Monthly Archives: June 2008

My Desktop – Music

AJ\'s Workspace (2008-06-25)In this post, I’ll focus on the application in the top-right: Sonata.  Sonata, through a strange series of relationships, hooks up with my music library.  To be technical, it is a gui interface to the music player daemon (mpd), which in turn scans my /mnt/windows/Music directory each day for new music (with a handy /etc/cron.daily entry).

Sonata is set apart from the cli interface offered by my favourite mpd client, ncmpc, by its ability to popup with the current song (via libnotify and the notification-daemon), download album covers from Amazon, tag my music (although I use easytag for this), scrobble played tracks to last.fm (mpd can do this through a plugin, however) and display the lyrics for the song.  Plus, sometimes it’s nice to have a clickable interface. Also, in the event that the entire X server (the program that gives me a gui) goes down, mpd will still be playing my music :).

Some pictures:

Album Covers

Album Covers

Player Window
Player Window

Track Info
Track Info

Compact Mode
Compact Interface

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My Desktop – The Web

We all spend a lot of time browsing the web.  The only thing that makes us different is how we interact with the web, whether it be through our choice of web browser or frequented websites.

AJ\'s Workspace (2008-06-25)

When browsing the web, Firefox 3 is my first choice because of its vast number of extensions and themes.

On the bottom right of the Firefox window you can see various icons representing my extensions:

In order from left to right: Vimperator, Firebug, Greasemonkey, NoSquint, and NoScript.

Vimperator: allows me to use Vim’s keyboard mappings in Firefox.  Sounds insane?  For me, it completely removes the need for the mouse.  Need to go home, no problem just type “gh”.  Need to get to the top of the page, just type “gg”.  Need to quickly select a link: type “f” which turns on HINTS and press the corresponding number.  One bad thing is that it does not take advantage of the awesome bar so I use Alt-D to access it instead.  In addition to changing the keyboard bindings, it can remove the menu, bookmarks, or tab bar by changing the guioptions (:set go={m,b,T}).

Firebug: In my spare time I tinker with HTML and CSS.  Firebug enables me to easily view the relationship between elements of the page and the corresponding HTML/CSS/XHTML.  Great for debugging those problematic webpages.

Greasemonkey: The holy grail of extensibility.  Whereas Firefox extensions allow you to customise Firefox, Greasemonkey allows you to customize every aspect of a webpage.  In the screenshot I am using the Google Reader – Colourful List View script that applies a different colour to each feed; it is very handy when you have a lot of feeds.

NoSquint: Although Firefox 3 remembers the zoom level for individual pages, I prefer NoSquint’s incarnation of the feature.

NoScript – Speeds up browsing by disabling scripts (both embedded and external) on webpages unless you explicitly enable them.

This basically surmises my browsing extensions.

I’ve been keeping my eye on the Flock browser: it syndicates all of your online activity into one central interface.  It will destroy my productivity, however.

My Desktop

When writing a blog for an audience, it’s important to establish an identity for your viewers. Since this is a technology orientated blog, I can think of no better way then by introducing myself with a screenshot.  AJ\'s Workspace (2008-06-25)

Over the next few posts, I’m going to break down this screenshot with descriptions and, of course, configuration tips and tricks.

Rationale

Hey.

Welcome to my blog.

This is basically my effort to solve my dilemma: How do I keep track of various discoveries (you know, the little hacks and tricks you find after pressing random keys or trying different coding practices) in the event of a total computer crash? Well the answer is simple: let someone else take care of it.

Here, you’ll find a compilation of my various tips and tricks for life, school, technology, GNU/Linux, and many miscellaneous other things.

I hope it serves some useful purpose. In the event that it does not, at least I have a handy online reference of my own.