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I finally was able to get some things working on my system. It seems that things kept breaking as I updated!

On 03/01, i tried to install empathy, a multiplatform instant-messaging client. I ran into a snag (the makefile didn't work) and finally gave up. But then, when i tried to run Pidgin (my current client for IM), that was broken! The little box "Starting Pidgin" would come up on the panel, remain a few seconds, and disappear without the program starting! I did the logical thing: opened a terminal window and entered "pidgin" at the command prompt. It came up with some weird error mesage which I interpreted as something I'd installed to try to get empathy working did not have that the old version did! Since the latter program did not work anyway, I went back and uninstalled that component, which allowed Pidgin to function as it should.

Two days later, I got an update notification so started the application to handle that. I noticed that several of the files were Pidgin-something-or-other and wondered what was wrong with that. I finished the updates and launched Pidgin (I'd closed it to do the update since it is not feasible to update something while it is running), and it failed to connect! It just sat there saying "Connecting..."! When that happens, the best course of action is to put out a query search because it is overwhelmingly likely that another person has experienced the same difficulty and has posted a question to a forum and (we hope) received a solution. The search parameters I used were: "latest update pidgin broke it" (witnout the quotes). I got lots of hits, but none seemed to address my exact situation. I then added "hardy" (the name of the version of the operating system I am using) to the search and still got nothing useful. So I tried a third time with the search terms being "pidgin cannot connect yahoo hardy". This time, an answer popped right out. I had to add a certain site to my "sources.list" file and save. In under a minute, the update-notification icon lit up again and I executed that update. And presto! Pidgin was back up and running!

Around then, I decided to see if I could get Pidgin working on my desktop system. It could not connect there either and so I put out another search with "pidgin cannot connect yahoo etch" (that system's OS version name) and got back that Yahoo!'s server name had changed but this was not indicated to the users of Pidgin! I had two different server names to try; one didn't work at all, but the other did and, more importantly, I then had connection!

One more thing: If you have a firewall, make sure you open the ports that the messenger systems use or you will be cut off! I changed the firewall to allow port-22 (SSH) access, and closed most of the rest. It was not until later that I found that the Yahoo! component would not work again! When I checked the configuration table, I noticed that port 80 (HTTP) had to be open for the traffic to go through, so I opened that. Google Talk uses port 5222, which was not on my list so I just opened all of the ones listed under "Other" and that was sufficient.

I felt pretty proud of myself for being able to solve those difficulties without calling anyone!

NakedDriver NakedDriver
56-60, M
Mar 9, 2010