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Time Saving Linux Desktop Tips? 565

dan_polt asks: "I currently use a Linux desktop system, at work. One of the great things about the Linux desktop is that there are lots of ways to save a lot of time from useful widgets and configuration to minimize the pain of repetitive tasks. Most of my work involves web/e-Mail/SSH access, and I have a very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens. What software or configuration tips might Slashdot have for me to: make better use of my time; make the most of my screen real estate; and make my use of the desktop more effective?"
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Time Saving Linux Desktop Tips?

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  • Outsource (Score:5, Funny)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:34PM (#14126359)
    1. Give me your machine.
    2. You have more free time.
    3. ???
    4. Profit!
    • Re:Outsource (Score:5, Informative)

      by Janitha ( 817744 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:05AM (#14126753) Homepage
      First find a good window manager (initially spend the time if you have some exploring gnome, kde, enlightenment, twm, fluxbox, *box, what ever). Find something you like from that. Simple is good. Bling Bling is bad. I personally choose enlightenment. Multiple desktops! Use them. I have a 3x3 array setup with edge flipping so hitting the edge of the screen would push me to the adjacent desktop and have wrapping around. So within any desktop, I can access any other. Of course this is a personal preference. (I would imagine this taking someone a long time to get used to, but once you do its like gold). Create a convention on how you would use your desktops, for example the top row for work, middle for shells/web/information, middle last for email, and bottom row for shells. Something that you will feel good with. Learn your shortcuts (either for window manager, editor, or what ever software your using). Things I find useful are scrolling through desktops, autocomplete, saving/copy/paste, locking computer, open applications, change music. Personalize your enviornment and applications. Configuration files are there for a reason. Set up shortkut keys and use them. Of course when you are customizing it, do it only once (or twice) initially not everyday tweaking more than you edit your actual work. If its a work computer, do not even think about installing games. And get rid of those bookmarks, my productivity shot up as soon as the slashdot and other bookmarks went away. Organize all the work related bookmarks in a way thats easiest for you. Lot of other things I was planning to say are already written below. Enjoy.
  • My advice... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by garcia ( 6573 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:35PM (#14126364)
    Don't be posting to Slashdot and reading the trolls you will receive in response instead of working on that high-spec'd dual headed monster you got.

    That'll save you a ton more time than any of the advice given here ;)

    Personally, I have tried to use as much as I can via Putty (SSH+screen) and keep everything I do in one window. It cuts down on how much I have taking up my real estate and it seems to make me more productive.

    Even with a 23" LCD it's nice to have everything in one place.
    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:41PM (#14126387)
      rm -f /usr/local/bin/games
  • by Bananatree3 ( 872975 ) * on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:36PM (#14126365)
    Try watching Star Wars and working at the same time! Wait a sec, maybe that wouldn't work...
  • Time saver (Score:4, Funny)

    by dfjunior ( 774213 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:37PM (#14126367)
    make better use of my time

    Quit f-ing around on Slashdot and get back to work!
    • by gatzke ( 2977 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:04AM (#14126498) Homepage Journal

      In /etc/hosts www.slashdot.org .slashdot.org

      Helps me at work...
      • Re:Time saver (Score:5, Informative)

        by leuk_he ( 194174 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @06:32AM (#14127571) Homepage Journal
        YOu should realy use www.slashdot.org .slashdot.org
        I wonder how this habit of using came into fashion if is the more correct solution.
      • by hey! ( 33014 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @08:25AM (#14127790) Homepage Journal
        and other methods for tricking yourself.

        The problem I have with these tactics is that obfuscation strategies don't work against a sufficiently clever and determined opponent. And I'm very clever and determined when it comes to avoiding work.

        No, the important thing to do is to sap your determination for wasting time. The reason people waste time is that they have so many commitments they can't keep them straight, although they're rattling around somewhere in their head.

        The mind is like a thick, opaque stew -- you can only be aware of what happens to boil to the surface at the moment. We toss all the commitments we make to ourselves and others into the pot, and pretty soon its beyond us to know all the things that are in there. It's very common to harbor a unnamed suspicion that that something nasty like a severed human finger could surface at any second. This creates a tremendous resistance to even looking at the stew, much less stirring it up to find something important you've lost.

        The secret to productivity is to change your mind from stew to consommé. To do this, you have to find some place other than your mind to put all your commitments. Then you have to look at all those things on a regular basis, because they'll sneak into your head if you don't. That's what people miss when they "get organized".

        Simple program to clear your mind of frightening junk:

        1. Refuse every commitment that is not essential.
        2. Place every commitment you make, no matter how trivial, into a tracking system.
        3. Review everything in you system without fail every Monday, refactoring undoable items into doable steps.
        4. Review the doable items you have without fail every day.

  • Turn it off (Score:5, Insightful)

    by daeley ( 126313 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:37PM (#14126368) Homepage
    First thing you do to increase productivity is turn off all the blinkenlight widgetry. Even if the frenetic distractions every second don't give you seizures, they'll certainly slow your mental processes down.

    Then, open a web browser in one window and a terminal in the other and get to work you slacker! ;)
  • Linux Desktop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by B Man ( 51992 ) <<bhgraham> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:38PM (#14126372) Homepage
    I use Linux mostly at work as well, I do work in a Windows-centric environment so I use VMWare to run Windows. Otherwise I would rather just use the virtual consoles, with ssh, elinks (for browsing), and rarely X. I do find X to be useful for things that I must use it for, but for the most productivity, nothing beats a console.
    • Re:Linux Desktop (Score:4, Insightful)

      by cbr2702 ( 750255 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:59PM (#14126479) Homepage
      I do find X to be useful for things that I must use it for, but for the most productivity, nothing beats a console.

      It's quite nice to be able to have multiple terminals visible at the same time and have quick cut-and-paste. I like X a lot, mostly as a way to hold many xterms.

      I do find, though, that as everyone writing for the web expects you to have a GUI browser, firefox is quicker than elinks for most things.

