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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:37 pm    Post subject: A movie-like desktop - HOWTO (DRAFT) Reply with quote

Hello,

Whilst having a horrible toothache I got this idea about creating a desktop which would be familiar from scifi-movies. You know, the blinking lights and all the eye-candy stuff. Usually I'm using xfce4, fluxbox, Gnome or KDE, but this time I decided to give Windowmaker a try. So I created a toy-account (movie) to my box and let it roll. Just for kicks.

This is _very much_ work-in-progress, as I started this thing less than two hours ago, but decided to follow the golden "release early, release often" rule. Feel free to suggest how to make this thing more cool, how to make more programs support this, how to automate things I currently align & do by hand, how to make this under different windowmanager, or whatever you may have in mind.

So here we go, I won't write very detailed instructions before I've heard comments from you, fellow Gentoo-users. :) Please bear in mind that currently this is "optimized" for my 1280x1024 desktop and my Final Destination(tm) is to have a movie-like desktop which interface would still be at usable level. And also remember that usually I'm after usability, not eye-candy, so that's why this stuff is unusual to me. Just for change I wanted to try this, and I think this is a great opportunity to learn something new. Please help me with this! :-)

A MOVIE-LIKE DESKTOP - HOWTO (DRAFT)
============================

Downloading & Installing required software
--------------------------------------------------
1) Get Windowmaker: emerge windowmaker
2) Get Windowmaker-themes: emerge windowmaker-themes
3) Get rxvt: emerge rxvt
4) Get gkrellm: emerge gkrellm
5) Get root-tail: emerge root-tail
6) Download CoplandOS-theme from www.muhri.net (for gkrellm)
7) Unpack CoplandOS to your ~/.gkrellm2/themes/

Starting programs
---------------------
1) Change your theme to "Cold" by right-clicking your desktop and selecting Appearance --> Themes --> Cold.
2) Start root-tail with "root-tail -color green -g 80x50+0+100 -shade /var/log/messages" (or whatever logfile(s) you want to follow)
3) Start rxvt with "rxvt --inheritPixmap -fg white -fn fixed +sb" (I changed that to be my default rxvt via the WindowMaker control panel, the greenish icon on the right-hand side of your default WindowMaker-desktop)
4) Move your new window to position of your choice and after that right-click its titlebar & disable titlebar and all the other visible stuff via Options. Save. Apply. Enjoy.
5) Start gkrellm with "gkrellm"
6) Change your gkrellm theme to CoplandOS by right-clicking gkrellm and selecting Theme-->CoplandOS.
7) If you want, add some themes to your gkrellm: there are plenty of them available at Gentoo Portage.

At this point you are free to suggest how to continue with this theme, or if you are already created one, please point me to it. :-)

Things I'm going to integrate with this toy (at least):

- 3ddesktop (for 3d switching between desktops)
- tdfsb (for 3d file browser, as seen in Jurassic Park)
- Some fancy applets... I'm not sure, but something like 3dload provided a rotating 3d object indicating the current system load - the faster the object rotated, the higher was the load.
- Some fancy background effects... ideas, anyone?
- Superkaramba-like more interactive background-desktop-stuff.

And if I'm taking completely wrong direction by starting with WindowMaker, please say it. :-) This is gonna be a nice toy project...
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oisch
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hehe I like this idea!
But have you ever noticed that in movies all the good guys use apple and the bad guys are using windows? (Apple pays good money for this practice, as I've read)
At least I have never seen a movie with a Linux desktop. Or did I miss anything?
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oops, sorry fellas - almost forgot to post a screenshot about what this pet project currently looks like. :-) Please be nice to my poor server, as it's only a P166 MHz / 48 Mt / SLOW ide-drives oldie...

http://jaba.mbnet.fi/pictures/movie_theme.jpg
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oisch wrote:
hehe I like this idea!
But have you ever noticed that in movies all the good guys use apple and the bad guys are using windows?


Yes, I've noticed that. In some old movies they're also using Amigas. :) And some recent movies (Matrix Reloaded nmap scene) could be anything...

oisch wrote:

At least I have never seen a movie with a Linux desktop. Or did I miss anything?


Right now I don't have any links to movies with Linux desktop but I'm pretty sure there are already some of those. And you never know, maybe those fancy-looking UI mock-ups are already created with Linux, since modifying and customizing everything up to your taste is very easy with Linux.
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SmackMyBishop
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Antitrust.

The good guys, and even the bad guys I think all used Gnome desktops.

It was a cool movie to boot.
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TGL
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Any idea for a "Jurassic Park"-like desktop? Remember, in the first movie, the young-but-brilliant-intelligent-à-la-Spielberg girl looks at a screen full of 3D boxes and she exclaims "I know this system, it's Unix!" 8O
Maybe 3DFM and 3Dwm could make this possible :wink:

Oh, and also, does somebody remember what is the hacker's desktop in "The Score"? When I've seen the movie, I've thought it might be Enlightenment, but I was not sure...
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carambola5
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TGL wrote:
Any idea for a "Jurassic Park"-like desktop? Remember, in the first movie, the young-but-brilliant-intelligent-à-la-Spielberg girl looks at a screen full of 3D boxes and she exclaims "I know this system, it's Unix!" 8O


I remember someone telling me that the program that was shown in that movie was actually a legit security package created before the movie. We all know the movie came out when computers weren't all that great at on-demand 3D stuff, so it must've been a pretty uncommon piece of software suitable only for big-time corporations.

