Conky and Ubuntu One (or dropbox) To Do How To


Do you have a todo.txt file? Wanna have it show up on the desktop? Wanna have it on multiple computers? Then read on:

[edit: since this was first written I have switched from *buntu to Fedora (and am much happier because of it) so I have added Fedora specific stuff for a bit of equal time)

Step One: Install Conky.

Conky is a system monitor for X originally based on torsmo. Since its inception, Conky has changed significantly from its predecessor, while maintaining simplicity and configurability. Conky can display just about anything, either on your root desktop or in its own window. Not only does Conky have many built-in objects, it can also display just about any piece of information by using scripts and other external programs.

On Debian/Ubuntu either:

apt-get conky
or
aptitude conky

On Fedora

yum install conky

Step Two: Sign Up for and Install Ubuntu One (still in beta if you want an invite stick your identica username or email address in the comments) or Dropbox:

On Ubuntu:
You can find Ubuntu One at https://ubuntuone.com/ and you can find Dropbox at https://www.getdropbox.com, both of these services have free 2GB storage, and have a GPL plugin for Nautilus. If you aren’t using GNOME @ me on Identi.ca and if I get more than a couple of messages i’ll write a how-to on setting them up in other desktop environments/window managers.

On Fedora: To date there isnt a working UbuntuOne build. there was a try http://repos.fedorapeople.org/repos/lkundrak/ubuntuone/ but I couldn’t get it to work. But Dropbox totally works!

Step 3: Make a todo.txt file:

Assuming you are doing this by the defualts you will have a ~/Ubuntu One/ (or ~/Dropbox) folder. Just stick your todo.txt file there.

PROTIP: I put [ ] infront of each thing that needs to be done so that I can ad an “x” to it (and thus having [x] so that I can tell what I have accomplished.

PROTIP: Create a shell script called todo that has “gedit ~/Ubuntu One/todo.txt” without quotes to /usr/bin/ and then you can use your Alt+F2 launcher to quickly edit your todo list. You can substitute gedit with whatever grapical editor you want, and if you are playing the Dropbox version of our game it would be “gedit ~/Dropbox/todo.txt” again without the quotes.

Step 4: add your todo list to conky:

add:

Todo: Today, ${color slate grey}${time %a, } ${color }${time %e %B %G}
$hr
${execi 30 cat /home/three/Dropbox/todo.txt | fold -w50 }

to your conky config file (it’s often in your home folder under .conkyrc but sometimes it’s in /etc/conky/conky.conf)

Step 5: enjoy your productivity:

any computer you put Ubuntu One or Dropbox on will be able to do this so a desktop, laptop, and netbook can all have the same info (as long as you get them online long enough for it to sync)

Extra:

Here is my conky config if anyone is interested:

http://dl.getdropbox.com/u/194299/conkyrc

and a screenshot :

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

This is a screenshot of my eeepc

Trying for an all Free computer


Recently I decided that I should try a little harder to not have any non-free packages on my computers. So I installed Gobuntu which is as Canonical describes as:

Gobuntu is a GNU/Linux operating system, derived from Ubuntu, that endeavors to adhere to the Free Software Foundation’s four freedoms and intends to provide a base for other free software platforms to build upon with minimal modification required. It does this by only including open-source non-restricted software. This means there will be no firmware, drivers, applications, or content included in Gobuntu that does not include the full source or whose license does not provide the right to use, study, modify, and redistribute the body of work.

and on my laptop has worked out great. I have an all centrino setup so all of the drivers are free. The only non-free packages I have installed are FireFox and Flash. Before any one gets a going here is what the FSF has to say about the Mozilla Public License:

Mozilla Public License (MPL)

This is a free software license which is not a strong copyleft; unlike the X11 license, it has some complex restrictions that make it incompatible with the GNU GPL. That is, a module covered by the GPL and a module covered by the MPL cannot legally be linked together. We urge you not to use the MPL for this reason.

However, MPL 1.1 has a provision (section 13) that allows a program (or parts of it) to offer a choice of another license as well. If part of a program allows the GNU GPL as an alternate choice, or any other GPL-compatible license as an alternate choice, that part of the program has a GPL-compatible license.

So if you don’t wanna count that then the only non-free software I have on there is Flash.

The same is true for my desktop excluding one giant pain in the ass… the nVidia GLX driver. I must say that this is a point of sadness for me. The only bloody thing (other than Flash) that keeps me from total software freedom is driver… ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhH! With the nv driver I was stuck with the ultra high resolution of 800×600, which is not gonna work, I lived with it for a week and just can’t do it. ATi is releasing documentation in the next 6 months or so, and once a free-driver is out from that, i will be making the purchase of a new graphics card. Good job nVida fscked again!!!

So now when I am a pompous ass about software freedom you know that I am eating my own dog food (except flash)