      • Re:Linux Desktop (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:10AM (#14126526)
        multiple terminals visible at the same time

        The utility screen will let you split your terminal space between an arbitrary number of applications (and each one recognizes that it has its own tty).

        quick cut-and-paste

        Once again, screen has you covered, and will allow you to transport text between hosted applications; it even provides a spiffy vi-like interface for selection, and freezes the program output (no, it doesn't suspend) while you're doing this.
      • Re:Linux Desktop (Score:4, Informative)

        by spuzzzzzzz ( 807185 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:15AM (#14126547) Homepage
        I agree strongly with this comment. And although sibling points out that it is possible to copy and paste with gpm, I still find X useful because I can see so much more stuff (in different windows) at the same time. And if you're one of those people that uses X as an Xterm container, a tiling window manager [wmii.de] is essential.

        PS: I find that wmii isn't very mature yet; I still prefer wmi-10.
      • Re:Linux Desktop (Score:4, Informative)

        by leoboiko ( 462141 ) <leoboiko&gmail,com> on Monday November 28, 2005 @07:41AM (#14127709) Homepage
        If you want to run X programs but hate managing so-called "windows", try ratpoison [nongnu.org], the mouse-less, window-less window manager. It's screen(1) for X. No more space lost with decorations, no more time lost resizing and moving windows.
  • The /. effect (Score:4, Insightful)

    by richdun ( 672214 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:40PM (#14126381)
    Get Slashdot to space the posts 10 hours apart. That'll increase geek-productivity worldwide in no time.
  • I realize this is offtopic, but I do believe it needs to be said.

    There were 10 hours and 26 minutes between front page posts. And people wonder why we're bleeding users to other sites? It's the BS editors. The BS dupes. The BS factual errors. Seriously, wtf are we paying Slashdot for? If you're buying a subscription, what are you getting? What are the advertisements on the page doing for us? Where does this money go?

    I've always left ads on Slashdot because I 'support' the culture, but this is the fi
    • by Junior J. Junior III ( 192702 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:44PM (#14126409) Homepage
      See, Taco! I told you if you started filtering dupes, people would find a way to complain!

      Back to the drawing board...
    • by Lifewish ( 724999 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:46PM (#14126415) Homepage Journal
      Of the four or so high-content-rate sites I frequent, none of them had anything happening in the last 10 hours. Would you prefer that Slashdot lower their content standards even further? Is that even possible?
    • You're just mad because you aren't reading the cool stuff at TotalSlashdot.org.
    • by Karma Farmer ( 595141 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:48PM (#14126432)
      There were 10 hours and 26 minutes between front page posts.

      Given a choice between a few articles of high quality and many articles of low quality, I'd take fewer articles.

      Of course, that's a false choice, in two senses. First, there's no correlation between the number of articles and the quantity of articles. Second, it's not a choice Slashdot offers.
    • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <david@amazing.com> on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:50PM (#14126436) Homepage
      Well, it is Thanksgiving weekend. Most people are out doing stuff with their physical world friends.

      Some of the ads are actually useful. My business partner's going to get a gift from ThinkGeek (better not say what it is here since he might be watching!) And it looks like I'll be using ServerBeach for my next venture. So I wouldn't give up on ads, and as you say I like supporting Slashdot.

      As for your substantiative criticisms, are we really bleeding users? I certainly haven't noticed any lack of comments. In fact, it might not be so bad if we did. It sure was nice when I could actually read every comment on the articles that interested me. Now I'm lucky if I can finish the first page of ten!

      Digg is so different from Slashdot in my experience that I don't see them as competitors. I visited there, didn't see what the fuss was about, and came back here.

      That being said, to me it's always been about the comments, and the rich experience they bring us here. For example, I've wanted to learn about on-demand water heaters for some time, and all someone had to do was post an article about some bogus new on-demand technology, and whammo! I found out pretty much everything a person could conceivably want to know about them.

      The moderation system is clever, and really works, and that seems to be the main value added that Slashdot's founders have created. Other than that, it's been being in the right place at the right time and having the right idea.

      As long as there's a good and active user community here, I'm still loyal to it. The founders aren't the most literate bunch in the world, and they make all kinds of silly mistakes, but this place seems to work and generate interesting stuff, and for that I'm happy.


      • I'm going to ignore the other blatant shill comments, but this one I can't ignore:

        As long as there's a good and active user community here, I'm still loyal to it. The founders aren't the most literate bunch in the world, and they make all kinds of silly mistakes, but this place seems to work and generate interesting stuff, and for that I'm happy.

        Mistakes generate interesting stuff? What? Trolls, "insightful" comments, and +5 Funny's about duplicates and suggestions on how the "editors" could find duplicat
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:14AM (#14126541)

        As for your substantiative criticisms, are we really bleeding users?

        Yes. Six to twelve months ago, there were a few news stories about the Slashdot effect losing its power, and since then, the traffic analyses a few companies do have shown Slashdot to be receiving less traffic. To add my own anecdote, I've noticed a number of the smarter users who used to contribute here no longer do, and I've certainly been coming less often.

        The type of users that are staying is of crucial importance. I've noticed the same thing happen to quite a few Usenet newsgroups. A bunch of newbies come in and annoy people, the signal:noise ratio goes down, the regular contributers/experts leave, and a year later, the place is full of newbie noise and no real answers.

        Slashdot can survive pretty much anything, except for one thing: losing the smart contributors. In the past year or so, I've noticed the quality of comments declining rapidly, and if this continues as it has been, I fully expect Slashdot to be a complete joke a year from now.

    • by Temporal ( 96070 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:46AM (#14126964) Journal
      Umm... Some articles posted within the 10 hours before this one include this one [slashdot.org], this one [slashdot.org], this one [slashdot.org], this one [slashdot.org], and this one [slashdot.org].
  • Unless those 1600x1200 screens are giant (most aren't, I think my 17" monitor here can go that far), your text becomes tiny. Put one of them into console mode instead of graphics and keep your SSH session on there, then use X11 forwarding if you need apps on the other screen.
  • Term Productivity (Score:4, Informative)

    by digitaltraveller ( 167469 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:42PM (#14126396) Homepage
    GNU Screen [gnu.org] is a featured packed window manager that multiplexes a physical terminal between several processes. You can detach from remote screen sessions and the program will continue to run. You can then re-attach later; an essential feature if you use ssh alot.

