It’s just data

Running Remotely

For years, I’ve used Thunderbird as my email client.  I like having a local copy of my email that I can read offline when necessary.  Backup is as simple as an rsync.  I’ve even migrated my usage back and forth from Windows to Ubuntu and even to Mac OSX, again all it took was an rsync.  All I have ever had to worry about is to specify --modify-window when targetting Windows.

I now use gmail for open mailing lists, and Lotus Notes for work email (and, for the moment, html-wg business, but that’s only until I can get that changed).  But all all times I only had one machine at a time which was the primary machine I used for personal e-mail.

The EEE has changed that.  I now use the EEE quite frequently for casual surfing, and a desktop machine when I am focused on a task.  Of course, I could set up dovecot and fetchmail, but I haven’t worked out how I want to deal with travel.

Meanwhile, even though it is rarely used that way these days, X11 was originally designed for remote access to displays.  And while I haven’t used it that way in years, it still very much does.

A three line script does the trick:

ssh rubix4 killall thunderbird-bin
xhost +rubix4
ssh -X -f rubix4 thunderbird

The first line rather rudely terminates any thunderbird windows that are running on the desktop.  I don’t know of a more graceful way to accomplish this.  The second grants permission for the remote machine to open up windows on this one. The final one actually launches thunderbird in the background, routing all the X windows interactions back to this machine.

Copying the icon from /usr/share/pixmaps/thunderbird.png on the desktop to my EEE, and a moment in alacarte and I can launch this with a simple mouse click.

Somewhat related items: the Eee I use is now $229 and in stock at the local Best Buy store; and not quite as related, but I found this video amusing [via Florian Jensen].