Friday, December 17, 2010

CPU frequency indicator and DIY merchandise

I have been using Natty since Alpha 1 and I'm very happy with the new Unity desktop. It has surely got its bugs, but I almost love it. The drawbacks are that Unity doesn't support GNOME applets and doesn't seem to have a native application launcher yet. The latter problem is easily fixed by installing either GNOME Do or Synapse. The applets, well... are not a big problem either, because I can't remember using any, except for the clock (replaced by an indicator) and the CPU frequency scaling applet, which had always saved me from all the JACK audio timing issues (with a single click).

There is no indicator for selecting CPU frequency scaling mode, so I decided to write my own. I started with Jono Bacon's tutorial here and used cpufreq-selector D-Bus service (bundled with the Gnome applet) to switch between governors. This functionality is also provided by HAL, but HAL is deprecated in favour of DeviceKit, which doesn't support frequency scaling right now. I think I'll have to add a dedicated D-Bus service in the future to get rid of gnome-applets dependency... And this is how it all currently looks:

Thanks to Quickly, an Ubuntu package was a piece of cake. You can install it from here or grab the source from project page in Launchpad. Please report any issues. Thanks!

Another thing that bothers me, is an almost critical bug with the Ubuntu Beanie Hat from Canonical store. It just cannot stand low temperatures in winter and is unsafe to wear outside. I wonder, if there is a Launchpad project to report bugs against Ubuntu merchandise :) Anyway, I came up with a simple workaround, which works if you're not afraid of DIY:
  1. Get an ushanka.
  2. Attach an Ubuntu button badge (I used a really old one).
  3. Have fun with the new Ubuntu ushanka!