I came across a rare problem tonight: I need to merge slides from a Power Point slide presentation and a slide show I made in LaTeX Beamer. I hate the .ppt format, if I ever have to view a .ppt I install Impress, convert the file to a .pdf and uninstall Impress. But this time around I need to teach one lecture for a friend of mine, and she uses slides provided by the text book. About 50% of the slides are usable, but I need to make 20 or so slide of my own and add them. Since the text book slides have pictures and crap I don’t want to redo in Beamer, I needed to find a better way (insert David Cross electric scissors joke here).
PDF-Shuffler is an app I came across in the Ubuntu repos. It has a single python dependency and does a few things, but one thing very well: you can open as many .pdf’s as you want, it displays every slide from each .pdf in a grid, and you choose what order they go in. Any slide you don’t want, you simply delete. You can also resize and rotate slides. And that’s it. But since that’s all I needed it to do, that’s pretty sweet.
The Statler forum over at the CrunchBang site is letting users vote on which applications they want included in the Statler alpha release. I noticed that Geany was third in text editor voting, and since I am unfamiliar with Geany, I decided to check it out. Turns out they have support for plugins, and have a LaTeX plugin. What is odd is that I have never seen anyone in a “Which Linux LaTeX editor to you use” thread mention Geany. Geany and all of the plugins and the LaTeX plugin are in the Lucid repositories (I have Lubuntu on my netbook) and have no additional dependencies.
The LaTeX plugin has its own menu under “tools” and appears to have more menu options than any LaTeX editor plugin I have tried other than gedit. Geany appears to be more of an IDE than a text editor, so there are also a ton of other options cluttering up the menus. There also doesn’t appear to be an auto spell checking option, which is crucial for me.
The Geany LaTeX plugin is easy to install, and would be a good alternative for people that don’t have access to the gedit LaTeX plugin or people that are already Geany users.
Geany LaTeX plugin
But Wicd is good stuff. Anyone know why the buntu’s are so in love with Network Manager? And, why does the LXDE team feel the need to develop their own network manager, when they could just include Wicd in the same way they include Leafpad? Same goes for Slim and LXDM. If there are good lightweight apps out there, just use them.
I’m not sure why SLIM isn’t the default login in manager for LXDE, and I’m also not sure why I’ve never installed it before. But I just did, and I’m pretty pleased with the results. Just run
aptitude install slim
and when asked to select a default login manager choose SLIM. Then reboot, and run
aptitude remove gdm
Then use Synaptic to remove the residual config files. I’ve been using SLIM for all of 10 minutes, and it already seems much faster than GDM. To change the default theme, download (or create) a new theme, and place it in
and modify the slim configuration file
to select to the new theme. I couldn’t find an LXDE theme (I didn’t look very hard either), but I did find a pretty slick Debian one. Does anyone know why the LXDE project is developing their own login manager? This one seems pretty light weight and configurable.
Slick grey Debian theme
One of the applications included in Lubuntu is the system profiler Hardinfo. As a user of the LXDE desktop included with Debian I had never come across hardinfo. Hardinfo appears to be lightweight (I have no idea what it’s written in, but when I installed it on my Debian+LXDE machine it required no additional dependencies) but has all the functionality you’d expect to find in heavy apps such as Device Manager. As someone who continually formats their machines with various Linux distributions, I occasionally need to find device information that I have forgotten or lost. Hardinfo can quickly display the name of your wireless device so you know which drivers to install. This would also be handy if you receive a computer as a hand-me-down, which I just did. Here’s the hardinfo community page at Ubuntu.
Hardinfo at Ubuntu