Creating letter drop effect using gimp in linux

Here is how we can create the animated effect of letters dropping on to a page, as shown below, using gimp.

Note:This was done using gimp2.6

First to be able to create the effect we need to install the additional gimp package called gimp-gap i.e. in ubuntu based systems run the command

sudo apt-get install gimp-gap

After the installation is done launch gimp and go to

file->create->Fx-Foundry->animation->letter Drop

We will see a prompt as shown below.

In the text field enter the text for which the animation has to be created.
The foreground color is the color of the text and the background color is the of the background of the text, we can choose the color we want by clicking on each of them and selecting from the range of colors .

Letter delay field is to specify the delay between the letters appearing in the animation
Word delay is the delay between words in case there are multiple words in the text
Starting size is the size of the font with which the animation will start, the size will slowly decrease with each fram giving the dropping effect
The ending size is the final size of the text.
Frames per letter is the number of frames that you want to use for every letter in the animation. The more the number of frames the more detailed the animation will look.
Click on Ok and wait for gimp to do the magic. Once it is done we should see the following screen.

To check if the animation suits your requirements you can see the preview by going to

filters->animation->playback

The following window will pop up, click the play button on the top left to see the animation.

If satisfied with the result, close the preview window and Click on

file->saves as

Enter the name for the file and add the extension .gif at the end.
In the file types option at the bottom right chose gif.

The prompt will be shown asking for confirmation whether the image should be stored as animation or as a flat image, choose save as animation

If the image size is big,a prompt for cropping the image might appear, choose crop and see if it affects your image or not.

The final prompt will allow to choose whether the animation should loop for ever or not.

The delay between frames can be specified in this has been specified next to layers itself, thus you can leave the default value of delay between frames as it does not affect the animation.

Click on save and the letter drop animation should be ready for use.

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Latest Nemo File Manager From GIT Gets Breadcrumbs, Option To Hide The Menu, More

Nemo, the default Linux Mint (Cinnamon) file manager, forked from Nautilus 3.4, has got a lot of interesting changes in GIT recently.
The most visible change is the addition of breadcrumbs which look great if you’re using the Mint-X theme (default Linux Mint theme, also available in the WebUpd8 Themes Repository) as you can see below:
Nemo file manager
Other themes need to be tweaked to correctly display the new Nemo breadcrumbs, although with some themes like MediterraneanNight or Evolve, it doesn’t look that bad (it looks pretty bad with some themes though, like Ambiance):
Nemo file manager breadcrumbs mediterraneannightNemo with MediterraneanNight theme
Nemo file manager breadcrumbs Evolve themeNemo with Evolve theme
The statusbar has been re-worked (if enabled, because you can also disable it and have a floating mini-statusbar) and it now includes options to toggle displaying the places sidebar, treeview or completely hide the sidebar. Also, the zoom controls have been moved from the main toolbar to the bottom right corner of the new statusbar (and a slider is now used instead of +/- buttons).

And finally, the Nemo menu can now be hidden (like the old Nautilus elementary) by deselecting View > Menubar and you can then toggle the menu by using the ALT key:
Nemo file manager hide menu
Nemo file manager without statusbar and menuNemo file manager with no menu and statusbar

Nemo is under heavy development these days and the new features mentioned above are subject to change.

How to install the latest Nemo file manager from GIT
For how to install the latest Nemo file manager from GIT in Ubuntu or Linux Mint (via PPA), see our previous post: How To Install Nemo File Manager In Ubuntu.
Arch Linux users can install Nemo via AUR.

For other Linux distributions, you can get the Nemo source code via GitHub.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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How To Use Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x As A Drop-Down Console (Guake-style)

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Xfce
Xfce4 Terminal has been updated recently, two new versions being released: 0.6.0 and 0.6.1, and many new features were added, including an option to use the terminal as a drop-down console, like Guake or Yakuake. But this new feature isn’t available as an option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences, so here’s how to use it.
Among the new features added in the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x, are:
Added search dialog;Terminal tab color changes when activity occurs in a tab since last viewed;Support for color presets and some presets were added by default, including “Solarized Dark”, my favourite terminal / text editor color scheme that I’ve been using everywhere for a long time (see: Solarized: A Must Have Color Scheme For Gnome Terminal, Vim, Gedit And Lots More)Drop-down window support when using “–drop-down” parameter
Changelogs: 0.6.0, 0.6.1

Install Xfce Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu
Before installing Xfce4 Terminal, please note that installing it in desktop environments other than Xfce will also install some Xfce packages.
To install Xfce 4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04, firstly add the Xfce 4.10 PPA and do an upgrade: Install Xfce 4.10 In Xubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin Via PPA. This isn’t required for Ubuntu 12.10.

