Monday, September 28, 2015

Openbox rocks, again!

I wrote an article entitled "Openbox Rocks!" back in March of 2012.

I wanted to retouch on this, because a lot has changed.

My original article mentioned my use of Feh to add a background. Well if you are an Ubuntu user like me, the first thing you realize is that Feh doesn't work well in Ubuntu 14.04 anymore. Not certain if this is because of my choice of 64 bit architecture, or what.

The new replacement for Openbox users on Ubuntu is nitrogen.

Nitrogen is so simple to use. You first run it normally to choose the directory and image file you want as your desktop, along with it's orientation, such as scaled or centered. Then in your autostart file in /home/(your user name here)/.config/openbox, you simply add nitrogen --restore at the end. I tried to use the nitrogen command in the beginning like in my old article with feh, it didn't want to cooperate.

I also hadn't mentioned it at the time, but I also now suggest lxsession-logout.

It adds a much needed, beautiful, simple log out/reboot/shutdown menu.

Here's a nice pic thanks to lubuntu:

I personally have stopped using wicd-gtk. It just isn't needed anymore, nm-applet, which automatically runs on most versions of Ubuntu, is a better option (IMO).

I also want to add that I am a lxpanel and gmrun fan still for Openbox. lxpanel is a very lightweight panel app that gives you super lightweight functionality, with enough bells and whistles. (Don't forget to add the volume control under panel options in lxpanel unless it's already there, nice to be able to mute and change volume from the bar.)

gmrun is my favorite app launcher for the debian/ubuntu universe.

Besides stealing lxpanel and lxsession-logout from the lxde world, I also like to steal xfce4-screenshooter, xfce4-terminal and thunar from the xfce world.

I also suggest snagging lxappearance from the lxde world, to change your icons for programs like lxpanel, thunar, pcmanfm, or any other program using the system icons.

You will want to add a copy of rc.xml to /home/(your user name here)/.config/openbox, so you can have keyboard shortcuts to programs like your terminal emulator, screenshooting utility, app run program, or whatever.

I also suggest obmenu. It gives you the option to edit the openbox menu with great ease in a simple but functional GUI interface.

This strange combination gives a very flushed out yet crazy fast desktop environment (or window manager, for you "I must use the correct label all the time people")...

Here is what my Openbox looks like: (Click it to enlarge)

I think with these little additions and notes, Ubuntu and Openbox make a great team. Power and speed.

I have included below a link to my autostart, menu.xml and rc.xml file, thanks to Google Drive.

My Openbox files:

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Lily flies itself to capture your adventures

While reading posts on my favorite BBS, I found a post by a user named Android8675.

In this post was the cool intro video I have linked below via YouTube.

I couldn't believe what I was seeing! A drone that not only flies itself, but takes beautiful in focus footage of the person wearing the "homing beacon". (For want of whatever Lily calls it)

This thing is amazing. Here is the YouTube video I just mentioned:

Here is what the Lily team have to say about themselves:

"Lily started in September 2013 in the basement of a UC Berkeley robotics lab, where Henry and Antoine built the first prototype using a Raspberry Pi and an Arduino.

In Spring of 2014, leading investors Shana Fisher and SV Angel supported the Lily vision and showed them the yellow brick road. Along the way, Robb gave Lily a heart, Rowland gave Lily courage, and Nghia gave Lily a brain.

Our mission is to release human creativity by inventing tools that allow for effortless expression. We believe that great products are built with a clear purpose." -

Right now Lily is not available, but it will be available starting in May of 2016, and you can pre-order now via

Well that's about it. Before I go, here is some great artwork shots thanks to

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Free Music to play, download and share

While I usually write about some new Linux distribution or other tech related gadgetry, I wanted to share my love for public domain music.

Public domain music is exactly that, owned by and in purview of the public. Which means anyone can download, listen to and share this music.

While you are not likely to hear music on the local pop "top 40" station, there are some real gems in the public domain.

I personally like to listen to jazz.. (except Dixie land, not a "John Philip Sousa" type of a guy..)

But there is something for everyone in the PD (public domain) including current sounding pop, country, r&b, rock, etc.. songs if one so desires. Of coarse there is also some very old music too, and cool radio recordings of shows like "The Shadow" and "Dick Tracy". 

One of my favorite songs I found in PD is a song called "This is Honkstep" by Orkestra Del Sol.

Here is the link to it thanks to

It really takes off after the tuba solo. Anyways, this is just a small taste of what you can find. Here is my compilation of favorite places to dig for buried PD treasure:

"Fun Fun Fun Media is all about enjoying music.
Our music bloggers find and post MP3s for download.
We do the music discovery. You listen and download anything you like.
Music isn’t shrinking, musicians haven’t stopped making music.
Fun Fun Fun has devoted itself to keeping music creativity alive.
Fun Fun Fun offers a free music cloud so you can enjoy music anywhere." -

"Our musical heritage is our culture.
The Past should be appreciated, not neglected.
These artists are so unique, they should never be forgotten.
This site is designed for your musical edification.
This site can not grant any commercial uses of this material." -

"The Internet Archive is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded to build an Internet library. Its purposes include offering permanent access for researchers, historians, scholars, people with disabilities, and the general public to historical collections that exist in digital format." -

"Musopen ( is a 501(c)(3) non-profit focused on improving access and exposure to music by creating free resources and educational materials. We provide recordings, sheet music, and textbooks to the public for free, without copyright restrictions. Put simply, our mission is to set music free." -

I hope you enjoy this list, there are more where that came from.