Dark Themes for OpenBox

Funny how time seems to just fly by.  Below is a list of themes for OpenBox that I created nearly a year ago and I’ve been meaning to post them on Box-Look.org all this time.  The one called “Studio-2” is the theme that I primarily use on a daily basis, and “Sage” comes in as my second favorite.  The other themes are not ones that I use much (if ever…), but perhaps someone might like them.


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133313


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133314


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133315


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133316


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133318


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133319


Download Here: http://box-look.org/content/show.php?content=133321

Image Downloader v.2 – Download Linked Images Quickly and Easily From a Webpage

A request has been made to make a more simplified version of the imageDownloader.  This has prompted the release of imageDownloader-v.2.

Version 1:

Version 1 provided various options: (1) print a list of hyperlinks contained within a web page and dump them into a text file; (2) download images that a web page is linking to; (3) prompt the user to create a new directory (which is where it would save the files to) for either of the two previously mentioned options so that the user could better control where files were being saved to if running through the program numerous times before exiting.

Version 2:

Some folks, myself included, would like to bypass the majority of the choices and just download images to the current working directory.  The idea being that you navigate to where you want to go in your directory tree, create a new directory if desired, cd to that directory, and execute imageDownloader from there.  Once the images have finished downloading, the program exits and the user is returned to a command prompt.  Simple.  Easy.  Fast.

If you use figlet, you can uncomment lines 19 and 57 and either delete or comment out lines 20 and 58 to give you a finishing output that looks like this:


v.2 imageDownloader
v.1 imageDownloader

As stated in the previous post, you’ll want to make sure that the file is executable, and you may also wish to make this globally executable by copying an executable version of the file to your /usr/bin/ directory; this will allow you to call the program from any directory within your file tree.

Script for Downloading Images and Links From a Web Page

There are occasions when an individual might wish to download any or all of the images that may be linked from a web page, such as when there is a thumbnail image that is linked to a larger version of the same image (view an example of one such page).  Perhaps too, an individual might wish to obtain a list of all hyperlinks that are referenced in a web page.  After running across Guillermo Garron’s article where he provides some creative commands that will allow you to perform the two tasks listed above, I decided that it would be fun to write a script that executes all of this for you.  My Bash script is called “imageDownloader“, although in addition to downloading images, it will also create a text file containing all of the hyperlinks that are referenced from an html page.  Please note that the images that are downloaded are not the actual images that are displayed on the web page, but are the images that the page links to.

Upon executing the script, the user is welcomed with a short message that explains what the program does, and gives the user a series of choices:

This program will allow you to do one of the following:
(1) List all hyperlinks referenced in a web page and store the list in a text file
(2) Download all images that are hyperlinked from a web page,
    such as when you would click on a thumbnail image
    in order to view a larger version of the same image.

This script relies on the program called "lynx", so if you don't already have it installed,
you may want to quit (q) now and install "lynx".

What would you like to do?
Enter "1" to download a list of hyperlinks, "2" to download images that this page links to, or "q" to QUIT:

So, as requested, enter the appropriate choice that most suits your needs, and make sure that you already have “lynx” installed.  Entering either option 1 or 2 will prompt you to enter the desired URL.  It is helpful if you are using a terminal emulator that allows for copy/paste editing; my personal favorite is Terminator, which incidentally allows you to split your terminal screen into multiple panes.  You will then be asked to enter a directory name where you wish to either save your text file containing a list of hyperlinks or the location for your images that will be downloaded and saved, and then it begins working its magic.  You’ll have the option to start over or quit the program at the end.

Note: This was a fun learning opportunity for me and although the concepts used here are not overly difficult, it was still a fun learning experience.  For those who are more experienced coders, if you see that there are places where I could improve my coding practices, please feel free to send me your suggestions and upgrades for this little program.

You can download or view imageDownloader script here, or follow the process outlined below.  You might save it without the “.txt” file extension if you like, as I added this to make it viewable from the comfort of your web browser.  Remember to make the file executable before running it.

$ wget http://www.hilltopyodeler.com/scripts/imageDownloader.txt
$ mv imageDownloader.txt imageDownloader
$ chmod 777 imageDownloader
$ ./imageDownloader

When prompted to enter a URL, you might like to try using the example page that I used above for downloading images (copy/paste): http://ubuntustudio.org/screenshots

Happy downloading!