Now, to install Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x in Ubuntu / Xubuntu 12.04 or 12.10, use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xubuntu-dev/xfce-4.12
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install xfce4-terminal(you may also want to run an upgrade to get the other Xfce 4.12 development packages from the Xfce 4.12 PPA if you haven’t already)
For other Linux distributions, you can download the latest Xfce4 Terminal 0.6.x source from HERE.

How to use the Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature
To use Xfce4 Terminal as a drop-down window, make sure you’re running version 0.6.1 or newer. The terminal doesn’t have a GUI option to run as a drop-down (it can only be used as a drop-down terminal by using the “–drop-down” command line parameter), so you must set a keyboard shortcut in your desktop environment to call “xfce4-terminal –drop-down”:

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut Xfce
– in Xfce: open Settings Manager > Keyboard > Application shortcuts, click “Add” and add the “xfce4-terminal –drop-down” command, then a dialog will pop-up – now press the keyboard shortcut you want to use to open the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down keyboard shortcut in GNOME / Unity

– in GNOME (including Unity): open System Settings > Keyboard > Shortcuts, under “Custom Shortcuts” click “+” to add a new shortcut, under “Name” enter “Xfce4 Terminal” and under command, use: “xfce4-terminal –drop-down“. Then click the shortcut on the right to add a keyboard shortcut and press the key you want to use for triggering the drop-down terminal (I’ve used F12).

This also means you don’t have to add the terminal to your startup applications and instead, the application will start the first time you use the keyboard shortcut you’ve assigned using the instructions above.

Then, press the keyboard shortcut you’ve used to open the terminal. Even though initially Xfce4 Terminal doesn’t have any custom drop-down settings, now that you’re using it as a drop-down terminal, a new tab called “Drop-down” should show up in its preferences, which allows you to tweak the way the drop-down works.

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down running in Unity
Here, if you use Unity (maybe on other DEs too) make sure you uncheck “Use shortcut to focus visible window” so the terminal closes when you press the keyboard shortcut you’ve set above. Without this, the terminal will only close/retract when it loses focus (unless you select “Keep window open when it loses focus” in which case it won’t close when focus is lost) in Unity, although this doesn’t occur in Xfce (so you don’t have to check this option in Xfce for this purpose).
In the Xfce4 Terminal preferences you can customize a lot of the drop-down terminal settings, including the window width, height, opacity, the duration, horizontal position and so on.
There’s also a button on the bottom right of the terminal that you can use to quickly toggle “Keep window open when it loses focus” on / off.
Xfce4 Terminal supports multiple screens so if you select to display the terminal in the center (top center) of the screen, it won’t show up on both screens in a dual screen setup, but on the center of the active monitor, something that you can’t do with Guake for instance. If you only want it to show up on the main monitor, uncheck the “Move to monitor with pointer” option in the Xfce4 Terminal preferences (Drop-down tab).

Xfce4 Terminal drop-down feature seen on desdelinux.net & lffl.org

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Download AirDroid 2 APK, Now With Remote Camera, Find My Phone Features [Android]

AirDroid 2AirDroid 2 – browser (web) interface
AirDroid is a free Android application that you can use to control your Android device from your desktop, by using a web browser (so it on Linux and any other OS). It can be used to transfer files (upload to the phone or download to your desktop), browse images, quickly send or read an SMS and many others.
We’ve covered AirDroid before, so take a look at our initial post for more info.

The latest AirDroid 2 beta could only be downloaded by using an invitation, but the apk can now be downloaded by everyone, although it’s not on Google Play just yet. The new version comes with many cool new features such as a new “Find my phone” service, a remote camera feature and others.
AirDroid2 Android appAirDroid 2 Android app
Here are some of the new features available in the latest AirDroid 2:
new remote Remote Camera feature: take photos using your phone from the AirDroid web interface;new “Find my phone” feature which uses the device GPS to display its current position, useful if you lose your phone or it gets stolen. You can remotely lock or wipe the phone;quick drag’n’drop area: you can now drag and drop files or apks in a special drag’n’drop area to quickly upload / install them to the Android phone or tabled, without having to open the AirDroid file manager;new option to take a screenshot of your Android device from AirDroid web interface. This feature requires root access on the Android device;the Android device doesn’t have to be in the same wireless network as the computer you’re using to access it and you can now use AirDroid over 3G / 4G;other small new features: quick access to frequent contacts, add folder shortcuts on the web interface desktop, etc.

