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Questions, answers and other helpful information about your laptops
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Show the date as well as the day and time in Gnome Shell top panel
gsettings set org.gnome.shell.clock show-date true
Changing Your Scrollbar
I found the scrollbar on the side of open windows (e.g. the terminal) in Ubuntu to be difficult to work with, so I looked up a method to change them to a more traditional type of scroll wheel. The following link provides the instructions (Note: A system restart is required after the bash commands are executed): Instructions
Installing Shake 'n' Bake
Installing and configuring VPN
To connect to campus machines from off-campus, you will need to create a kind of "tunnel" using Virtual Private Network (VPN) software. Detailed instructions for getting this installed and working on Linux machines.
Linux (bash) command shell primer
Maximizing and minimizing windows
Gnome shell by default doesn't have minimize or maximize buttons on the windows. If you'd like to have them, you can add them with this command:
gconftool-2 -s -t string /desktop/gnome/shell/windows/button_layout ":minimize,maximize,close"
(and then re-login).
Focus follows mouse (JR 1/28/12)
JR: I like focus-follows-mouse mode, so I don't have to click on a window to activate it. I think I set up all the student machines like that, but if not, you can set it using these commands:
gconftool-2 --type string --set /apps/metacity/general/focus_mode mouse gconftool-2 --type boolean --set /apps/metacity/general/auto_raise false
which I learned here. The second command prevents the window that has focus from jumping up to the front after a second or so, which seems to be the default behavior.
Operating system and software (JR)
As of Jan 23, 2012, the laptops are running the Ubuntu 11.10 distribution of the GNU/Linux operating system, with the "Gnome shell" desktop. Here is a list of extra software that I installed after installing Ubuntu:
gnome shell (3.2) synaptic inkscape gimp tex-live g++ gfortran numpy scipy matplotlib gftp vim emacs meld gnuplot grace adobe flash plugin video codecs skype avogadro, xtalopt and dependencies (following these instructions) mathematica (8)
Other software can be installed with Ubuntu Software Center, synaptic, or apt-get.
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