Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Window Maker: A Unique Window Manager

I love to "monk around" with everything Linux, and that includes the many window managers available.

If you follow my blog you know my penchant for Openbox.

It's time though to bring this old trooper into the lime light.

Window Maker has been around for a long time. It was first released in 1997.

Even though it is an older title, the Window Maker team keep it current.

In fact, version 0.95.6 was just released on August 30th 2014. (Info thanks to http://windowmaker.org/news.php.)

What's so unique about it is, it doesn't look like any of the other Linux window manager options, it's unique, and it's blazing fast, which you expect from a window manager.

And yet it gives you that nostalgic feeling, which I personally enjoy.

Here is my screenshot: (Click to enlarge)

I find it rather easy to set up. You see I have all my most used apps on the top, and my useful tools on the right side.

Setting a background is just a simple cli command (very simple, in fact.)
It's wmsetbg -s -u [filename.jpg] (-s sets it to scale, -u updates the info so next time your choice will automatically show up, otherwise the wallpaper will revert).

Creating icons is as easy as starting the program, grabbing the icon it creates on the lower left hand corner, putting it in one of the tool button holders (like the buttons you see here) and right clicking it, choosing settings, and then locking it so you don't accidentally discard it.

In many ways Window Maker is like how I envision Openbox. It's the plate and cutlery you then fill with your favorite food.

So I added wicd-gtk for easy wifi connecting, xfce4-screenshooter for screenshots (My fave screenshot utility of all time, fast reliable) and pavucontrol (Pulse Audio Volume Control) for audio volume control.

I also added gmrun, because it's my favorite run dialogue box.

It will never replace XFCE for me, I'm an ardent fan. However, I like to meander to different window managers and desktop environments as my mood determines, and this is one of my favorites to return to.

In Ubuntu it's as easy as sudo apt-get install wmaker in a terminal window. Or you could use the software center or synaptic.

For more information, you can check out these links:

Window Maker's Wikipedia page

Window Maker.org - Window Maker's Official Page

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Ubuntu Touch phones soon a reality

Great news comes down the pike from Canonical.

Ubuntu Touch will now be available on phones very soon.

Instead of buying a Nexus and then installing Ubuntu Touch yourself,
you will see phones on store shelves pre-installed with Ubuntu Touch this December.

Linux already has the lion's share of every market but home PC, and Linux already has that share in phone markets too...

 But I am personally happy to see Canonical's product Ubuntu (of which I use exclusively) come to the phone market this way.

The first phone available will be the Meizu MX4. Then BQ's Aquaris is most likely to be the second.

While I have never owned a Meizu product, I can speak for BQ. I have had very good experiences with their equipment.

Here's a pic of the phones that will have native Ubuntu Touch installations: (Thanks to PCWorld):

I personally will love to see these teaching a whole new generation about the virtues of Linux.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Midomi, search for music by humming


"Midomi is the ultimate music search tool because it is powered by your voice. Sing, hum, or whistle to instantly find your favorite music and connect with a community that shares your musical interests. Give it a try. It's truly amazing!" http://www.midomi.com/index.php?action=main.about_us

Seriously, this is cool. Ever have that tune you just can't remember? Can you hum just a small part of it? Then you can find it thanks to Midomi.

I love this service. If you think you found it, you can have Midomi play you a snippet to make sure.

We all get that tune in our head that we just can't recall who sang it or the title.

If you are a Linux user like myself, then you will need to "always allow" midomi.com via the adobe flashplayer settings panel, which can be gotten to here:


It should look like this:

Highlight Midomi.com, and the "always ask, always allow and always deny" options will then be selectable.

Once you do this, you may need to refresh the page, which on most browsers is the f5 button.

Here's more info from Midomi's about page:


Our mission is to build the most comprehensive database of searchable music. You can contribute to the database by singing in midomi's online recording studio in any language or genre. The next time anyone searches for that song, your performance might be the top result!


At midomi you can create your own profile, sing your favorite songs and share them with your friends and get discovered by other midomi users. You can listen to and rate others' musical performances, see their pictures, send them messages, buy original music, and more.


midomi features an extensive digital music store with a growing collection of more than two million legal music tracks. You can listen to samples of original recordings, buy the full studio versions directly from midomi, and play them on your Windows computer or compatible music players.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Useless Web

While digging through interesting websites looking for a good post for DHW, I found just that.

This website is strange...

While it's name proves it really serves no valuable service in the daily lives of people, it is strangely fun.

And why does everything need to be so serious?

This is the author's little blip about himself:

"Hi, I'm Tim. I'm an Australian developer, with a strong focus on design and interactivity. I'm currently living in New York and working as a product engineer at Tumblr.

In my spare time, I like to experiment with new web tech, and make fun little sites." -http://tholman.com/

If you feel like chatting Tim up about his crazy and unique websites, you can reach him on twitter. Here's his twitter profile info:

Tholman.com itself has some unique websites, and if you feel like an amusing walk through the abstract, check it out.

Now if you are ready to see unique (albeit useless) websites, go to http://www.theuselessweb.com/ and you will see this image:


Click on the word please, and away you go!

If you are curious, or just need a 5 minute break from reality, this is a cool website to check out.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Multicloud - put multiple cloud drives into one

Thanks to a @amltzy on Twitter, I was made aware of a unique app available for us multi-cloud users.

If you use Google Drive for documents and Dropbox for your strange eclectic collection of public domain music like me, then this is a useful app for you. (Yeah, I'm a strange duck.)

