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 Forum index » House Training » HOWTO ( Solutions )
Sticky notes/speech bubbles as 'reminders' on the desktop...
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Mike Walsh

Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 6397
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Sun 18 Aug 2019, 16:42    Post subject:  Sticky notes/speech bubbles as 'reminders' on the desktop...
Subject description: How to create (and display) your own slightly off-beat 'reminders' to yourself.....

Evening, guys & gals.

Here's a wee bit of fun for y'all.

I started a thread about 15 months ago, the subject of which was to do with getting animated GIF images to run on the ROX/JWM 'desktop'.


The end result of which was my wee 'running puppy', endlessly romping across every one of my desktops:-

How many of you, like me, are getting to the stage of life where life goes more smoothly when you write yourself reminder notes? (For you younger members, don't laugh; it'll happen to you, too, sooner or later!)

Anyways; you've all seen, by now, the animated images I use in my signatures. There's the 'scrolling LED' message, and, more recently, the 'print out & repeat' one, like I'm currently using.

These are all generated from a website called wigflip.com. It's very light-hearted, funny stuff, but full of simple automated tools to generate all kinds of animated images'n'stuff that you can put to all sorts of different uses.


I was having a look through what they've got available, and two in particular caught my eye; 'SuperStickies' (digital equivalent to the 'sticky' note; we've all seen people's work computer monitors festooned with these things, stuck to every available bit of the display's frame, haven't we?).....and the other thing was DIY 'speech-bubbles'. I've been looking for a quirky, fun method of writing myself important reminders, without having to go to all the trouble setting up entries in something like (Osmo?), along with whatever the method is for reminding you when the event crops up.

My desktop is a very personal space for me, y'see, and I like to have interesting things going on..... Very Happy


Now; the important bit to know is that the tool that implements this, 'Animated GIF 4 desktop', written by Fredx181, and mentioned in the above thread, 5 or 6 posts in, will not only deal with animated GIFs, but also 'static' GIF images, too.. I did in fact find a couple of small Linux apps which would generate and display 'sticky' notes on your desktop. At least, I thought they were small.....until I found out that they were both based around, and require Qt5.

Qt5 is a bloated behemoth of a thing.....and Qt5 and I do not see eye-to-eye. So; forget those.

Some of these things are generated as PNG images. Fred's app won't accept these. However, if you open the saved PNG image in the GIMP, then re-export it as a static GIF image, Fred's app will use it quite happily. Like this..!

Just for the hell of it, I decided to do the exact same thing, but this time as a 'speech bubble', instead.....

Wigflip.com has all sorts of little desktop 'toys' like this. And why not make your desktop a 'fun' place to be......while at the same time providing useful functions?? You're the one who has to look at it every day, after all..... Smile


Here's a direct link to Fred's .deb package for 'Animated GIF 4 desktop':-


And the required 'GTKDesklet' package, which you will need if you want to enable the transparent background of a GIF:-



I've implemented the sticky-note in exactly the same way as I've done with my 'running-puppy'. I've re-named the script that Fred's app produces to 'StickyStart', and placed it in /root/my-applications/bin:-

You'll note there's also another script beside it, called 'StickyStop'. The contents of this is as follows:-

# Kill desktop GIF
cd /root/my-applications/bin
killall StickyStart

.....and allows me to remove/'switch off' the sticky note, if, as & when I'm finished with it/want to update it/want to replace it with a different one. 'StickyStart' is sym-linked into /root/Startup, so that it shows up as soon as Puppy boots; after all, the whole idea of a sticky-note is that it is there ALL THE TIME, isn't it?

Once created, it's easy enough to modify the 'start' script, and change things. The first few lines of Fred's script look like this:-



.....and are the only ones that will need changing. To move it to a different location, modify the x & y co-ordinates; to use a different 'sticky' GIF image, modify the /path/to/your/image. Make sure it's in GIF format.

In my case, I'm storing the 'sticky' images & start/stop scripts remotely, from where I'm adding them into each Pup in turn (and at the same time adding a MenuEntry for 'StickyStop') via a custom Menu-Entry .pet. This way, I'll see the same sticky, regardless of Puppy, until it's due to be changed for a different one.....

And that, mesdames et messieurs, is THAT. Just a different, fun method for performing and automating an otherwise mundane task.


Mike. Wink


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