This series is written by a representative of the latter group, which is comprised mostly of what might be called "productivity users" (perhaps "tinkerly productivity users?"). Though my lack of training precludes me from writing code or improving anyone else's, I can, nonetheless, try and figure out creative ways of utilizing open source programs. And again, because of my lack of expertise, though I may be capable of deploying open source programs in creative ways, my modest technical acumen hinders me from utilizing those programs in what may be the most optimal ways. The open-source character, then, of this series, consists in my presentation to the community of open source users and programmers of my own crude and halting attempts at accomplishing computing tasks, in the hope that those who are more knowledgeable than me can offer advice, alternatives, and corrections. The desired end result is the discovery, through a communal process, of optimal and/or alternate ways of accomplishing the sorts of tasks that I and other open source productivity users need to perform.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

14th installment: home-brewed WOD by e-mail daily

I used to subscribe to an on-line dictionary's word-of-the-day (WOD) program. That entailed signing up, using a valid e-mail address, on their web site so that they would, each day, send a different WOD along with its definition to that address. The service proved to be a bit flaky, however, and the e-mails would sometimes get caught up in my spam filter. So, somewhere along the line--perhaps owing to an e-mail address change--I stopped receiving those educational e-mails.

I'd had in the back of my mind going back to using that service but hadn't signed up again--all the while having a nagging suspicion that it must be possible, using open source tools, to cobble together some way of doing this sort of thing from my own computer, thereby obviating the need to sign up for some service. But could I, with my modest technical acumen, actually pull this off? Read on to find out the result.

Meantime, as I've continued learning my way around GNU/Linux and computing in general, I made some headway in learning how to use the program remind to help me keep track of scheduled appointments and to-do items, even progressing so far as puzzling out how to get my computer to e-mail me my schedule on a regular basis. Perhaps I'll write more about that accomplishment--of which I'm quite proud--in a future entry.

The relevance of that observation to the present post is that I learned how to use the program mail, along with the small msmtp, for sending--when triggered by cron--to myself automated reminder e-mails from my system. So some major ingredients were actually already in place that would allow me finally to implement my own, home-brewed WOD-by-e-mail solution.

This was perhaps the final piece of the puzzle for me, although another crucial piece had been under my nose recently as well, something I ran across while investigating bash functions (I wrote about that a few installments earlier, as you can see here). By adapting one of the bash functions I'd found, I was first able to see the WOD from the command line by simply issuing wod from a command prompt. But I soon began forgetting to do that, which spurred me to consider once again having the WOD somehow e-mailed to me.

Finally, putting two and two together, I realized I could adapt the thrust of that function to my needs by having its output placed into the body of an e-mail that would be automatically sent to me each day at 6 A.M. Following is a description of how I did that.

A key ingredient I have not yet mentioned is the text-mode browser lynx, which produces an html file that gets parsed for material that will be inserted into the e-mail body: and I didn't mention it because lynx and me go back a long, long ways--clear back to the close of the twentieth century, to be precise. The line, swiped straight from the bash function I found on the web, is as follows: lynx -dump That simply "dumps the formatted output of the default document or those specified on the command line to standard output," as the man page tells us--obviously not enough to get a WOD into an e-mail body, but fairly close.

What's needed, then, is, like the bash function, to pipe that output through grep, searching for a certain pattern, then to extract from it the relevant lines which belong in the body of the e-mail. Those results then get piped to mail, which inserts the lines into the body of an e-mail. Below is the full line that I inserted into my crontab file, minus the bit that tells the line to be executed at 6 A.M. daily:

lynx -dump -nonumbers "" | grep -A 10 -m 1 "Today's Word of the Day" | mail -s WOD

This cron entry tells lynx to dump the page found at the specified link to standard output (whatever that means), then to pipe that through grep, searching for the phrase "Today's Word of the Day." Once that phrase is found, grep is to stop searching (the -m 1 switch--it's to look for only one instance) and to "print" the ten lines preceding (the -A 10 switch), which actually then get piped to mail and become the body of the message. The -s switch specifies what the subject line of the e-mail should be. The -nonumbers switch just tells lynx not to preface the links it finds in the page with numerals between square brackets, which it would otherwise do.

That's about it for this entry. I really do need to write up a remind entry, since I had hoped long and hard to find some scheduling utility that would be no-frills, yet powerful enough to issue me reminders on a regular basis. So that may be next on the agenda for this blog.

