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Downgrading of the project: Calc has a fatal bug - it cannot reliably link workbooks

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to on-going work to make LibreOffice Calc workable.

Unfortunately, it turns out that LibreOffice isn't fit for purpose.  Specifically, it cannot reliably link workbooks, even in its own native workbooks.

As a consequence, the project is now downgraded.  My time is now better spent doing other, more productive things, with a greater chance of success.

Background On 29Jul2018, I complied a detailed test using fresh, sample data created specifically for the purpose, in Excel on Windows 10, then had a virtual machine running LibreCalc on Linux Mint to import it. The basic spreadsheet functionality of linked workbooks failed haphazardly.

I logged the test results on 29Jul2018 on AskLibreOffice and, to date, have yet to see any evidence of anybody taking ownership of recognising the issue and thus fixing it.

The sole response was a false-…

Googe Drive Backup & Sync (more like Google File Steam): ocaml-fuse

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to Google Drive.
Environment & required functionality Google Drive needs to be used on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas"; The Linux Mint Xfce 19 virtual machine "Bilbo", on host Windows 10 laptop "Saruman" (that's the employer's laptop, by the way; the clue's in the name).The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 virtual machine "Gimli", on host "Legolas".Another Windows 10 machine, name withheld to protect the guilty. The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10.  In a prior test, the sync agent has been grive2.

But grive2's functionality was too limited: files held in more than one folder in Google Drive cloud are symbolic links to the synchronisation agents installed on the laptops.  grive2 canno…

Case-in-use study: filing a UK tax return online

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This is a case-in-use study.  The case-in-use relates to the online filing of a UK tax return.
Environment & required functionality This case-in-use study featured the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas"; A Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 virtual machine "Gimli" running within VirtualBox on Legolas. The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.

This case-in-use study featured the following apps:

Chromium internet browser (on Gimli);Google Chrome internet browser (on Gandalf and Legolas);FoxIT PDF browser (on Gandalf and Legolas);Xreader document viewer (on Gimli, pre-installed in Linux Mint);GIMP image editor (on Gandalf, pre-installed in Linux Mint);the printer service.
Alternatives The sole alternative is not to do a tax return.  Which me…

Re-filing files

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to re-filing files.
Environment & required functionality Re-filing needs to happen on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.
Alternatives There is no useful alternative to filing.

Some hardcore IT bods file nothing, in the vague hope that they'll find it anyway.  This is the digital equivalent of the "heap" approach to paperwork.

In the real world, normal people tend to structure their paperwork - and e-paperwork - into some sort of order.  The most common method is typically to group documents with a common purpose into a single folder.
Software selection Whilst there is a tonne of utilities for both Linux and Windows that rename files, there is no softwar…

Google Earth

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to Google Earth.
Environment Google Earth needs to be used on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce laptop "Gandalf";The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas";Another Windows 10 machine, "Albertsquare", used exclusively by another user. The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.

Because of the known limitation in scope, another Linux Mint machine was created, named "Gimli".  Gimli is a Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 Sylvia 32-bit virtual machine running in Oracle VirtualBox on Gandalf.
Required functionality Google Earth is a useful desktop-based tool by which to design walking routes, to capture results of the pilot walk and to document required changes to the route's design.

The routes range from 6 miles to 12 miles and use public rights of way.  These are marked on …

No burning through the data allowance

An unexpected result!

My internet service went down yesterday, so I ended up facing the prospect of going internet cold turkey for a night, getting close to the desperate level of giving up and reading a book.

At the last minute, it occurred to me to test whether the Linux Mint machine ("Gandalf") would connect seamlessly to a new wifi device (an Android hot spot).  And, because the device is metered, it gave me the chance to have a feel for Gandalf's data consumption.
Findings Gandalf connected seamlessly to the new wifi device.

Upon checking the wifi useage meter the following day, I saw that in the month to end 29 June 2018, the total data transmitted was 0.31Gb (of an allowance of 2Gb).

Obviously, there's no useful comparable.  The Android normally connects to a wifi connection, so is  seldom on the mobile data network.  This means that the bulk of the 0.31Gb was consumed by Gandalf.

The use of Gandalf was to grive data twice, with ten internet sessions looking f…

Dual monitors

Whereas Windows 10 assumes auto-detection of a secondary monitor to be on, Linux Mint Xfce assumes that it is off.

In Linux Mint Xfce, menu > display > "configure new displays when connected" = on .  Plug in the monitor, follow the screen.  Dead easy.

Completed Jun2018.

Calc v Excel: the third test

Two prior tests (first and second) found that Calc 6.0.3.2 and Excel 2016 would damage data during each other's export/import processes, thus substantially crippling the ability of the cross-platform user to use either app as a substitute for its respective platform.

