How to align MATE panel applets.

February 27, 2013 Comments off

This come up on the MATE forum recently and Atarixle posted a brief how to so people could sort their applets in an order they like. So here’s the link to the post in question.

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Categories: Uncategorized

Happy New Year and Uluru-MATE beta preview

January 1, 2013 Comments off

Just a quick post to wish everyone a happy new year. I hope this year brings to you what you want/deserve.

Cobber is moving along between the holiday break, work, and university studies. I have a new install of Uluru-MATE beta. Yes, that’s right Cobber Uluru is now in Beta.

Here are some screen shots for you to look at.

Screenshot-1 Screenshot Screenshot3

Categories: Cobber, MATE

Tutorial: How to set custom time and date in Gnome and MATE.

November 11, 2012 Comments off

This tutorial was prompted by a question in MATE forums about how to set a custom time and date in MATE.

1. In Gnome open up gconf-editor, in MATE 1.4 open up mateconf-editor, in MATE 1.6 open up dconf-editor.

2. Navigate to apps > panel > applets > clock or clock_screen0 > prefs. For MATE 1.6 it is at org > mate > panel > objects > clock > prefs.

3. Find the format key and set it to custom.

4. Find the custom_format key and set it to your desired setting (mine is %A, %B %d, %Y. %I:%M %p) using parameter information from this site.

Check out the screen shot for the correct keys and the outcome in the top right corner.

Categories: Cobber, Gnome, MATE, Tutorial

Cobber icon needed.

October 19, 2012 6 comments

Calling graphic artists, Cobber is at a stage where I would like Cobber to have its own icon that defines it from other Linux distributions.

Ubuntu has the circle, Linux Mint has the Green LM square, Debian has the swirl. I would like Cobber to have something Australasian (maybe a Thumbs Up) for its defining icon. I would also like for this icon to be done by Australian/New Zealanders to keep with Cobber’s “Australasian” mission. So if there are any budding graphic artists out there who want to be part of the Cobber family please either respond to this thread or send me a message

Cobber Background and Screensaver pictures of Australia

October 15, 2012 Comments off

A few weeks ago I put out a call for pictures for Cobber on one of my favourite forums. The response has been excellent and soon I will create the deb packages required by Cobber and post them on the Cobber sourceforge page.

So far I have been given pictures by Mattner, Monkeybucket, and had offers for more by other members of Australia’s premier 4wd community forum. The pictures are stunning and will be posted here (I will edit this post) as well to show the transformation of Cobber with the help of various dedicated Australian communities.

Here’s a picture just to tease you. This one is from Mattner.

Categories: Backgrounds, Cobber

Tutorial: How to create your own Screensaver using native Linux tools. (MATE)

October 6, 2012 1 comment

What’s the point of this tutorial?

This tutorial is it is here for those who wish to work with what is already installed on their system and wish to have a screen background that changes at predetermined intervals. It is for those who want to understand the already natively available and installed system. It has been tested on Gnome 2 and MATE It is based on the script and setup for the background named “Cosmos” which comes pre-installed in Gnome 2  and MATE..

Please note: This is just 1 way of doing this, there are many more ways and formats possible. Choose what is the best for you. This tutorial isn’t here to dictate to anyone what is the best method for you to use. Instead, as has already been stated, it is here for those who wish to work with what is already installed on their system. Please do not turn this tutorial into a “my way is the best way” discussion, instead treat it like the technical tutorial it is.

1: Preliminary work.
Follow the instructions in this post.

2: Finding the required files.
Taken from this post.

Now you have your slideshow setup and in the right place you need to go to Places > Search for Files. Search for Cosmos and you will find:

cosmos-slideshow.desktop (a configuration file in /usr/share/applications/screensavers)

cosmos (the folder containing the Cosmos backgrounds which you will have noticed is used as the basis of the slideshow background)

cosmos.xml (again used as the basis for the background slideshow)

3: Modifying the file.
Open cosmos-slideshow.desktop by opening a terminal and typing or pasting.
Code:

gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/screensavers/cosmos-slideshow.desktop

Now you have that open change the following ITALIC entries to suit your screensaver.