Some afterthoughts: piping the output of lynx -dump through grep to extract target text is not ideal, since--if I've read its man page correctly--you are limited to extracting text by line. A problem arises here because the number of lines for the target entries for the WOD can vary day-by-day. As a result, it is likely that either extraneous line(s) will be included on many days, or that some target line(s) will get cut off on other days. Perhaps piping the lynx -dump output through sed or awk--which, as I understand it are both far more flexible when it comes to identifying target text--might be a better solution. But because I am not well-versed in either of those utilities and because extracting the WOD from web sites whose layout may change at any time is a moving target, I am presently not attempting to improve on the method I've described here. I do, on the other hand, welcome suggestions for improving this WOD-by-e-mail solution from any reader who may know those--grep included--or other utilities better than I.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

13th installment: how slow is too slow for a motion detection security cam system?

In this post, I'll answer a question to which I hoped I'd find an answer on the internet--but I did not manage to find that answer. The question is about minimal specs for a motion-capture machine and, though my answer will have to remain somewhat imprecise owing to the fact that I did not test multiple systems, it will at least give a probable base-line for what may be the lowest-powered system one could use for the task I'm describing.

So, without further ado, on to a description of the task. Or, more specifically, I'll start off describing what precipitated the task.

For some months now, things located in public areas of the apartment building where I live--for example in the corridors or the garage--have been disappearing. I assumed it was only affecting others until I noticed that a cheap DVD player I'd put in the exercise facility here had disappeared. Then, I noticed that certain bicycle parts and tools had vanished from my garage space.

I decided I could take at least some action toward stemming the theft and perhaps catching the perpetrator, by setting up a security camera. I knew that GNU/Linux had utilities for recording from motion detection cameras, and some preliminary searching revealed that the motion program was likely to suit my needs.

It so happened that a friend had recently passed along to me a decent webcam, so all I needed to do was find a target machine on which to set up the software. An old laptop would have been ideal because of the small size, but I didn't have one available.

What I did have was an old all-in-one unit, an early LCD monitor with a built-in computer--in the person of a laptop motherboard--in its base. I even had Debian (Squeeze) already installed on that machine, since I'd set it up for my father-in-law to use when he visits. But I'd taken the machine out of service a couple of years ago, judging that, as a single-core machine with a 433 MHz Celeron and 192 megabytes of RAM, it was getting a little long in the tooth to be useful anymore. So, could this ancient machine actually be used for a motion detection security camera?

I won't in this post go into the particulars of setting up motion, which did not prove particularly challenging. But after stripping down the operating system to the basics, installing motion, and editing its configuration file for my set-up, I was able to get it to run and record on this machine.

Though the web-cam is capable of 720p recording, I had to settle for 640x480, since the older USB 1.1 ports on this machine could not handle anything approaching the bandwidth high-definition video demands. And the hard disk on this machine, at a measly 6 gigabytes, was not a good candidate for recording HD video anyway.

Once I'd disabled, per the motion documentation, alsa's snd-usb-audio module, I was off to the races with this rig. I did manage to find an 40 gigabyte hard drive for sale for $3 which, when added, upped my recording capability from about 2 months to a little over one year.

So, in case you're wondering, as of this date (late 2013), you can actually run a single* motion-sensing camera, if you're satisfied with VGA video quality and a low frame rate (I've set it to 2 per second), on a single-core 433 Celeron with as little as 192 megabytes of RAM. It will even happily run ffmpeg and stitch together the stills it captures into a video for you.

* I didn't try but am virtually certain such a machine could not handle two cameras.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

12th installment: adding watermarks to documents

In this twelfth installment, I'll describe my recent success with adding watermarks to a document. As often happens when I want to do a quick document or need to work on a .doc file, I turned to LibreOffice for this task. The major part of this post, then, will be occupied with how to add watermarks to documents created in or edited with LibreOffice/OpenOffice. I decided, just out of curiosity, to look into how watermarks can be added to TeX/LaTeX documents as well, so I'll share as well a bit of information that I gleaned about that from another site.

First, though, a bit about watermarks. As the wikipedia article on the topic tells us "[a] watermark is a recognizable image or pattern in paper that appears as various shades of lightness/darkness when viewed by transmitted light (or when viewed by reflected light, atop a dark background), caused by thickness or density variations in the paper."

