My Unspeakably Marvelous Ubuntu Maverick Updates

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Functioning Openbox under Ubuntu 10.10


Okay so: Since the occasion of my upgrade to Ubuntu 10.10 last week, I have encountered unusual behaviour from gnome-settings-daemon, the Gnome settings daemon. When it launches under Openbox, it draws a new and additional root window right over my existing Openbox/X/GDM root window. This is a Bad Thing; the new root window effectively obliterates my existing desktop; it hides my dock and any preexisting window.

I am undoubtedly bollixing the nomenclature. Whatever. A new desktop was being drawn over my old desktop. To maintain my regular desktop I had to either 1. discover the source of this behaviour and remedy it, or 2. run Openbox without gnome-settings-daemon. All I really loaded my Gnome settings for was my desktop wallpaper and mouse/touchpad settings. eval $(cat ~/.fehbg) loads my last chosen wallpaper, but handling my touchpad settings is a more difficult issue. Before today, I would have told you that the only effective way to disable tap-to-click and drag-to-scroll, two behaviours that I absolutely cannot abide by, would have been to change the setting in gnome-mouse-properties and then load this up with gnome-settings-daemon.

Enter (after half an hour on Google) synclient. synclient is a command line program that allows you to “query and modify Synaptics TouchPad driver for XOrg/XFree86 server parameters on the fly.” Unfortunately the man page is a bit muck. It tells you what synclient is capable of, without actually illustrating how to do any of these things. Another half-hour on Google gave me the necessary synclient commands, which I plugged into a startup script and relate here for your benefit:


# Disable tap-to-click.
synclient MaxTapTime=0

# Disable vertical edge scrolling.
synclient VertEdgeScroll=0

# Disable horizontal edge scrolling.
synclient HorizEdgeScroll=0

exit 0

The upshot of this is that Openbox now loads with even less background junk, and is just that wee little bit faster on the whole.


Mangler: An open-source Ventrilo implementation


I play World of Warcraft. In World of Warcraft I am in a player-run guild. With my player-run guild, I raid. A successful raid demands tight-knit cooperation. Tight-knit cooperation is best achieved with the Power of Your Voice. Enter, stage left, Ventrilo, a not-quite cross-platform VOIP system. Client and server, etcetera. I say “not-quite cross-platform” because a hitherto unseen Linux client been flagged as “in development” since before my son four year old daughter was born. Occam’s razor says that the developer only added that to his website that up as a means to make the Linux community collectively shut up about a port.

Now enter, stage right, Mangler a new, actively developed Ventrilo implementation for Linux system. It works flawlessly. It docks. It is GTK-native. It is a thing of unspeakable beauty.

Run, not walk, to the Mangler website and install it now.

Nonstop 5k run!

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