Category: Linux

KMyMoney and GnuCash


I was using GnuCash for my personal financial accounting. But recently, it is removed from Arch Linux official repository, because it depends on libwebkitgtk-1.0 which is insecure.

As a result, I migrated the data to KMyMoney. I found that the features are far more better than GnuCash.

Writing memo and tagging features are very useful for me to keep track my cash flow.

f.lux


Recently updated my Huawei phone, and it shows a new feature for the eye protection. It will adjust the screen to yellowish, to protect our eyes.

I tried to look for some scientific support for this feature. Then I found this. And I finally know that, I am not actually a night owl person, but just because I am looking at the monitor frequently, that is why not feeling sleepy at the night.

Recognizes that exposure to excessive light at night, including extended use of various electronic media, can disrupt sleep or exacerbate sleep disorders, especially in children and adolescents. This effect can be minimized by using dim red lighting in the nighttime bedroom environment.

(American Medical Association’s Council on Science and Public Health, 2012)

And this f.lux, it will automatically adjust your screen colour to reddish based on your location. You can get your location (latitude and longitude) using GPS. As a result, my screen will automatically turn to reddish around 6:30pm.

f.lux is cross platform, available for Linux, Windows, Mac, iPhone, and Android. Arch Linux user can install through AUR.

There is another similar package, Reshift. But I personally more favoured on f.lux, because the configuration is easier and there are presets of colour temperature.

If you care about healthy sleep, try this.

Audacious, DeadBeef, Clementine


I don’t use RhythmBox or Banshee, as they are too bloated for me. I was a Winamp user.

I tried Audacious, DeadBeef, and Clementine. The following is a brief comparison,

  Audacious DeadBeef Clementine
Shortcut key Affect application only Affect application only Global hotkey
APE tag support Didn’t test Can load APE tag Cannot load APE tag
AAC support Correct file extension needed Can play Can play
Drag-and-drop songs among playlist Copy Move Copy
Copy-paste songs among playlist (Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V) Can Cannot Cannot

Clementine global hotkey gives me trouble to navigate the audio file within the application.

DeadBeef works well, the only drawback is managing the playlist.

And, my favourite is Audacious. It works well in various aspects.

P/S: Just found that Audacious cannot customize the shortcut keys, but only the global hotkeys with the plugin enabled. The default shortcut keys are Winamp compatible.

Pidgin


Pidgin, best ever all-in-one messenger. Best, because it has a lot of plugins. If you have multiple GMail accounts, such as personal GMail, and your workplace uses Google App, then you can just use Pidgin. Need not open so many applications.

If you need Skype, for messeging only or group chat, install skype4pidgin plugin. It is better to use it instead of running heavy Skype for Linux Alpha or very old version of Skype. Using outlook.com web version Skype cannot give any notification, but allows you to view the images directly. But still, using Google Talk/Hangout and Skype services together through Pidgin is much more convenient.

I tried with Telegram also. It works. There are various plugins available. If you need notifications from multiple chat services (including Facebook), Pidgin is the best!

Screenshot annotation/labelling


Since I am working as a freelance software developer, often need to comment on the screen. I keep looking for the application that can

  • Draw straight line
  • Basic geometries: ellipse or rectangle
  • Draw arrow
  • Writing text

GIMP, Krita, Pinta etc can draw these. But they are too advance, or too low-level as a raw image editor, which hinders me to work productively.

At the end, I found Shutter from Stack Overflow. I never thought about it, because the main purpose of Shutter is taking screenshot. But it has an image editing feature. And this image editing can do all the things I mentioned above.

PPSSPP and other game emulators


Not PSP, but PPSSPP. It is a PSP emulator. For a medium quality computer, playing with PS2 emulator is not that smooth. But PPSSPP is good enough to play the PSP games. And there is an Android port for PPSSPP, but only if your phone is strong enough to run the game.

Thanks to the open source and PPSSPP developers.

Other emulators which I like are VBA-M (a fork of inactive VisualBoy Advance), PCSX-Reload, PCSX2FCEUX, Snes9x, and DOSBox. But FCEUX, Snes9x, and DOSBox games are extremely antique.

Notetaking applications on Linux


Previously I mentioned about Evernote on WINE in Linux. It works fine. Some minor problems I faced are upgrading Evernote requires re-install, because of the WINE compatibility with the installer, and Chinese characters are not viewable at the note list, and restricted monthly upload limit. That is why, I am looking for alternative solutions.

The followings are the notetaking applications I tried briefly,

  • Basket Note Pad – Very fancy. Uses XML and text files.
  • Tomboy Note, Gnote – Android version, Tomdroid notes. Cannot insert picture.
  • Xournal – Doesn’t look like notetaking application I am looking for.
  • Zim – Wiki format. Still active.
  • NixNote – Using Evernote server.
  • KJots – Does not run properly in my computer.
  • WizNote – Requires sign up. It has web clipper and Android port.
  • KeepNote – Uses XML.

Among these notetaking applications, most interesting one is Zim. It can insert a lot of things including picture, screenshot, equation, code, etc. It also allows using tagging. The wiki format is better than XML, since it is just a very plain text file. This mean, I can synchronise my notes over my other devices using the service such as Dropbox, and open the file as long as I have text editor. Editing XML with text editor is not a good idea. The only thing Zim is lacking of is the web clipper and a full port to Android. But this is really a powerful tool, more than notetaking.