a quick update to let you know what I have planned for the next few weeks.

I have been a bit slack in the past week as I went away to the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham between the 9th and the 13th. I have some pictures and videos which I will be sharing via PInterest and Youtube.

I will be continuing to look at the openSUSE KDE applications this week and I have written a couple of articles about the chat applications which will be released shortly. There are a number of other applications that I will look at in the coming weeks.

As well as those articles I have some reviews lined up including the latest Puppy Arcade release, (version 11) which I am really excited about. I also have Makulu 6 on the radar.

This month obviously sees the release of Ubuntu 14.04, Xubuntu 14.04, Kubuntu 14.04 and Lubuntu 14.04. As these are LTS releases I will be looking at how each distribution brings something different to the table.





A quick update

This is just a quick update to let you know what I have planned for the next few weeks.

I have been a bit slack in the past week as I went away to the Gadget Show Live in Birmingham between the 9th and the 13th. I have some pictures and videos which I will be sharing via PInterest and Youtube.

I will be continuing to look at the openSUSE KDE applications this week and I have written a couple of articles about the chat applications which will be released shortly. There are a number of other applications that I will look at in the coming weeks.

As well as those articles I have some reviews lined up including the latest Puppy Arcade release, (version 11) which I am really excited about. I also have Makulu 6 on the radar.

This month obviously sees the release of Ubuntu 14.04, Xubuntu 14.04, Kubuntu 14.04 and Lubuntu 14.04. As these are LTS releases I will be looking at how each distribution brings something different to the table.





Posted at 08:17 |  by Gary Newell

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Introduction

Earlier this week I was asked the question "Do I need virus protection for my Chromebook?" by a visitor to Everyday Linux User.

This isn't going to be the longest article I have ever written but it is something I have decided to write about as it might be a question that gets asked again and again in the future.

Do you need antivirus software on a Chromebook?

The simple answer is no.

The Chromebook is based on Linux but is implemented in such a way that it is very hard to install anything that would compromise your device.

Your Chromebook in the default state allows you to really only use web applications and therefore the applications you use are as safe as the site that they are stored on. Turn off your computer and turn it on again and it will work exactly as it did before.

If anything goes wrong with your Chromebook it is very easy to reset it to the default factory settings and continue where you left off.

This article would be very short if I left it there but I think there are a few more things to consider that you might like to think about.

What if you decided that you wanted to dual boot Ubuntu alongside ChromeOS? Now, because you have turned on developer mode and because you have a different operating system running, your Chromebook is now only as secure as the new operating system that you have introduced.

Ubuntu and other Linux distributions aren't known for contracting viruses but there has been the odd thing mentioned in the press. I have been using Linux for a long long time and I have never had a single nasty thing happen that is caused by malware, trojans or viruses. Quite frankly there is a lot of scaremongering in the news whenever anything happens on a UNIX or Linux device. 

What you do need to do though is think about how your actions can affect other users. Imagine you receive an email from somebody and it is the proverbial dancing cat style video that makes you laugh and you decide to forward on that email to your friends.

On your Chromebook the video file has either played perfectly well or it has failed due to an error caused by a hidden nasty. If it fails then it is unlikely that you will forward it on but if it plays then you may forward it on to your friends.

Imagine that your friends use an operating system that isn't very secure and is known for viruses. Your friends open the cat video and for them it downloads and installs something horrific like Cryptolocker. You are going to be about as popular as a flatulent car insurance singing opera singer in a lift.

Just because you can't catch viruses on your computer doesn't mean everyone is so lucky or as savvy as you. Of course in reality your friends should have their own anti-virus protection.

Another thing to consider is that just because viruses and malware are no longer issues doesn't mean you can lower your guard online.

Phishing emails are just as dangerous for Chromebook users as they are for any other computer user. If somebody asks for your bank details and you aren't sure about the site or source of the person asking for those details then politely tell them to go away.

