Xfce: Gnome System Monitor

If you’re like me and you’ve mostly been experienced with using the Gnome System Monitor to look at the status of your machine and running applications, you’ll find it missing if you decide to change over to a different desktop environment such as Xfce.

I just recently installed the Xfce version of Linux Mint on one of my PCs, and the first thing I always do is set CTRL+Alt+Delete to open System Monitor. Searching for System Monitor in the menu gave no results, so I searched online for xfce system monitor. The only pertinent result that I found was of someone explaining to install Gnome System Monitor in Xubuntu using CLI. I’m assuming Xubuntu’s repositories have Gnome System Monitor in them to give you a result when searching in the Software Center, so you can install it just as easily through the software application with a UI rather than worrying with CLI, but I personally only installed it from the Software Manager in Linux Mint. I also wanted to know if there was any default application for monitoring running processes, and luckily the same post mentioned Xfce Task Manager.

As the post suggested, Gnome System Monitor is a more appealing application than Xfce Task Manager, but I actually like the simplicity of Xfce Task Manager as well. I also like the fact that it shows you the load on the CPU and memory above the list of running processes, rather than requiring you to switch between tabs to view the two separately as in Gnome System Monitor. Either way, I still installed Gnome System Monitor, but I decided to map keyboard shortcuts to both.

You can map keyboard shortcuts in Xfce by opening All Settings from the corner shortcut icon of the main menu and scrolling down to Keyboard under the Hardware category. It’s pretty straightforward. You’ll a tab titled Application Shortcuts. Just click the Add button at the bottom of the pane listing current shorcuts.

I personally chose to make Xfce Task Manager the common CTRL+Alt+Delete shortcut, and then made Gnome System Monitor CTRL+Shift+Alt+Delete. The commands for running the two applications are xfce4-taskmanager and gnome-system-monitor. You’ll be prompted that CTRL+Alt+Delete is already set for the command to lock the screen. Just click the button that says to map it to whichever monitoring application you want it to run, if you don’t want to use a different shortcut altogether.

Another plus I’ll give to Xfce Task Manager is that it defaults to create a minimized icon on the panel next to the clock that you can click on to relaunch the application in a window or hover over to view current loads on the CPU and memory. This can be disabled in the Preference settings of the application, and if you run it using the keyboard shortcut again while it is already minimized in the panel, it will actually launch a second instance (including an additional minimized icon in the panel). Not a huge deal, but a slight annoyance.

What is a friend?

A lot has changed for me in the past ten years. Ten years ago, I was living with my parents, staying up until wee hours of the morning listening to music, playing guitar and recording through my computer. I was jamming with friends in a band that practiced at least once a week. I was floating from one job to the next with no interest in finding a career.

As far as responsibility goes, I’m certainly doing better these days. What’s the problem, you might ask? Well, I find myself facing somewhat of a conundrum. I don’t really understand what a true friend is. The reason is because most of the people that I’ve considered friends at some point during, if not of all of, the past ten years have turned out to be something I find different than friends. Acquaintances.

In fact, a small issue fractured a friendship between an old high school buddy and myself, and it wasn’t even an issue between the two of us. It was between his girlfriend and me. At the time, I thought of us as being each other’s best friend. When things fell through, they fell hard. It really made me question the genuineness of our friendship to begin with. Needless to say, that has been nearly five years now, and not a word has been exchanged between us since. Despite the fact that I still hold some anger at how these deteriorated between us, I also miss the way things were between us.

Then there were friends I made while going to college. These were people I saw several days a week, sometimes every weekday of the week. There were some complications regarding some of these friendships, mainly due to an interest on my part of wanting to be more than friends, and I admit that I went about some things the wrong way in a few situations. Hindsight is always 20/20, and you can always look back on every situation and find decisions and actions that you could have done better by doing differently, but we’re all human. I am no exception. Either way, I grew fond of all of the friends I made in college, and always thought I would know the ones who I spent most of my time in college with for a long time, even if distance would be a factor.

I just find it strange how people you want to think of as friends turn out to be little more than exceptional acquaintances. Metaphorically, you could compare them to a relic that bore some great importance during a specific window of time, but only now lies in the vault of your mind as little more than a memory, deteriorating even more as time goes by. Perhaps to one day vanish completely altogether.

Or, perhaps, it is more appropriate to say that I am the relic.

I’m certainly not unhappy. I met my fiancée several years ago, and she has changed my life so dramatically. That’s the funniest part about it. Before, I would have looked on at these circumstances and been depressed, or at least bothered. Instead, I look at it now and just wonder “why did I care so much about these people?” Maybe it’s more of a matter of angering than saddening. That may make me seem cold, but you’d have to see it through my eyes. After all, when I last saw these acquaintances, I didn’t have my fiancée in my life. I wasn’t as happy as I am today. In fact, the friendships I thought I had with these people were the most enjoyable aspect of my social life at the time. I spent a great deal of time working full time and going to school full time. I didn’t have a lot of time for relationships with people outside of school.

Hopefully, not everyone who knew me in the past will read this blog post and assume it is about them. In fact, some people who I made friends with and only briefly knew and had time to be around during those days, have continued to stay in touch on some level. I certainly don’t wish for any one like that to think I’m disregarding that relationship or putting it down. There are just some who have literally severed all ties with me, and, in some cases, even acted as though it would be too demanding of them to ever reunite and hangout during occasions where we might be in the same town, as well as severed all ties with me in terms of connections on social media sites. That just doesn’t make sense to me.


phpBB 3.1.x: Soft Delete for Boards Upgraded from 3.0.x

phpBB 3.1.x boards now have the ability to allow moderators to soft-delete posts so that they can later review the post and/or decide to restore it. If you upgraded from 3.0.x to 3.1.x instead of just installing a fresh 3.1.x board, you might have noticed that the confirmation message when deleting a post or thread doesn’t mention anything about soft- or hard-deletion. To fix the issue, all you have to do is modify some permissions that appear to be improperly set for the moderator roles in the permissions settings on the board during the upgrade.

The steps to fixing the issue are:

  • Go to your ACP.
  • Click on the Permissions tab.
  • Click on Moderator roles under the Permission Roles category in the left navigation pane.
  • Click the green edit cog icon to the right of the Full Moderator role.
  • Scroll down to the Moderative permissions section of the page.
  • Click on the Misc tab.
  • Change the Can soft delete posts entry from No to Yes.
  • Click Submit.

Anyone who has Global Moderator status on your board will now be able to soft delete posts as opposed to only being able to permanently delete them. The same must be done for any other moderator levels you want to be able to do soft-deletion as well. The Queue Moderator role doesn’t need the ability to perform any deletions – per its role description (only validating and editing posts queued for moderation), but you may decide you want the Standard and Simple moderator roles to only be able to soft-delete, whereas they can only hard-delete posts and topics due to the permissions issue of the upgrade. By default (in a fresh 3.1.x installation), the Standard, Simple and Full moderator roles are supposed to all be able to perform soft- and hard-delete on posts and topics.