Archive for May, 2009

Why I Like Flock

May 17, 2009

Okay, so ive done the thing…. Switched browsers….. As it happens, moving from firefox to flock isnt very complicated, since its really one and the same thing. Here are some of my reasons:-
1) As far as i have seen, flock seems to take as much as 100 Mb less than firefox 3.0.10
2) The default interface is cute, and the colours used are quite beautiful. In particular, i like the use of    orange. Reminds me of those days when I used to use ubuntu.
3) The Blog Editor:- Ive been considering seriously blogging again, and waiting for wordpress’s slow web interface to load isnt the best wake up call to the sleeping blogger in me.
4) My World:- While it is possible to make up for it in this that and the other way in firefox itself, I really like the integration of everything into one good page. Bravo!

Some Glitches:-
1) I have seen that the Twitter client is really minimalistic. So far as i can see, it does not have a quick way of issuing replies or directs. Does not bother me much since i use TwitterGadget inside gmail using Labs, but i can picture a few people lifting their eyebrows on the matter.
2) The default search is yahoo, and while ive tried some things, but having changed the default search engine to Google, on typing in the address bar, it still uses Yahoo! I wonder why this glitch exists? Is there a secret that the best search engine on the internet is Google?

Extremely Satisfactory (9/10)


May 16, 2009

Its been a long time since Amarok has been touted as the single best media player of all time. People have gone for other things as well and it was when i saw one of my friends trying to run Winamp through Wine on Linux when i realized it was time to do something about the situation. While Amarok is one of the best media players of all time, fully featured and the like, i have never cared for it very much. Infact, while i use Mandriva Linux 2008.1 and it ships with Amarok by default and its KDE integration is fantastic,i personally prefer to use XMMS.
So some reasons:-
1) XMMS has some of the best plugins available for it. We will be going into the details of two of my favourite plugins later
2) It is low on memory use.
3) It implements completely glitch free audio, and im yet to see codecs of such quality elsewhere.

Essentially, when you begin to use XMMS, it looks and feels a bit less intuitive than Amarok’s clever and beautiful interface. The focus of this article is to customize XMMS so that it can be quite as rewarding as any other media player, maybe more. Going Stepwise:-
1) Surround Sound:
a) OSS 3D:- I had to hunt around for this plugin quite a bit and the hunt was very rewarding. It is one of the most important reasns I use XMMS.
b) Get it here:
c) You need to put this in

After you have done this, close and restart XMMS, and then go to preferences (Ctrl +P) and then go to the effect tab, enable OSS 3D and click configure. Here you can set up a lot of things. While this is the demo version (no illegal stuff), its still quite good.
2) Intelligent Choices:
a) IMMS:- This is the intelligent media shuffle for XMMS. It behaves like a mind reader. Within a week, itll be playing out to you the stuff you want to listen to and the order in which you like them. It stores your choice of songs, and depending on your mood (which it senses from the kinds of songs you skip), it will put the best ones in.
b) Get it here:
c) No config is required, just go to the General Tab in the Preferences and enable it
3) Keyboard Shortcuts:-
a) xmms next
xmms has a CLI, meaning that it takes commands like “xmms -t” or “xmms –rev” etc to do somethings. Type man xmms to get a full idea of these things.
Then on GNOME, you can use xbindkeys (a program) to make it bind certain key combos to the player applications like next prev etc.
On KDE, simly use the menu editor to define new aplications with these commands and give them global shortcuts.
b) xmms windows:
now, xmms has a very good media library, something which with very few keypresses allows you to queue songs and search for them. This is initiated by Alt+Q. This only works when the Playlist window is active. Now, we can easily do this in KDE by specifying a window shortcut. Stepwise:
a) Preferences
b) Options Tab
c) Show Window Manager Decorations
d) Select the playlist window, press Alt+F3, select Advanced>Window Shortcut. Maybe Put in Alt+A
e) this means that coming from another desktop, you have to press Alt+(A and Q in that sequence) to get the media llibrary. Its actually quite simple. Switch desktops, hold down Alt, press A, release it and then press Q. This is just mmy personal way of doing things.
On GNOME, you cant do the window shortcut thing. Not to my Knowledge. an option is closing all windows but the playlist and then doing alt+tab when on this desktop.
That generally is all i use for xmms. If you have any questions, post back and ill be glad to share with you.

The Best Free Python IDE for Linux?

May 11, 2009

For a while, ive been using python, and since i only use Linux, ive been using it on my OS of Choice. Now, python code can be written in anything from minimalistic editors like nano, to full fledged IDEs. I prefer the functionality of an IDE over the resource friendliness of the nano like stuff. I have tried the following IDEs:

1) IDLE:- Bundled in with most python distributions on Linux, or can be easily installed from the package tool of the Distro. Simple and does the job, but i miss a lot of things in it. Code completion is at best silly, there is no class browser (AFAIKS) and running GUI apps can become troublesome, with crashes and glitches

2) SPE: Perhaps the best free one around, it has extensive integration with wxPython Related tools. Menu shortcuts for wxGlade, and good code intellisense. One of the problems i had with this IDE was that i couldnt find a python 2.6 intellisense plugin. Maybe one exists but i didnt find it.

3) KOMODO EDIT:- Komodo is a full fledged development Environment, and komodo edit is its free version. YOu can get it from the activestate website.

and by default it has support only till python 2.5. To add support for 2.6 visit this webpage and follow the instructions

Now you will have komodo edit and autocomplete as well. If you want to run a written program, you can press Ctrl+R and then set the path accordingly. In general write

python %F

Hope you have a good time editing with komodo edit

Comments are welcome