In theory it is also possible that browser vulnerabilities exist whether you are running on a Chromebook or a Windows 8 computer. 

What I am trying to highlight from this post is that if you use a Chromebook you have given yourself a great chance to remain safe from viruses but it doesn't mean you should go gung-ho and believe that you are invincible online. 

Thankyou for reading.



Do you need virus protection on a Chromebook?

Introduction

Earlier this week I was asked the question "Do I need virus protection for my Chromebook?" by a visitor to Everyday Linux User.

This isn't going to be the longest article I have ever written but it is something I have decided to write about as it might be a question that gets asked again and again in the future.

Do you need antivirus software on a Chromebook?

The simple answer is no.

The Chromebook is based on Linux but is implemented in such a way that it is very hard to install anything that would compromise your device.

Your Chromebook in the default state allows you to really only use web applications and therefore the applications you use are as safe as the site that they are stored on. Turn off your computer and turn it on again and it will work exactly as it did before.

If anything goes wrong with your Chromebook it is very easy to reset it to the default factory settings and continue where you left off.

This article would be very short if I left it there but I think there are a few more things to consider that you might like to think about.

What if you decided that you wanted to dual boot Ubuntu alongside ChromeOS? Now, because you have turned on developer mode and because you have a different operating system running, your Chromebook is now only as secure as the new operating system that you have introduced.

Ubuntu and other Linux distributions aren't known for contracting viruses but there has been the odd thing mentioned in the press. I have been using Linux for a long long time and I have never had a single nasty thing happen that is caused by malware, trojans or viruses. Quite frankly there is a lot of scaremongering in the news whenever anything happens on a UNIX or Linux device. 

What you do need to do though is think about how your actions can affect other users. Imagine you receive an email from somebody and it is the proverbial dancing cat style video that makes you laugh and you decide to forward on that email to your friends.

On your Chromebook the video file has either played perfectly well or it has failed due to an error caused by a hidden nasty. If it fails then it is unlikely that you will forward it on but if it plays then you may forward it on to your friends.

Imagine that your friends use an operating system that isn't very secure and is known for viruses. Your friends open the cat video and for them it downloads and installs something horrific like Cryptolocker. You are going to be about as popular as a flatulent car insurance singing opera singer in a lift.

Just because you can't catch viruses on your computer doesn't mean everyone is so lucky or as savvy as you. Of course in reality your friends should have their own anti-virus protection.

Another thing to consider is that just because viruses and malware are no longer issues doesn't mean you can lower your guard online.

Phishing emails are just as dangerous for Chromebook users as they are for any other computer user. If somebody asks for your bank details and you aren't sure about the site or source of the person asking for those details then politely tell them to go away.

In theory it is also possible that browser vulnerabilities exist whether you are running on a Chromebook or a Windows 8 computer. 

What I am trying to highlight from this post is that if you use a Chromebook you have given yourself a great chance to remain safe from viruses but it doesn't mean you should go gung-ho and believe that you are invincible online. 

Thankyou for reading.



Posted at 07:00 |  by Gary Newell

Monday, 7 April 2014

Introduction

In my last openSUSE based article I took a look at the KDE games that are installed by default.

I was slightly surprised that so many people still played card games such as Patience and Mahjongg.

The point of these articles is to elaborate a bit more on the software that is pre-packaged within openSUSE.

Quite often I write reviews listing the applications but without knowing how good the software is or even what the software does.

This time I will be looking at the graphics applications.

I have two confessions to make at this stage. The first is that I am to art what Corey Feldman is to music. The second confession will become all too obvious as we continue.

DNG Image Converter


I am not going to be spending long reviewing DNG Image Converter because to be honest I can't get it to do anything.

In theory clicking on the plus (+) icon allows you to pick an image file and then you can press the convert button to convert the image into another format.

In reality nothing happens.



Pressing the plus button shows an open file dialog. When I select any of the image file types allowed nothing happens.

Exposure Blending

I am afraid this review is going to start off a bit flat.

