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!


  1. well thats awesome.
    Is it possible to have the same preference options to show icon , text or both?

    i think there needs to be a launchpad page / wiki to showcase the app indicators, so others dont go and duplicate them.

    am just going to miss system-monitor applet and glipper ;(

  2. It is possible and simple to realize, but an icon seems to be the standard way of displaying indicator statuses. On the other hand, cpufreq GHz are fun to read. So that sounds reasonable to do.

  3. Are you planning to update this for Precise?

    Also, there is a problem with the indicator in that it will not work with a non-default theme - because it requires the icon theme to include the necessary images (you can solve this by including some default images).

    I would have asked you on launchpad, but I found this blog post first.

    1. The indicator is already available for Precise in the universe repository. And yes, the problem with the non-default icon themes will be fixed (very likely by an Ubuntu-neutral icon theme).

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  5. This was a smart choice as running Windows on either chip will give the user the same look and feel. There is absolutely no difference in the way Windows behaves with an Intel or AMD chip.DDR4 VS DDR3 RAM: Know The differences

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