Worship Software

I am working on coming up with an option for our church to run for their services.  We are currently using MediaShout on a Windows Laptop, but I want to try to migrate to Linux.

I thought about using Wine, but that idea doesn’t bode well with their Garbage Rating.  Another option is to run a Virtualized Machine.  VMWare has a converter that we could possibly use to move everything from the laptop to a virtual.  This post shows how to use that with Virtual Box too.  The only thing I am not sure of is about using multiple screens with it.

I found forum post with a list of other software.  AlternativeTo echos these suggestions:

I looked into OpenSong some.  One problem is that they don’t have a x64 version.  This post might have one.   Their page says it is written in RealBasic.

Lyricue was actually in the Ubuntu Repository, and I was able to install it easily.  I was able to install it, but I haven’t played with it at all.  From launchpad, it looks like it is written in C.  When I started it, it ask for a MySQL login, so it must use MySQL database.

The OpenLP looks pretty good, too.  They have a PPA archive that I could install.  I see it is written in Python and QT4.

Then, I found another option that isn’t as well publicised: ChangingSong.  It looks like it is written in Python.

Here is another called “Church Presentations“.  It is written in Java, which sounds cool to me.  They don’t have any released files though.

Here is the rest of my search on SourceForge:

Explorations in Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

I finally got my desktop in my living room working, and I thought I would try the Unity Desktop on it.  Here is a nice little article that gives you some information about it:

First Look at the Ubuntu Unity Desktop Environment

My computer is rather old, and I mistakenly thought it would be a good fit.  These descriptions threw me off: “Ubuntu Light”, “simpler Unity desktop”, and “stripped down Ubuntu”.  What I found instead is that the Light and simpler interface is designed to make it easier to work with in smaller screen environments, not necessarily light on the hardware.

Unity uses the Mutter Window Manager, which is a compositing Window Manager.  According to this article, the name comes from combining Metacity and Clutter together.  This article mentions the hardware issue: “Interesting as the new directions may be, some people fear that Mutter will not run on older hardware.”  I agree with the reasoning: “Almost any desktop or standard laptop built within the last 5 years has sufficiently good graphics.”, but that just means that it isn’t what I originally thought it was.

Now, Clutter caught my attention on a totally different angle.  “Creating fast, compelling, portable, and dynamic graphical user interfaces” sounds great to me.  Unfortunately, I didn’t see Java bindings.  On the wiki page, I only see Python, Perl, C#, C++, Vala, and Ruby.  The javascript option looked pretty interesting also.  I may have to do some experimentation with Seed.  For Java support, I found some references to jClutter, and I found someone else working on something.

Bug: cdda2wav required by Brasero

I tried to copy a music CD this evening and got this error message:

Please install the following manually and try again:
cdda2wav (application)
cdda2wav (application)

I installed cdrao first, and it still gave me the same message.  Then, I installed icedax.  I restarted Brasero, and it worked fine.

Resources

GMail Notify Programs

I have noticed this nice little indicator-applet on the panel at the top of my Ubuntu screen, but I haven’t had much chance to use it.  I found the specs for it here.  By default, Skype and GMail don’t integrate into it, so I am looking for solutions.  I thought I would look for GMail first:

KCheckMail is one option, but it is for KDE.

The next hit I found was a little bit unusual.  Psi is another chatting application, and in the psi-plus-plugins, there is a GMail checker.  I found an interesting article describing the application and a link to configuring with GMail.  Come to find out, Google has some instructions, too.

Gnome-Gmail-Notifier is another option.  The Main Website has a little more information, but from the screenshots, it looks like it creates a system tray icon rather than using the indicator applet.

The Gmail-Notify program is a python/gtk option (not to be confused with the GMail-Notifier only available on Windows).  It’s goal is to provide an alternative for Google’s Windows only program.

The next item is not really a notifier applet: prism-google-mail.  It is actually a Prism application.  This installs the GMail webapp listed in the bundles section.

CheckGmail is the next option.  From what I can tell, it only looks like it works with a system tray icon.

xfce4-mailwatch-plugin is an option for XFCE.

KGmailNotifier is an option for KDE.

desktop-webmail looks like an interesting tool even though it isn’t a notifier.  The Gnome-GMail mentioned in the article looks like another thing to research although I didn’t see it in the repositories.

conduit is a tool that I had seen before.  It is not a notifier, but a cool app nonetheless.

mail-notification looks more generic but is a notifier.

cgmail is another option.  Again, it looks like it only creates a systray icon.

I also did a little searching on this, and apparently, I am not the only one asking this question — Ubuntu Forums: gmail in indicator-applet

The thread mentions gm-notify as an option that uses the indicator applet.  It is not in the repositories, but you can add it using Software Sources.  Add “ppa:gm-notify-maintainers/ppa”.  Then, you can install the package.  Here is what it looks like:

Desk 1_001

My next step is to check out this article to try to integrate Skype into the mix.  Before I upgraded, I had been using Cairo-Dock.  My quick search didn’t show the indicator applet for it, but I did see an article about AWN supporting the indicator applet.  I will have to put some more time into that.

