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Author Topic: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience? (SOLVED)  (Read 7262 times)

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Offline perknh

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Hello fellow Pepperminters,

Is there a way to darken the Panel Bar -- such as a dark gray -- as it is in Ubuntu?  I've always found it somewhat difficult seeing the volume button, and the calendar with Peppermint's default settings -- not impossible, but a little bit tough though.  And I have enlarged, and set to bold the font where I could, but I just seem to see better with Ubuntu's dark background with white font than with Peppermints light background with dark font.  (However I like the ability to change font size better with Peppermint).  And, if this is not possible to do right now, would it be possible to add a darker panel bar option as an alternative option with our upcoming release of Peppermint 5 coming out in either May or June?

Also reading the mysterious writings of Kendall Weaver and PCNetSpec, that maybe Peppermint 5 is moving away, at least to some degree, from LXDE, might there be then some focus put on making Peppermint run cooler for laptop computers?  I'm actually using an Hitachi external 320 G hard drive, in a USB 3 case, in a USB 3 port to help run our two laptop cooler cooler.

Now, for what I can see neither Ubuntu nor Peppermint run particularly cooler than one or another.  Peppermint runs faster -- of that I'm pretty sure.  I've read that Jacque Raymer, lead developer of MakuluLinux, has made great headway, pretty much by himself so it seems, making E17 less bug free, and more user friendly.  Might this desktop environment help make laptop computers run cooler then Unity or LXDE for our beloved Peppermint?

My wife and I can, and do, use an external hard drive, but we would prefer to remove Windows completely and place Linux directly onto our laptops.  We have a actually already done this before, but had then discovered our laptops ran cooler using the USB 3 external hard drive in the USB ports our computers have, so we reluctantly went back to installing Windows on our laptops, but then running Peppermint or Ubuntu externally -- Peppermint at present.

And now a confession -- this suspense about Peppermint 5 is making me more loco than I already am!   Between Kendall Weaver's and PCNetSpec's hinting, here and there, all over the web, about the new changes coming to Peppermint 5, well, the suspense is nearly overwhelming me. 

Hopefully others are as eager to see what is coming to Peppermint 5 as I am.

Thank you, everyone.

perknh
« Last Edit: May 05, 2014, 06:28:27 am by perknh »
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Offline rjm65

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I am waiting on it for sure...  But I must confess all my laptops that are now running peppermint 3, refuse to either boot up or shutdown the lubuntu 14.04 daily build... so I am hoping whatever that bug is in lubuntu is hopefully fixed by the peppermint team, I have my fingers crossed on that because I surely do not want to go find another distro, since the peppermint team is so wonderful at solving issues in their forums....   ;D
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Offline mac

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Don't know about the rest of it but for darkening your panel.......

Right click the panel then choose Panel Settings.  In the resulting Panel Preferences window go to the Appearance Tab and tick Solid color (with opacity).  Left click on the checkered button to the right and choose your color, opacity, etc.  You can also color the font in the Apparance Tab. 
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Offline PCNetSpec

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If your laptop is running hot, it's could be one of a few issues, most likely of which are power management related .. there have been improvements in power managements in recent kernels, so we might have to wait and see.
(other than that it might be graphics related .. yours isn't an nvidia Optimus by any chance ?)

In Peppermint 4 you might want to install TLP and see if that helps.

and check that the CPU is scaling back when not under load.
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Offline kendall

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Also reading the mysterious writings of Kendall Weaver and PCNetSpec, that maybe Peppermint 5 is moving away, at least to some degree, from LXDE...

In order to preserve stability and user experience for the LTS code base I'm going to keep Peppermint Five mostly similar to Peppermint Four in that it'll be running LXDE with Xfwm as the window manager. I'll be exploring other desktop options, hopefully GTK+3 based, for Peppermint Six.
Co-Founder and CTO of Peppermint. Developer, Photographer, and spicy food lover.