Here is some info thanks to https://www.multcloud.com/product

MultCloud – Cloud File Manager for merging cloud drives:

Completely FREE app for home and commercial use.
Single login for multiple cloud accounts.
Add unlimited accounts such as Dropbox, Box, OneDrive, etc.

About Multicloud:

Do you have several cloud drives such as different account in Dropbox, OneDrive, and Google Drive? If you want to manage these cloud drives, it is necessary to login each account, and then do some upload, download or synchronized operations. Have you ever thought of combining them together to manage just by logging once? Oh yeah, MULTCLOUD is the exact product! It will help you do the centralized management with all your Cloud Drives. Luckily, it is FREE, safe and reliable. Now, just join us at once!

Various Clouds Supported

It has provided the prefect support for various clouds. At the same time, you can handle multiple accounts in one provided by the same service provider. Supposing that you have registered two accounts in Google Drive, it can manage all the files of both accounts simultaneously.

Supported cloud(s):

Google Drive

File Transfer across Cloud Drives

It can move or transfer files form one cloud to another for better realizing the file transfer operation among multiple cloud drives without downloading to local. For example, through MultCloud, you can directly copy the files in Google Drive and paste to OneDrive, and this process will be accomplished online.

Cloud File Manager

MultCloud can manage your files in multiple cloud drives like the Windows Explorer, and perform operations such as upload, download, cut, copy, paste, move, delete, rename, new folder, etc. Such as: File Sharing can share the files with your friends; File Search can search for files and folders across cloud drives through keywords; File Preview allow you to online view some office documents such as DOC, PDF, XLS, etc.

Free to Use More Space

Generally speaking, each cloud drive will just free provide a small storage space. Thus, a big one will come into begins after adding all free space of this cloud drives together. For instance, if you have registered five Dropbox accounts and each one has offered 2GB free space, you can use the free 10GB space conveniently with the help of MultCloud.

Security Guarantee

MultCloud not only provides powerful functions but also ensures the highest security for data management through three ways below:
Website connect and data transfer using 256-bit AES encryption for SSL.
Does not save or cache your data and files on our servers.
Access cloud drives with OAuth authorization and does not save your password.

First of all, I have to admit that I am not an IT expert. I do have problems with IT things sometimes. But I still have created accounts on three cloud services: Amazon A3, SugarSync and Box. It drives me crazy to manage these accounts. And searching for a certain file ...

Bring all of your online storage services together in one interface using the Multcloud website. Many people have multiple cloud storage accounts - Dropbox, SkyDrive, Google Drive - but managing them all separately can be a chore. Here's how to control your different services from a single interface using MultCloud.


While I am not the guy that downloads all the apps applicable to his needs (I'm the guy that uses only Firefox on Android for things like facebook and twitter)...

I can see the use of this software. My question is can I add a cloud base not listed above. Indy clouds (Independent, like the film festival) are springing up.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ant sized radio gets charge from radio waves

UC Berkeley and Stanford University have teamed together and made this ant sized radio. The radio has many interesting features. It runs in a higher data rate of 24 GHz for receiving and 60 GHz for transmitting, this allows for a very minimal antenna size. (The antenna is actually printed in the chip you see above.)

Other radios that run at lower data rates need a substantially larger antenna, said Amin Arbabian of  Stanford University.

There is a down side to the high data rate, the broadcast strength is only twenty inches.

So your next question is probably "What good is a 20 inch transmission?"...

Well these radios are going to be very very inexpensive to purchase.

So you could buy a multitude of them and then string them along like beads (20 inches apart) and make a very cheap transfer link for transferring data at fast paces.

While this might not be of use to a standard home consumer, these could be very useful to a business.

First off, they don't need a power source to each radio, only the first transmitter. Second of all, instead of running wires that need to be hid along long distances of wall, these could be put in hidden places 20 inches apart, and let you build with fewer walls making a wonderfully open "Frank Lloyd Write-ish" office space.

That is just one of the many uses mentioned in other articles and forums about this unique radio.

You have to admit, this tech is cool, right?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Leikr Linux Watch: "Less Watch, More Data"

With big PC companies like Apple getting into the digital computer watch business, watches are going to get more and more interesting.

Thing is though, they are far behind in that game.

Leikr has been around for a while, and their Linux based watch is a thing of beauty.

Here's a quick run down on the main features thanks to leikr.com

Frequent software updates

2″ color

LCD display

ARM 300MHz processor


Integrated GPS receiver

Linux OS

Wireless connectivity


75 grams
including strap


While I am into fitness (you would never know it by looking at me), I love some of the other options on this watch more.

Accurate time and date are a must for any watch. But a gps with me wherever I go that could get me un-lost is spectacular.

And the life of that gps is also spectacular. It would do nobody any good to have 5 minutes of gps time, but the gps can run for 5 hours on a full charge,

Being a fan of Linux and everything Open Source, I love that I can point to yet another of the millions of applications on the world's best operating system.

I love the wifi apsect, being able to upgrade the watch's operating system, put my updated info on a social media site to get encouragement or feedback, all very cool features.

I love that it is not "a honking giant monstrosity". If you remember the first computing watches they where bulky, gigantic and didn't do much for all of that weight expense.

This watch is lightweight (75 grams) and has a nice display, but still fits on your wrist. (Not a big screen tv with a strap).

Here are some screen shots depicting the features of the watch thanks again to leikr.com: