22 April 2008

3 Notification Tools You Might Like

Our lives are online these days, but do you really want to sit there hitting "Refresh"? There are a few nice tray icons out there for notifying you of what's up in your online life. Here are the ones I'm using:

  • cGmail - standing for Check GNOME Mail, it's a great little app for notifying you of new unread messages in your inbox. Those using mail clients probably don't think this sounds useful, but seeing as Evolution just says "1 new message" and cGmail actually gives you the subjects for the newest email, it's actually pretty useful even in that case. Many think it stands for Check GMail (as in Google), but they are wrong. It can be set up to work with multiple email addresses using either POP3 or IMAP, and integrates better into the system than, say, GMail-notifier which just doesn't match. Get the deb
  • Twitux - this is a nice little Twitter client. Version 0.60 is in Hardy by default, but 0.61 is much nicer. The best part of this new version, in my opinion, is that you can double click on a message in the list to reply to it (opens a "New Message" box with the @username already in there), which is great if you don't sit around memorizing your friends' usernames all day. It also lets you show their real name instead of just their username (configurable), because of that whole memorizing usernames thing. In the past, I've used GTwitter, but it just doesn't stand up. The two nice thing it has going for it was that you could click the person's avatar and see info about them, and it also appears to have a button to clear the image cache, something Twitux should adopt since rm ~/.gnome2/twitux/avatars/username- and then reloading Twitux seems just a bit...stupid. Twitux does give a lot more options on what view to use. I usually stick with Friend view, but Public, My Timeline, Direct Messages, and Direct Replies are also available. Other cool features include direct messaging and spell-checking. Hardy debs can be found in my PPA (link on right), though the i386 version is still in the queue for compilation. Sorry, but 0.61 needs GIO which isn't in Gutsy. Oh, and I'm @macoafi on Twitter, so feel free to add me.
  • GrNotify - Google Reader notification tool. I just started using Google Reader two days ago. I used to use Liferea, and then I just got too lazy to open it up all the time, and keeping an RSS reader going all the time just seemed like a waste, so I started just visiting the sites I like most and ignoring the others. Well, I found out that Google Reader lets you "share" posts from the RSS feeds with your friends who also use Google Reader, so I had to try it. It's actually pretty cool being able to get and give recommendations from and to friends without spamming their IM clients. However, as I said, I don't want to have to have a reader open all the time, and I don't want to be refreshing all the time. So, that's where GrNotify comes in. By default, the icon will be greyscale when there's nothing new and colorful with a number showing how many unread items there are, but you can change the icons to be whatever you want. Click it, and it opens up your Google Reader page. That's simple enough, but it's very handy and much lighter than keeping Liferea up all the time. Even irssi is using more memory than GrNotify. Get the deb. I'm macoafi {at} gmail if you're a Google Reader user.


Rectorboy said...

You may prefer checkGmail (http://checkgmail.sourceforge.net/). I do, at least. What blew me away with it compared to everything else was that you can delete/spam/archive/etc right from the notifier. Saves a lot of time when the majority of email is just a notification from something else, like MySpace or the bank or whatever.


Mackenzie said...

Just like gmail-notify, it doesn't integrate nicely with the theme you've got going. I think I may actually have been thinking of checkGmail, based on the screenshot at that link. They both just don't fit the rest of the GNOME desktop properly though.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the useful post again Mackenzie. I just got GnuPG working last night. I still have yet to truly test its capabilities. I plan on doing so tonight along with trying out GrNotify, I don't use Twitter at least not much over here in Japan. And I already use Evolution and I don't think I need cGmail though I will try it out.

While we are on the topic know of any good podcast programs other than Rhythmbox. Mine seems to epically fail at downloading files.

Fracture said...

Thanks. This old post actually helped me out. I just started using Twitux, and it pretty quickly started using the wrong Avatar picture for my account. Your "clear image cache" comment with the link to where it was solved the problem.

sorin7486 said...

flattrd! :D