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Offline AndyInMokum

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Hi perknh, how's it going?  Everything mac said is what you are looking for.  I suggest that you also download gcolor2 to supplement his advice.  "gcolor2" is a colour picker and is really useful in matching up colours.  It is in the depositories.  Failing that, you will find it as a component of GIMP if, you have that already installed.  Its a really useful tool.  To install, open a terminal window:
Quote
Ctrl+Alt+t
When the window opens enter:
Code: [Select]
sudo apt-get install gcolor2
Do the password thing if asked  and hit enter.  Gcolor2 will be in Menu/Graphics/Gcolor2 Hope this helps.  Have fun  :)!
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Offline mac

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BTW, folks, in P4 it is no longer necessary to use "get" in apt-get.  You can just sudo apt update, sudo apt upgrade, sudo apt install, etc. 
You still need it, though, in P3.   ;) 
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Offline perknh

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Thank you, everyone!

First to rjm65, I can't get Peppermint 3 to work on my computer.  I have no network connection when I try to use it.  I've tried and tried and tried.  I like the LTS aspect to it, but if it won't connect for me, I can't use it.  I tried playing with Trusty Tahr  beta and daily builds a little, but it looks as if Ubuntu is getting more complicated  as time passes and not less so.  What I mean is that they seem to be adding more and more stuff -- stuff that I do not need.  Also I could not download, for whatever reason, Chrome and Maxthon browsers  on it in beta-- so I stopped playing with their beta version.  As for Lubuntu, I guess I'll have to try it after tomorrow, but after the last time I tried it, I came running back quickly to Peppermint 4 again.  I don't know what it is about Lubuntu that vexed me.  Maybe it was the need to composite (I think that's the word it's called) docky.  I'm sure compositing  is a good thing to know how to do, but it is an unnecessary step with Peppermint. 

I venture out and I explore the world of Linux, but I seem to always come back to Peppermint.  Peppermint just seems to work, and work well consistently. 

Now I know there are wonderful people everywhere on this planet.   I've been warmly welcomed at Bridge Linux by a very smart fellow named Ninja-1,   and then there's an absolute saint by the name of Ceel at Slitaz that has the patience of a windmill.   Because I was so new to Slitaz, I couldn't get anything he was saying to me in terms of code. 

Still, I've never seen any group of people for Linux quite like the one at Peppermint.  The folks in this forum are amazing.  Other forums seem to have one or two heavy lifters doing all the work.  Here everybody who knows anything that would help somebody chips in.  There is a bond here that is palpable.  I have felt very much welcomed, and I thank you all for that.

Now to, Mac, you did it!  The bar is now a dark grey with a white font.  Thank you very much.  My next move will be to learn how to darken the calendar, but one thing at a time.  I'm very happy with what I've learned from you today.  I've been wanting to do that for ages.  Thank you so much.

And PCNetSpec!  Let's remember I actually have two OSs here.  Windows 7 and a USB 3 case containing Peppermint 4  connected to a USB 3 port.  So now my question is:  What is  nvidia Optimus?  It sounds like a planet out of Star Trek!  Now how do I find out if my computer has it?  My computer is a Toshiba Satellite -- the nemesis of Linux, so it seems, if that gives you any clue to the answer.  I can tell you this:  the hard drive stays around 39 degrees Celsius when I use the external hard drive.  It can go up to around 50 degrees Celsius when I have either Peppermint 4 or Ubuntu 12.04 installed directly to the hard drive.  That's quite a difference don't you think?

And, Kendall, from what I'm gathering the big difference this time around will be the difference of our windows theme manager xfwm, but we'll be a stable as a rock, I'm sure.  Maybe, the new kernel coming with 14.04 will give my wife's and my two relatively new Toshiba laptops some welcomed relief.  I've read that Ubuntu has been working to improve heating issues.  We'll see.

My wife and I would ideally like to be Windows free as soon as possible.  My wife has told me time and time again she does not like Windows.  And it is said that when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy, so I assure I will be the happiest fellow on the planet the day we become Windows free.  Maybe this new kernel will do it.  And thank you for all you work, considerations, and insights.  Peppermint really is an incredible OS -- a work of art really.

And Kendall, as you can see, we're all eager beavers waiting to try Peppermint 5. 

May all go well for you and your entire team of developers.