Below you can see a few screenshots with some of the new AirDroid2 features in action:
AirDroid2 remote cameraRemote camera
AirDroid2 find my phoneFind my phone
AirDroid2 screenshotRemote screenshot feature

When you start AirDroid v2, you’ll be prompted to login with your AirDroid account so if you don’t have one, you’ll have to create it. Please note that I’ve encountered an error when trying to create an account: AirDroid allows you to use Twitter, Google and other services to create the account and if the username entered exists on Twitter (even though you didn’t select Twitter) but it’s not your account, you won’t be able to register, so you may have to enter an username that doesn’t exist on Twitter. Some users have reported some other more or less similar issues when registering and the AirDroid developers are working on a fix for this.
You can still use AirDroid 2 without an account, but you won’t have access to all the features. For instance, you’ll be able to control the camera from the browser, but the phone finder service won’t work and you won’t be able to transfer files over 3G / 4G. You can, however, transfer files over WiFi if you’re not using an AirDroid account. When you start it, enter the local address (e.g: 192.168…) in a web browser, and you’ll then be prompted to accept this connection on your device and you’re ready to go (no password is required any more):
AirDroid2 local connection no accountAccept connection (local, no account)
Another small issue I’ve encountered was when using a local connection (without an AirDroid account) and a HTTPS connection: the web page (AirDroid web interface) wouldn’t load in Firefox, but it did work in Google Chrome. However, let’s not forget that AirDroid v2 is still in beta, so all of these small issues should be fixed soon!

Since AirDroid v2 is still in beta, new features might be added later on.

AirDroid is probably the best solution to transfer files to/from your Android 4.0+ device on Linux, considering the current issues with this. Or, you can use Go-mtpfs which works, but is not so easy to use as AirDroid.

Download AirDroid v2
Download AirDroid 2 (beta) apk

I’ve tested AirDroid 2 beta using a Samsung Galaxy S2 phone running CyanogenMod 10.1 nightly (Android 4.2.1).

seen on LifeHacker and chimerarevo.com

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Work Started On Cinnamon Screensaver (Forked From GNOME Screensaver 3.4)

Like we were telling you a while back, Linux Mint 15 will get a new screensaver, among other cool new features and changes.
The work on the new Cinnamon screensaver has started and the code is available on GitHub:
Cinnamon ScreensaverCinnamon Screensaver / lock screen (work in progress!)
Cinnamon Screensaver is a fork of GNOME Screensaver 3.4 and is very simplistic: for now, it displays the time and date along with the username and a shaded background, with a lock screen dialog similar to the one available for Unity, like you can see in the screenshot above.

According to its desktop file, the screensaver can be used not only in Cinnamon, but also in Unity (and I can confirm it works with Unity), Xfce or GNOME.
The new Cinnamon Screensaver is not available as a .deb yet so the only way to install it for now is to compile it from source. But it will probably be available soon in the Cinnamon nightly builds PPA and it may be backported for Linux Mint 14 Nadia. For now, it conflicts with GNOME Screensaver which must be removed for Cinnamon Screensaver to work properly.
Arch Linux users can already install Cinnamon Screensaver via AUR.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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GNOME Shell 3.8: Redesigned Search

GNOME 3.8 will feature a redesigned search which displays the results in a list. A new search settings panel will allow users to configure the GNOME Shell search: you can enable or disable searching for documents, files, contacts or boxes and so on as well as a way to configure search locations:
GNOME Shell 3.8 search settings
GNOME Shell 3.8 search locations

The new GNOME Shell 3.8 search results are provided by individual applications and selecting a result will open it in the respective application. There’s a limit of 3 results per application in GS, but more can be displayed within the application.
And speaking of settings, there’s also a new Privacy panel which lets the user configure what information is revealed in various locations like the lock screen, history (recent files) and so on:
GNOME 3.8 privacy settings panel

Even though the design isn’t the same, the new Search settings panel and the Privacy panel provide together more or less the same settings that are available in the Unity Privacy settings panel, so once again the Unity and GNOME Shell designers have similar ideas, although obviously, the implementations are different.

Below you can see the new GNOME Shell 3.8 (work in progress) search redesign:

(direct video link)
These new features are already available in the latest GNOME 3.8 development releases (3.7.x). GNOME 3.8 is scheduled to be released on March 27.

via / more info @ Cosimo’s blog

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Fedora 18 `Spherical Cow` Released

Fedora 18 screenshotFedora 18 “Spherical Cow” has been released today, featuring the latest stable GNOME 3.6 by default and a brand new installer UI.

