Little things

I rather like Stephen Watson’s NetStat applet for the ROX panel, although I need to hack it so that it shows the window first and populates it afterwards when you ask it to show sockets, rather than hanging until the window’s populated.

On the subject of ROX applets, I’ve got two vaguely useful ones in the software section — a rough clock and yet another “have you got mail” one. The mail one is nice because it displays how much mail you have and how much is unread. It probably only works if you use mutt like I do, though; Stephen has one that’s nice and configurable but doesn’t show your unread mail count.

Using cellophane to convert a laptop computer screen into a three-dimensional display (via someone, I’ve forgotten) — a very cool article. I can’t believe that this is that easy. 3D displays for virtually no cost! Why are manufacturers not doing this?

More little scripty bits: since the MPlayer people refuse to take jwz’s advice and make MPlayer shell out once a minute to tell xscreensaver to not display (which stops the screensaver popping up while you’re watching films), I wrote a (very) little script. This is mpl, which is the default run action for all movies when clicked on:

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#!/bin/bash
disable-xscreensaver & DISABLE_PID=$!
echo "Disabling screensaver (PID $DISABLE_PID)"
mplayer -vo xvidix -ao oss -framedrop "$1" -really-quiet 2>&1
echo Re-enabling screensaver
kill $DISABLE_PID

and disable-xscreensaver is:

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#!/bin/bash
while true; do 
    sleep 59
    xscreensaver-command -deactivate &
done

That tells the screensaver every 59 seconds to reset its inactivity timer, which works fine.

I’ve tried using the excellent Sweep audio editor to edit an mp3; specifically, an mp3 of a whole album, so I can select bits of it and save them separately to break up the album into separate songs. However, it doesn’t work; Sweep can’t open a file that big on that particular machine (presumably it runs out of memory). Has anybody got any other suggestions for easy-to-use graphical audio editors that can load bigger-than-memory mp3s and then save a selected bit of them as a separate audio file? I know about mp3splt which fails both the “easy to use” and the “works all the time” test. I don’t want something that will do it automatically based on silence points, and I don’t want something that’ll go away to the CDDB and get the timings and do it that way, because none of them work properly. I’m quite happy to select the bits I want out of the waveform and save them as separate files and set the id3 tags myself. Any suggestions for software that can handle it? Sweep’s a really nice audio editor, except for this one small thing.

None ——-

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