Thank you so much everyone for all your help and answers.

perknh
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

Offline perknh

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 AndyInMokum, I just your message after posting.  I'll check it out.  Thank you.
We're all Peppermint users and that's what matters  ;).  -- AndyInMokum

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For my part, you're welcome.    ;)
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience?
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2014, 08:29:06 pm »
OK you've lost me with the hard drive temperature thing .. sometimes that's easy to do  :-\

Do you mean the temperature of the external HDD goes up if you  install Peppermint on it
or
that if you install Peppermint on the internal drive, peppermint says the internal drive is hotter.

I'd fully expect an internal drive to run hotter than an external drive (particularly in a laptop) simply because of airflow around the drive, and the fact that they're usually fairly close to the CPU heatsink. ;)

As for Optimus, what's the output from:
Code: [Select]
sudo lshw -C display
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Offline perknh

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Re: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience?
« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2014, 06:20:36 am »
Yes, PCNetSpec,

I meant that the internal hard drive gets considerable hotter than than the external hard drive, and I have a cooling fan under our both of our laptop computers too.  That was something I forgot to mention.  I'm trying everything I can do to keep the computers from getting too hot.

Here's what the sudo lshw -C display command produced. (I removed my wife's name here to protect her privacy -- since this happens to be her computer.)  Thank you, PCNetSpec.  I don't know if this was very helpful to you or not.  I don't see the word Optimus anywhere.  Maybe 50 degrees Celsius is good enough in your opinion -- within the upper range of normal?  Or do  you think it is smarter for me to continue to run the external hard drive as I'm doing right now?  It works pretty well.

*****@bluecat ~ $ sudo lshw -C display
[sudo] password for *****:
  *-display               
       description: VGA compatible controller
       product: 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller
       vendor: Intel Corporation
       physical id: 2
       bus info: pci@0000:00:02.0
       version: 09
       width: 64 bits
       clock: 33MHz
       capabilities: msi pm vga_controller bus_master cap_list rom
       configuration: driver=i915 latency=0
       resources: irq:43 memory:c8000000-c83fffff memory:c0000000-c7ffffff ioport:3000(size=64)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 06:36:14 am by perknh »
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Offline PCNetSpec

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Re: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience?
« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2014, 08:10:16 am »
OK it's not an optimus, so that's not the problem.

Here "probably" the problem .. as I said previously I'd fully expect an internal HDD to get hotter than an external HDD as there's less air flow around the drive and the drive is going to be close to the CPU.

It will do this in Windows too.

If it's NOT doing it in Windows the only things that Windows might be doing differently is throttling the CPU when it's not under load (look into TLP for Pepermint) and/or controlling the CPU fan better (look into lm-sensors and fancontrol)

BE CAREFUL with fancontrol .. if set incorrectly you could causxe the CPU to seriously overheat.

If you'd prefer .. stick with your current setup for now, and when Peppermint 5 is released we'll see if we need to do anything to keep that cool on your system.
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Offline perknh

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Re: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience?
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2014, 01:14:55 pm »
Thank you, PCNetSpec,

I am not touching anything to do with fancontrol.  And, yes, our laptops warm up when we run Window 7 or 8.1.1, but not nearly  as hot as when we run Ubuntu or Peppermint.  My wife seems to okay with me getting her an external hard drive, instead of sharing the one we have between our two computers.   It may be she goes down the new 14.04 Ubuntu path -- we will see.   She fell in love with Ubuntu 12.04 when I had put it on her laptop.  This was her first personal PC, and her first journey away from Windows.  She loved what she saw and experienced with Ubuntu.  And to be honest, I like both distributions a great deal too, but Ubuntu has many more programs than I need, and it is in this forum that I feel very much at home.

"If you'd prefer .. stick with your current setup for now, and when Peppermint 5 is released we'll see if we need to do anything to keep that cool on your system."

I will do this, PCNetSpec.  I am curious if this new kernel from the Ubuntu team will make a difference too.  Knock on wood, but with a little luck, it might.

Thank you very, very much.

perknh

« Last Edit: April 17, 2014, 01:28:48 pm by perknh »
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Offline rjm65

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Re: Peppermint 5? -- A Darker Panel Bar Option? A Cooler Laptop Experience?
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2014, 01:39:04 pm »
If you want to play around with panel images here are a set of 15 panel images in many colors and gradient effects....
http://forum.peppermintos.com/index.php/topic,181.0.html
Robert
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