Installing Amazon’s MP3 Downloader on Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian Squeeze

Because Amazon.com sells music that is DRM-free, and because they offer such a large variety of music, it’s no wonder their music service appeals to so many.  Another thing that might draw people in is that their MP3 Downloader software is not only available for Windows users, but also for Mac and Linux users.  Often times companies who offer various types of electronic services do not offer a Linux version, which can be very frustrating.  The fact that Amazon.com has not forgotten about its Linux users makes me (and most likely others…) quite pleased.

However, at the time of this writing, their current Linux installers are for Ubuntu 9.04, Debian 5, Fedora 11, and OpenSuse 11.1.  For most, if not all of these Linux distributions, their current versions are beyond the version numbers listed above, and (although I can only speak for Ubuntu and Debian at this time) when you go to install the Amazon.com MP3 Downloader software that is associated with your Linux distro, you are likely to run into dependency issues, assuming that your Linux distribution is newer than the version numbers listed above.

In the case of both Ubuntu 10.04 and the current Debian “Squeeze”, when installing the Amazon software, instead of using current libraries for libboost v.1.40.0, dependency issues were flagged as errors, and libboost v.1.34.1 library files needed to be installed.  It turns out that there are seven of them.

Download the dependencies

Although the 7 dependencies that I have herded together came from the packages.ubuntu.com/karmic/ website, I tested them successfully on both Ubuntu 10.04 and Debian Squeeze.  Download the dependencies here. Please note that all of these dependencies are for x86 systems.  Incidentally, Amazon.com’s MP3 Downloader software is only packaged for 32 bit systems at this time.

Installation Procedure

Open a terminal session, navigate to the tarball  that you downloaded from the link above, and unpack the file:

$ tar -xvzf AmazonMP3-InstallerForUbuntuNewerThan-9.04.tar.gz

Using your file manager, open up the new directory called AmazonMP3-InstallerForUbuntuNewerThan-9.04.  Inside, you will find a README.txt file that contains a bit of helpful information.  I would imagine that there is a way that all of these .deb files could be packaged into one installable .deb file (so that you would not have to walk through seven different installations), but I’m not quite sure how that works yet (although I’d love to learn).  If anyone has any advice on this, please feel free to contact me or post in the comments for everyone’s benefit.

The .deb files are listed in order, starting with #01 and ending with #07.  Right click on the first one in the list, select “Open with GDebi Package Installer” and walk through the installation process.  Repeat this process until you’ve installed all seven of the dependencies.

Download / Install Amazon MP3 Downloader

To install the Amazon.com MP3 Downloader software, go to the link below and download either the Ubuntu or Debian versions, depending on which system you are running.
Save the file to your hard drive (perhaps in the same location where all of the .deb files are that you have just installed…).  Then navigate to this file and install it using the GDebi installation procedure described in the paragraph above.

How to Use the MP3 Downloader Software

To use the MP3 Downloader software, navigate to Amazon.com’s website, login to your Amazon account, locate digital music that you wish to download, then select either the “Buy MP3” button to download one song, or the “Buy MP3 album with 1-Click” button to download the album.

Assuming that your credit card information is already stored in your personal Amazon account, you’ll be able to walk through this procedure fairly easily.  Once you have clicked one of the Buy buttons, you will be given a chance to either cancel or proceed with the purchase.

Click Cancel to cancel the purchase, or to continue, click the Continue button.  Assuming that you continue with the purchase, you will will be prompted to either download or open the .amz file.  Select Open With Amazon MP3 Downloader.

Your Amazon MP3 Downloader should then open up and display the download progress.

Once the download has completed, you will be notified.  Notice in the above screenshot image that there is a button to “View Download Directory”.  In Ubuntu 10.04, his will take you to your ~/Music/Amazon MP3 directory.  In the latest CrunchBang Statler10 Alpha2 version (Debian Squeeze with Openbox), your files will be stored under ~/Amazon MP3.

Here’s the screenshot from CrunchBang Statler10 Alpha2:

In Conclusion

As an individual who likes to support local businesses as much as possible, my intent in this article is not to endorse a monster media conglomerate such as Amazon.com, but when it comes to downloading DRM-free music from a Linux-friendly source that offers a wide selection of music that I like, I’ve been highly pleased with Amazon’s MP3 Downloader service.

