Sunday, 31 October 2010

Repairing Rythmbox

One of the problems that I experienced when I moved house recently was that my network drive's IP address changed when I plugged my Ubuntu box into the new router equipment. For most day-to-day access this was no problem, I simply repaired the shortcuts in the Nautilus file explorer and everything worked as it should.

However, Rythmbox, my default music player, could no longer read my music library (stored on my network drive) and it took me a little while to figure out how to point the player to the right place. Actually, it's rather a simple operation in Ubuntu, as most things tend to be!
  1. Navigate to /home/[username]/.local/share/rhythmbox
  2. Using your preferred text editor (mine is SciTE), open the */rhythmdb.xml file
  3. Use the text editor's Find/Replace All function to change the IP address or new location
  4. Save the file and reboot your PC
Reopening Rythmbox should rebuild your database and correct any errors when it reconnects with the library. However, as a precaution, I recommend making a copy of your */rhythmdb.xml file before making the adjustments described, just in case you corrupt the original file.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

More Karmic Candy

NASA Image of the Day and the National Geographic Picture of the Day are two of my favourite websites. As you can imagine, these two organizations produce some stunning photographs and many of them end up as temporary wallpapers on my Ubuntu desktop.

As with everything else in Linux, changing backgrounds is easy and, if you know where to look, customizing the behaviour of your wallpaper is convenient and flexible: simply install wallpaper-tray or drapes from the Synaptic Package Manager and add the applet to one of your desktop panels.

You can change the preferences to automatically change your desktop at regular intervals and dictate how the wallpaper renders simply by right-clicking the applet and selecting the Preferences option.


Friday, 29 October 2010

Seeing is Believing

My wireless keyboard (a Logitech Dinovo) has no onboard indicator lights for the Caps & Number lock functions. This is no problem in Ubuntu, you can add a keyboard indicator applet to a panel.

If the applet doesn't appear in the Add to Panel menu, you can add it via the Synaptic Package Manager: search for Lock-Keys-Applet and check the installation box.

Simply right click on the panel where you want the applet to install and select the applet from the drop-down menu.

You can hide any of the three indicators (Caps, Num, or Scroll) by right-clicking the icon and selecting Preferences...