  • by gtoomey ( 528943 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:43PM (#14126397)
    You can mount a remote filesystem in KDE without using NFS, ftp, rsync, Samba etc

    Just enter in Konqueror
    (yes that is fish) and you will be asked for your ssh password.
    Your remote files appear in Konqueror & you can then copy/paste etc to your local filesystem.

    • by Yrrebnarg ( 629526 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:13AM (#14126539)
      You missed the real power-feature here. Try using fish (or ftp or even http) while you're attaching something in kmail or editing a file with kate, or even koffice. Now try doing a drag-and-drop into a konsole...now try it with a URL. Now try it while in a ssh -X session. Or maybe man:screen or info:glibc as a URL in konqueror. One last trick is KDE's alt-f2 dialog. It does integer arithmetic and opens URLs. KDE really is cool if you use it, but nobody here in the USA ever seems to give it a chance.

      And for the flamebait part, why is kde so unloved here in the USA?
      • by ananke ( 8417 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:09AM (#14126777)
        Not to mention the quickie acronyms. Type 'gg:whatever' in that alt+f2 dialog, or any konqueror, and you'll be taken to google. Same thing for imdb, fm [freshmeat], etc.
  • Quicksilver (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bennyp ( 809286 )
    QS is a great app for OS X. One of it's many functions is as a launcher.
    Say I want to start inkscape. I press apple-space,i,n,k. by that point, qs has figured out that i want inkscape and has displayed it's icon, then i press enter and inkscape launches.

    or say i want Jack Johnson's phone number. I press apple-space,j,c,k,j,n,s,n. his contact icon pops up, i press the left arrow and his phone number is highlighted, then i press enter and the number fills the screen on a transparent window.

    it saves me a whack
  • 3x3 virtual desktops with a web browser in the middle one. Of course, I think what you end up doing should depend on what you are trying to do with your computer. For me, I do a lot of system administration so I tend to use a lot of terminals. I got used to using a 160x60 sized terminal for my suso.org screen session (which runs things like mutt, etc.). I think gkrellm makes good use of space and I like it for controlling the volume. Figure out what programs you use the most and put them in the panel
  • by linuxpyro ( 680927 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:46PM (#14126419)

    What window manager/desktop environment are you using? In general, I would say make use of what you already have. Assuming you use FireFox, make liberal use of the tabs function; I prefer about five per window on my 1280x1024 single screen system, so you could probably do more without the tabs becoming too small. Also, when SSHing or doing general terminal work, use a terminal with tabs. The Gnome terminal will do this, but multi-aterm is less of a resource hog. (For some reason I can't seem to copy and paste into multi-aterm, something I can do in the Gnome term. If there's a way around this I would be interested; the copy and pasting is helpful.) I know this is not much, but I usually find that making more efficient use of your environment is more something to sit and think about a bit. It's better to try to work with what you have than to go and install a bunch of applications that may or may not help.

  • Easy... (Score:3, Funny)

    by colonslashslash ( 762464 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:46PM (#14126421) Homepage
    make better use of my time; make the most of my screen real estate; and make my use of the desktop more effective?"

    Hardcore nudity on the left monitor, Slashdot front page auto-refreshing on the right. What more could a geek at work ask for?

    Oh wait.. for work you say? Well, how liberal is your boss?

  • by elconde ( 779753 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:48PM (#14126427) Homepage
    Bind everything! Use the spare windows key to bind every application that you use regularly.

    http://hocwp.free.fr/xbindkeys/xbindkeys.html [hocwp.free.fr]

    Some good ones from my .xbindkeysrc:

    "xmms --stop" Mod4 + Up

    "xmms --play-pause" Mod4 + Down

    "xmms --fwd" Mod4 + Right

    "xmms --rew" Mod4 + Left

    "emacs" Mod4 + e

    "firefox" Mod4 + m

    "oocalc ~/aspreadsheet.sxc" Mod4 + c

    • Simple binding save you a couple seconds here and there, but if you can type fast you might as well use it to your advantage. The standard reply would be to learn vim/emacs/full-featured-editor.

      If you have taken the time to do that, why not do the same for your window managment? No two windows are more than 3 keystrokes away. Ratpoison [nongnu.org], or (as I would see it) better Ion [cs.tut.fi], allows you to completely control and automate your window mangement. The ability to add keyboard shortcuts to tasks as you prefer it (ch

  • Depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by miyako ( 632510 ) <miyakoNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:49PM (#14126434) Homepage Journal
    Setting up an efficient workspace depends a lot on what exactly you do most of the time and how you prefer to work.
    Keeping in mind that these tips might not be at all applicable to you, here are a few things I've found that help me to be more efficient.
    When doing software development, I like to keep code open in one window and documentation open in another. This is much more useful if your working with an unfamiliar language or API.
    When I'm doing web design or coding in PHP I like to keep code open in one window and a web browser open in the other for testing.
    Avoid keeping email or IM clients open at all times one one monitor. Even if you are in regular communication with co-workers having these things open all the time is a great distraction.
    Choose a good Desktop Environment. While I like KDE for regular non-work stuff, I find that I'm often a lot more productive using WindowMaker, not really sure why this is though to be honest.
  • by b0r1s ( 170449 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:50PM (#14126440) Homepage
    1) Don't be afraid to use newer versions of software, but don't try upgrading when you have deadlines pending. Switching from things like XTerm to more modern terminals (Gnome terminal, KDE's term app, whatever) will benefit you in the long run, but there's always quirks that will pop up, especially if the change requires installation or upgrading libraries. Be willing to try new software, but don't be too anxious.

    2) Just like your desk, find out what needs to be where by trying new things. I find that email needs to be full-screen on a second monitor, and 'everything else' belongs on my l arger primary. I keep a few SSH terms open in virtual desktops so that I can have an open console when the poop hits the fan, but they're out of the way the rest of the time.

    3) Use rsync or tar to backup your home directory frequently, because when you need to restore, you'll be glad you did. Most programming conventions in Linux make this much easier than in (say) Windows, as you don't have to worry about app config stored in weird places (registry), but you still need to be anal about backups.

