New Programs I’ve Tried (and a Shiny Desktop)

I’ve been mucking around with the laptop (again) and I think it’s time to mess about with it.

Programs I use regularly (ie, can’t live without):

  • Gwibber
  • Songbird
  • Pidgin
  • Firefox/Flock
  • Rythmbox

Programs not included in Ubuntu:

  • Gwibber
  • Songbird
  • Flock

So, I usually only have to install a couple of programs after I do an overhaul of my computer.

I’ve decided to try out a new program called Specto.  It’s a simple program that does a neat pop-up notification for things you specify, such as email accounts.  I have it set to alert me when I get new email in both my gmail accounts, but you can use it for folders on a network or websites.  This program is in the Ubuntu repos, so it is very easy to install.  Do note, if you install it, that it gets assigned to the “Accesories” label in your menu.  I was looking for it in my “Internet” label… I guess I could move it if I wanted.

This program is quickly becoming something I can’t live without.  I used to have Pidgin notify me when I had new email, but if I didn’t have the buddy list window shown, I’d miss the alerts.

Now, on to computer looks changes.  I finally decided to change my theme.  Heh.  I was using the “Human” theme mostly exclusively since I installed this version.  I decided to grab the “Vistabut” theme and modify it.  I also grabbed the Hydroxegyn icons.  I’m using these combined together to give you this:

Black Vista-styled Ubuntu

A very simple and clean theme.  I’ve put this up on my deviantArt page here, if you wish to see a larger picture. The background is from tnewpap_lj  Livejournal group and is from the last episode of CSI that Grissom was in. I almost forgot that you can get the icons and themes from gnome-look.

Anyway, I like messing around with my computer.  I need to do an overhaul on my desktop machine, as It’s still running Human.  I think I’ll try a Mac-styled theme… Not sure though.  I’ve been using the laptop for most of my normal computing.  Ubuntu is so dang fast on this machine.

Feel free to try all of the programs I’ve mentioned.  Many run on Windows (Flock/Firefox, Songbird,, Pidgin), but Rythmbox and Gwibber are Linux-only.

Enjoy any new programs you decide to install!!

9 thoughts on “New Programs I’ve Tried (and a Shiny Desktop)”

  1. I just installed Specto this afternoon. Still need to dig in and customize it.
    I really like Songbird, but last time I tried 1.0.0 it had issues with downloading podcasts where it failed at 99% downloaded. I’m following the issue on, but as far as I know it still hasn’t been fixed. Right now I use Amarok 1.4 to download and sync to my iPod. The only thing I don’t like about it is it looks all KDE-ish.

  2. I really like it to check my email, but I haven’t tried it for websites. I wonder if it would work with google reader… Hrm…

    I’ve never tried Songbird for podcasts. I like it for it’s easy addon system (much like Firefox, Flock and Thunderbird).

    Does Amorak work with a Sansa View? I’d like something that works with an MTP player (or anyway, I think that’s what it’s called).


  3. Yes, it does work with MTP. I’ve used it with a SanDisk Sansa e260 and it worked great. I recommend it. Make sure you try 1.4, the current version in Synaptic. They are rolling out 2.0 right now, but the MP3 player syncing isn’t up and rolling in that version yet.

  4. Jason, please try the Specto 0.3 release candidate (there’s an ubuntu package on the website). It is much much better and more stable than 0.2.x. Then, if you find any bugs/regressions, feel free to report them.

    gamerchick02: Specto 0.3 allows watching Google Reader accounts.

  5. @Jeff: Thanks! I will definitely check that out… When do you think it will be ported into the Ubuntu repos? I prefer to use software that is in the repos. Makes it easy to upgrade and stuff.

    Again, thanks for the info. I will wait for the new version of Specto to be added to the Ubuntu repos.

    It’s an awesome program, and it’s reduced my need for other programs to do my checking for me. I get g-reader integration, I’ll be able to get rid of my watcher addon for Firefox and Flock.


  6. It will be packaged for the ubuntu repositories once testing has been done on 0.3 (this is just a precaution; *normally* there should not be any big bugs, and it should certainly be much better than 0.2).

    A PPA has been made, it would be quite nice if you could test the packages from it:

    This has the advantage that you will be able to receive updates from it.

  7. @Jeff: I just got the .deb and installed it earlier. No problems so far, and I love it.

    I will keep the PPA option in the back of my mind, but I’m going to stick with the one I just downloaded. I might give it a shot tomorrow. :)

    @Jason: I got Rhythmbox to work with my Sansa View. Took a little configuring, but it works now, and I’m happy.

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