I love Slackware. It’s the most stable operating system I’ve ever run. Even on days like today where I have to hunt and peck to get some setting tweaked to get my wifi working again, I can’t help but love this system. No operating system is perfect, but I’ve had far less problems over the years with Slackware than I’ve had with Windows and macOS. And the beauty of Slackware, and linux distributions in general, is that when the wheels do occasionally fall off, I have the ability to at least try and fix things myself.
The NetworkManager package was recently updated in Slackware-current, and for some reason it stopped working on my laptop. It would try to connect, but would always just disconnect from any wifi network. I tested connecting with raw wpa_supplicant and ifconfig/iwconfig, and everything worked fine, so I figured it was definitely a NetworkManager problem. After some exhaustive googling, I came across a fix: add the following to /etc/NetworkManager/NetworkManager.conf: [device] wifi.scan-rand-mac-address=no which tells NetworkManager to not use a randomized MAC address when doing scans and such.
Why do I still use the emacs text editor after all these years? I could try explaining it to you, but I think I’ll defer this one to science fiction author Neal Stephenson: I use emacs, which might be thought of as a thermonuclear word processor. It was created by Richard Stallman; enough said. It is written in Lisp, which is the only computer language that is beautiful. It is colossal, and yet it only edits straight ASCII text files, which is to say, no fonts, no boldface, no underlining.
If you are an avid slackware linux user like myself and want to run a free as in freedom linux distribution, check out the FreeSlack project. They’ve essentially documented all non-free packages that ship with a default Slackware installation and give instructions on how to remove them. They also provide free repositories for use with the slackpkg updating tool.
When the weather is nice I enjoy working outdoors when I can; since my current data plan on my phone is abysmal, and I prefer working on my full-sized laptop, my email setup is a bit different than normal peoples’. I don’t rely on simply connecting to a remote server because I like being able to read, sort, and reference my email while offline, so this post is a simple description of how I “do email”.
Mozilla Thunderbird is a great email client, however there is one issue that it has by default that drives me nuts. I run an IMAP server for my @bryanstamour.com email addresses. The IMAP server has a Roundcube web front-end for when I want to access my email from a machine that isn’t mine. When working in Thunderbird, when I move an email from my INBOX to a folder (or from any folder to any other folder), Thunderbird doesn’t expunge the emails from their source folders on the IMAP server; it’s only when you close down Thunderbird that the folders get “compacted” and the change is seen on the server.
My Slackware 14.1 DVD arrived in the mail today. I know what I’m doing this weekend… I’ve been a subscriber for the past few releases now (I enjoy giving something back to Patrick for all of his hard work, even though I can download the ISO’s for free) and every time there’s a new release I wait patiently by my mailbox. It’s like Christmas for my servers. Why Slackware? I used to bounce around between Linux distros a whole lot.