    4) Turn off the silly services to save CPU and Memory. 'chkconfig' in many modern distros (primarily redhat-based) will show you what's going to start at boot - turn off telnet, ftp (if you can use sftp), and the nfs daemons if you won't be serving NFS. Defaults suck, spend a few minutes tweaking these things and it'll help you much in the future.

    5) Learn your favorite window manager well. If it's Gnome, or KDE, or whatever, learn it. Those of us who have been using Windows for a decade know the ins-and-outs of the Explorer interface, and it really saves us time - learning their equivalents in Linux will also save you time.

  • Virtual Desktops (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dorkygeek ( 898295 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:50PM (#14126441) Journal

    Group your running applications by tasks (i.e. browsing, email, development, etc.), and assign each of these tasks a virtual desktop (by remembering on which virtual desktop you grouped these applications). Then switching between different task domains becomes extremely fast, because you just have to click on the correct desktop in the virtual desktop app, and you have all apps you need to complete the task at hand instantly.

    This is ways faster than switching between single applications or having them all on one single desktop, and having to dig your way through tons of windows to find the rigt program.

    Oh, and use the session manager to save the session before you log-out, so the next time you log-in, you have all the apps you need already running, and on the same virtual desktops as before.

  • Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mac Degger ( 576336 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:51PM (#14126446) Journal
    The question you should ask is why the hell your company is giving you a "very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens." if your work only "involves web/e-Mail/SSH access".

    Really; is your company's IT department stupid? Is your company run by dot-com-bubble-wanna-be's who want to repeat the past? When your tasks are so system-resource-undemanding, why did they pay for that machine for you? You could do your work on a 486! Literally!
    • The question you should ask is why the hell your company is giving you a "very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens." if your work only "involves web/e-Mail/SSH access".

      My guess is this is just a fantasy question designed to press the buttons for Slashdot, with as much relation to the submitter's real life as a "Letter to Penthouse"; i.e. techno-porn wish fulfilment. "If you had a Lamborghini/a million dollars/a longer dick/..."

    • Re:Wrong question (Score:3, Insightful)

      by GeorgeMcBay ( 106610 )

      Really; is your company's IT department stupid? Is your company run by dot-com-bubble-wanna-be's who want to repeat the past? When your tasks are so system-resource-undemanding, why did they pay for that machine for you? You could do your work on a 486! Literally!

      Have you tried actually using a 486 recently? And I'm not talking about with modern software, but with software we used back then. It isn't pretty. Things were a lot slower and more annoying than you remember, we just didn't notice because we we
    • Re:Wrong question (Score:3, Informative)

      by eyeball ( 17206 )
      The question you should ask is why the hell your company is giving you a "very high spec'd machine with dual-head 1600x1200 screens." if your work only "involves web/e-Mail/SSH access".

      Really; is your company's IT department stupid? Is your company run by dot-com-bubble-wanna-be's who want to repeat the past? When your tasks are so system-resource-undemanding, why did they pay for that machine for you? You could do your work on a 486! Literally!

      I don't know. My tasks at work are split roughly 50/50 between
  • by carcosa30 ( 235579 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:59PM (#14126480)
    alias su="xterm -fg white -bg darkred -e su" so when you su, you get a new xterm in colors to remind you that that xterm is root.

    Use fluxbox. The tabs mean that you can stack up things like xterms.

    If you run gnome panel, you can put drawers on it. The drawers can contain swallowed apps, such as xterms running top, tail syslog, watch processes, etc. So you can pop open a monitor drawer and xterms running text monitors emerge.

    Check into 3ddesk. It's an applet that maps your desktops onto a 3d cylinder that can be rotated with the mousewheel for desktop switching. Much more useful than it sounds. The visual preview and positional awareness that it gives make it possible to use many more desktops than you ordinarily could without them becoming useless clutter like they can with traditional pagers.

    I don't know why you're concerned about maximizing real estate with a dual-head display. I get by just fine with a 19 inch display.

    That said, there are some technologies emerging that will allow you to use x11 functionality to use a laptop or additional workstation as a second (or third) screen controlled by the same desktop. Check into x2vnc.
  • Automation (Score:5, Informative)

    by zorander ( 85178 ) on Sunday November 27, 2005 @11:59PM (#14126483) Homepage Journal
    Learn ruby/perl/python/something and automate *everything* the each time you find yourself repeating a task that could be easily parametrized. Most of this is an attitude thing. If repetitive tasks don't annoy you, then you're not going to be able to eliminate them from your life. It will never seem worth the effort.

    Also, get a decent window manager like ion [cs.tut.fi] and learn its shortcuts. Developing more than a passing knowledge of Ion and Vim has doubled my productivity when debugging code. Ion makes one monitor feel like two, so I can imagine that on two it would be pretty damn good.

  • by ignoramus ( 544216 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:04AM (#14126497) Homepage
    I've found that, once you've covered the very basics:
    • learning to touch type;
    • learning to get the most out of command line;
    • mastering favorite shell features (expansions, for loops, etc.);
    • learning to use screen.

    The main trick is to keep your thoughts focused by getting into a few habits. I also use a dual head system but with 8 different workspaces setup in the workspace switcher (so a total of 16 virtual screens). In order to get the most out of this system, I actually use the switcher's facility for naming the workspaces and change them from the usual 1,2,3..8 to something meaningful. When I work on a new project, I rename the workspaces if necessary and then, for instance, always open the libraryXYZ project in my IDE in the correctly named space.

    If you use Gnome Terminal, learn to use the Profiles facility and color code or at least name different terminal windows/tabs. You can even associate custom commands to run, rather than the shell (for instance, one of my profiles launches something like "ssh -C -L3128:localhost:3128 -L10025:localhost:25 -L... remotebox" to tunnel important activity through SSH so all I need is double click an icon). Pretty much every terminal app has facilities for doing this. Create Profiles for repetitive tasks and use shortcuts on your desktop to activate them.

    You might also consider reserving blocks of time in which to shutdown gaim, your email client and phone.


