Posts tagged with “linux”

Language learning hack: Generate a "Word of the day" wallpaper

The best way to learn new words and phrases is to use them actively. The next-best way to learn new words is to be exposed to them as much as possible. And since the wallpaper that adorns my graphical desktop environment is what I stare at most of my waking hours, I thought that it'd only make sense to add words and phrases I want to memorize there.

Half an hour after the eureka moment, I had a working hack consisting of a plain text file with words and phrases along with their translations, a wallpaper template PNG file, and a simple Bash shell script. The latter pulls a random line from the text file, and uses the template to generate a new wallpaper with the picked line. Below are all the gory details worth knowing if you want to roll out something similar.

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Short notes on Restic

I'm always fashionably late to the party. So forgive me for being the last to get all excited about Restic. Encryption by default, snapshots, deduplication, support for various storage types—Restic checks all the boxes. Not only that, it is also a supremely easy to use backup tool.

While learning how to use Restic, I took notes for future reference. I'm sharing my trivial findings here on the off-chance that someone might find them useful. The notes cover a simple scenario, where Restic backs up data to an external USB storage device.

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Check battery health on Linux

Nothing lasts forever, including laptop batteries. But how do you know when your laptop's battery is ripe for a replacement? Easy: install the acpi package (sudo apt install acpi on Ubuntu and Linux Mint), run the acpi -V command, and check the line that looks something like this:

Battery 0:  design capacity 4867 mAh, last full capacity 4584 mAh = 94%

In this case, the battery is at 94% of its designed capacity, so there is no cause for concern. If the value is nearing 50%, you should probably start saving for a new battery.

Since it makes sense to run battery checks regularly, you can create an alias for that. Open the .bashrc file for editing using the nano ~/.bashrc command and add the following alias:

alias chkbat="acpi -V | grep Battery"

Save the changes, reopen the terminal, and run the chkbat command.

How to make PeppyMeter work

I love VU meters. Then again, who doesn't? There is something mesmerizing about the needle or LED segments dancing to the rhythm of the music. So when I stumbled upon PeppyMeter, I knew right away that I must have it running on my machine. Making it work turned out to be a non-trivial matter, but I managed to get it up and running after much experimenting. And I've documented all the steps for your convenience. The following procedure assumes that you're using Ubuntu or Linux Mint.

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