Code:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Cosmos
Comment=Display a slideshow of pictures of the cosmos
Exec=/usr/lib/gnome-screensaver/gnome-screensaver/slideshow –location=/usr/share/backgrounds/cosmos
TryExec=/usr/lib/gnome-screensaver/gnome-screensaver/slideshow
StartupNotify=false
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=GNOME;Screensaver;
OnlyShowIn=GNOME;
X-Ubuntu-Gettext-Domain=gnome-screensaver

Save the file with A NEW NAME, this is so you don’t lose cosmos.

4: Telling Linux that you have a new Screensaver.
Now that you have done that press Alt-F2 and in the dialogue box type in gconf-editor. Go Apps > gnome-screensaver. On the opposite pane you should see a list go down until you see “mode”, tap on mode twice and you will get another dialogue box appear, enter single into the Value line and click ok. Open the Screensaver preferences choose you new screensaver and your done.

Test it out and let us know how you go.

If you have any hints or suggestions regarding this format please feel free to make them and I will adjust this post accordingly.

n.b. This tutorial is posted in a few places on the net, I originally posted it on Ubuntu forums when I was an Ubuntu user. I then posted it in what was called Open Ubuntu Forum. Because I have no control over forums (Ubuntu forums were talking about getting rid of old posts at one stage) I have decided to post tutorials I have written on my own blog. At least that way I know they are still around for people to use if they so wish.

Categories: Cobber, Gnome, MATE, Tutorial

Tutorial: How to make a background slideshow (MATE)

October 6, 2012 10 comments

What’s the point of this tutorial?

This tutorial is it is here for those who wish to work with what is already installed on their system and wish to have a screen background that changes at predetermined intervals. It is for those who want to understand the already natively available and installed system. It has been tested on the old Gnome 2 desktop environment and I have it working on MATE. If you have difficulties please feel free to let me know what they are and we can work through them together. It is based on the script and setup for the background named “Cosmos” which comes pre-installed in Gnome 2 and MATE.

Please note: This is just 1 way of doing this, there are many more ways and formats possible. Choose what is the best for you. This tutorial isn’t here to dictate to anyone what is the best method for you to use. Please do not turn this tutorial into a “my way is the best way” discussion, instead treat it like the technical tutorial it is.
Lets start

1. What do we need to make a changing background?

You will need a Folder for your background, an XML file that tells your computer what pictures to use in what order and how long to use them for (it is below so feel free to copy and past this into a new Pluma file (Gedit in Gnome) and save it with a descriptive name like lotr.xml, you must put .xml after the name). You will also need at least 2 pictures (I use jpg format pictures because I know they work) preferably of a decent size so the image is crisp and clear on your screen.

2. Create a Folder.

Now that you have the generic XML file from this thread and have chosen the pictures you want to use we need to create a folder to put everything in.

To do this go to Places > Home Folder and open your Home folder. When your Home folder opens go to File > Create Folder and click Create Folder. This will create a folder called “Untitled Folder” which you can call anything you want. I created my folder and called it lotr (i.e. Lord Of The Rings).

3. Setting up the folder.

OK, now we have our folder we need to copy everything into it. Now you can either cut and paste or copy and paste. If you cut and paste you will actually move the files from where they are now to your new folder. If you copy and paste you will still have your original files PLUS a copy in your new folder.

4. Setting up the Generic XML file.

So far we have all the things we need and have them placed in their own folder but nothing will happen until we tell the Computer what to do with it. This is when we start doing this.

Open the Generic XML file with Pluma so we can modify it to suit our purpose.

The generic XML looks like this

Code:
<background>
−
<starttime>
<year>2009</year>
<month>08</month>
<day>04</day>
<hour>00</hour>
<minute>00</minute>
<second>00</second>
</starttime>
<!-- This animation will start at midnight. -->
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename1.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename1.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename2.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename2.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename2.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename3.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename3.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename3.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename4.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename4.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename4.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename5.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename5.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename5.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename6.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename6.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename6.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/yourfoldername/yourpicturename1.jpg</to>
</transition>
</background>

Note: I have highlighted “yourfoldername” in Red and “yourpicturename1” in YellowGreen with each successive “yourpicturename(2-3-4-5-6)” in different colour for each number. There is an easy way in Pluma to change bulk entries to something else. So while you have it open in Pluma go to Search > Replace and click Replace, when the dialogue box comes up type in “yourfoldername” without the quotes in the Search for: entry box and then type the name of your own folder (in my case it was “lotr”) in the Replace with: dialogue box. Now click “Replace All” and every instance of “yourfoldername” will be changed with the name of your folder (e.g. “lotr”).

