Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Replace TenFourFox Icon

So I'm reading people are loving the new TenFourFox, Firefox 4 custom made for PPCs on Tiger, except for one nagging issue. They don't like the icon. I know. Some people are very particular about this. I don't know what to say. It's not the ugliest icon I've ever seen. That award goes to the original icon for Phoenix Slides. In fact, I kind of like it. It has a certain kind of whimsy.

But being that people shouldn't have a stupid icon separating themselves from probably the most valuable piece of software you can run on Tiger, here's a quick tutorial on changing it. This will also apply to changing the icon to any other application.

Step 1) Choose the image file you want to use. Here's a sample png you can download. It's the Firefox globe without the tasty critter:

Step 2) If your image file isn't already in .icns format, you need to convert it using img2icns.app (link goes to the Tiger version). It's very simple, just drag and drop. You should now have your .icns file.

Step 3) Right+click or control+click on TenFourFox.app and choose "Show Package Contents." Go into Contents --> Resources, and there you will find a file called firefox.icns. Rename it something like firefox-old.icns, then name your replacement icon firefox.icns and move it into the same folder.

Step 4) Close everything and start up Firefox (if you already had it in your dock, you should remove it first). You should see your new icon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Update Your Mactubes

I've written a bit about Mactubes for OS X before. It's among the best kept secrets for PPC users as it allows smooth playback of Youtube videos even on something as low end as a Sawtooth. All you do is choose Quicktime for playback in the preferences, and Mactubes ignores the flash wrapper and plays back the videos as mp4 files. Much much easier on the CPU.

However, there's a chink in Mactubes's armor. Every once in a while, Youtube changes something in the urls Mactubes uses to retrieve the mp4's, causing Quicktime playback to go dead. You get a popup alert saying something like, "Can not open video. Please open URL with browser." Luckily this is a temporary problem as all it requires is a minor update from the developer, and everything's fixed. And luckier still, the developer is very prompt about providing updates for when this happens.

So anytime Mactubes gives you a popup alert like the above, wait a day or two, and by then the developer will likely have an updated version for you to download. And we can all safely return to wasting hours and hours watching random videos on the internet:)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Getting Conky To Display Your iBook or Powerbook Battery

I couldn't figure out how to get Conky, a lightweight system monitor for Linux, to display the battery charge on the G3 iBook given that most of the example conkyrc files I saw were for the Intel architecture and used ACPI or APM for power management and monitoring, neither of which is utilized on PPC machines. So off to Google I went.

Long story short, if I knew to google "conky pb_battery" it would have saved me a whole lot of time. It turns out you need to insert the variable pb_battery in your conkyrc file like this: under the TEXT section at the bottom insert {pb_battery percent} in the appropriate spot accompanied by whatever text you want displayed with it, like "Battery:" so that it displays out "Battery: 93%" or somesuch.

percent isn't the only item within the variable you can display. There's also status and time. status shows whether the battery is "fully charged, charging, discharging, or absent (running on AC)."* time shows "the time remaining until the battery will be fully charged or discharged at current rate."* Note that under percent and time, nothing will be displayed if battery is fully charged or is running on AC power. Also note that you can only specify one item. Your variable must read either {pb_battery percent} or {pb_battery status} or {pb_battery time}.

Or if you want to do all this commando style, you can monitor your battery from the command line. Just type cat /proc/pmu/battery_0, and you'll get the output you want.

*Quotes taken from Conky's website.

One last note: the monospace font makes it look like there's a space between "{" and "pb_battery". There isn't. Just copy and paste for the right syntax.