Hopefully, Amazon.com will soon come out with newer versions of the MP3 Downloader software for Linux (so that we don’t have to jump through all of the hoops listed above…), and hopefully they will also continue to link to old versions of the software for those who choose to run older Linux distributions.

May 2 – Front Range on Track Kickoff

This Sunday evening at Avogadro’s Number, Adam Bowen will be presenting information about a vision for connecting Fort Collins with the rest of the Front Range via passenger train.  This event is free to the public.

BLUEGRASS MUSIC: Mike Finders, Paul Kiteck, Mark Leslie, Jan Peterson and Darrin Goodman will be performing between 5:00 and 7:00 pm, and I believe that Adam’s presentation will take place somewhere in the middle.

You’re Invited! May 2 Front Range on Track Kickoff

Free Pizza!  Bluegrass music!
Entertaining and Informative presentation by Adam Bowen!
and the good company of lots of other people who want to see passenger rail connecting our front range communities once again.  What better way to spend your evening?

Invite your friends and, yes, definitely forward this information to others who may already be dreaming of the day when they have an alternative to driving their car every time they want to go to Denver, Boulder or even to the next town.

When:  Sunday, May 2, 5 – 7 pm
Where:  Avogadro’s Number, 605 S. Mason St in Fort Collins

See you there!
Front Range on Track (FRONT) Board and Friends

Our mission is to work for the re-establishment of passenger rail through city and town centers of Rocky Mountain Front Range communities to provide the necessary cost-effective transportation backbone to support the advancement of short and long-term regional economic prosperity and community vitality.

Making Life Easier With Scripts For Nautilus

In my previous post, I talked about how you can use Nautilus and the nautilus-image-converter as tools for resizing and rotating your images.  Although PCManFM is my preferred file manager, and I often use Thunar if I am bulk renaming files, I keep coming back to Nautilus for file management, network file browsing, image resizing/rotation, and for the ability to use custom scripts that help make life a little bit easier.  It is the latter that I wish to mention here.

Add Music Easily to the MoC Player Using Nautilus

The Nautilus script that I use most frequently is specific to the MoC (Music on Console) music player.  Credit for this one goes to Tyler “-z-” Mulligan. I’ve written in the past about the MoC Player, and of all of the music players that I’ve tried in the past, this one is by far my favorite.  So how does the script work?  Download Tyler’s script and save it in your ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts folder.  Change the permissions so that the file is executable.

$ chmod +x mocp.sh

Open up an instance of MoCp (the MoC player), open up Nautilus, and navigate to your music.  You can select individual files or large selections of files, then right click on the file(s), hover over the Scripts item, then select mocp.sh from the list.  This will add the file(s) to your MoCp playlist.  It’s an efficient way of loading music into your player, and is especially nice when you are looking to pick and choose only a song or two from various albums.

Mount and Unmount ISO Images Using Nautilus

Other scripts that I use on occasion are for mounting and unmounting an ISO file. Although there are other methods listed here and here, and likely even more here, I have had good luck with the mount.sh and unmount.sh files that were posted by Lori Kaufman on the Help Desk Geek website.

Save the mount.sh and unmount.sh files to your ~/.gnome2/nautilus-scripts folder, and change the permissions so that the files are executable.

$ chmod +x *.sh

Using Nautilus, navigate to your ISO file, right-click on it, then select “Scripts” from the menu; then select mount.sh to mount the file, or unmount.sh to unmount an already mounted file.

Check out Lori’s article for more screenshots and instructions.

Note to Self: Here are some other Nautilus scripts that I have not yet explored, but will put on the backburner for later.

Bulk Resizing & Rotating Images In Linux Using Nautilus

Although I’ve been meaning to share this information with you for some time, it was a comment in this post that recently prompted me to get busy writing.  Someone asked the question, why use Nautilus in OpenBox?  Gnome is the desktop manager that I use at work, and Nautilus is the file manager that I use most often on that machine; however, all of my personal machines run either OpenBox or Pekwm, and I wanted to still be able to use the scripts and features that I have grown to love that are available for Nautilus.

How to bulk resize images with Nautilus:

This is a feature that I use regularly in Nautilus.  Sure, there are likley other ways to bulk resize images, possibly with Imagemagic or some other cli tool, but the method that I am about to describe is fast and easy, and it works well for me.  First, make sure that you have installed Nautilus.