Now the next bit isn’t as easy, sorry . You need to change each “yourpicturename” to the name of your chosen pictures. Why? did I hear you ask? Well basically because you will only have 3 entries with each name. Please take a look at my own “lotr.xml” to see what I mean.  Instead of changing each one individually you can use a bulk change to do 3 at a time. So in Pluma choose Search > Replace and type in yourpicturename1 and change it to the picture you want to start with, then go Search > Replace and type in yourpicturename2 and type in the name of the 2nd picture. Just keep doing this till you are finished.

Code:
<background>
−
<starttime>
<year>2009</year>
<month>08</month>
<day>04</day>
<hour>00</hour>
<minute>00</minute>
<second>00</second>
</starttime>
<!-- This animation will start at midnight. -->
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Aragorn_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Aragorn_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Arwen_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Arwen_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Arwen_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Epic_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Epic_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Epic_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Frodo_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Frodo_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Frodo_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Gandalf_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Gandalf_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Gandalf_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Sam_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
−
<static>
<duration>1795.0</duration>
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Sam_1024x768.jpg</file>
</static>
−
<transition>
<duration>5.0</duration>
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Sam_1024x768.jpg</from>
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Aragorn_1024x768.jpg</to>
</transition>
</background>

Please make sure you note that Aragorn is the first 2 and the the last entry. The rest are all consecutive and replace 3 “yourpicturename” entries. You must do it this way so that the background cycles through the pictures.

5. What does all the code mean?

For our purposes we only need to worry about the bits that actually deal with the pictures so in order of occurrence we have
<static> Means the picture that is currently on the screen,
<duration>1795.0</duration> How long will it stay for. This is in seconds so 1795.0 seconds is approximately 30 minutes. If you want a shorter “static” period just change it to the number of seconds you would like (e.g. 600 seconds is 10 minutes).
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Aragorn_1024x768.jpg</file> The location and name of the picture file.
</static> The picture currently on the screen.

<transition> This is when the pictures change.
<duration>5.0</duration> How long does the change take. I find it is best to leave this alone.
<from>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Aragorn_1024x768.jpg</from> The location and name of the picture that was on the screen
<to>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Arwen_1024x768.jpg</to> The location and nam of the picture that will be on the screen
</transition> End of transition cycle.

<static> The new picture on the screen
<duration>1795.0</duration> How long it will be there for.
<file>/usr/share/backgrounds/lotr/Arwen_1024x768.jpg</file> Name and location of the picture.
</static> The picture on the screen.


6. Finishing the setup

Now that we have our folder, which includes the pictures and XML file, setup and we have modified the XML file to suit we need to put it in the right place so it can all work.

My advice is to copy and paste (not cut and paste)the folder and its contents to /usr/share/backgrounds. To do this we need to open a terminal so go to Applications > Accessories > Terminal and copy and paste this in using su or sudo as required

Code:
cp /home/YOURUSERNAME/PathToYourFolder /usr/share/backgrounds

changing YOURUSERNAME to your actual user name and PathToYourFolder to the actual folder name you gave when we first started. Tap enter, type in your password, and if everything goes well it should copy your folder over for you.

Now go to System > Preferences > Appearance and click appearance. When the Appearance Preferences dialogue box open click on the “Background” tab. Now we are in the “Background” tab look at the bottom and click on “Add”. This will open another dialogue box. Navigate to the folder you have setup and you should see the picture files listed. If you don’t see the XML file listed you will need to go to the bottom of the dialogue box and where it has “Images” and a drop down arrow change that to “All Files”. You should now be able to select your XML file. Once you have done that you can select your new background image selection in the System > Preferences > Appearance dialogue.

Test it out and let us know how you go.

If you have any hints or suggestions regarding this format please feel free to make them and I will adjust this post accordingly.

Now you have made you own background slideshow why don’t you make your own screensaver.

n.b. This tutorial is posted in a few places on the net, I originally posted it on Ubuntu forums when I was an Ubuntu user. I then posted it in what was called Open Ubuntu Forum. Because I have no control over forums (Ubuntu forums were talking about getting rid of old posts at one stage) I have decided to post tutorials I have written on my own blog. At least that way I know they are still around for people to use if they so wish.

Categories: Cobber, Gnome, MATE, Tutorial