Archive for September, 2010

Integrating Thunderbird into Ubuntu’s Desktop

Sorry for the late post. Last week I was studying for a test and this week I got injured mountain-biking. I flipped off a berm into a pond (my new bike came shortly after).

Back to reality. Many people prefer Thunderbird to Evolution (Ubuntu’s default mail client) simply because it’s better. However, there is a considerable disadvantage to using Thunderbird in Ubuntu 10.04. Thunderbird is not as well integrated into the the messaging menu as Evolution. By that, I mean it’s not integrated at all, but fear not! It can be done! We have the technology!

First, you’ll want to hit alt-f2 and enter:

gksu /usr/share/applications

Simple enough, right?

Next, find “thunderbird.desktop.” Right-click it and select “edit with gedit,” or whatever text editor you prefer (like SciTE). Replace the code with the following:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Thunderbird Mail
GenericName=Mail Client
Comment=Manage your email and contacts
Exec=thunderbird %u
Icon=evolution
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Application;Network;Email;
StartupNotify=true
X-Ayatana-Desktop-Shortcuts=Compose;Contacts
Name[en_GB]=thunderbird.desktop
[Compose Shortcut Group]
Name=Compose New Message
Exec=thunderbird mailto:
OnlyShowIn=Messaging Menu
[Contacts Shortcut Group]
Name=Contacts
Exec=thunderbird -addressbook
OnlyShowIn=Messaging Menu

Save and exit.

Go to /usr/share/indicators/messages/applications and add a file called “thunderbird” with the contents:

/usr/share/applications/thunderbird.desktop

Then save, logout and log back in. This will only get you so far. To get Notify-OSD notifications, you’re going to have to install a Thunderbird plug-in called “Libnotify Popups.” It’s relatively simple to do, just head on to Tools > Addons, search for it and install it. Just remember to turn off Thunderbird’s default notifications to avoid redundancy and also to avoid redundancy.

Please enjoy responsibly!

Also, if you want to change the icon to the regular Thunderbird one, just change:

Icon=evolution

to

Icon=thunderbird
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The New Nano: A Pager* with Album Art

Here’s the latest chapter in Steve Jobs’ quest to destroy all buttons; an iPod Nano that’s the size of an old (new?) Shuffle, except it has a touch-screen. They seem, for want of a better word, cute. It’s a minimal iPod that does what it’s meant to, and no more (or at least I hope not; who would want to play games on that?). Apple seems to have a “jack of all trades, master of none” mentality, so this seems a little odd. It’s like making with an iPhone that only did calls/communications. It apparently has 24 hours of music playback (yeah, when plugged in). With the back-light and equalizer on, it’s probably more like 13 hours. I really don’t know what to think about this… I can’t dislike it (it’s too cute), but I don’t want it either. It seems like more of a niche product than a Nano, but then again, Apple fanboys would pay $149.99 to rub Steve Jobs’ feet. Just a note, it is arsenic, BFR, mercury and PVC free, which means you can now lick your iPod without getting cancer.

One thing that totally baffles me (even more than Ikea flat-pack furniture instructions) is that the new Shuffle has buttons! What is going on? I guess the population just wasn’t ready for a talking flash-drive that takes mores-code orders from a pair of earbuds. However, I fail to see why it has less battery life than the Nano! It has no screen, yet it has a (heavily padded) 15 hour playback time! That’s already a lot, but compared to 24 hours, it makes no sense! Apple is really holding back here.

Anyways, that’s all I have to say about this wave of products the world never know they wanted.

Until next time.

*Oh, and by the way, for you youngsters who don’t know what a pager is, imagine a cellphone that only receives texts.

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