DNG Image Converter doesn't work and I have absolutely no idea what the point of the Exposure Blending tool is for.

The text on the screen says that it fuses bracketed images with different exposures to make pseudo HDR image.

There is also a link to a Wikipedia page which defines the bracketing process.

Unfortunately I know very little about photography and I really only ever use a point and click camera.

It really is a case of going back to photography school for me on this one.

What I can say about the tool is that before I can even continue I need to download the "hugin" plugin. Clicking the download link takes me to this page.

I couldn't actually find a plugin that was available for install from the site. The plugin  can be installed from Yast though.


In theory and it has to be theory because I couldn't get it to do anything (but please note this is my fault and not the tool's fault) is that you press the plus (+) icon and select two images.

It says the two images have to be from the same stack. I assume to photography experts this means something.

Upon selecting two images from the same stack you press next and it does the bracketing thing that it is supposed to do.


For a good tutorial and guide about how the exposure blending tool works visit this link.

Panorama


I would like to say that this review is now going to get better but it isn't.

The next graphics application in the list is Panorama.

This application just crashes when I try and open it.


Photo Layouts Editor
























The KIPI Photo Layouts Editor is a rather crude tool for editing and laying out photos.

Basically you start off with a canvas which you define the size of and then you add images to the canvas. These are created as layers.

Each individual layer can have effects applied, borders applied, be resized and rotated.

If you are looking for a serious tool then I guess something like GIMP would be a better fit but this tool works for basic editing.

In case you are wondering the images in the picture are Loch Ness, a replica of the Knight Rider car, a Storm Trooper at the Grampian Transport Museum and Britney Spears. (Yes I like Britney Spears. Confession number 2).

I guess the Grampian Transport Museum take security fairly seriously though, hiring storm troopers.


On a more serious note the Photo Layout Editor crashed on more than one occasion, especially when trying to add the Polaroid border with text.

DigiKam/ ShowFoto


DigiKam lets you organise and edit photos. ShowFoto is used to display the images and enhance them. You can run ShowFoto on its own or it will be opened from within DigiKam when you click on a thumbnail.

When you open DigiKam for the first time you have to go through a number of screens to define your settings such as where you store your photos and how to handle thumbnails etc.

You can import photos from various sources including digital cameras, web cameras, external USB drives, Facebook, scanners and Picasa.

Once imported you can navigate through the albums and open photos for viewing or for editing.

There are lots of things you can do to photos such as add borders, text, special effects etc.


Out of all the tools I have looked at this is the one I might use as a normal everyday user. It is a good tool for brightening up images, removing red eye and doing stuff to ordinary family photos.

Unfortunately it did crash on more than one occasion.

GwenView

 
GwenView is an image viewing tool. 

You can use it to quickly browse through folders of photos or to run a slideshow.

Simply navigate to a folder of photos using the file manager and right click.

Under the actions will be an option to open with GwenView.





Summary

My attempts at using the graphic tools within openSUSE weren't particularly successful.

Some tools just wouldn't start and those that did had their fair share of crashes.

As someone with very little artistic talent (if any), there are some useful tools,most notably DigiKam, ShowFoto and GwenView.

The other tools are more for specialists if indeed they can get them working.

I would be interested to hear from people who are keen photographers to find out which Linux applications they use and what their experience is of such applications.

In the next article in this series I will be back to territory that I am more comfortable with as I will be dealing with the Internet and chat applications.

Thankyou for reading.
 




















The KDE picture editing software applications included with openSUSE

Introduction

In my last openSUSE based article I took a look at the KDE games that are installed by default.

I was slightly surprised that so many people still played card games such as Patience and Mahjongg.

The point of these articles is to elaborate a bit more on the software that is pre-packaged within openSUSE.

Quite often I write reviews listing the applications but without knowing how good the software is or even what the software does.

This time I will be looking at the graphics applications.

I have two confessions to make at this stage. The first is that I am to art what Corey Feldman is to music. The second confession will become all too obvious as we continue.

