Tag Archives: lazyweb

Synchronizing Google Mail Contacts with Thunderbird

Dear Lazyweb,

can anyone recommend a good Thunderbird extension which allows for synchronizing the address book with Google mail? So far I tried Google Contacts, but something went wrong with the syncing and some contacts where deleted on both sides. To avoid this problem, one can use Google Contacts in read-only mode (it will only fetch contacts from Google, but never write to it) but then you have to import new Thunderbird contacts to Google mail manually.

Google introduced CardDav in December 2012, which allows for syncing of contacts, but since Thunderbird’s development is apparently on hold this is probably not gonna be supported out-of-the-box. There are some other extensions for Thunderbird, but since synchronization is hard and a lot more complicated than: “replace newer version with older one” I’m looking for something mature and well tested.

Before someone suggests it, I know Evolution has this feature built-in. I gave it a try last week and found so many other grave bugs with the calendar and newsgroups that Evolution is simply unfit for my needs. I really like Thunderbird and want to stick with it for a few more years until I have to look for something else.

Yours truly,


No sound with Gnome 3 and pulseaudio?

Dear Lazyweb,

I recently switched from KDE to Gnome 3 and I am so far very happy with the decision. One thing that bothers me since then is that the sound does not work when restarting the computer or waking it up from suspend. After a while I figured that a simple sudo killall pulseaudio fixes the problem — but only until the next reboot. Has anyone a hint what the problem could be/ I found quite a few similar problem descriptions on the internet but with no satisfying solutions so far.

Speech Recognition Software

Dear Lazyweb,

Having broke my elbow last week, I’m experiencing serious trouble typing with only one hand on the computer. I know that there is speech to text software, but I was never really interested in that — until now of course. Is there any good software available on Linux you can recommend?

KDE4′s annoying taskbar

Dear Lazyweb,

since KDE4 is in unstable, the taskbar behaves very annoyingly when working with two monitors with different resolutions. I have a laptop. When I’m at work, I put it into a docking station which is connected to a huge monitor. I’m not working with dualhead or something, I’m just using the huge monitor at work and the laptop’s screen at home.

I always want the taskbar to be maximized. The problem is, that KDE’s taskbar fails to adjust the size of the taskbar correctly: Starting KDE at work, the taskbar is always too small (as wide as the laptop’s monitor) and my first task is to maximize the taskbar. Starting KDE when I’m back home, the taskbar is too wide (as wide as the external monitor’s size) for the smaller monitor and I have to (ironically) maximize it again to fit on the now smaller monitor.

Note that I’m not using suspend or something. I’m booting the laptop with the big screen connected or not.

I also had that problem with KDE3, but that was fixed upstream long time ago. Has anyone a solution how to avoid this problem?

Dear Lazyweb

After todays or yesterdays daily package update (Sid) several kernel modules, namely thinkpad_acpi, snd-hda-intel and probably others are not loaded automatically anymore. So my Thinkpad T500 had no support for audio and several power management functions anymore. Once I found out that the missing kernel modules where the problem, the fix was easy: just add the corresponding module names to /etc/modules to enforce loading of the modules. But I wonder what caused the sudden change? Why are the modules not loaded automatically anymore? I usually update my Sid packages every morning so some package update from yesterday or today might have caused this. Looking at the packages which where updated, I found nothing suspicious. Has anyone an idea at which package I should look?

Update: Looks like the problem was related to the recent update of base-files to version 6.2 which introduced the new /run directory in combination with udev. Downgrading base-files to version 6.1 (via snapshot.debian.org) fixed the problem.

Canon IXUS 130

Dear Lazyweb,

Today I bought me a Canon IXUS 130 and was quite disappointed to see that it couldn’t properly connect to my Debian/Sid machine via USB. Apparenty the camera is not recognized as a USB Mass Storage Device but utilizes PTP. I upgraded to libgphoto2 ( from experimental and added a proper udev rule with vendor- and product-id but it did not help. Is there anything more I can try?

Update: Accessing the camera actually works, even with ligbphoto2 (2.4.6) from unstable. I can access the camera with gphoto2 and download pictures (but not with KDE’s filemanager). My problem was that I had rhythmbox running and the camera was automatically mounted by it as a media device. When KDE’s filemanager or gphoto2 tried to access the camera I got an error like: (‘Could not lock the device’): Camera is already in use., which is probably also a bug. Closing rhythmbox solved the issue and I was able to download images with gphoto2.

linen and towels

Dear lazyweb or someone who is already in NY,

do I have to bring my own bed linen and towels or are they provided by Furnald? I couldn’t find the information on the website. I guess I have to bring that stuff since it is not really a hotel, right?

Running Gnome Applets in KDE

Dear Lazyweb,

does anyone know how to run gnome applets in KDE? I’m talking about byzanz which is a software to record your desktop in an animated gif, ogg or Flash format. It provides a command line and a gnome applet, which apparently only works under Gnome. Is there a workaround to make gnome applets run under KDE as well?