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus

Then install the nautilus-image-converter package.  If you have opened Nautilus, make sure that you close the application before installing the image converter package.

$ sudo apt-get install nautilus-image-converter

If you are a Gnome user, you may have to restart Gnome in order for the settings to take effect; if unsure, just log out and log back in. If not a Debian user and you wish to use the nautilus-image-converter application, you can find packages for other Linux distributions here:

Open Nautilus and navigate to an image or selection of images.  Right-click on the image(s) and you will see that there are two new options listed near the bottom of your menu.  Resize Images / Rotate Images

Click on the Resize Images option.  If you have selected multiple images, this tool will bulk resize all of the images for you. Various resizing options are available to you:

  • Resize using a list of predetermined sizes
  • Scale images based on percentage of reduction
  • Specify a custom sizing scheme
  • Make a copy of the original file, resize it, and append “.resized” or some other custom wording at the end of your file names
  • Resize in place, meaning that you will be resizing your original file

If you are resizing a mass of high resolution images, go get yourself a cup of coffee and some breakfast because it’ll take a while, but far less time than if you had to resize each image individually with your favorite image editing tool.

Rotating Images With Nautilus

Of course, there are many tools that will allow you to rotate an image, and I will often times use alternate tools for image rotation (such as GPicview), but the nautilus-image-converter is a great choice if you wish to bulk rotate images, or if you have a need to maintain the integrity of your original image file and create a rotate copy.  As described above, using Nautilus, select the image or images that you wish to rotate.  Right-click on the image(s), select the Rotate Images option, and specify your desired options.  The choices are:

  • Select a preset angle (90ᵒ clockwise/counter-clockwise, or 180ᵒ)
  • Custom Angle (degrees clockwise)
  • Create a copy of the original file, rotate the copy, then append something to the file name, such as “.resized”
  • Rotate in place, which will rotate the original file

Problems/Issues for OpenBox Users

Nautilus has a tendency to take over your desktop if you are an OpenBox user.  If you are unsure of what I am saying, just launch Nautilus and you will see what I am talking about.  Your desktop wallpaper image will likely change or go away, and you will loose the ability to right-click on your desktop and obtain the beautiful menu that you are so accustomed to seeing.  Urukrama has written a very detailed guide to using OpenBox (much of which also applies to Pekwm) and he explains how to prevent Nautilus from taking over your desktop settings.

For a single-use (non-permanent) way to launch Nautilus in a way that it won’t take over your desktop settings, use:

$ nautilus --browser --no-desktop

Alternately, to make this setting more permanent (this is what I do…), type the following command into your terminal:

$ gconftool-2 --set /apps/nautilus/preferences/show_desktop --type bool False


As I stated before, there is usually more than one way to accomplish a particular task, and it’s likely that there are some lengthy and complex commands that will allow you to bulk resize images via cli, and perhaps there are some other GUI tools available.  The “best” method to accomplish a task is really a matter of individual opinion; the method that I have described is what I have found works the best for me.  If you have a bulk-image-resize procedure that works well for you, I’d love to learn about it, so please share it with us in the comments.

Resizing VirtualBox Session Window (Screen Size)

Note: This post is mostly a “note to self”, but I thought that others might also benefit from this information too.

Lately I’ve been using VirtualBox to test out various Linux distros, and to re-familiarize myself with the otherwise less familiar… Having rooted myself for some time now in Debian-based systems, I thought that it would be fun to revisit RPM-based distros by experimenting with CentOS, and I’ve also been enjoying Arch Linux quite a bit lately (note: if you’re not familiar with Arch, check out the “Arch Way” to see if it fits with your computing philosophies…). Additionally, with the arrival the latest CrunchBang Linux (v.10) (#!), previously a Ubuntu-based system that has migrated to Debian with this latest version – I’ve been really enjoying the latest release of #! and have been interested in learning about how it differs from previous releases.

Although a great tool, one of the issues with using VirtualBox is that the default screen size is so small. To enlarge the screen size of your VirtualBox session, try doing the following:

-==[ FIRST ]==-
On the virtual console, click the Devices drop down, and then select Install Guest Addons.  This will mount a virtual CD within your virtual session.  You may get an error at this step but just hit Ok and it should likely work.  Now you should see a CD icon on your desktop or in your file manager.