DNG Image Converter


I am not going to be spending long reviewing DNG Image Converter because to be honest I can't get it to do anything.

In theory clicking on the plus (+) icon allows you to pick an image file and then you can press the convert button to convert the image into another format.

In reality nothing happens.



Pressing the plus button shows an open file dialog. When I select any of the image file types allowed nothing happens.

Exposure Blending

I am afraid this review is going to start off a bit flat.

DNG Image Converter doesn't work and I have absolutely no idea what the point of the Exposure Blending tool is for.

The text on the screen says that it fuses bracketed images with different exposures to make pseudo HDR image.

There is also a link to a Wikipedia page which defines the bracketing process.

Unfortunately I know very little about photography and I really only ever use a point and click camera.

It really is a case of going back to photography school for me on this one.

What I can say about the tool is that before I can even continue I need to download the "hugin" plugin. Clicking the download link takes me to this page.

I couldn't actually find a plugin that was available for install from the site. The plugin  can be installed from Yast though.


In theory and it has to be theory because I couldn't get it to do anything (but please note this is my fault and not the tool's fault) is that you press the plus (+) icon and select two images.

It says the two images have to be from the same stack. I assume to photography experts this means something.

Upon selecting two images from the same stack you press next and it does the bracketing thing that it is supposed to do.


For a good tutorial and guide about how the exposure blending tool works visit this link.

Panorama


I would like to say that this review is now going to get better but it isn't.

The next graphics application in the list is Panorama.

This application just crashes when I try and open it.


Photo Layouts Editor
























The KIPI Photo Layouts Editor is a rather crude tool for editing and laying out photos.

Basically you start off with a canvas which you define the size of and then you add images to the canvas. These are created as layers.

Each individual layer can have effects applied, borders applied, be resized and rotated.

If you are looking for a serious tool then I guess something like GIMP would be a better fit but this tool works for basic editing.

In case you are wondering the images in the picture are Loch Ness, a replica of the Knight Rider car, a Storm Trooper at the Grampian Transport Museum and Britney Spears. (Yes I like Britney Spears. Confession number 2).

I guess the Grampian Transport Museum take security fairly seriously though, hiring storm troopers.


On a more serious note the Photo Layout Editor crashed on more than one occasion, especially when trying to add the Polaroid border with text.

DigiKam/ ShowFoto


DigiKam lets you organise and edit photos. ShowFoto is used to display the images and enhance them. You can run ShowFoto on its own or it will be opened from within DigiKam when you click on a thumbnail.

When you open DigiKam for the first time you have to go through a number of screens to define your settings such as where you store your photos and how to handle thumbnails etc.

You can import photos from various sources including digital cameras, web cameras, external USB drives, Facebook, scanners and Picasa.

Once imported you can navigate through the albums and open photos for viewing or for editing.

There are lots of things you can do to photos such as add borders, text, special effects etc.


Out of all the tools I have looked at this is the one I might use as a normal everyday user. It is a good tool for brightening up images, removing red eye and doing stuff to ordinary family photos.

Unfortunately it did crash on more than one occasion.

GwenView

 
GwenView is an image viewing tool. 

You can use it to quickly browse through folders of photos or to run a slideshow.

Simply navigate to a folder of photos using the file manager and right click.

Under the actions will be an option to open with GwenView.





Summary

My attempts at using the graphic tools within openSUSE weren't particularly successful.

Some tools just wouldn't start and those that did had their fair share of crashes.

As someone with very little artistic talent (if any), there are some useful tools,most notably DigiKam, ShowFoto and GwenView.

The other tools are more for specialists if indeed they can get them working.

I would be interested to hear from people who are keen photographers to find out which Linux applications they use and what their experience is of such applications.

In the next article in this series I will be back to territory that I am more comfortable with as I will be dealing with the Internet and chat applications.

Thankyou for reading.
 




















Posted at 07:00 |  by Gary Newell

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