Ivor O’Connor

October 20, 2013

Workaround XFCE’s Busted Power Management

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:20 am


  1. AC powered desktop
  2. Linux Olivia Mint 15 64 bit
  3. XFCE Power Manager

Though the monitor is suppose to sleep and then switch off as set via the XFCE Power Manager settings it does not. Instead it looks as if a black desktop is displayed. When I look at my Kill-A-Watt display I see it only reduces the power requirements by a few watts.

After thinking about it I decided I might as well make the “Pause/Break” key turn off my displays. When the Pause key is pressed it executes a bash script which has in it the following two lines:

sh -c “sleep 1 && xset dpms force off”

Now my Kill-A-Watt meter goes down by 140 watts when I press the Pause key. (Using two 2560×1440 monitors that take a lot of energy.)

Unfortunately Mint XFCE keeps turning the monitor on and displaying a blank page. So I have made the pause key toggle between an infinite loop of turning off the monitor and turning off the script. Brute force ugly. I suppose someday I should take the time to figure out what wakes up the display every few minutes.

October 18, 2013

Syncing Android Music With Desktop

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 7:00 am

Today has been a music day. First getting my multimedia keys working. Then getting my phone to also play my music. Which was delightfully simple and done within five minutes. Once I thought of it.

Basically just pointed bittorent sync to my desktop music directory. Then downloaded bt sync on my android folder and told it to keep the music directory in sync. It asked for my code and I simply scanned it in from the desktop screen. Now I need to do the same for pictures.

XFCE Mapping of Corsair K95 Multimedia Keys to VLC

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 6:51 am

This took me a long time to do tonight. Finally found the solution at CrunchBang.org and then modified it slightly to my liking. The first part on changing the interface was not very clear but the site referenced n0tablog.wordpress.com which had a picture in step 3 that made it clear. The Official XFCE docs also helped me figure out how to do keyboard shortcuts. Along the way I may have mapped key symbols to their key codes as described here.

Anyways the main problem is that VLC keys only work when the VLC application is in the foreground. To get around this VLC needs to be configured to listen to a local port. Then commands can be sent to the port via bash scripts. Keyboard shortcuts are bound to the bash scripts. So now my multimedia keys control VLC as I expect them to.

The bash scripts look like this file called vlcStop.bsh:
echo “pause” | nc -U /tmp/vlc.sock

October 16, 2013

Linux Podcasts Suck

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 3:22 am

As I drive, workout at the gym, and do generally mindless tasks I listen to podcasts. Since my favorite OS is Mint 15 64bit XFCE I naturally have in the past listened to the Mint Cast. However their vacuous ramblings and inability to grasp very simple concepts drove me up the wall. Was like trying to watch most tv. I felt ashamed. I finally quit when they discussed vi versus emacs and made it very clear they not only don’t know much but can’t research. Well today I was listening to the Sunday Morning Linux Review and finally had enough of them too. I have no idea why Mat thinks it is funny to insult Mary all the time. (I came to the conclusion it’s only to watch her always reply in a professional dignified manner.) However their general knowledge of Linux and BSD is so abysmal I might as well watch my chickens interact. I learn more watching Chickens.

I’m just not happy with the podcasts I hear. They seem to be insultingly juvenile like PaulDotCom Securit Weekly. Or full of old dithering people glad to be alive and will discuss their health, grandchildren, and what their doctors have told them. (Maybe I’m exaggerating just a little.) There are a few good shows out there on Jupiter Radio. But I have to listen to their broadcasts by downloading them and then clipping out the commercials via audacity. (I can’t handle 10 minutes of solid BS about about their sponsors.) A couple of European broadcasts are ok. But I’m so desperate I’ll even listen to Linux Outlaws and hang on their every word. Wish I could find some decent podcasts!

October 6, 2013

No Useful JC Classes

Filed under: Uncategorized — ioconnor @ 4:06 pm

Granted I’m in the middle of podunk USA where working for the military, attending church, and breeding are considered important. However you would think there would be some classes at the local JC that were useful. What’s useful you might ask? Useful would be learning how google earth and the other mapping programs worked. Yes I know that has probably never been a course. However it is useful in our environment. I just played with google earth for about two hours and feel I haven’t learned 1% of it’s full capabilities. A class that taught you how to add layers to it so that your vacations could be recorded in the right places might be a start. Even something as minor as changing the border lines is beyond me.

Just to be fair I then looked for a statistics course. There are no statistic courses.  There are classes, many classes, on automotive repair, child development, cooking, health care, massage therapy, military leadership, and other salt of the earth type fields. Basically if in another era this college would train you in the handling of lions, servicing senators, and the cleaning of the arenas after the lions eat the humans.

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