  • few tricks... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:05AM (#14126504) Homepage
    Nothing profound here, but...
    I have a Gnome desktop, dual-display, but with a laptop, so I keep all my controls on one desktop. I have a window list on the bottom, with just the windows, desktop switcher, show-desktop button. On top, I have the application menus and such, shortcuts to terminals that I often use (quick-launch ssh sessions and such), and the nifty toys (volume meter, screenshot, et cetera). On the left side, I have this little panel on auto-hide, so that if I can mouse over it I can see all my shiny CPU/network/etc usage meters, and a few obscure but useful shortcuts.
  • by unixmaster ( 573907 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:06AM (#14126511) Journal
    Try Yakuake [yakuake.uv.ro]. Its a Quake like console for KDE. The best thing it can be hidden/shown with one key ( F12 default) so it doesn't steal your screen estate and can be enabled instantly when you need it.
  • by wernst ( 536414 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:10AM (#14126525) Homepage
    Install Microsoft Windows.
  • Some simple things (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lheal ( 86013 ) <(lheal1999) (at) (yahoo.com)> on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:12AM (#14126536) Journal
    1. Set up Ssh to allow you in to your usual haunts without a password.
    2. Settle on a window manager, and stick with it until it's not supported any more, and then stick with it some more (until it's just not available). Just pick one, and over time you'll learn all of its little time-savers and other gimmicks.
    3. Learn a scripting language such as perl, bash, or python, depending on what it is you usually want to automate. If you do much sysadmin work, you may need several languages.
    4. Keep your files organized in whatever way allows you to find things without searching for them. Get in the habit of storing things in the place where it will be easiest for you to find them. Make your web browser ask you where to put things, and then force yourself to put them in the right place when saving them.
    5. Keep your current work files backed up where you can get to them without relying on someone (even yourself) to change a tape. Since Linux lacks a Recycle Bin, the wrong mv, rm, or tar command can mean hours of finger-drumming waiting for a restore. (Pet peave: why doesn't unlink(2) move stuff to a filesystem-wide deleted area?)
    • by Jeff Mahoney ( 11112 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:26AM (#14126870)
      Pet peave: why doesn't unlink(2) move stuff to a filesystem-wide deleted area?

      UNIX lacks a recycle bin, but so does the Windows NT kernel and the MacOSX kernel. "Recycle Bins" are typically a GUI function, not a kernel function. Try doing an "rm" or "del" using the OSX or Windows command line and see if your files end up in the recycle bin.

      KDE and Gnome have a "recycle/trash bin" as well. It's just that a lot of users prefer the command line.

      This may be getting too nit picky, but unlink(2) shouldn't do things like that. I've thought about how to implement an automatic undelete cache in a file system, but it just ends up being way too much in-kernel maintenance so that it ultimately detracts from performance. But, flexibility is always there. You're perfectly welcome to override unlink(2) with your own function and LD_PRELOAD, and get exactly the behavior you're asking about - even on the command line. Just make sure you have a "realrm" that uses the stock unlink(2) ;)
      • by gseidman ( 97 )
        Two words: LVM snapshot

        You can even automate the snapshotting. It only keeps track of pages that differ, so it doesn't use up much disk space unless/until the writable filesystem and the snapshot diverge a *lot*. The snapshots are presented as readonly block devices that can be left mounted somewhere so you can grab older versions or deleted copies of files. It isn't quite as nice as the Veritas .snapshot directory in every directory, but it's still really nice.
  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:21AM (#14126568)
    You posted this question during the annual four-day-weekend flamefest, in which thousands of bored cubicle slaves have Thanksgiving holiday off and overrun Slashdot like a horde of goblins. Think Quake Deathmatch with flame-throwers and infinite ammo. Now to address your actual question: (and watch, because I'm the only person providing a helpful answer, I *WILL* be modded down!)

    Making better use of your desktop real estate means getting rid of a lot of junk. If you haven't already, I'd try saying goodbye to KDE/Gnome and getting the lightest possible window manager for the job: That's Fluxbox, ICEwm, Fvwm, or the desktop environment Xfce. (I'm low on sadism, so I won't recommend TWM. Anybody that 1337 wouldn't be posting this question.) This doesn't sound like much, but trust me, when you do away with that extra time waiting for KDE to load, you'll be faster and only have (in Fluxbox's case) a tiny slit in your way. No icons cluttering things up (yeah, we need a home directory icon on the desktop when it's in our menu, too! Sheesh!). Every Linux program on your system can be started from any window manager's menu, it's just a matter of editing the menu to launch the program. Too bothered to edit text menus? Then from the console, try "kicker" for KDE's panel, "gnome-panel" for Gnome's, and "xfce4-panel" for Xfce's, depending on what you have installed. I've tried them all and they work even from TWM!

    As for time-saving: the key here is "automate". Anything you type in a terminal more than once is grounds for automation. Simply take the same commands you type and save them on a line each in a plain text file with the line "#!/bin/bash" at the top and the line "end" at the bottom. Save that file somewhere in your executable path (type "echo $PATH" if you don't know), and type "chmod +x [name of your program]". You can now execute it just like any other system program.

    The next level of automation is programs that require interaction. Two work-arounds exist for this: "Here" documents are little scriptlets you can slip into Bash scripts to do simple keyboard commands for interacting with command-line programs that insist on recieving input. The more sophisticated approach is Tcl/Tk's "expect", which can be used to script damn-near anything (take a command-line web browser like lynx and feed it an expect script with the right instructions, and you can auto-post B1FF comments to Slashdot, even! (Provided you had a nick signed in.), sorry, guys, the secret's out!) I can't think of anything having to do with ssh and email accounts that couldn't be handled with all of the above.

    This might be overkill, but anybody who's read "Beginning Linux Programming" by Neil Matthew and Richard Stones, courtesy of www.wrox.com, wouldn't have to post this question. I promise you could skip the GTK and Qt parts and brush up on Bash, at least, which is easier than BASIC on the Apple ][.

