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Compiz Patches

I planned to post an article about the state of Compiz Fusion today. It is not finished yet because instead of just complaining I actually fixed a couple of issues I have had with it:

  • 040-decorator.patch
    This patch implements metacity-like raising and lowering of windows by pressing the left or middle mouse button on a window’s decoration. Useful if you don’t use raise-on-click or auto-raise.
    References: Ubuntu bug, OpenCompositing bug
  • 041-shadow_offset.patch
    This patches makes the shadow x/y offset settings work, they had no effect up to now. The patch also pushes the upper limit for the shadow radius to 48.0 because that is what the decorator can handle.
    References: Ubuntu bug, OpenCompositing bug
  • 042-smart_placement.patch
    This patch fixes the client size calculation for smart window placement. Without this fix smart placement insists on keeping about 17 pixels of free space on the right viewport edge.
    References: Ubuntu bug, OpenCompositing bug

All patches are for Ubuntu’s current compiz packages for Hardy Heron.

As for my original plan, I will post the Compiz article on the weekend!

Apple Praise

Here is a quick follow-up to my recent rant about Apple: After a few more emails and phone calls, I will be the proud owner of a MacBook Pro with a US keyboard soon.

I still don’t understand why it is so problematic to get a US keyboard from Apple as a German customer. Anyway, I am happy now!

Apple Rant

I want one of those new MacBook Pros.

I want one with a US keyboard!

Unfortunately Apple seems to be unable to provide US keyboards to European customers : (

The German webstore offers an International-English keyboard but that is different from US style keyboards: narrow Return key, additional key between left Shift and Z.

Several phone calls and emails didn’t help: No US keyboards for German users!

I never had this problem with other notebook manufacturers like Dell, Toshiba, and IBM. It can’t be that hard to put a different keyboard on that thingie when assembling it.

June 14th, 2007: Also read the follow-up to this post: Apple Praise : )

Rhythmbox 0.11.0 For Ubuntu Feisty Fawn

I have set up APT repositories for my new-style last.fm Rhythmbox plug-in for Ubuntu “Feisty Fawn” and “Gutsy Gibbon”.
A side effect is that there is a backport of 0.11.0 for Feisty now.

You can get it by adding

deb http://blog.blackdown.de/static/debian/rhythmbox/ feisty main
deb-src http://blog.blackdown.de/static/debian/rhythmbox/ feisty main

to /etc/apt/sources.list. If you are using Ubuntu Gutsy, just replace feisty with gutsy in these two lines.
Then upgrade/install rhythmbox:

$ aptitude update
$ aptitude install rhythmbox

The repository is signed with my GPG key. The key can be imported into your apt keyring with

$ wget http://blog.blackdown.de/static/gpg.asc -O - | \
    sudo apt-key add -

If you are going to use the Last.fm integration of Rhythmbox, make sure you only enable one of the two plug-ins! If you want to use the new-style plug-in, you need the lastfm client. The latest beta package for Ubuntu is available on the Last.fm beta forum.

Rhythmbox Last.fm Scrobbler v3

A new version of last.fm plug-in for is available now. Changes since v2:

  • Start the last.fm client in the system tray
  • Try to start last.fm (beta client) before lastfm (stable client)
  • Reduce bogus RESUME/PAUSE commands
  • Miscellaneous small bug fixes

Read more about the plugin and get the source code or an Ubuntu package at Last.fm for Rhythmbox – New Style.

If the Rhythmbox developers are interested, I’ll start to merge this new plug-in with the old one that is bundled with Rhythmbox.