Installed Gworldclock in Linux Mint Cinnamon for now.

Linux Mint Cinnamon is a new GNOME 3 desktop for Linux Mint, and is at the moment the one that I am using. It is stable and doing fine with my setup at the moment, but it is not perfect yet. One of the things it doesn’t have (yet), is the ability to enter different time-zones in the (good looking) time- and dateoverview:

Screenshot-at-2012-01-12-085146

The date and time settings only allow setting the computer’s standard date and time.
I suppose other time-zones will be added later, so that one can have an overview of local times from that neat little window there.

For now I looked for an alternative, and installed gworldclock from the software center:

gworldclock

The version there seems to be from 2005, but it works as it should (The oldest version I quickly found is version 0.3.3 from january 2002, so it has been around for a while). It is also available in the Nokia app store where it is offered by “Emmerall Consulting”.

By right-clicking in the Linux Mint Menu it can be installed on the bottom tool bar as an app.

It doesn’t look very smooth and well designed, and doesn’t open in the same window-size as I left it, but it does the job.

 

My Linux Mint 12 setup

I have been using Ubuntu (and Fedora at some point) since 2007 or ’08, but the recent forced change to Unity threw me off. It seemed that Linux Mint provided a good user-friendly alternative for Ubuntu, so I switched to Linux Mint 11. Recently Mint 12 was released, with a GNOME 3 interface that is based upon the looks and functionality of GNOME 2. I did have some doubts whether the desktop environments installed in the first Mint 12 releases where to my liking, but with the latest addition of Cinnamon I feel at home.

I made a fresh install of Linux Mint 12 and added and tweaked it to my liking.

Linux Mint 12 – Wallpaper by Svenne1985

Here is what I did and installed to get Mint 12 Cinnamon as I want it:

Tweaked Firefox

  •    Add-ons and search engines.
  •    Used Firefox Sync, which had my bookmarks and preferences saved.
  •    Installed the research organizer and collector Zotero and Zotero Word Processor plug in. My Zotero account came in very handy to reinstall data.
  •    Installed Scribefire 4, the blogging tool.

Screenshot of the whole screen with Firefox open.

  • Installed Dropbox (synchronisation) again and feeling blessed to have so much online – it contains a lot of important files, like backups and databases.
  • Downloaded the launcher Kupfer. IMO it beats Unity, and is therefore the main reason for switching away from Ubuntu. (Gnome-Do is a good alternative).

Screenshot-Kupfer-300x185

  • Changed the power- and screensaversettings
  • Went through the programs that start automatically at every boot of Linux. Disabled those not needed. (As explained in this blogpost)
  • Downloaded Chromium to install the Tweetdeck app. – Even though it was a sort of downgraded after Twitter took over, it still works.
  • Installed the password manager KeepassX and thank Dropbox for keeping my Keepass database available. So no passwords were lost this way.
  • Downloaded Skype – Eventhough it is not the full version that is available for Linux, it comes in handy for long distance calls to those without internet.
  • Tweaked Thunderbird. I choose IMAP again in stead of POP-mail.
  •   Installed for fun Add-on Display Contact Photo.
  •   I found my mails from MInt 11 in the .thunderbird map in the backup on my external harddisk.
  •  Installed the e-mail notifier Mail Notification.
  • Downloaded RSSOwl and imported my exported feedlist.  It is a fast rss-reader with lots of options to play around with.

Screenshot-RSSOwl-300x180

  • Downloaded Abiword. I want that fast and lean word processor at hand.
  • Installed Textroom. The full-screen text processor to grab those fleeing thoughts that can’t stand distraction.
  • Installed Rednotebook, a calendar based notebook that I use as a logbook.
  • Installed FileZilla, for FTP (transferring files to a server for example).
  • and Scid. Has all you need to study and play chess.

