Shallow Thoughts : tags : desktop

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Wed, 17 Jun 2009

Random beeps

A couple of year ago I figured out how to make custom system beep sounds on Linux, like MacOS has done forever. But then I changed machines and somehow never got around to setting it up on any other machine.

But the Intel dual-Atom board doesn't seem to support a system beep -- there's no obvious place on the motherboard to plug in the connector going to the case speaker. How odd!

With the alternative being no beep at all, I dusted off my old blog post and went to see if Fancy Beeper Daemon kernel module still existed. Happily, it does, and it's up-to-date for current kernels, so all I had to do was download the latest and build it. Easy! Then I added "beep" to the list of automatically loaded modules in /etc/modules, blacklisted the pcspkr module using the /etc/modprobe.d/00local technique, and I was all set.

Except for the really important question: what sound to choose? I did a little web searching for free sounds and downloaded some samples to try out. Then I added a few bird calls from my Stokes Field Guide to Western Bird Songs CD, editing them in audacity to make them shorter and more appropriate for system beeps.

But I still couldn't decide on just one ... and why should I? I've really been enjoying my random wallpaper: every time I log in, I get a different desktop background. It's fun to see a new picture every day. Why not do the same for my system beep?

That's no problem, using the same randomline script I use for wallpaper. I just put this in my .xinitrc:

$HOME/bin/mybeepd `find $HOME/Music/beeps -name "*.wav" | randomline` &
and now I get a different beep sound each day.

Yesterday it was a loon. Today it's a cow mooing.

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[ 21:11 Jun 17, 2009    More linux | permalink to this entry | ]

Fri, 31 Oct 2008

GIMP Drag-n-Drop and Open Location without gvfs

Quite a while ago I noticed that drag-n-drop of images from Firefox had stopped working for me in GIMP's trunk builds (2.6 and 2.7); it failed with a "file not found" error. Opening URIs with Open Location also failed in the same way.

Since I don't run a gnome desktop, I assumed it probably had something to do with requiring gnome-vfs services that I don't have. But yesterday I finally got some time to chase it down with help from various folk on #gimp.

I had libgnomevfs (and its associated dev package) installed on my Ubuntu Hardy machine, but I didn't have gvfs. It was suggested that I install the gfvs-backends package. I tried that, but it didn't help; apparently gvfs requires not just libgvfs and gvfs-backends, but also running a new daemon, gvfsd. Finding an alternative was starting to sound appealing.

Turns out gimp now has three compile-time configure options related to opening URIs:

  --without-gvfs          build without GIO/GVfs support
  --without-gnomevfs      build without gnomevfs support
  --without-libcurl       build without curl support

These correspond to four URI-getting methods in the source, in plug-ins/file-uri:

GIMP can degrade from gvfs to gnomevfs to libcurl to wget, but only at compile time, not at runtime: only one of the four is built.

On my desktop machine, --without-gvfs was all I needed. Even without running the gnome desktop, the gnomevfs front-end seems to work fine. But it's good to know about the other options too, in case I need to make a non-gnomevfs version to run on the laptop or other lightweight machines.

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[ 12:09 Oct 31, 2008    More gimp | permalink to this entry | ]