New installer UI
Fedora 18 introduces UEFI Secure Boot support so it can now be used on system shipped with Windows 8, as well as a new user interface for the installer (Anaconda), which is now easier to use for new users, while more advanced users can still access advanced settings:
Fedora 18 installer screenshot
Fedora 18 installer screenshot
Fedora 18 installer
Fedora 18 installer
However, the new installer is not 100% complete so check out the known issues. For instance, I found it a bit confusing that after setting the “Installation Destination” hard disk but not changing the partitions, the “Please complete items marked with this icon before continuing to the next step” message at the bottom was still displayed for a few seconds.

GNOME 3.6
GNOME 3.6 (with GNOME Shell as the default “shell” interface) is used by default in Fedora 18: Nautilus, GNOME Contacts, Boxes, Documents, Totem (Videos), etc. are all there.
Here are some Fedora 18 screenshots:

Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 screenshots

For more about GNOME 3.6, see: GNOME 3.6 Released – See What’s New

Cinnamon, MATE Desktop available in the repositories
Also, users who don’t like GNOME Shell can now use Cinnamon or MATE Desktop since both are available in the official Fedora 18 repositories, along with Xfce 4.10, KDE Plasma Workspace 4.9 or LXDE (these last 3 are also available as Fedora Spins)

Other changes
Fedora 18 introduces a new tool that’s used for the upgrade process (to newer Fedora versions) called fedUP. For how to upgrade the system using fedUP, see THIS page.

Fedora 18 updates screenshot
Also, Fedora 18 introduces offline updates and while many updates can still be made on the fly, some packages will require a system restart. The system will boot into a special update mode “in order to avoid problems related to conflicts of libraries and services that are currently running with those on disk”, says the Fedora Wiki.
Other changes include:
Improved storage management SSM (System Storage Manager)/tmp is used as tmpfs by default, this bringing less I/O generated on the disk, increases SSD life, saves power and improves overall performance,More!

For more info, see the official Fedora 18 release notes.

Default applications in Fedora 18
Fedora 18 screenshots
Fedora 18 ships with Linux Kernel 3.6 (3.6.10), but 3.7 is already offered as an update, X Server 1.13 and features default applications such as: Nautilus 3.6.3, GNOME Control Center 3.6.3, Evolution 3.6.3, GNOME Documents 3.6.2, GNOME Boxes 3.6.2, Deja Dup backup tool 24.0, Rhythmbox 2.98, Empathy 3.6.2, Firefox 18, Cheese 3.6.2, Shotwell 0.13.1, Transmission 2.72, GDM 3.6.2 and LibreOffice 3.6.3.2, among others, all on top of GNOME 3.6 and GTK 3.6.2.

Download Fedora 18
Download Fedora 18
And don’t forget to try Fedora Utils after installing Fedora, a tool to tweak Fedora and easily install packages which are not available in the main Fedora repositories.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Enable TRIM On SSD (Solid-State Drives) In Ubuntu For Better Performance

TRIM allows the OS to “inform a solid-state drive (SDD) which blocks of data are no longer considered in use and can be wiped internally“. Without using TRIM, the SSD speed decreases after a while so if you have a solid-state drive that supports TRIM, you should enable it so your SSD remains fast over time.
This isn’t easy to benchmark because the performance decreases over time so you’d neet to check the SSD speed constantly for a few months to see exactly how the SSD is affected when TRIM is not enabled. But if your SSD read / write speed decreases a lot over time and you haven’t enabled TRIM, this may be way.
Some articles mention using online discard – enabling TRIM by adding the “discard” option to /etc/fstab -, but there are many who say this isn’t a good idea for most solid-state drives and you’ll get a pretty significant performance hit when trying to delete a large number of small files. So below I’ll let you know how to use both of these methods: online discard (not recommended) and the recommended way: using fstrim and a cron (anacron) job.
Note: the instructions below have been tested in Ubuntu, but they may (most probably) work with other Linux distributions as well.
Before enabling TRIM, you must make sure:
you’re using the Linux Kernel 2.6.33 or neweryour SSD supports TRIMthe partition(s) are EXT4 or BTRFS*
* Since not many people are using BTRFS, this post will only cover enabling TRIM on EXT4 partitions.
If you’re unsure if your SSD supports TRIM, you can run the following command:sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda | grep “TRIM supported”
Where “/dev/sda” is the solid-state drive (it may be /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc, etc. for you), and the command should return something like this: “Data Set Management TRIM supported (limit 8 blocks)” (if there’s no output, your SSD doesn’t support TRIM).

