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Workspaces in Linux help you keep your tasks segregated and organized, especially in situations when you’re working on multiple tasks in parallel. For example, in one workspace, you can keep all your office-related applications, while in the other, all your personal stuff.

Imagine a scenario where you are doing your office-related work while a movie download is going on in some other workspace. And you want to keep track of the download process. So, what will you do? Simply switch workspaces to take a quick look at the download progress.

While switching workspaces does the job, it’s not an efficient solution given that you need to take a break from whatever you are doing, switch to the workspace where the download is in progress, and then switch back again. What if you could get a live preview of the workspace where the movie download is going on? Won’t it save you some of your precious time? And don’t forget the frequent breaks that you have to take otherwise.

In this article we will discuss a way you can have a live preview in one workspace and a separate workspace in another on Ubuntu operating system. But before we begin, please keep in mind that all instructions, commands, and examples mentioned in this article have been tested on Ubuntu 16.04.

How to have live previews for workspaces in Ubuntu

There’s a dedicated software that lets you have live previews for workspaces on Ubuntu systems, and the software in question is WindowSpy.

To download and install WindowSpy on your Ubuntu box, run the following commands:

sudo

apt-add-repository ppa:vlijm

/

windowspy

sudo

apt-get update

sudo

apt-get install

windowspy

Once the above mentioned commands are successful, you can head to the Dash to launch the tool.

Here’s an example of what the live preview of a window from a workspace looks like (I was downloading an Ubuntu ISO file).

Please keep in mind that what WindowSpy gives is a near live preview and not an exact live preview because the preview window is updated every three seconds.

The tool also offers some customization options (accessible through the “Preferences” option in the drop-down menu) like ability to increase/decrease the preview window size, border width, and background color, as well as the window’s position on your desktop. There’s also an option where you can set the tool to launch at system startup.

Conclusion

Downloading and installing WindowSpy is a cakewalk, and its usage isn’t complex either. For the little effort you put in setting this tool up, the benefit it provides is huge – you don’t have to frequently switch workspaces, saving time as well as effort. If you’ve been looking for a tool like this, I’d encourage you to give WindowSpy a try – I am sure you won’t be disappointed.

Himanshu Arora

Himanshu Arora is a freelance technical writer by profession but a software programmer and Linux researcher at heart. He covers software tutorials, reviews, tips/tricks, and more. Some of his articles have been featured on IBM developerworks, ComputerWorld, and in Linux Journal.

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Learn How To Install Smplayer In Ubuntu

SMPlayer is a free media player for windows and Linux with built-in codecs, which will additionally play YouTube videos, search and down load subtitles, and entails other points like a thumbnail generator and audio and video filters.

Features

Help for Youtube. That you can search, play and down-load Youtube movies

Many video and audio filters are available

Thumbnail generator

Video equaliser

It has many Skins/Themes

It supports a couple of speed playback

It supports audio and subtitles delay adjustment

Installing SMPlayer

To install SMPlayer, add the following PPA on Ubuntu−

$sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer

The sample output should be like this −

Packages for SMPlayer. To install SMPlayer from this PPA, run these commands on a terminal: sudo add-apt-repository ppa:rvm/smplayer sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install smplayer smtube smplayer-themes smplayer-skins Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpeab9bvoh/secring.gpg' created gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpeab9bvoh/pubring.gpg' created gpg: chúng tôi trustdb created gpg: key E4A4F4F4: public key "Launchpad PPA named smplayer for rvm" imported gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found gpg: Total number processed: 1 gpg: imported: 1 (RSA: 1) OK

Now update the packages by using the following command −

$sudo apt-get update .................................................................................................

To install SMplayer with skins, use the following command −

$ sudo apt-get install smplayer smplayer-themes smplayer-skins

The sample output should be like this −

Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done The following additional packages will be installed: esound-common libaudiofile1 libdirectfb-1.2-9 libenca0 libesd0 libgif7 libqt4-opengl libqtwebkit4 libsdl1.2debian libvorbisidec1 mplayer smtube Suggested packages: The following NEW packages will be installed: esound-common libaudiofile1 libdirectfb-1.2-9 libenca0 libesd0 libgif7 libqt4-opengl libqtwebkit4 libsdl1.2debian libvorbisidec1 mplayer smplayer smplayer-skins smplayer-themes smtube 0 upgraded, 15 newly installed, 0 to remove and 284 not upgraded. Need to get 18.9 MB of archives. After this operation, 66.8 MB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue? [Y/n] y .................................................................................

To open SMplayer, use the following command −

$ smplayer Usage: smplayer [-minigui] [-defaultgui] [-mpcgui] [-config-path directory] [-send-action action_name] [-actions action_list] [-close-at-end] [-no-close-at-end] [-fullscreen] [-no-fullscreen] [-ontop] [-no-ontop] [-sub subtitle_file] [-pos x y] [-size width height] [-add-to-playlist] -minigui: opens the mini gui instead of the default one. -mpcgui: opens the mpc gui. -defaultgui: opens the default gui. -skingui: opens the gui with support for skins. -config-path: specifies the directory where smplayer will store its configuration files (smplayer.ini, smplayer_files.ini...) -send-action: tries to make a connection to another running instance and send to it the specified action. Example: -send-action pause The rest of options (if any) will be ignored and the application will exit. It will return 0 on success or -1 on failure. -actions: action_list is a list of actions separated by spaces. The actions will be executed just after loading the file (if any) in the same order you entered. For checkable actions you can pass true or false as parameter. Example: -actions "fullscreen compact true". Quotes are necessary in case you pass more than one action. -close-at-end: the main window will be closed when the file/playlist finishes. -no-close-at-end: the main window won't be closed when the file/playlist finishes. -fullscreen: the video will be played in fullscreen mode. -no-fullscreen: the video will be played in window mode. -ontop: sets the stay on top option to always. -no-ontop: sets the stay on top option to never. -sub: specifies the subtitle file to be loaded for the first video. -media-title: sets the media title for the first video. -pos: specifies the coordinates where the main window will be displayed. -size: specifies the size of the main window. -help: will show this message and then will exit. -add-to-playlist: if there's another instance running, the media will be added to that instance's playlist. If there's no other instance, this option will be ignored and the files will be opened in a new instance. media: 'media' is any kind of file that SMPlayer can open. It can be a local file, a DVD (e.g. dvd://1), an Internet stream (e.g. mms://....) or a local playlist in format m3u or pls.