 

I couldn’t resist installing

  • 0AD again. The real-time open-source strategy game with the truly stunning graphics. The game-play is not quite finished yet, but starting it up feels like going on a holiday to the Mediterranean.
While I tried backing up my system with the back-up tools provided by Linux Mint,  I am not a fan of it so far. I prefer backing up my files to an external harddisk and uploading again whatever I need.

Trelby – Open Source Screenwriting Software

 

Screenshot-at-2012-01-10-200256-300x174

Picture: Trelby.org
 

One of the things I am always looking for is good writing software. I mean “writing” in the sense of “novels”, “short-stories” or even “whole books”. It is a bit silly actually, for in order to write something decent you need pen and paper, or, if you must, a text editor. And every computer has a good text-editor, producing wonderful, allround .txt files.

But, of course, I prefer to dream about great software “helping” me. OMG!Ubuntu! wrote some days ago about Trelby, a free, multi platform, feature-rich screenwriting program. It is, according to OMG!Ubuntu! a resurrection of “Blyte” – a “film-making friendly tool”. This old Blyte page confirms this.

It looks good and interesting, but it is, as it also clearly says, for screenwriting. And I am not planning to write anything like that.
I downloaded it nevertheless, to see if I could disable the screenplay editor, which “Enforces correct script format”. I couldn’t find out how to do that, though it might be possible.

It should definitely be no problem to use the program to write novels, or other types of works, once you get past the hurdle of learning the screenwriting-script. There is not too much help around about ways of using it in the Trelby Manual, but the internet can, as ever, help you out.

So it seems to be a program for people who know what they are doing, namely screenwriting, and who know how they are supposed to do it.

Personally, I’ll keep waiting for my dream program, something along the lines of yWriter5….

OpenID

I have been trying to understand the thoughts behind OpenID again, and had a hard time doing so. I used it a few times in 2007 and then forgot all about it. What is again the benefit of using a third party identity provider to log into sites?

Of course it gives site owners and readers a good proof of identity, it is supposed to be convenient as you can log into many sites with the same identity (so no need for different passwords), and since it doesn’t hand over passwords it can be considered to lower the risk of identity-theft on those sites.

One can use an own domain (should be easy to remember!) as an username to OpenID, if you add two lines of code to your sites template, redirecting it to an OpenID provider -such as Google, Yahoo, Flickr, WordPress.com etc.

Besides that there are services helping to maintain your OpenID, like myopenid.com or myid.net.

There are some though that argue that it is too much work to support OpenID on there sites.

I personally use a password manager, like for example Keepass, and can thus use a lot of different passwords and, if I want, usernames. If a site gets hacked, I will loose just one password to one site.

OpenID gives me the benefit of one username for many sites – it is my userID, so I can always have my own username – but I am not sure if I always want that. I could have different profiles with OpenID, or even different OpenID’s, but that, in the end, beats its purpose.

I don’t like though, that I am sometimes required to log into a site to comment or even to join, using a third party. Without a Facebook account I can’t join Spotify, or comment on TechCrunch. (though I can log in there with Yahoo!, AOL or hotmail – neither of which I use). I would prefer an open ID.

See also: http://twit.tv/twig47

Linux Mint 11

From Linux Ubuntu to a fresh Linux Mint.

Linux Ubuntu’s Unity was not made for me. That was my conclusion anyway after a few months of trying to get used to it. I never liked the layout, which seems to be mostly for touch screen, it had a few bugs, didn’t get used to it and I couldn’t change it or get rid of it for ever. Therefore, like many other people I suppose, I decided to install Linux Mint as a second Operating System. This all went well, except for the fact that in the process of trying out things I came to delete a bit too much from my harddisk, so that none of the installed operating systems would start properly. Inpatient as ever, I found that the best solution was to just wipe the whole harddisk and start out a freshly installed Linux Mint 11.
Since I only saved my personal files from my home-directory, all extra applications and settings had to be downloaded and installed again.