-==[ SECOND ]==-
Open up your Terminal and type:

$ cd /media/cdrom0

EDIT – In newer version of VirtualBox, you may see a directory listed in /media that represents GuestAdditions; it may be called something similar to “VBOXADDITIONS_3.2.8_64453”, in which case, you would cd to that directory instead of /media/cdrom0 as indicated above.

In this folder there are some scripts for 64 bit linux and 32 bit.  If you find that the 64bit files do not work properly, you may have to use the 32 bit version within 64 bit linux.  On my 32 bit system, I’ll go back to my terminal and type:

$ sudo sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions-x86.run

-==[ THIRD ]==-
This will configure your virtual session so that it can allow you to use higher resolutions. First you must reboot your virtual session or restart the display manager by hitting Ctrl+Alt+Backspace (the latter works depending on your host Linux distribution…).

-==[ FOURTH ]==-
Using your tool of choice in the guest operating system, set the screen resolution for your guest OS and the session window should resize.

Screenshot: CentOS and CrunchBang v.10 running in VirtualBox on Ubuntu 9.04 host:

Source: http://www.fettesps.com/virtualbox-increasing-your-screen-resolution/

TefView Runs Under Wine

TablEdit is a program for creating, editing, printing and listening to tablature and sheet music (standard notation) for guitar and other fretted, stringed instruments, including mandolin and bass. This is a very useful tool for those who are trying to learn a new instrumental tune.  Multiple instrument tracks can also be created; for instance, the user could toggle between tablature for guitar, mandolin, all within the same song file.

TEFview is a free TablEdit file viewer. Files that were created with TablEdit can be viewed/listened to using TEFview. Unfortunately, they only offer a Windows and Mac version of the software.

With past versions of Ubuntu, I have been able to run the TEFviewer under wine, but I had to also install Timidity and and make some custom configurations. Now, with the latest version of Wine and Ubuntu, you can easily intall TEFview.

Download TEFview from http://www.tabledit.com/tefview/.  I installed this on my CrunchBang system which made the process slightly more complicated, but not too bad.  I chose to install Wine-Doors, which I have had good luck with in the past when running under Ubuntu.  When you install Wine-Doors, you are also installing the standard Wine package. Wine is in the Ubuntu repositories and is as easy to install as typing “sudo apt-get install wine” into your terminal emulator.  If you wish to instead install Wine-Doors, download the appropriate file from here: http://wddb.wine-doors.org/downloads.  For Ubuntu, dowload the .deb version.  Navigate to the file in your file manager, right-click on it and select “Open with gdebi package manager”.  Follow the installation procedure.  Once finished, you’ll find a menu launcher under Applications > Wine > Wine-Doors.  Launch Wine-Doors and specify that you do have a valid Windows license; once the setup has completed, a window will open that contains various software that can be installed.  Select File > Install From CD, and then browse to the directory where you saved the TefView software, then select the tefv.exe file and click Run.  Follow the installation wizard.

Here is the TefView in action.



Latest Desktop

My Thinkpad T30 is probably the machine that I use the most, and it is running Crunchbang Linux.  Screen resolution is only 1024×768.  This screenshot shows one of my recent OpenBox themes; I call it Sage.  I’ll be posting this one along with a handful of other themes on box-look.org sometime soon.  The conky file that I am using is a modified version of Hanna’s.  The black diamond-plate graphic I believe was originally created by Zwopper, although his version had a white #! located in the center of the graphic, which I removed — it’s not that I don’t want to plug my favorite OS, but I was going for simplicity here.

Simple desktop for the T30

Running MoC audio player and htop.

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-==[ Hilltop_Yodeler ]==-

Welcome to HilltopYodeler, a place where we'll do some hollerin' about Linux, OSS/FOSS, CSS/XHTML, pickin', paddlin', tinkering, snow, rock, bicycles, and other stuff that we're freaky for. Much of what will be discussed here will be related to Ubuntu Linux, Debian Linux, Crunchbang (#!) Linux, Damn Small Linux, OpenBox, PekWM, and Gnome. Grab your coffee... pick up your piolet... tuck in your whiskey nipper... have paddle in hand... grease your boards... bend some wires... plug into your lappie, mow down some sushi... and get your fool-freak yodel on!