Month: July 2010

GMail Notify Programs

I have noticed this nice little indicator-applet on the panel at the top of my Ubuntu screen, but I haven’t had much chance to use it.  I found the specs for it here.  By default, Skype and GMail don’t integrate into it, so I am looking for solutions.  I thought I would look for GMail first:

KCheckMail is one option, but it is for KDE.

The next hit I found was a little bit unusual.  Psi is another chatting application, and in the psi-plus-plugins, there is a GMail checker.  I found an interesting article describing the application and a link to configuring with GMail.  Come to find out, Google has some instructions, too.

Gnome-Gmail-Notifier is another option.  The Main Website has a little more information, but from the screenshots, it looks like it creates a system tray icon rather than using the indicator applet.

The Gmail-Notify program is a python/gtk option (not to be confused with the GMail-Notifier only available on Windows).  It’s goal is to provide an alternative for Google’s Windows only program.

The next item is not really a notifier applet: prism-google-mail.  It is actually a Prism application.  This installs the GMail webapp listed in the bundles section.

CheckGmail is the next option.  From what I can tell, it only looks like it works with a system tray icon.

xfce4-mailwatch-plugin is an option for XFCE.

KGmailNotifier is an option for KDE.

desktop-webmail looks like an interesting tool even though it isn’t a notifier.  The Gnome-GMail mentioned in the article looks like another thing to research although I didn’t see it in the repositories.

conduit is a tool that I had seen before.  It is not a notifier, but a cool app nonetheless.

mail-notification looks more generic but is a notifier.

cgmail is another option.  Again, it looks like it only creates a systray icon.

I also did a little searching on this, and apparently, I am not the only one asking this question — Ubuntu Forums: gmail in indicator-applet

The thread mentions gm-notify as an option that uses the indicator applet.  It is not in the repositories, but you can add it using Software Sources.  Add “ppa:gm-notify-maintainers/ppa”.  Then, you can install the package.  Here is what it looks like:

Desk 1_001

My next step is to check out this article to try to integrate Skype into the mix.  Before I upgraded, I had been using Cairo-Dock.  My quick search didn’t show the indicator applet for it, but I did see an article about AWN supporting the indicator applet.  I will have to put some more time into that.

Lirc and Volume

We have been having trouble with the remote not being able to control the volume on our Mythbuntu installation.  I just came across the pulseaudio-module-lirc package —

sudo apt-get install pulseaudio-module-lirc

My mute button didn’t work, so I tried adding the lirc configuration as explained in this thread.  It didn’t work.  The volume up and down did work though before I added that configuration.  The only thing I didn’t like was that it didn’t show the visual volume display on the screen.

On a side note, I found another application that looked interesting from this post: gizmod.  Actually, even though the post says they don’t have deb packages, I found one already in the repositories!

Another handy program is unclutter:

sudo apt-get install unclutter

It hides the mouse cursor so that you don’t see it in front of the videos you are watching.  I found it here, and here is another post about it.

Hulu with MythTV

We found some of the old shows on Hulu, and we have really been enjoying them: Bewitched, Mary Tyler Moore, Bob Newhart, etc.  Since we don’t have cable, this works great for us.  It’s like a new kind of TV!

On top of that, I found out that I could install the Hulu application on my MythTV box.

I downloaded it from here:

Hulu Desktop (Linux)

And, I followed these directions:

Mythbuntu Wiki: Hulu Desktop in Mythbuntu


I ran across this tool a while ago, but I hadn’t had the opportunity to try it out.  It is called dualscreen-mouse-utils, and the thing that I want to use it for is to create a way to switch between my monitors with a remote control button. Here are some links to start with:

So, my first attempt was to download the compressed file, extract it, and try to compile.  I got a slew of errors, the first of which, was:

mouse-wrapscreen.c:63:22: error: X11/Xlib.h: No such file or directory

I did a little research and found this post:

It said to install this package:

sudo apt-get install xlibs-dev

But, the package didn’t exist.  I received this error:

E: Package xlibs-dev has no installation candidate

A quick search revealed this package that did install successfully:

sudo apt-get install libx11-dev

Then, it compiled cleanly with the “make” command.

I just tested it and it worked!  Next step is to setup a script to make it do a couple more things and add that to my lirc configuration.  I’ll save that for another post!

Great Link: Backup Programs List

Before upgrading my laptop to Ubuntu 10.04, I wanted to backup my data.  I found this list of backup utilities:

TechRepublic: 10 outstanding Linux backup utilities

I chose to install sbackup, but it didn’t work so hot for me.  It kicked off the process to start backing up, and I liked the interface the way I could choose what I wanted backed up.  But, what I didn’t like is that the process ran in the background, and I couldn’t see any status of the backup or confirm that it was running.  I thought for sure that I chose the destination as my external drive, but it began backing up to /var/backup instead, and it filled up my drive.

Once I found and deleted that backup, I ended up just using a GUI front-end to rsync.  I think it was the grsync one.  If you do a search for “rsync” in synaptic, you will see a number of options.