Desktop Widgets for Linux

  • Episode 310
  • August 27, 2013

Add cool (and also useful) desktop widgets and system monitors to your Point Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, etc.) system.

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This episode is sponsored in part by: Eco Alkalines.

Topics Covered:

  • Robbie Ferguson and Christa Wells present live from the Category5 studios in Barrie, Ontario.
  • Welcome to our newly-registered viewers.
  • Shout out to Howefield, as well as a handful of other viewers who have been registered viewers for 250 weeks or more.
  • {play 6:26}Congratulations to Christa who is now married. Thanks to Music Pro for helping us pull together audio/video at the last minute after Christa's videographer cancelled at the last minute.
  • {play 9:50}Contemplating backups with Christa, and finding an affordable solution by using a couple external hard drives.
  • Thank you to the viewers who have sent in donations to help us with our renovation project and general expenses.
  • {play 46:46}Using mogrify to quickly resize multiple photos all at once, perfect for sending by email.
    • Important: make a copy of the photos you're going to mogrify and work on the copies, not the originals. You don't want to resize your master files.
    • Installing imagemagick to obtain the mogrify command on Linux.
    • Scaling images to a size more appropriate for email, such as 640x480, using the mogrify command.
  • {play 22:27}Feature: Desktop Widgets on Linux
    • Installing and configuring lm-sensors to allow your Desktop Widgets to communicate with your computer's sensors, reading information such as temperatures.
    • Conky Desktop Widgets
      • Note: Robgor points us in the direction of Conky Manager, a GUI configuration tool to ease the creation of your Conky configuration.
      • Installing Conky
      • Obtaining and setting up a sample conky script from the CrunchBang Linux user forum.
    • {play 33:39}Screenlets
      • Note: Screenlets may be an old application (last release was in December 2011 and requires a compositing manager such as Compiz) but if you're running Point Linux with Compiz, it's likely the preferred option.
      • Installing Screenlets gives you an easy-to-use GUI for setting up your desktop widgets.
      • Adding a Screenlet widget to your desktop, and configuring it to be a widget, locked to your desktop.
      • How Robbie uses the RingSensor Screenlet to create the cool system monitor widgets on his desktop.
      • Best way to learn about the various Screenlets: add them to your desktop and see which ones you like.
    • {play 41:26}Top Stories from the Category5.TV Newsroom
      • A Raspberry Pi-powered teddy bear set a freefall record for teddy bears everywhere.
      • Amazon experienced more downtime on the weekend, and this time it affected several high-profile clients, including Netflix and Instagram.
      • A web designer is receiving Tweets like it’s 1867!
      • Windows 8 benchmarks are banned from HWBot benchmark records due to a time issue with Windows 8.
  • {play 51:58}Robbie has developed a new transcoder exclusive to Category5 TV, and it means the file size and distribution for RSS feeds and on-demand video is going to be improving very soon. Our new "LD" (Low Definition) file format will provide an entire one hour show with reasonable quality and a filesize of as little as 50 MB.
  • {play 54:27}Viewer Question: I'd like to stream a live event from a venue. I'd like to use multiple cameras, with video mixing and camera switching. What program can I use to achieve this?
    • Robbie recommends checking out Telestream Wirecast.
    • Robbie takes a live screenshot of Telestream Wirecast to show you what it looks like. On the left is Telestream Wirecast on our first monitor on the broadcast system, and the large display on the right is the live preview display from our second monitor. The audio monitors you see between the Overlay Layer and Underlay Layer is BUTT, which powers Category5 Radio.
    • Robbie recommends tapping into the Telestream Wirecast community forums to ask for specific advice regarding the use of Wirecast for your broadcast, or email us more specific questions.

Links to Relevant Web Sites:

  • Host: Robbie Ferguson
  • Co-Host: Christa Wells


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