    Doubtless, part of the indiference/hostility in here is because this is also the kind of question spammers ask, and you wouldn't find any people on Slashdot who deal with too much spam, now would you? I don't mind answering because, if you're a *good* wizard, you deserve to know this stuff as well as I do, and if you're a *bad* wizard, I haven't given you a damn thing you couldn't have gotten from a few hours of Googling.

  • With log watchers. Transparent aterm's running "watch tail -n 10 /var/log/apache/server_log" and the like. Evven when partially covered by your terminals and web browsers and such, you'll notice when something new or unexpected pops up. Some heavily scripted tcpdump could also be useful if you keep an eye on security, too.

    On my laptop, depending on whether the relevant watcher is better suited to vertical presentation (top, netstat) or horizontal (most log files), I can arrange 4 or so that don't get completely covered with my windows all over the place. Two big screens would at least double that.
  • My best (Score:5, Informative)

    by nerdwarrior ( 154941 ) <might@cs.[ ]h.edu ['uta' in gap]> on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:33AM (#14126618) Homepage
    In no particular order:
    • ion [cs.tut.fi] | ratpoision [nongnu.org]; Pane-based (v. window-based) window managers. Little to no wasted screen real estate. Significantly reduced mouse usage.
    • emacs [gnu.org]: Wickedly powerful text editor/operating environment.
      • WhizzyTeX [inria.fr]: Updates DVI in another window as you edit TeX/LaTeX.
      • AUCTeX [gnu.org]: Very powerful emacs extensions for TeX/LaTeX.
    • fetchmail [catb.org] + procmail [procmail.org] + mutt [mutt.org] + spamassassin [apache.org] + msmtp [sourceforge.net]: No-nonsense mail reading and sending.
    • bash completions [caliban.org]: Quasi-telepathic tab completion.
    • Firefox [mozilla.org]
      • Adblock [mozdev.org]: Saves an astonishing amount of screen real estate.
    • screen [gnu.org]: Among many other abilities, screen+ssh can provide VNC-like capabilities for your terminal sessions.
  • Apps (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rwa2 ( 4391 ) * on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:37AM (#14126629) Homepage Journal
    Stop fooling yourself thinking that spending hours tweaking everything will save time. Just admit that you like tweaking :P

    I'll echo the "Use WindowMaker" mantra. The only reason I'm running Gnome now is for the little graphical workspace switcher. I'm still upset that the window thumbnails don't dynamically update their contents anymore like Enlightenment or even older versions of Gnome.

    I usually configure my window managers to use Meta + various mouse keys to move/resize windows. Gnome's Metacity does not allow you to move the window title above the top of the screen - very annoying when you want to put, say, a web browser's various rows of buttons off-screen so you can fit more precious content onto your screen (more so than you could get with using the full screen view, which isn't available for all apps). Window Maker does the right thing, and allows you to move the window off the top of the screen (but only if you use the Meta-click technique, so the titlebar only disappears if you prove that you know how to move the window back without it).

    I also configure focus-follows-mouse, and disable raise-on-click. This allows me to organize my workspace and have more control, say, copying and pasting stuff between windows without the "behind" window popping to the foreground unless I tell it to (by Meta-clicking on it or clicking on the titlebar/frame).

    Configure a larger virtual desktop in the Xorg.conf if you really want more scrollable space. I imagine this would be more complicated with your dual-monitor setup, though... maybe you just want to add a few pixels to the top of each screen. I trust that you've read and configured the extra Xorg directives that came with your Nvidia / ATi drivers to optimize your Xorg.conf already.

    Also useful to configure some means of "pushing" windows back, usually by middle-clicking on the titlebar/frame or Meta-down.

    I've heavily configured gkrellm - it works great as an app launcher that works under any window manager, in addition to doing all of its normal monitoring. It can really give you a good feeling for what your computer is doing, when it's finished downloading or compiling or transferring to USB drives, how well your RAID throughput is behaving, etc From the default, I usually tweak it to use a better theme (the default wastes a few columns of pixels on the sides!), show system CPU time and network TX / disk writes as inverted, and of course set it to sticky so it's always in its corner when I switch virtual desktops.

    Learn to use gnu screen. It's indispensible for managing multiple consoles. I usually start mine as "screen -e ^Zz", since I use Ctrl-a quite more often than Ctrl-z... what a silly default.

    Give the Galeon web browser a serious try. It has much better tab management than Mozilla, even with Mozilla's tabextensions plugin. Plus, it remembers the last tab state after crashes by default... why isn't that a standard Mozilla feature yet??!

    Check out Hotkeys for making use of those extra multimedia button keys on your keyboard for launching apps.

    Does anyone know of a mechanism for launching apps using keystrokes like Win-e for explorer.exe under MS windows? Best I could do outside of mapping "extra" keys with hotkey is to map the Super key to gnome's "Run command" dialog and then type in the app ... weak.

    Well, have fun.
  • Control-R (Score:4, Informative)

    by Waffle Iron ( 339739 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:48AM (#14126672)
    IMO, the single biggest timesaver in bash is the Ctl-R history recall search feature. (It was quite a while before I found out about it, and I wish I had found it sooner.)

    If you crank up your history list to a few thousand entries and set it to forget dupes, you can recall any command you've issued in the last couple of months with just a couple of keystrokes.

    • Re:Control-R (Score:4, Informative)

      by rafa ( 491 ) <rikard@anglerud.com> on Monday November 28, 2005 @07:21AM (#14127668) Homepage Journal

      control-R is very useful, but you can complement it with some other goodies. For example, you can make bash automatically search in your history based on what you've already input. For example "ls foo" would get you to your previous command that starts with ls foo, even if it wasn't the last command you typed. In your .inputrc:

      "\e[A": history-search-backward
      "\e[B": history-search-forward

      If you just want to insert another option after the last command you wrote, but before the filenames etc (uses alt-o) put this in your .inputrc:

      "\M-o": "\C-p\C-a\M-f "

      Make tab-completion case insensitive, and make it stop matching hidden files (in your .inputrc):

      set completion-ignore-case on
      set match-hidden-files off

      Make your history immediately available from all your bash instances - in your .bashrc:

      shopt -s histappend
      PROMPT_COMMAND='history -a'
  • Translucency (Score:3, Interesting)

    by J. T. MacLeod ( 111094 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:48AM (#14126678)
    If you can do it without crashing, that is!