After this article, you will be able to understand how to install SMPlayer in Ubuntu. In our next articles, we will come up with more Linux based tricks and tips. Keep reading!

Source: SMPlayer Portal

How To Easily Mount Iso Images In Ubuntu

In the past, if you need to mount an ISO file in Ubuntu, you will have to use an external tool or via the command line. In the recent version of Ubuntu, you can easily mount an ISO directly from Nautilus file manager. Here is how you can do it:

1. Open Files (also known as Nautilus) and navigate to the folder that contains the ISO file.

Your ISO will magically mounted in Files and you will be able to view the content within.

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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World Of Warcraft Mists Of Pandaria Preview

It’s the most fun I’ve had playing World of Warcraft in years.

A word of warning before I continue with this story: this is a beta, which means the bugs I’m coming across in the game are no indication of the final state of the game. If earlier WoW betas are any indication then even relatively minor bugs will be stamped out before Blizzard ships the final version.

The Pandaria beta already has a host of new content available for eager WoW players. A new continent to explore with five more levels for your character to gain, a new race that players of either faction can select and a new character class, monks, that promises to add new play mechanics to the World of Warcraft. While plenty of players are logging in to get an early look at all the new content, I find myself just as interested in what isn’t there as what is.

Don’t get me wrong, the new zones and models are stunning and the animations and abilities of the Monk already have me working out how quickly I can level one when the game goes live. It’s just that with the relatively small amount of content available for testing at the moment you quickly find yourself running into strange holes in the world (some more literal than others). There’s a strange and indescribable kind of magic in playing a game that isn’t finished yet.

Betas are nothing new in the world of games, but what makes the Mists of Pandaria beta unique is the scale on which Blizzard is giving players access to the beta. Automatic beta access was included in Blizzard’s annual pass feature. Sign up for a guaranteed year of paying your monthly subscription to WoW and you’d get a host of goodies, including access to the Mists of Pandaria beta.

So far Blizzard has invited 750,000 of the annual pass holders into the beta, and that means more people are playing the beta for the next WoW expansion than have ever played many of the smaller MMOs on the market at all.

A friend of mine joked that in that quest text you could see the exact moment when 5pm on a Friday rolled around at the Blizzard offices. Strangely, I think that lack of polish and care is why I find the beta so addictive. In many ways WoW is an elaborate magic trick performed by Blizzard, who manage to keep all the work required to keep the game stable and (relatively) balanced for 10 million players safely tucked behind the curtain. The Mists of Pandaria beta offers a brief glimpse behind that curtain to see how the magic trick works.

While long term it isn’t a substitute for the finished game that will (probably) be released soon (judging by the state of the beta I’d guess a late July/ early August launch, but Blizzard is keeping to their typical “when it’s ready” release date so far) the peek at the man behind the curtain makes playing a half-finished game almost as exciting as the real thing.

How To Create The Perfect Workspace, According To Science

There’s nothing worse than sitting in a dull, drab cubicle. If you’re going to be stuck in one place for 40 or more hours a week, it might as well be pleasant–for the sake of your sanity and your company’s bottom line. Research shows that how you arrange and decorate an office can make a difference for both mental health and productivity, which is why companies like Google shell out for sweet corporate digs.

Even if your workspace isn’t the hippest thing around, you can spice it up with a few relatively easy changes. 99U has a roundup of some of the latest findings in the science of arranging the most pleasant and efficient workspace possible. Some tips from them:

A Google Cubicle

Decorate it.

A 2010 study of London office workers found that being allowed to decorate an office with as many plants and pictures as they wanted made workers 32 percent more productive than the control group that wasn’t given the same option.

Plant-Centric

A plant-filled office space in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

By the same token:

Make it nature-y.

Studies have shown the presence of plants in an office can improve your ability to pay attention for longer periods of time and reduce stress. So go grab a fern… or a dozen.

Oval Office

Make things round.

We tend to find curves attractive. A study published earlier this summer found that curvilinear spaces were more likely to be seen as beautiful than plain rectangular spaces. A previous study had also established that we tend to find round furniture more appealing than furniture with straight edges. So, basically, the Oval Office has the right idea.

Read the full list at 99U.

How To Easily Kill An Unresponsive Application In Ubuntu

Using the System Monitor

1. Open the System Monitor app. In the Processes tab, scroll down the list until you find the unresponsive app.

Once confirmed, this will kill the unresponsive application.

Using a keyboard shortcut

You can assign a custom keyboard shortcut to kill an application when it becomes unresponsive.

That’s it.

Damien

Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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