Watermarks proper are actually added into the paper itself during manufacture, and the text was later printed over the watermark. With the advent of modern computer printing, however, it has become possible to print "watermarks"--actually it might be better to refer to these as pseudo-watermarks--onto standard, clean paper and so to add them, page by page, to a document. This is the sort of watermarking I will be discussing.

This pseudo-watermarking might be added to a document for a number of reasons: a background image--such as a business logo--might be wanted in a document; a copyright notice might be added to a document in this way; or a document might need to be identified as a draft, as opposed to a final revision. The latter of these scenarios applied to me and was why I wanted to learn how to do pseudo-watermarking.

I was pretty certain I could readily find instructions for how this is done using LibreOffice, and a quick search proved my supposition correct. That search furthermore proved that it is a fairly trivial task, so long as one feels comfortable with using some image editing or creating software. I used GIMP for creating my image, though I decided as well to experiment with LibreOffice Draw and had success with it as well. The image created is simply selected as a background for the document. The steps I used were as follows.

First, open GIMP and select File > New. In the resulting dialog, I changed the increments for image size to inches, so as to create an image that will fit within an 8.5x11 inch sheet.

Once I'd selected the size I wanted and created the file, I next went to the GIMP toolbar and selected the Text Tool. I printed in the resulting window the text I wanted to appear, selected a light gray color for the font, changed the font increment to point, then increased the font size substantially (as you'll see in the screenshot, I went with 213 point type).
The somewhat tricky part after having done that was to rotate the text such that it would run across the page at an angle. This I accomplished by selecting Layer > Transform > Arbitrary Rotation. Doing this raises a window with a slider that allows you to rotate the image to the desired angle--in my case -57.66 degrees. As will be evident in the screenshot, the text can be better centered in the image using this dialog as well (x and y axes).

Thus, the final product (not very well centered here):
I exported that image to a .png file as the final step. From here, it's a simple matter of opening your LibreOffice document and clicking on Format > Page, selecting the "Background" tab, selecting "Graphic" from the "As" drop-down menu, and finding and selecting the file you just created using GIMP. Once that's done, all pages in that file will have a pseudo-watermark with the text "Draft" on them.

The initial video I found described making the watermark using LibreOffice's Draw program, so I decided I should have a try with it as well. That process was almost as simple as GIMP's, but it had the limitation that the largest font size I could select was 96 point--a bit on the small side. I will nonetheless outline the steps here.

First, I opened up Draw and selected the "T" (for text insertion) from the toolbar at the bottom of the page.
Next, I selected a light gray font color and the largest possible font size from the menu, and printed the text "Draft" in the page. The text ends up being in a horizontal orientation, of course, as can be seen in the screenshot.
In order to make the text run at an angle across the page, it is next necessary to choose the "Effects" tool from the bottom toolbar (the symbol has two blue boxes off kilter from one another and is situated fourth from the right side on my toolbar). Once that's done the highlights of the text box just created turn red, and if the cursor is moved over the top right corner of that text box, the box can be dragged such that it is oriented on the page at the desired angle.
Once the text box is satisfactorily oriented and centered, the file can be exported. Once again, I chose the .png format. The resulting image can then be added to the background of a document using the same process followed above to add the GIMP image.

Finally, though I did not try out this last method, I wanted to see how difficult or easy it might be, using TeX/LaTex, to add a pseudo-watermark to a document. I easily found some directions here. That author describes three different methods, the simplest of which--since it is one on which pdflatex can be run directly, is quite easy with use of the graphicx, eso-pic, and type1cm packages, as demonstrated in the code below:

Here's how the resulting page looks:

That's it for this installment.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

11th installment: lynx; your own personal google scraper

Ok, I'll admit it: there's certainly hyperbole in this entry's title. What I'm doing with the text-mode browser lynx isn't really scraping--it's just something that bears some conceptual (in my view) similarities. It might appear similar because what I've done is to come up with a way of invoking lynx (or any other text-mode browser for that matter), with search terms already entered, from the command line. The end product is just the text results google finds relative to your query--sans all the bells and whistles google's search portal has been foisting on us in recent years. Why is this a significant accomplishment? Well, consider the following.