    I gave it up because of stability issues, but using window translucency, tinting, and shading (via Xorg's Composite and Render extensions) REALLY helped improve my productivity.


    It allowed me to keep an eye on multiple window levels at once, yet everything but my current window being tinted darker ensured that my focus stayed where I needed it. That and the shadowed windows also helped me identify things much faster.

    If it's just used for eye candy, it can be distracting, but used properly I found it helped me a great deal.
  • Screen Real Estate (Score:3, Informative)

    by Apreche ( 239272 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @12:54AM (#14126703) Homepage Journal
    If you want to maximize use of screen real estate there is nothing better than the ion window manager [cs.tut.fi], especially if you have multiple monitors. It's the only manager I know of that lets you have a separate set of virtual desktops for each monitor that can be switched independently of one another. You will lose a lot of time, however, reconfiguring all the keyboard commands to not suck.
  • Good Tip (Score:3, Funny)

    by woolio ( 927141 ) * on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:12AM (#14126794) Journal
    What software or configuration tips might Slashdot have for me to: make better use of my time...


    execute the following as root:

    echo " slashdot.org www.slashdot.org" >> /etc/hosts

    After this one command, you will start making better use of your time.
  • by rjoseph ( 159458 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:19AM (#14126829) Homepage
    Set your login script (.bashrc or whatever) to:
    exec screen -D -R
    Will reattach a remote session or create a new one if none exists: allows you to continue screen sessions across logins completely transparently. Brilliant!
  • by logicnazi ( 169418 ) <logicnazi@NospaM.gmail.com> on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:23AM (#14126852) Homepage
    Almost every nerd I know (myself included) wastes more time trying to set up the machine 'just so' to make every task super conveinent and easy than they actually save. I suggest getting the machine in a minimally working configuration and only trying to save time when a task becomes really burdensome and repetitive. Even then I would think twice and ask how much time it really takes and how much time it would take to make it faster.

    Of course that wouldn't be anywhere near as much fun. That's what you should do if you are really interested in saving time. If you just want to have the enjoyment of knowing your machine is optimally set up to do whatever it is you do then follow the other suggestions you find here.
  • Been there (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lanced ( 795958 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:43AM (#14126938)
    I was, once upon a time, a young developer in the same position. I had a fast computer, dual flat screens, and free reign to do as I pleased. Here is what I found to be most helpful (assuming you are using KDE/Gnome, but should be appropriate to most desktop environments):

    * Create key bindings. If you don't go to the mouse as often, not only will you be more productive, but you will also prevent RSI's. I could open a terminal window, browser, maximize both, and move either to another virtual desktop with just two fingers on the left hand.

    * speaking of virtual desktops, Use virtual desktops. I like having everything maximized, but I quickly run out of space that way. Normally, I have the terminals on one desktop, the code on another, my reference documents/browser windows on the third, and then the forth for everything else --normally a running version of the project I'm fixing. Figure out what apps you use most, and designate a v.desk to each which makes it easier for the mind to find that information it was looking for.

    * Love the terminal window. By making use of aliases, scripts and various other 'hacks,' most tasks can be boiled down to a handful of keystrokes. It is worth the time to learn either shell scripting and/or perl so that more complicated tasks can still be done rapidly with a reduced chance of error.

    * Thing about the ergonomics. You are obviously a professional computer jockey, otherwise you wouldn't have dual monitors being driven by linux. Until your computer responds to 'computer,' you're going to need your wrists, so take five minutes to consider how you could improve the layout to minimize the chances of an RSI or other strains and pains -- this includes neck strains which is a very common pain resulting from dual monitors. Although this is not a time saving tip per se, it will add years to your useful geek life.

    Well, that is all of the advice I can think of right now. The most important thing you need to consider is ways to eliminate repetition. Anytime I type anything more than 3 times, or click an icon that is more than 2 levels deep, I will consider, if only for a second, alternative means to envoking that task.

    Good luck and good hunting.
  • by mnemonic_ ( 164550 ) <jamec@@@umich...edu> on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:54AM (#14126986) Homepage Journal
    Use Xsu [eu.org] to get a graphical su login automatically when you need it (configuration varies). Instead of opening a new terminal and typing "su [enter] password [enter] vi /etc/mpd.conf [enter]," you'll just be typing "password [enter]" whenever you need to access something as root.

    Use a graphical file explorer like Rox to navigate and sort through directories quickly. Don't rely on ls for everything; it is far faster and more flexible to organize files graphically. Dragging a box and one click-drag can replace dozens of keystrokes across multiple commands.

    If you always startup X after you login, then have X startup automatically. No reason to type "startx" every time.

    Use Conky [sf.net] for system monitoring.

    Let normal users halt or reboot [linuxquestions.org] the system if appropriate. In many, many cases it's silly to maintain the *nix default behavior of only letting root shutdown/reboot the system. If you're running a server with dozens of remote users then yes, this would be unwise. If it's your personal workstation though, it's completely reasonable.

    Use "slocate" instead of "find." Pardon me if this is obvious, but I still see too many *nix diehards waiting for "find" to finish when there's a perfectly up to date slocate DB ready for searching. "find" is nearly obsolete.

    Have your drives automounted with Submount [sourceforge.net]. It's pretty sad that something like this is not standard in the 2.6 kernel. Typing a command every time you want to read a CD looks pathetic to the average Windows user used to autorun or clicking "My Computer."

    That's all I have for now. Basically, I liberally automate outdated procedures (which many *nix users still tolerate). This makes day-to-day operations much smoother overall, and doesn't disrupt tasks by having to constantly bring up new terminal windows.
  • VNC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by BrookHarty ( 9119 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @01:58AM (#14127000) Homepage Journal
    I run vnc with icewm, so I Can keep xchat, rtin, gaim, ssh terminals that never close. Very nice.
    Then you can play with KDE or Gnome, and never have to worry about losing your active sessions.

    IceWM also can snap window edges, support gnome and kde. So its my favorite for vnc.

