Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Easter eggs

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I thought this is just the right time of the year to search for "easter eggs" in gnome. So, I began searching google, asking the kind people of gnome-nl, trying to remember what I found out some time ago when I did the same research and found ... not really much. Though, I found some; Here they are:

Right click on the panel, click 'Panel info'. A dialog pops up. Now press three times the F key and you'll get Wanda the fish swimming on your desktop, above all the other windows! When you click the fish, it will respond by quickly swimming of your screen ... but she will return ;). It's kind of fun, but after a while it gets irritating :). To get rid of the fish, kill your gnome-panel. No worries, it will restart automatically.
There's another trick that does just the same thing (bringing wanda on your desk). Open the "Run ..." dialog (press Alt-F2), and type "free the fish" (without quotation marks) in the input field and press enter. There shee is again.
The run dialog is like the best place for easter eggs, so there's another one; type "gegls from outer space" in the dialog and press enter. An "Invaders" clone game will pop up on your screen and you can play it by moving wanda the fish with the arrows on your keyboard and shooting with the space button. It's not that easy; In the second level another wanda will become one of your enemies. Beware: it can be quite addictive :).

That's all, I couldn't find more of 'm :(. There where some nice things in Evolution before it became 2.x, like when you typed "why?" in the To: field when composing an e-mail etc, but they all seem to be gone (or replaced by others ?). If you know about more Gnome easter eggs, share them with us (post it as a comment ;) )!

Happy Easter !

BTW: Did you know you can create starters by dragging the icon of the application out of the "Run ..." dialog ? This is really handy :)!

BTW.2: I also read about some GDM (Gnome Display Manager) Easter Eggs, but I'm to lazy to try 'm out now, and it's not really gnome anyway ;). Google for 'm !


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Nautilus Send-To

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Michael Rhodes send me an e-mail some time ago asking to blog about "Nautilus Send To", a Nautilus-extension that makes it possible to send files per email or instant message with some clicks. I recently 'upgraded' my debian system to an Ubuntu 'hoary' and all I had to do to try this out was running the Synaptic package manager, click on "nautilus-sendto" and "apply" and I had this extra entry in Nautilus' context-menu:

When you click this menu item you get following dialog-window:

You can choose to send as "Instant Message (Gaim)", or as "Email (Evolution)". If you choose to send via IM, you can select one of your logged-in contacts in the combobox below. If you choose to send it via email you can type a contact in an entry-field that will appear and which does type-ahead search in you evolution-adressbook. Well, an image says more:

When you have more then one file selected, you should choose how to pack them. I can choose between .zip, .tar.gz and .tar.bz2, but I guess this depends on what tools you have installed.
Then you just have to click "send" and the archive will be made and send by IM or attached to an email message. Before I forget it, to make it possible to send with gaim, you should load the plugin for gaim this extension ships. Open Gaim's preferences screen, and select the "Nautilus integration" plugin.

See you !


Saturday, March 12, 2005

Drag 'n drop Gnometris background

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I found this one on Gnome Hacks; You can set a background for the Gnometris tetris game by drag 'n drop'ing an image or a color to it's window. If the image is small it will be repeated, if big enough it will be scaled to fit in the window. You can also drag colors from The Gimp or Nautilus' Backgrounds and Colors window. Nice trick !


Btw: this Belgian babe is called Evy Gruyaert

Another cool thing you can do is changing the blocks' style. Open one of the *.png you can find in /usr/share/pixmaps/gnometris/ and save it with an other name in the same directory. Then, restart Gnometris and you can select your own theme in the bottom of the options screen.



Free software iTunes interface

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Apple still restricts the iTunes software to Windows and Mac platforms but now the music store is opened op for other operating systems thanks to pyMusiqe, which offers a GTK2 interface and the option for a song preview using gstreamer. You can also create an account with the software and redownload previously purchased songs.

Ubuntu packages are already available.

Click the image to see it full-size.

I'm curious how Apple will react on this, they seem to be a little bit too much into sueing lately.


Nero for Linux

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While writing my last post about disk burning in Gnome, I expressed some of my expectations about the development of cd burning applications, but the last thing I expected was a Linux port of the famous Nero CD burning suite Nero, which is exactly what happened.

Just to disapoint you after this good news:
No, it's not free software (You need a Nero 6.5 Licence Key)
No, it's not GTK2, it GTK1 (based on GnomeToaster from what I've heard)
No, it does not have all the features of its Windows equivalent

Be sure to check out their website and the screenshot gallery though.

I didn't test the software myself, but I'll definitely keep track of it and inform you about its development.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Gnome 2.10 - There's my baby

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It's been a while since my last post, but I'm back in business! There are a lot of reasons why I've not been blogging for so long, but the main reason; I was very busy.

So, yesterday was the day we all were waiting for, the birth of Gnome 2.10. This new version of the desktop we all love focuses on more integration of desktop applications and ships with some 'new' nice applications like Totem (which most of us were already using though), Sound Juicer (an Audio CD "ripper") etc. It seems like a lot of attention went to the panel applets. Most applets were updated and they now become transparent if you your panel is so. The smallband users among us can enjoy the improved Modem applet which integrates nicely with the new Gnome System Tools, but we all will enjoy the trash-on-panel (so you don't have to push the "show desktop" button to hide all your windows before you can drag something to the trash), the device-mount-applet (which shows all you currently (automagically) mounted devices and devices that can be mounted so you don't have to search for their icons on the desktop no more), the improved "sticky notes" applet etc.

Gnome 2.10 also comes with improved network capabilities. When you fire up the new GnomeMeeting, you can have it search on your local network without having to type user information. The same goes on for some of the (grafically) improved Gnome games!

What certainly interests us all; Nautilus became faster. There's still room for a lot of improvement I think, but it certainly is heading the right way! The path button (in the left lower corner of the spatial windows) was made more obviously a button, so new users will quickly find their way to it ;). Nautilus is also more integrated with the panel menu as their is now also a "Places" menu which you can use to quickly navigate to your partitions, home folder, trash, templates folder, favorites, network browser ... We now have 3 menu's, one for "places" one called "Desktop" where you can change yourt dekstop preferences, log out etc. and the good old "Applications" menu which now is a lot lighter. The menu system also changed under the hood so it now uses the Freedesktop.org specifications.

I'm not yet aware of other new killer features in this new Gnome version, but I'm sure I'll find them by using this baby and I'll report them here :).