Category: Unity

Chrome App Launcher

I found Google Operating System’s post about the Chrome App Launcher.  Here’s my experience with getting it to work.

First, I found that I needed to install a “Desktop Web App”.  So, I picked up one from the Chrome Web Store.  It needed to be one from the “For Your Desktop” Collection.  I decided to try out the Pocket app.

Before installing that app, this didn’t work.  Afterward, I was able to search for “Chrome App Launcher”.

Chrome App Launcher in the Unity Menu

Here’s what it looked like when it opened:

Chrome App Launcher

To get it to stay where I could easily click on it, I right clicked on it’s icon and selected “Lock to Launcher”.

Locking to the laucher


Background Slideshow for Unity — Need Help

I wanted to create a special changing wallpaper for my old laptop now that I am passing it on to my wife.  I found some instructions, but I couldn’t make it work.  If you have any ideas, please comment below.  I can create the XML and the wallpaper, but I can’t get it to display where I can select it.

First, I found instructions on installing a program called crebs (Create Background Slideshow).  It creates the XML file that tells which images to include in the wallpaper.

I tried installing with:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:crebs/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install crebs

Unfortunately, the repository isn’t up to date.  I had to change the version in software sources back to “natty” to get it to install:

Once installed, it didn’t show up in the menu.  I had to launch it from the command line.  To make it easier, I added a launcher with the Main Menu application.

I was able to create the slideshow with no problem.  I added my 3 images.  It doesn’t package them at all, so put them in the place where you want them to live before you place them into the slideshow.  You may want to put them into the /usr/share/backgrounds.

When I hit save, it generated the slideshow xml file in the $HOME/.crebs/<name>.xml directory.  I moved that file to the /usr/share/backgrounds/sunflower directory.

My big problem is that I don’t see the slideshow in the Appearances App to select as my background.  That’s where I get stuck.


Rant: Switching from Ubuntu to Fedora

Ok, I’ve had it with Ubuntu.  Well, for now at least.  I would like to eventually switch back and forth to get the greatest exposure.  But, for now, goodbye Ubuntu (11.04)!  Hello, Fedora 15.

It all started with Java problems.  I have a little time tracker tool that I use to track my billable time at work.  It is pretty ugly, but for me, it is critical — I use it to bill my time.  Tuesday, I started noticing the program crashing with X errors.  To attempt a fix, I tried to upgrade my video driver (Intel) to the latest version.  I tried several PPA repositories, but none of them seemed to work for me.  Finally, I ended up at the EMGD site.  I am still not sure if that driver was compatible with my laptop, but I was desparate and frustrated!  Somehow I got part of the packages installed, and I didn’t get the main EMGD installed.  I ran the “sudo emgd-xorg-conf” command, and that is where I lost it.  My X wouldn’t start; dhclient wouldn’t even connect my eth0.  That was the last straw.

Another issue probably lead up to this problem.  A week prior, I had attempted to copy a Tape to CD by running an audio cable from my tape player to my microphone jack on my computer.  I used Audacity to record.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t record anything via the microphone jack.  No matter what I tried, it only recorded from the built-in microphone.  I tried again to upgrade Pulse Audio with another PPA, but that didn’t help.

So, here’s what I have learned from Fedora in the first few hours:

  • I know now why I have stuck with Ubuntu for so long!  Ubuntu is just so much easier to get up and running quickly.  Command-line is avaliable, but not required.
  • Broadcom Wireless: In Ubuntu 11.04, I just enabled the STA driver in “Additional Drivers”.  I don’t think I have even had to connect the laptop to the wired connection to download it.  In Fedora, I had to install two repositories (easily done from the browser).  Then, I ran a yum command from the terminal to install the driver.  Finally, I had to reboot.  Fedora’s instructions were very easily to follow, but comparing the two, Ubuntu wins hands down.
  • Libre Office: Where is it,  Fedora?  The first thing I do, is create a document and track all the changes I make to the installation so I can do it again on the next release.  To my surprise, Fedora didn’t have Libre Office (or, any Document tool for that matter) installed by default.  Furthermore, when I went to Add/Remove Software, there were tons of packages.  I didn’t see a Meta package that would install a default set of packages.  There was an Office package collection, but it said it was already installed.  I ended up installing the package collection from the command line, and that did the trick.
  • Is RPM/Yum Slow?  I haven’t done any comparisons or anything like that, but for some reason, the packages seem to install much slower in Fedora than Ubuntu.  It may just be because I am ready to get working on my new install, but even individual package installs seem to take a while.
  • Gnome 3.0 versus Unity: it will take some time to form a good opinion.  I am glad for the chance to compare.

Hopefully, you will hear from me more as I get to installing and configuring more.  Stay tuned…

DriConf, Can you fix me?

This post is an attempt to fix at least the second of the issues on my previous post:

Ubuntu Screen Woes

I noticed that one of the comments suggested using DriConf to fix the problem.  Here is the comment:

I have tried installing driconf and turned synchronization with vertical refresh off completely. I havn’t seen this issue since.

Does anyone have similar experiences?

And, here is what I tried:

Read More

Great Link: Desktop Interface Vote

If you haven’t already, go vote on your Desktop Interface —

Pourquoi pas !!: Unity or not Unity ?

At the time of this writing, Unity was winning by a narrow margin.  Here are the results so far, but go vote, and check out the changes:

Desktop Interface Survey

In my opinion, I like the ideas behind Unity.  I am young, and I like new ideas and new features.  As has been said many times, Unity is a bold move on Canonical’s part.  Probably without that risk, that survey wouldn’t have %48 for Unity users, and we wouldn’t have all the feedback from those users who have tried to make it work.  The big thing to watch is whether or not Ubuntu can iron out all of the issues in the next version or two.

Adding Apps to Unity’s Dash

Usually, you install apps from either the Ubuntu Software Center or Synaptic or apt-get.  In those cases, the package manager automatically adds the new programs to the menu.  But, what if you install a program manually?

Before Unity, I could right click on the menu and choose Edit Menus.  Now, in Unity, that option is not there.  For that matter, the menu isn’t there.

So, I found that I could type “Main Menu” in the dash to get to the same interface as before:

Main Menu Editor

You can easily add a new menu item in this tool:

Adding Menu Item

Previously, I found that the dash didn’t pick the new menu item up until after I rebooted.  When I just tried it, it worked without me needing to reboot.  Maybe an update fixed it or something.

If you have trouble with it not working, explore this command to start and stop the indexing tool:

zeitgeist-daemon --quit

zeitgeist-daemon &