Have you found google's search portal to be increasingly cluttered and bothersome? I certainly have. Things like pop-out previews do nothing for me but create distraction, and auto-completion is far more often an irritation to me than a help: as a liberal estimate, perhaps 25% of my searches have benefited from the auto-completion feature. For what it's worth, if google wished to provide better service to users like me, they would create two separate search portals: one would be a fuzzy-feely search portal for those who might be uncertain as to what they're seeking and who could benefit from auto-completion and/or pop-out previews; the other would be google's old, streamlined search page and would involve little more than short text summaries and relevant links.

Once upon a time there was a google scraper site at itself more as a search anonymizer than as an interface unclutterer--that provided a results page pretty much like the old google one. I used to use scroogle in the days before google introduced some of the more irritating "enhancements" that now plague their site, and came to appreciate above all its spartan appearance. But, alas, scroogle closed its doors in mid-2012 and so is no longer an option. I've been stuck since, resentfully, using google.

In a recent fit of frustration, I decided to see whether there might be any other such scrapers around. As I searched, I wondered as well whether one might not be able to set up their own, personal scraper, on their own personal computer: I had certainly heard and read about the possibilities for conducting web searches from the command line, and this seemed a promising avenue for my query. I ended up finding some results that, while providing but a primitive approximation, look like they may nonetheless have given me a workable way to do the sort of pseudo-scraping I need. Thus, the following entry.

More about the task

Conducting web searches from the command line is another way of describing the task I aimed to accomplish. Granted, doing this sort of thing is nothing especially new. surfraw, for example, created by the infamous Julian Assange, has been around for a number of years and more properly fits into the category of web-search-from-the-command-line utilities than does the solution I propose--which just invokes a text-mode browser. There are actually several means of doing something that could be classified as "searching the web from the command line" (google that and you'll see), including the interesting "google shell" project, called "goosh."

Still, the solution I've cobbled together using bits found in web searches, and which involves a bash function that calls the text-mode browser lynx, seemed on-target enough and something worth writing an entry about. Details below.

The meat of the matter: bash function

To begin with, some credits. The template I cannibalized for my solution is found here: I only did some minor modifications to that code so that it would work more to my liking. There's another interesting proposition in that same thread, by the way, that uses lynx--though it pipes output through less. I tried that one and it got me thinking in the direction of using lynx for this. But I liked the way the output looked in lynx much more than when piped through less, so I decided to try further adapting the bash function for my uses and came up with the following.

The bash function outlined at that site actually uses google search and calls a graphical browser to display the output. The graphical browser part was the one I was trying to obviate so that would be the first change to make. I mostly use elinks these days for text-mode browsing, but having revisited lynx while experimenting with the other solution posed there, I decided I would try it out. And I must say that it does have an advantage over elinks in that URL's can be more easily copied from within lynx (no need to hold down the shift key).

I could not get the google URL given in that example to work in my initial trials, however. This is likely owing to changes google has made to its addressing scheme in the intervening interval since that post was made. So I first used a different URL from the search engine startpage.

After some additional web searching and tweaking, I was finally able to find the correct URL to return google search results. Though that URL is likely to change in the future, I include it in the example below.

What I have working on this system results from the code below, which I have entered into my .bashrc file:

Once that has been entered, simply issue . .bashrc so that your system will re-source your .bashrc file, and you're ready for command-line web searching/pseudo-scraping. To begin searching, simply enter the new terminal command you just created, search, followed by the word or phrase you wish to search for on google: search word, search my wordsearch "my own word", search my+very+own+word, or seemingly just about any other search term or phrase you might otherwise enter into google's graphical search portal seem to work fine.

lynx will then open in the current terminal to the google search results page for your query. You can have a quick read of summaries or follow results links. Should any of the entries merit graphical inspection, you can copy and paste the URL into your graphical browser of choice.

You'll probably want to tell lynx (by modifying the relevant option in lynx.cfg) either to accept or reject all cookies so as to save yourself some keystrokes. If you do not do so, it will, on receiving a cookie, await your input prior to displaying results. Of course you could use any other text-mode browser--such as w3m, the old links or xlinks, retawq, netrik, or any other text-mode-browser candidates as well.

Suggestions for improvements to my solution or offerings of alternative approaches will be appreciated. Happy pseudo-scraping/command-line searching!

