Clementine, a great music player

31 May 2018 / Leonardo Barichello

I am a KDE user since my first steps towards Linux. Currently, my OS is KDE Neon and I am very pleased with it! Apart from very few minor occasional bumps, everything works amazingly well and I get the most updated pieces of software possible :)

My music player has been Amarok for a long (long!) time. It was always successful in allowing to navigating my music by folder instead of trying to categorize and organize it for me. However, since KDE 5, Amarok is stuck in time. Slow and without any new features. After a couple of attempts, I found Clementine. My first impression was: it does the job, even though it does not look great.

Clementine has all the basic features that you expect from a music player, including my must-have folder navigation. It also integrates very well with Plasma. But the tipping point was the "Complete tags automatically" feature: it connects to online databases and suggest the most likely tags for your mp3 files. It works perfectly and it is very handy! No need of using external software and I can progressively improve the organization of my collection.

After finding that feature, I decided to make it look a bit better and faster and you can see how it looks for me now in the image below.

clementine's interface

And here is how you can get the same look:

  1. Make sure you have the latest version of Clementine. For better performance and look you need at least 1.29 to get the QT5 framework behind it;
  2. Right click on the sidebar and choose "plain sidebar";
  3. Download here a new icon set and follow the instructions to install.

Some day I will tweak the icons to make them even plainer, but even before that Clementine is my favorite music player on linux!

Purism, an open mobile

17 Sep 2017 / Leonardo Barichello

Since the failed attempt of Canonical to crowdfund the Ubuntu Touch device some time ago, there was not much news regarding free/open/libre options in the mobile world... until now! Purism, a company with a good experience with devices focused on openness and privacy, is launching a crowdfunding campaign to support a truly linux based device.

If you appreciate the idea, what about support the campaign? Personally, the device is a bit above my financial reach, but you can donate smaller amount just to support the campaign. If they succeed, this is probably going to open a huge door for linux onto the mobile market, and this could bring new (cheaper) devices :)

Update: the campaign was successful! :)

Small icons for Breeze (Plasma 5)

07 Aug 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

Recently, I started to use Kubuntu 15.04 with Plasma 5.

Although I had some minor issues in the beginning, I am really pleased by the new look and some of the new features. One aspect that I particularly like is the new icon set (called Breeze). It is elegant and coherent.

Also, I liked the idea of having versions of the icons designed specifically for situations where they are small, such as in the taskbar. Those versions are monochromatic and, usually, with less details than the regular ones.

But the icon set does not have small versions for all icons. As a result, some of the icons in my taskbar were coloured and others monochromatic. After some search, I found the guidelines for the Breeze icons and adapted icons for some applications that I usually include in my taskbar. Here they are:

libreoffice icon firefox icon mendeley desktop kate

In order to use them, download (right click, save link) and copy the files to the folder /usr/share/icon/breeze/apps/software-small.

I will update the post every time I create a new icon.

Office 2010 Pro on Kubuntu 15.04 through wine

07 Jul 2015 / Leonardo Barichello

I just managed to install Office 2010 Pro 32 bits (legal copy) on my PC running Kubuntu 15.04 (64 bits) through wine. As the process demanded a few improvements on a couple of online tutorials, I decided to describe it here:

1) Add the repository for wine in order to be able to use version 1.7:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

2) Install wine1.7, winbind and mono:

sudo apt-get install wine1.7 wine-mono4.5.6 winbind

3) Create a 32-bits profile on wine (necessary because some of the libraries are not available for 64-bits):

WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winecfg

4) Change for Windows XP in the config window that will open after the previous command (I am not sure if this is necessary, but I did it because most of tutorials I read recommended).

5) Install dotnet20, msxml6, corefonts:

env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks dotnet20
env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks msxml6
env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks corefonts

6) Go to the folder where the installer is and run it using the 32-bits profile:

env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 wine MicrosoftOffice.exe

Finally, we have to override the library riched20. To do so, use the command below and add the library, then click on Edit and choose the option Native (Windows).

env WINEPREFIX="/home/leo/.wine32" winecfg

At least for me, this procedure worked twice, in two different PCs running Kubuntu 15.04.


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