Volwheel saves the day

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I’m a tiny step closer to a nearly picture-perfect phony Windows 2000 desktop, thanks to a little application that surfaced on the Arch Linux forums about a year ago — volwheel.

I’ve mentioned it before, but little things like this are still what make Linux amazing to me. It seems like the simplest thing in the world to want — a volume control in the system tray, adjustable icon, somewhat convenient control over the sound levels. Aside from that, I have no expectations from it.

But to be honest, it’s such an exceedingly terse and efficient little program that I can’t help but wonder what people did without it. One preference menu, accepts input from the command line or the mouse, completely happy to run in IceWM’s system tray, and I couldn’t be happier with the ability to point it at the icon for the volume controller from the WinClassic2 theme‘s icon bank.

It has some nice touches too — it does dynamic icons (in other words, icons that change as the volume level changes), it has a jump-to-mixer button that triggers a terminal window and spawns alsamixer (or another application, if you prefer that), and it takes up about as much space as a mosquito.

My only regret is that I don’t really have a use for it outside of this one machine (the Thinkpad), and so it’s somewhat underused in my household. I just don’t use panels that much, which means I don’t use system trays that much, so I don’t have a need for a panel-tray volume control … that much. :(

But if you’re one of those people who likes a taskbar or a system tray on screen, you should really check it out. It’s got all the right features, weighs less than a feather and looks good … no matter what you think “good” is. ;)

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Visit the Wiki!

Some recent desktops

May 6, 2011
Musca 0.9.24 on Crux Linux
150Mhz Pentium 96Mb 8Gb CF

May 14, 2011
IceWM 1.2.37 and Arch Linux
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

Some recent games

Apr. 21, 2011
Oolite on Xubuntu 11.04
L2300 core duo 3Gb 320Gb

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