AFTERTHOUGHT: I happened upon some other interesting-looking bash functions at another site that are supposed to allow other types of operations from the command line; e.g., defining words, checking weather, translating words. These are rather dated, though (2007), and I couldn't get them to work. Interpreting their workings and determing where the problem(s) lie is a bit above my pay grade: anyone have ideas for making any of these functions once again operable?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

10th installment: resume an scp file transfer

NOTE: as a knowledgeable commenter later pointed out "[c]urrently (and since around 2004) the default transfer protocol in rsync *IS* ssh. There is no need for the '-e ssh' unless you directly connect to a remote rsync daemon." I have tested this claim and it is, indeed, true that the file transfer resumption using rsync does not require the -e ssh bit I stipulated in the instructions below. I did not manage to test whether the same alternate port switch (-p 1234) works, though I assume it does.

I recently went on vacation and, since my mythtv set-up was, for some crazy reason, not allowing me to do a direct download of recorded programming through the mythweb interface, I needed to find an alternate way of snagging those files. I have an ssh server running on my home LAN, so using scp for this seemed like it should work, though I knew it would take a bit of tinkering. Read on to see what sort of tinkering I did and, just as importantly, a way I discovered of resuming the disrupted download.

I first investigated the possibility of setting up an ssh tunnel, since the computer on my LAN that contains the video files is not the one running the ssh server. But doing that looked a tad beyond my skill level. So I decided I'd just copy those files over to the computer running the ssh server manually, then scp them to the remote computer from there.

These were very large files--i.e., > 2 GB--and, given the fairly limited rate at which I could transfer them, I expected there might be some disruption or disconnection during the download. Prior to beginning the dowloads, then, I searched google under "scp" and "resume," and I immediately came across results that showed how to use the rsync utility to resume disrupted downloads. This encouraged me to go ahead and try the scp download method.

As wikipedia informs us, "rsync is a software application and network protocol for Unix-like systems . . . that synchronizes files and directories from one location to another while minimizing data transfer." Though I had, when previously considering differing ways to back up certain directories on my computers, looked at some documentation on rsync, I had no prior experience with actually using it. Nonetheless, that's the solution I ended up employing--though I needed to do a slight adaptation for my circumstances. It seemed the slight variation I stumbled upon might warrant an entry on this blog.

Before describing in greater detail what I did, I should first at least mention a couple of other results I found that used differing utilities. One candidate used curl and sftp instead of rsync, while the other used the dd command. Since I did not attempt to implement either of those solutions, I will, after simply making note of the fact that those utilities apparently can be used for this, move on.

Getting back to rsync, the bulk of instructions I found for resuming scp transfers using it would not work "out of the box" for me because I run ssh on a non-standard port. For purposes of this blog entry, let's say that's port 1234. The question for me, then, was how to adapt the directions I'd found to the scenario involving the non-standard ssh port my LAN uses.

The resolution turned out to be fairly simple. I finally ran across the an incantation very close to what I needed here. A simplified sample entry follows (a slightly more complex rendition can be seen in the description for setting up an alias below):

rsync -P -e 'ssh -p 1234' localfile.mpg

Essentially, the command tells rsync to use ssh as the shell on remote end (the -e switch), while the -P switch tells it two things: that it should display the progress of the transfer, as well as that it only needs to do a partial transfer of the file. What falls between the inverted commas are the options that get passed to ssh--in this case -p 1234 stipulating the port to connect to on the remote end.

To simplify yet further this resuming process, an alias could, theoretically, be created as suggested here. That would would not work in my case, however, since aliases appear not to allow the passing of special options to ssh: entering alias scpresume='rsync -Pazhv -e ssh -p 1234' at the command line caused the port specification to be received as an option by rsync--an option it was unable to interpret. Thus, the more permanent solution of adding that line to .bashrc  would not work for me either.

To make the alias work for me, I had to set up an ~/.ssh/config file with the following content (as discussed here):

After doing that, I was able to create the alias as alias scpresume='rsync -Pazhv -e ssh (note that the alternate port now does not need to be specified since it's entered into your ~/.ssh/config file). It can now simply be run as scpresume remote:path-to/remotefile localfile. Once your ~/.ssh/config file is set up, the scpresume='rsync -Pazhv -e ssh line is what needs to be entered into your .bashrc to make scpresume a permanent part of your command-line environment.

