Have your breaks in time with KDE

I’ve already talked about KDialog and DCOP which are two magic KDE tools that could use more promotion. Today I came across another nice examlpe in this post.


PROGRESS=$(kdialog --icon kalarm --title "Short rest" \
    --progressbar "Take a break..." 30)

if [ $PROGRESS ]; then
  for (( i=0; i<30; i++ )); do
    dcop $PROGRESS setProgress $i
    sleep 1
  dcop $PROGRESS close

This simple shell script will remind you to have timed 30 second breaks when executed at predefined intervals from KAlarm. You'll see a nice progress bar while having a break.

How to switch the go-around-desktops thingy in KDE

KDE is an excellent desktop with reasonable defaults. One of the defaults does not work for me though. It annoys me beyond limits that switching desktops wraps around. That is when I am at the left-most desktop and I press Ctrl+Left arrow, which is my key for switching one dekstop to the left, I find myself at the right-most desktop. With this behaviour I am getting lost pretty often and have to use the pager, which means that I have to take my eyes off that thing that I am currently doing and break my concentration.

But there is nothing to worry about. KDE can be very flexibly configured using several methods. Switching off mad desktop navigation is as easy as clicking a couple of times in kcontrol. The needed option is in Desktop » Window Behavior » Desktop navigation wraps around.

knoda – KDE’s front-end to databases

knoda is one of those cool looking and functionally promising projects. If you are still looking for graphical interface for database management, then try it out.

Its driver concept allows a uniform connection to different database servers (Dbase/Xbase, MS Access/Mdbtools, Mysql , Postgresql , SQLite or ODBC).

Did you notice that MS Access was mentioned? Well, here is a little more for you to know:

New test version knoda 0.7.4-test1 released. With its latest release knoda introduces a driver for MS Access databases (mdb files). Knoda is the first KDE based database frontend reading MS Access databases natively and so it is getting closer to its goal to be a full replacement for MS Access. The driver is based on Mdbtools.

Back to AfterStep

I am back to Afterstep. While I’ve found KDE to be very usable and powerfull, my fingers are trained for Afterstep. I will still use KDE at home though, where I am not pressured with time.

While I was testing KDE this time, I have found khelpcenter (Help icon in the main menu) to be extremely useful. It does a good job integrating KDE specific documentation with the rest of manuals, info pages, etc installed on the system. Yeah, info pages in particular.

I am thinking about a small project which will incorporate many of my small notes. What I have in mind is to create a new user on one of my hosts and generate step-by-step complete home environmnent starting from the shell prompt, vim, mutt, procmail, simple scripts that make everyday life easier and ending with… Well, not ending actually. Some Bash prompt tips will come handy later on.