Archive for October, 2014

Toggle between two or more Digital TV channels that are simultaneously playing

With the advent of Over-the-Air (OTA) Digital TV in Uganda, I have found myself watching two or more TV channels simultaneously. This is true especially during the 9 O’clock hour when most local TV stations in Uganda broadcast the evening news (OK, now you know: I am a news junkie).

While recording TV shows solves this itch as is the case with an upcoming media product I have been working on, it is still great to watch the news live. You could manually mute a currently audible TV channel, and unmute the next desired one – but that’s no fun.

A while back, I whipped up a script that helps you toggle between all the available audio sources you are listening to. It essentially switches between all the available sound sinks. In my case, I use VLC to watch OTA digital channels with podcasts on some occasions. What is neat, is that you can bind this script to any key on your keyboard, remote, or even Bluetooth device.

If you are using a Linux based device and you are interested, I am making this tool available at: my Github repository

Customize your Linux desktop using the command line

With most Linux distros now using GNOME 3.10+, here are a few commands on changing the look and feel of your desktop using gsettings. Other CLI methods exist such as the popular GNOME tweak tool and Dconf.

Add apps to favorites bar
$ gsettings set org.gnome.shell favorite-apps "['google-chrome.desktop', 'evolution.desktop', 'nautilus.desktop', 'libreoffice-writer.desktop', 'libreoffice-calc.desktop', 'firefox.desktop', 'gnome-terminal.desktop', 'vlc.desktop', 'jitsi.desktop', 'gedit.desktop', 'gcalctool.desktop']"

Change show date and clock format
$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-show-date true
gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.interface clock-format '12h'

Change background picture
$ gsettings set org.gnome.desktop.background picture-uri 'file:///usr/share/backgrounds/gnome/Sandstone.jpg'

Those are just but a few of the settings available for you to tweak. To see all of them, type:
$ gsettings list-keys .