Up until 1999 I was mindlessly following the mainstream and used Windows as my desktop operating system. Then I tried Linux and never looked back. I have since also tried other free OS’es like OpenBSD, NetBSD, DragonFlyBSD, Plan9 and others.
My laptop runs Ubuntu Linux but without any desktop environment like Gnome or KDE. I prefer to run the Pekwm window manager directly on X. It’s got all I need; Being very flexible, configurable, lightning fast, rock stable and most importantly, unobtrusive. No task bar. No pop-ups (when I see the Windows desktops nowadays, I wonder how people can stand the constant pop-ups and the over-glorified eye-candy pulling the user’s attention).
I like minimalistic. Simple.
For many years I used the GKrellM system monitor to show me the status of memory, disk, wifi link, the clock with date, speaker volume, moon phase, weather forecast, new e-mails in various mail boxes, etc.
The other day I came across Conky. Now this is one piece of cool software. The most configurable and extensible information presenter I’ve ever seen. You can make Conky do just about anything. It will show any information you need directly on you desktop.
I decided to make a configuration file with just the information I need, on the top of my desktop. I added two entries to my Pekwm configuration file to reserve the top 30 pixels on my desktop for Conky (so no windows will ever cover that top screen space):
EdgeSize = “30 1 1 1”
EdgeIndent = “True”
Simplistic as it is, nothing beats my setup with regards to speed and productivity.
There are a few cool features added such as the volume changing to orange color whenever it is mutes, when the temperature goes above 60°C, it is shown in orange and above 70°C it is shown in red and battery is shown in orange below 10% capacity.
The upper left numbers are the day of the month and the week number in the year. The stuff to the far right are unread e-mails in three different mail folders.
Conky is a nerds wet dream. Excellent stuff.