Feel free to offer any improvements you may have or other suggestions for using alternate command-line utilities for resuming downloads. This method did the trick for me, and I was able to resume transfer of files that had petered out at varying points during the download process, but of course there could be other methods that are in some way superior.

ADDENDUM: In light of the comment of a knowledgeable reader, the correct full, non-redundant command to use for file transfer resumption using rsync would be
rsync -Pazhv -p 1234 localfile.mpg

Friday, January 4, 2013

Ninth Installment: Xmobar to the rescue!

Regular readers of this blog will be aware of my inclination towards minimalist desktops or window managers and my preference, within reasonable limits, for low-resource and/or command-line tools and applications. And I've previously mentioned making use lately of the evilwm window manager, which I've pretty much settled on now in preference to two other minimalist window manages--dwm and ion3--with which I experimented. One of the things I've missed, however, about the more full-blown desktops I've used, is some of the monitors or applets one can configure to run in the panel(s) and which give quite helpful system information like memory and/or CPU usage.

I became aware some time ago of conky, a minimalistic utility that can display these--and many other--types of helpful information under differing window managers or desktops and, though I'd seen screenshots of it configured to run as a sort of panel, most conky configurations I've come across actually have it display on the desktop background--not something particularly desirable for me since I tend to run applications full-screen on my evilwm desktops. But lately, I somehow came across information about another utility--Xmobar--that can display the sorts of system information I want but which seems to be configured to run mainly as a panel. So I decided to have a go with it. I was able to configure it to my liking fairly easily and decided to offer in this entry a further description of the program and to post the configuration I am using. That information follows.

To begin with a bit more information on Xmobar, it seems originally to have been written to complement the minimalist window manager Xmonad (which, incidentally, I've not tried). As the Arch Wiki entry--my main source for setting up and configuring Xmobar--informs us, it is written, as is Xmonad, in the Haskell programming language. In case you might be intimidated at the prospect of potentially having to learn something about that programming language, take heart; as the wiki entry further elucidates "while xmobar is written in Haskell, no knowledge of the language is required to install and use it."

As with many other GNU/Linux utilities, Xmobar relies on a hidden configuration file--named, predictably, .xmobarrc--located in the user's home directory. The Arch wiki contains a sample configuration file, and that's the one on which I based my initial experiments with Xmobar.

To start Xmobar, I simply call it as the last line in my .xinitrc file. That will, of course, not be the universally applicable way of starting the utility: those using a log-in manager will undoubtedly need to invoke the utility in some other way. Being the  GUI-adverse type I am, however, this is what works for me.

Below I include a screenshot of the lower section of one of my desktops, which shows Xmobar running as it is currently configured on one of my systems.

Though a good deal will be obvious from the picture, I will nonetheless offer a verbal description of each section of the panel. After the description, I will provide the content of my .xmobarrc file for further reference.

On the left side of the panel we see, on the far left, of course, a CPU meter of sorts (CPU percentage meter). Next to that is the memory meter, showing percentage of main RAM and swap in use. Then follows a network meter showing current upload/download speed: the dash to the left indicates Xmobar did not find eth0 since, in the instance when the screenshot was taken, no network cable was attched to it. After the network speed indicator follows a keyboard layout indicator: at the moment the US keyboard layout is in use, but I also have Russian and Greek keyboards configured for this machine (more on keyboard layouts and switching between them in a future entry).

On the right side of the panel is seen first the date and time. Next to that is a battery meter that displays percentage of battery charge left as well as estimated remaining time; the screenshot comes from a laptop, of course. That is followed by a location indicator and outside temperature reading: I happened to be near the town of Mikkeli in Finland at the time I wrote this entry--thus the EFMI weather station code in the configuration file below. Finally, the kernel version and distribution are listed--this being derived, of course, from uname output.

Below, then, is the content of my .xmobarrc file. I added a few tweaks to the one I found on the Arch Wiki, mainly the battery meter as well as the keyboard layout indicator. I also did a bit of color tweaking since it seemed to me the section dividers (the pipe character--|) needed to be in a different color so as to more readily draw attention to the field delimitations. A bottom rather than top orientation was more to my liking, so I made that modification as well.

I am thus far quite happy with Xmobar. At the same time, I would be interested to hear from conky users who have their layout configured as a panel like this. Feel free to pipe in with your input on these or other minimalist panel utilities.