Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Annoyances of Upgrades: Gnome Default Camera Program

Last week I finally updated to Ubuntu 8.04 (Hardy Heron). Today I tried to download pictures off my camera. I'd previously set the default camera program to gThumb, but, in either Ubuntu or Gnome's infinite wisdom, the default camera handling program had been reset to F-Spot.

Now I'm sure that F-Spot is a nice program, full featured, and wonderful to use. However, it's not something I want to deal with on a Saturday morning when I'm getting ready to take Prom Pictures.

This is what I get for using software-for-the-masses, I know. (Somewhere, Penguin Pete is laughing at me.)

This leaves me with two options: I can learn how to make F-Spot do what I want it to do, or I can change the preferences for Gnome so that it knows to use gThumb when a camera's connected.

If you picked (1), you don't know me very well. I prefer to sticking-with-what-I-know until what-I-know becomes so unwieldy that I throw up by arms in disgust. Unfortunately, that happened a year or so ago when I decided that FVWM was just too ugly, and it was easier to start using Gnome than to really work at prettying up FVWM. There are lots of things about Gnome that I don't really know yet. In particular, how to change the default camera application. Yes, I'd done it once, but I'd forgotten to write it down.

That's what this blog is for: to write things down that I'd otherwise forget (except I forget to write it down). So after a brief web search, I found the answer: the way to set the camera options is not, as you might think, in Preferred Applications (gnome-default-applications-properties from the command line), but Removable Drives and Media Preferences (gnome-volume-properties). From there changing the default is easy.

Not that an upgrade should change my default.


Sunday, May 18, 2008

Extracting $$!#**^% .mht files from email

Everyone once in a while someone sends me an attachment in Microsoft's MHT format, which is apparently how Internet explorer archives web pages and the associated images. I've read that Thunderbird will read these files, but that's apparently not true under Linux, at least I've been unable to open the file.

On one hand you can save the file to disk, use a utility such as munpack to pull out the files (it's just a MIME attachment), find the HTML file, and edit the heck out of it so it displays nicely on your display.

On the other hand, you can email your correspondent and say “Your tanj file won't open. Send it to me in an open format, frak it!” This is counterproductive if you and your correspondent are, say, on a Pastoral Nominating Committee (though if you want to get off of the committee this may be the way to go).

On the gripping hand we can look for a utility that will do all the work for us. These turn out to be surprisingly few and far between. The only one I've been able to find is kmhtConvert, a (duh) KDE app that can either extract the files from the archive into a new directory, convert the archive to KDE's WAR format (whatever happened to .tar.gz?), or display the file directly. I haven't tried the latter two, but it does extract the files from the archive, and you can read the HTML using a standard browser.

There really ought to be a command-line utility for this, or at least a Thunderbird plug-in for Linux, but I haven't found it yet. Anyone?