But yeah, the girls exclamation is most definitely stupid.
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snakü
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Jurassic Park desktop actually was/is a real desktop for SGI's version of UNIX, IRIX.

check here:

http://www.sgi.com/fun/freeware/3d_navigator.html

you can download it, but the site says that its only for IRIX 5.3 and below.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

snakü wrote:
That Jurassic Park desktop actually was/is a real desktop for SGI's version of UNIX, IRIX.

check here:

http://www.sgi.com/fun/freeware/3d_navigator.html

you can download it, but the site says that its only for IRIX 5.3 and below.


http://fsv.sourceforge.net/
Linux compatible clone. Makes for decent show-off material to all your Windows friends.
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OneOfOne
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm currently using kde-3.1.3 but wouldn't e17 by the closest to those movies? (i havn't used it myself)
just a thought :)
good work, i'll try it tonight :)
peace
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viperlin
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2003 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

for a virual 3D filesystem i like to use TDFSB
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I made a very minor change: I added tdfsb to my desktop. See it here:

http://jaba.mbnet.fi/pictures/movie_theme_030831.jpg

In the picture you can see how I'm surfing around the portage directory via tdfsb. :-)
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jesterspet
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know how it was done, but a former co-worker of mine had his winamp visualisations running in the root window of his Gnome desktop.

It looked like his desktop was animated. Pretty cool effect. If someone knows how this is done in Gnome (or can be done in WindowMaker), I think you could be a bit closer to your desired Movie-OS effect.
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jesterspet wrote:
I don't know how it was done, but a former co-worker of It looked like his desktop was animated. Pretty cool effect. If someone knows how this is done in Gnome (or can be done in WindowMaker), I think you could be a bit closer to your desired Movie-OS effect.


Hey, thanks for the idea! I think that in WindowMaker this could be accomplished by starting xmms, selecting a nice visualization plugin, run it in a window, resize window to some cool size & move it to desired position and then remove all the window decorations, titlebars and stuff via WindowMaker menus. :) Will try it soon.
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TGL
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jesterspet wrote:
I don't know how it was done, but a former co-worker of mine had his winamp visualisations running in the root window of his Gnome desktop.

This can also be done with any screensaver, which is also cool...:
Code:
/usr/lib/xscreensaver/xmatrix -root
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2003 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TGL wrote:
jesterspet wrote:
I don't know how it was done, but a former co-worker of mine had his winamp visualisations running in the root window of his Gnome desktop.

This can also be done with any screensaver, which is also cool...:
Code:
/usr/lib/xscreensaver/xmatrix -root


Thanks for the tip! This thread is already a great learning-experience. 8)
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koala
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TGL wrote:
jesterspet wrote:
I don't know how it was done, but a former co-worker of mine had his winamp visualisations running in the root window of his Gnome desktop.

This can also be done with any screensaver, which is also cool...:
Code:
/usr/lib/xscreensaver/xmatrix -root


For kicks, do this with the Real Slick Screensavers.

I think "The Score" (Edward Norton, Robert de Niro, IIRC) had what looked like an X11 desktop, but I don't remember now. The 'hacker' was shown playing Q3 too...
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TGL
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2003 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't know this screensavers, some are really splendid. (For those who wonder if it is in portage, answer is yes. The package is called "x11-misc/rss-glx".)

About "The Score", I've watch the divx again, but I don't really know what the desktop are. There are several, probably real, X11 desktops, which are all different. But the only one we can see full screen is much more simple, probably a fake.
And there is a Tux mascotte one top of one of the computers. ;)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 3:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just found something that my be interesting for the Movie-OS.

http://electricsheep.org

Fractal images generated by distributed computing displayed as a screensaver.

Combining this with the desktop root window idea, I think it may have some great geek potential!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another cool effect is using mplayer with the --rootwin option, thus playing the movie on the root window.

This looks especially cool with a matrix reloaded trailer running with --loop 0 (infinite) as your background.

This only works with certain -vo options, such as xv and x11 (man mplayer for more info)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another incredibly cool background is XPlanet.

With this you can have rotating planets with orbiting satellites as your desktop.

[img:da451ea04b]http://xplanet.sourceforge.net/Images/IoFromMercury.png[/img:da451ea04b]

[img:da451ea04b]http://xplanet.sourceforge.net/Images/EarthFromMoon.png[/img:da451ea04b]
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to follow up to that, you can add cloud maps and weather notes, as well as recent volcanic activity... it's pretty versatile and very cool.

Note to self: must upgrade computer to be able to have xplanet running all the time.
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Janne Pikkarainen
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks again for all your suggestions. :) I will try these tonight!
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 4:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why this topic is in "Documentation, Tips & Tricks"?
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2003 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm... using /usr/lib/xscreensaver/xmatrix -root doesn't work for me... neither does any other screensaver... :( anyone have any idea why not? the terminal i tried from just sits there doing nothing 'till i ^C it.
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