This third test sought to test a different export/methodology.
Environment & required functionality Excel and Calc both need to be used on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas"; Potentially another Windows 10 machine, name withheld to protect the guilty. The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.
Actions On Legolas, the two files were opened and updated in line with normal practice.  This time, Excel saved a backup copy in format ODS.

After the normal sync process (Google Drive/Grive2), Calc opened the ODS files, for updating in line with normal practice.

Calc then saved the ODS files, for sync …

FreeFileSync: data synchronisation over the local area network

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.

This stage relates to data synchronisation over the local area network (now that, at last, a useful network connection has been established!)
Environment & required functionality The network should be a local network - to share files and folders - between the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The network is a local area network from a domestic router, the usual 192.168.x.x thing.
Alternatives Peer-to-peer networking (file sharing, simple two-way server-and-client relationship) is the most efficient way for bulk data transfers, so if the network doesn’t work, then the test has failed.

One alternative is already successfully tested and in use: Google Drive (via Backup & Sync for Windows and grive2 for Linux Mint).  However, this is limited to the capacity of Google …

A fail: networking Linux Mint to Windows using CIFS

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.  This stage relates to networking the Windows 10 machine to the Linux Mint machine.
Environment & required functionality The network should be a local network - to share files and folders - between the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The network is a local area network from a domestic router, the usual 192.168.x.x thing.

This is the third attempt to share files and folders between Windows and Linux Mint.  This third attempt reversed the relationship between the two machines.  Whereas the first two attempts had Windows as the client to Linux's server, this attempt made Windows the server and Linux the client.

This test failed to meet its core objectives.
Alternatives Peer-to-peer networking (file sharing, simple two-way server-and-client relationship) is the most …

Networking using OpenSSH

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine.  This stage relates to networking the Windows 10 machine to the Linux Mint machine.
Environment & required functionality The network should be a local network - to share files and folders - between the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The network is a local area network from a domestic router, the usual 192.168.x.x thing.

This is the second attempt to share files and folders between Windows and Linux Mint.

Thankfully, this attempt met the core objectives.
Alternatives As with the first (failed) attempt, peer-to-peer networking (file sharing, simple two-way server-and-client relationship) is the most efficient way for bulk data transfers, so if the network doesn’t work, then the test has failed.
Software selection Both machines needed to have new software: Legolas (Win…

GPSPrune, a java applet

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine. This stage relates to GPS Prune (a Java applet).
Environment & required functionalityGPS Prune (a Java applet) needs to be used on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.
Alternatives There are no known alternatives to GPS Prune.

GPS Prune's primary objective is, as the website says:
Basically it's a tool to let you play with your GPS data after you get home from your trip. This is fundamental to the process of recording walking trips.  When a GPS machine is stationery, it cannot accurately log its location, so the raw data contains ludicrous points, which contaminate the data and result in garbage.  GPS machines typically compress the GPS data in real-time, but this comes at a co…

A fail: Okular PDF Reader (an alternative to Foxit PDF Reader for Linux)

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine. This stage relates to reading and annotating PDF files.  It is a test of a secondary piece of software following a fail of Foxit PDF Reader for Linux.
Environment & required functionality Reading and annotating PDF files need to happen on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.
Alternatives From the fail of Foxit PDF Reader, alternatives are required.

Sources:

https://alternativeto.net/software/foxit-reader/?platform=linuxhttps://pdfreaders.orghttps://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?t=170780https://www.tecmint.com/linux-pdf-viewers-and-readers-tools/https://www.linux.com/news/3-alternatives-adobe-pdf-reader-linuxhttp://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/9-best-alternatives-to-adobe-reader-on-li…

A fail: Foxit PDF Reader for Linux

The project is to build a Linux Mint machine to have the identical functionality and ergonomics as the existing Windows 10 machine. This stage relates to reading and annotating PDF files.
Environment & required functionality PDF files need to be read on the following machines:
The Linux Mint Xfce 18.3 laptop "Gandalf"; The Windows 10 laptop "Legolas". The synchronisation agent is Google Drive in Windows 10, and grive2 in Linux Mint.
Alternatives There are two main PDF readers: Adobe and Foxit.
Adobe's PDF reader is terrible in Windows: it's slow bloatware, grossly inefficient, used (badly) by governments and is so mouse-obsessed that it is unusable in the hands of a power/keyboard user.  That leaves Foxit, which works well in Windows, and is fairly fluent for the keyboard/power user.
There are loads of alternatives to Foxit PDF Reader, from two sources alone:
https://alternativeto.net/software/foxit-reader/?platform=linuxhttps://pdfreaders.org However,…