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Beautiful MediterraneanNight GTK 3.6 Theme Pack Updated

MediterraneanNight is a pack of 3 darkish GTK3 themes based on Gnome Cupertino available for both GTK3.4 (Ubuntu 12.04) and GTK3.6 (Ubuntu 12.10 and 13.04) as well as for Xfce.
The beautiful theme pack has been updated yesterday, getting some interesting changes, but only for the GTK3.6 version:new switches,more rounded buttons,improved Rhythmbox sidebar color,Nautilus 3.6 changes: pathbar better spacing, improved icons sidebar color, changed the style of tabs (better readability),many fixes and details like fixed OSD widget, checkbox and radiobutton symbols in menus, fixed Synaptic GTK3 toolbar and more.
Below you can see a few screenshots featuring the latest MediterraneanNight, MediterraneanDark and MediterraneanLight for GTK 3.6:
MediterraneanNight GTK3.6 themeMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanNight widget factoryMediterraneanNight
MediterraneanDarkMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanDark widget factoryMediterraneanDark
MediterraneanLight gtk3 themeMediterraneanLight

As you’ve can see in the screenshots above, Nautilus 3.6 uses a different toolbar with smaller buttons and rounded pathbar (like Gnome Cupertino), but you can get the old style back using the configuration script I’ve packed with the theme, which you can use to customize any of the three Mediterranean themes. To do this, simply run:sudo mediterranean-configThen select the theme you want to customize, and when you reach the “Select style for Nautilus” step, select “3” which is “Nautilus 3.4 with light sidebar and pathbar” and even though the description says it’s for Nautilus 3.4 it should work with Nautilus 3.6. Then, restart Nautilus (sometimes a logout is required to fully apply the changes):nautilus -q
And you should have the old MediterraneanNight toolbar/pathbar for Nautilus 3.6:

Nautilus 3.6 old MediterraneanNight pathbar style

Install MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu
The theme pack is available in the WebUpd8 Themes PPA so to add the PPA and install the MediterraneanNight themes in Ubuntu 12.10 or 13.04 (for Ubuntu 12.04, the version is slightly older), use the following commands:sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/themes
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mediterraneannight-gtk-theme
Once installed, apply the theme using a tools such as GNOME Tweak Tool, Ubuntu Tweak or Unsettings and if you want to tweak the themes, don’t forget to use our configuration script, especially since you’ll have to select the desktop environment style (with or without a global menu), so once you’ve installed the themes, run:sudo mediterranean-config
For other Linux distributions, get MediterraneanNight from Gnome-Look.

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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Download Ambiance Theme For Spotify

Michael Tunnell has created a nice Ambiance theme for Spotify which makes the Spotify Linux client integrate better with the Ubuntu desktop.
For those not familiar with Spotify, this is a music streaming service with comes with desktop applications for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X as well as iOS, Android, BlackBerry or Windows Phone. The service is available in a limited number of countries. More @ Wikipedia.

The Ambiance Spotify theme comes with Ambiance-like toolbar and colors, a better Spotify tray icon especially designed to look like the Ubuntu Mono Dark icon set (the default icons used in Ubuntu), along with other tweaks that try to give Spotify a more native feel.
Here’s a screenshot in which I’m using the Ambiance Spotify theme in Ubuntu:

Spotify Ambiance theme Ubuntu
And below you can see the original Spotify for Linux theme:

Spotify default Linux theme

How to install Ambiance theme for Spotify
1. To use the Ambiance Spotify theme, firstly make sure you’ve installed the native Spotify Linux client. Then, download Ambiance for Spotify from HERE (see the bottom of the post for a download button) and place the downloaded archive in your home folder.
2. Then, close Spotify and run the following commands to install the Ambiance Spotify theme:tar -xvf ubuntu-ambiance-spotify-theme*.tar.gz
sudo cp resources.zip /opt/spotify/spotify-client/Data/
After this, you can remove the downloaded archive as well as the “resources.zip” file from your home directory.
If you want to revert the changes and go back to the default Spotify for Linux look, close Spotify and then simply reinstall it:sudo apt-get install –reinstall spotify-client

Thanks to / via +Michael Tunnell

Originally published at WebUpd8: Daily Ubuntu / Linux news and application reviews.



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