    Added benefit, you can vnc from another computer on the net and have your desktop, like using your laptop on wifi from the living room.

    And you even run multiple VNC servers on the same machine, have one with kde, or gnome, etc, but you loose accelerated gfx.

  • by toastydeath ( 758912 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @02:17AM (#14127060) Homepage
    I recommend running Xdmx and xmove. Possibly NX as well.

    Xdmx will allow you to have very, very flexible control over how your dual monitor setup works. It not only supports your local two monitors, but will allow you to strap network pc's/monitors on to your existing setup with little fuss. I ran a six induvidual laptops as my primary display at work for some time with xdmx, and it worked very well. The only downside was my desktop was not quite beefy enough to handle a display size of 3072x1536. It also handles bezel sizes, if you prefer the "looking through a window" perspective versus xinerama's standard continuous desktop. It will support just about any monitor layout you want.

    xmove gives you screen-like functionality for your desktop. Get up from your workstation, jump on a laptop with wifi, and xmove will pull the display output across the network - just like screen. Send the applications back to your desktop, and shut your laptop down. Bazing!

    NX suppliments this with fantastic compression and will allow you to do stupid things, like do xmove/remote x work at home. Or resume a particularly stunning game of bejewled.
  • by trims ( 10010 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @05:31AM (#14127461) Homepage

    One of the biggest productivity saps for a sysadmin is dealing with the massive volume of email that we get. In even a moderate-sized business, it's easy to get 1,000 mails per day, with a couple 100 actually from a person, not an automated script.

    Now, what I'm about to say is predicated on the assumption that your external mail server already runs SPAM filters, and that virtaully everything that you actually get is "real" mail. If this is not the case, FIX THIS FIRST. Get your company to pony up for some serious anti-spam software. It saves EVERYONE a ton of time, and at the same time, cuts down on your (the company's) exposure to the nasties that inhabit email.

    First, pick an email client which has filters. My preference is for Evolution or Thunderbird, but there are many out there. Pick one. As a previous poster noted, GIVE IT ITS OWN DESKTOP - that is, in your window manager which has virtual desktops, dedicate one solely for the email client. Now, configure it with lots of filters to sort your mail. Personally, I have a reasonable hierarchy with 3 folders at the top level: NOW, LATER, and WHENEVER. Underneath these, there should be folders for every type of email you get: ones from your boss, ones from the company HR, ones from the monitoring scripts running on your servers (you do have these, right? RIGHT?). Take a good long time figuring out how to get these down cold - you want a good balance of sufficient sorting without going overboard. I find that having about 30-50 folders total is optimal for me. If you can, also have the email client tag your mail with "importance" color coding (most clients have this, and it's really useful).

    Now to reading: obviously, your should read the NOW, well, NOW. However, you don't want to be completely interrupt-driven. I would turn off any biff-style mail notification, or at best, turn down its check time to no less than 10 minutes between check. Instead, train yourself to periodically check the NOW folder. Read and deal with the NOW stuff during your normal workflow.

    The LATER folder should probably be read every couple of hours, or if you truly haven't anything else to do. Resist the temptation to open it and look. Finally, the WHENEVER shouldn't be read until the end of the day (or maybe while your eating lunch at your desk ;-)

    Email is one of the great things about networks; however, it can be an enormous timesink if not properly handled. -Erik

  • Fix Less and vim (Score:5, Informative)

    by TopSpin ( 753 ) * on Monday November 28, 2005 @05:52AM (#14127504) Journal
    in .vimrc:
    set t_ti= t_te=
    from any of the various places sh/bash/etc source:
    LESS='X'; export LESS
    Now, Less and vim won't restore the @#*$!%ing terminal on exit, permitting you to cut/paste/transcribe whatever you were just editing/viewing.

    (whomever caused this behavior to be default; a pox on you)

    p.s. Some bonehead in Usenet advises frobbing your terminal type to vt100 to get the same result. Do not do this. If you don't know why then especially don't do this!

    • Re:Fix Less and vim (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cerberusss ( 660701 )
      Now, Less and vim won't restore the @#*$!%ing terminal on exit

      This is highly useful, except when you're editing an encrypted file in vim. I can't find the syntax for .vimrc. Anybody know the solution? I've gotten as far as this, but it doesn't work:

      " Don't clear terminal after exiting
      if &key == ''
      " we're not encrypted
      set t_ti= t_te=

      Anybody got the solution?

      (Yes, I know it shouldn't be used since it's trivial to defeat, but it's useful to prevent the occasional viewer).

  • by lkcl ( 517947 ) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Monday November 28, 2005 @07:00AM (#14127637) Homepage
    1) install KDE 3.4 (it's faster, it's better all-round).

    2) run prelink -v --conserve-memory -q -a
          but first add /usr/lib/mozillaNNNNN and /usr/lib/kde3 to
          prelink.conf (and any other software such as openoffice)

    3) on debian, edit /etc/default/rcS and replace
          FSCKFIX="n" with FSCKFIX="y"

    4) on debian, install hal, dbus-1 and udev, and then edit /etc/default/hal and make sure DROP_DAEMON_PRIVS is
          commented out (this will make it possible for you to
          mount auto-detected USB drives etc.)

    5) cd to /etc/hal/device.d and do this:
            ln -s /usr/bin/fstab-sync 50-fstab-sync.hal

    5) edit /etc/profile and add this:
          export KDE_IS_PRELINKED="1"

    these simple things will make your system faster, more robust in the face of complete technically incompetent blithering idiots who would otherwise blindly press ctrl-d when faced with a prompt saying "your filesystem is corrupted. give root password for maintenance or press ctrl-d", and also provide automatic access to USB devices that is otherwise bloody inconvenient.
  • Kuake (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bcmm ( 768152 ) on Monday November 28, 2005 @04:15PM (#14131903)
    Try kuake (http://www.nemohackers.org/kuake.php [nemohackers.org]) if you use KDE (there are similar apps out there for other desktops). It's a terminal emulator which lowers on a keyboard shortcut like the console in Quake. It saves me a lot of time which I used to spend opening and closing xterms. I keep a screen session in it normally.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling