Possible Enhancements to J-Pilot

Here are some thoughts about possible enhancements for J-Pilot.

  1. Convert pdb’s and pc3’s to sqlite. This makes it easier to analyze data according some criteria, e.g., find how many addresses have the same telephone numbers, how may entries in datebook contain the same substring, etc.
  2. Convert and transform pdb’s and pc3’s to Google GData. The Google id, which is returned after transmitting data, is then possibly stored in pdb/pc3.
  3. Use mmap() instead of all its fread() and malloc()‘s inside pilot-link and J-Pilot.
  4. When J-Pilot searches for strings in the case-insensitive case, then it copies all elements and uses malloc() for each element. Instead, just use a home-brewed strstr() which takes care of case.
  5. Provide ncurses interfaces instead of Gtk. See for example calcurse.

Dead Keys and Compose Key

My mother uses Xubuntu, i.e., she uses Xfce. She uses a German keyboard, but wants to write e-mails with spanish accents, i.e., she needs dead keys. At first I tried to solve the problem with a change in xorg.conf, which did not work. Some Google search revealed that a couple of people had the same problem and proposed various hints for a solution. The easiest solution is, in effect, very simple: Just comment out

    XKBVARIANT="nodeadkeys"

in

    /etc/default/keyboard

If one does not want to change the key settings permanently one can define a compose key, e.g., the left Windows keys, to construct spanish or french accented characters with multiple key strokes, see Xfce forum: How to set XFCE4 compose key?.

    setxkbmap -option compose:lwin

This can be put into

    ~/.xinitrc

See Linux Compose Key Sequences for a list of compose key sequences.

ext3 vs. ext4

Recently I installed an additional SATA drive on my Lenovo laptop. Without much ado I formatted the drive to ext4. Unfortunately, I quickly realized that the hard drive is spinning almost twice a second. My first drive on the laptop is also formatted with ext4, so using ext4 was a natural choice. A Google search revealed that I am not alone with this problem (USB Drive Blinks Constantly on EXT4 Format), and pointed out that formatting with ext3 can cure the problem. Which it indeed did.

The morale is: Newer is not always better.