Power Problems

I have been having trouble with my battery not charging.  The battery seems to have good capacity — I just replaced it a few months ago.  But, I can run it down, plug the laptop in, and then hours later the battery is still dead.

I found this article that seemed like it might help:

Ubuntu Productivity: Battery always 0% in Ubuntu 10.04

I tried the two things suggested on the blog:  I pressed the power button for a couple of seconds while the battery and power cord were out, and I tried to start upower.  I didn’t have upower as an option even for installing probably because I am still on Ubuntu 9.10.

What I haven’t tried yet is recompiling libusb as suggested in the related forum topic.

The Countdown has Begun!

I check today for the countdown, and I now see we have 21 days until Ubuntu 10.04! Unfortunately, I can’t use the Javascript version of the countdown on this site, and the static version still has the 9.10 version on it.

Ubuntu: For Desktops, Servers, Netbooks and in the cloud

Also, while we are talking about it, I found an interesting article about new the release and the “Light” interface.

InfoWorld: Canonical’s desktop Linux OS fitted with new look and feel

Ubuntu Lucid Coming Soon

From what I am reading, the count down banners don’t come until 1 month before the release.  It looks like people are submitting different designs for the banners.  The release schedule says that Lucid will release on April 29th.

Here are some of the candidates.

I guess I will check back tomorrow to see if the banner is on the site for the count down.

Resources

3D Acceleration for VMWare Player

I noticed a message saying that I did not have 3d acceleration in my virtual image with VMWare player. I didn’t really need it as all I was doing was using the PeopleSoft IDE and a web browser, but I wondered if it would improve performance. I will probably never know if it made a difference other than get rid of the message.

The fix was to install driconf and enable “S3TC texture compression even if software support is not available”.

Installing driconf was as easy as:
sudo apt-get install driconf

Run driconf from the command line with the command:
driconf

Go to the “Image Quality” tab, and click “Yes” for “Enable S3TC texture compression even if software support is not available”

driconf

Resources

3D Acceleration on Intel X3100

WebEx working again in Ubuntu 9.10-64bit!

It seems like this is the pattern with me and WebEx.  I tinker to get it working, I upgrade, it breaks, repeat.  Well, my most recent fling through this cycle started with a broken hard drive.  Actually, several things started it.  First, I originally thought my laptop had a 32-bit processor.  When I found out the new version of PeopleSoft requires a 64-bit OS, I did some research and found that it was actually a 64-bit processor.  Then, when I sent the laptop off to have the hard drive replaced, I figured that was the time to put 64-bit Ubuntu on it.

So, that is how it started, and then, I couldn’t get WebEx to work.  I got Eclipse to work on 64-bit Java, Java worked in the browser, and everything was fine.  I didn’t want to try to pull it all out and reinstall the 32-bit Java just to get WebEx working.  So, I decided to attempt to try to install the 64-bit and 32-bit versions side by side.  With some help, I got it to work:

Ubuntu Forums: 32-bit and 64-bit Firefox at the same time

The first step was installing Java.  It was pretty simple and straight forward.  I downloaded it from Sun’s website.  Essentially, you just extract it and set your environment variables to use it.  The path I chose was $HOME/bin/java.

Next, I found that you cannot use the 32-bit version of Java with the 64-bit version of Firefox.  Firefox throws out all of the 32-bit plugins with this message: “wrong ELF class”.    So, I installed Firefox by downloading it from Firefox’s website.  I extracted it to $HOME/bin/java/firefox.

The next key was linking the Java plugin in the path where Firefox would see it.  First, I linked the plugin into plugins directory:

ln -s $JAVA_HOME/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so libnpgp2.so

Once in the Firefox plugins directory, you have to make sure Firefox knows where the plugins directory is with the MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH variable.

So, to recap, I have:

  • Java installed at $HOME/bin/java
  • Firefox installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox
  • Java pluing installed at $HOME/bin/java/firefox/plugins from $HOME/bin/java/jdk…/lib/i386/libnpjp2.so

Then, I created an environment script that sets all of the paths and variables to make it work:

#!/bin/sh
export PATH=~/bin/java/firefox:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre/bin/:~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/bin/:$PATH
export JAVA_HOME=~/bin/java/jdk1.6.0_18/jre
export MOZ_PLUGIN_PATH=~/bin/java/firefox/plugins

Finally, I created a script to launch firefox:

#!/bin/bash

cd ~/bin/java
. ./env.sh
firefox --no-remote -P WebEx

And, it worked!

Ayatana Project

The other day, I ran across the Ayatana Project.  I guess that is the parent project for some of the applets at the top of the Ubuntu desktop.  The home for the project is here.

I noticed that they have a Evolution indicator.  A Thunderbird version might be nice, and a GMail version would be even better for me.

The indicator applet is what got me started looking at this project.  I currently have Empathy (allows me Google-Talk access) and Evolution in this applet.  I saw a question about Skype, which looked really great.  I would love to see what else they can put in here, like GMail, Skype, Facebook, etc.

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