Linux Mint 11

Linux Mint 11

Here is my todo-list to get a freshly installed Mint 11 tweaked as I want it:

  • Tweak Firefox
  •     Add-ons and search engines.
  •     Started Firefox Sync, which will save my bookmarks and preferences so I  won’t loose them again next time.
  •    Installed the research organizer and collector Zotero and Zotero Word Processor plug in. My Zotero account came in very handy to reinstall data.

Screenshot of the whole screen, showing a tweaked Firefox

  • Installed Dropbox (synchronisation) again and feeling blessed to have so much online – it contains a lot of important files, like backups and databases.
  • Downloaded the launcher Kupfer -IMO it beats Unity, and is therefore the main reason for switching away from Ubuntu. (Gnome-Do is a good alternative).

Kupfer

  • Change power- and screensaver settings
  • Go through the programs that start automatically at every boot of Lunix. Disable those not needed. (As explained in this blogpost)
  • Download Chromium to install the Tweetdeck app. – my favourite twitter client. (Didn’t they say that Adobe will no longer support the Adobe Air application for linux? So Chrome comes to the rescue to run Tweetdeck.)
  • Install the password manager KeepassX and thank Dropbox for keeping my Keepass database available. So no passwords were lost this way.
  • Download Skype – Eventhough it is not the full version that is available for Linux, it still comes in handy for long distance calls.
  •  Downloaded the Linux Feed Reader Liferea. (Dropbox had a list of my subscriptions).
  • Downloaded RSSOwl.  Another rss-reader with lots of options to play around with.

RSSOwl

  • Downloaded the podcast collector gPodder – and made my gpodder-account put the subscriptions back into it.
  • Downloaded Abiword. I want that fast and lean wordprocessor at hand.
  • Installed Textroom. The fullscreen tekst processor to grab those fleeing thoughts that can’t stand distraction.
  • Scid. Has all you need to study and play chess. I just have to figure out how I added the super strong chess-engine Stockfish to its list of chess engines.

And I couldn’t resist installing

  • 0AD again. The real-time open-source strategy game with the truly stunning graphics. The gameplay is not finished yet, but starting it up feels like going on a holiday to the Mediterranean.

After that I went through the Control Center – Main Menu again to uncheck all the items I don’t think I will miss and that I therefore don’t want to see there.

There were a few things I found out during the process, that I didn’t know about:

  • Glipper for Gnome comes in handy when you want to past something you copied a while ago on a page you can’t remember. So I installed that too.
  • The template folder that can be found under “Documents” is used for opening templates directly from the desktop, Right-click on the desktop and choose “Create Document” to do so. Unfortunately it creates a shortcut to new file on the desktop. That’s not completely what I want, I would prefer it just to open the new file.
  •  I never realized that by just selecting a piece of text in Linux, it is already copied to the memory of the mouse, so by clicking on the wheel or the button in the middle, it can be pasted. Smart!
  • There is option on my “print” option screen to “print to PDF”, which creates a PDF of the selected items and puts it into the Home folder.

I tried Backing up my system with the back-up tools provided by Linux Mint, but I think I will do it myself next time, and only go for the folders with my content, such as the “Photos” and “Documents” folders, before installing a new release.

So there you are. Mint 11 is running fine with everything I want installed, and I got rid of Unity. Starting up programs and finding folders seems much faster now with Kupfer, and I don’t have this row of icons on my desktop.

Languages Again

As ever I have trouble finding out which language to use when I write, and who knows, even when I think. I have been writing in English the last years, but I try to speak Danish in my normal life (not to mention the other languages that are running around somewhere in my head).
Lately I started writing some more things in Danish, and as I didn’t know where to put these on this English blog, I decided to add a wordpress.com blog in danish to it. Just to keep things gathered in the right places. I’ll just see what happens with it, as I don’t want to force me to use a certain language. When I read a book in Danish or Dutch, my natural reaction is to write about it in its language, and the same happens when I listen to a radio program, a video or whatever.

For now I decided to try not to worry about it, even though I know that as a result of changing languages none of them will perhaps be used in an eloquent way, but I will put my trust in the eventual power of simplicity. I have to.