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#1 Al1000

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 02:22 PM

This thread is for discussing pWidgets. pWidgets is a desktop utility for Puppy that uses Conky as its engine.

http://www.murga-linux.com/puppy/viewtopic.php?t=35601

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#2 Al1000

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 02:25 PM

You've got the right one there, Al; that IS it.

If you download the x86 version (for Lucid), it simply installs as a .pet. Once it's installed, look in Menu>Desktop, and you'll see an entry for 'pWidgets tiny desktop apps'.

Click to bring it up, and start playing with it! The icons above the right-hand column, you use '+' or '-' to add/remove items from the left-hand column to the working 'mini-Conky' in the right-hand column; to reposition items, click on the item you want to move, then use the up & down arrows to move it.

Go into 'File>Preferences' to find the available themes, and to move it to your desired position (right or left, and the desired startpoint).

Have fun! Let us know how you get on with it.


Mike. :wink:


The Conky I usually install is conky-std (as opposed to conky-all). I'm not sure if that's what you mean by "full" Conky? I have installed conly-all in the past, but don't notice any practical differences since I only ever have one relatively simple Conky display.

Edited by Al1000, 04 July 2016 - 02:25 PM.


#3 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 04 July 2016 - 03:36 PM

Hi, Al.

 

Hmm. Although I've read quite a bit about Conky, and downloaded sample Conky config files and perused them, they look horrendously complicated to me..! Perhaps I don't have the patience required to go through that kind of thing with the dedication it no doubt deserves...  :)

 

I've always admired the way Conky looks on the screen; that kind of information display has always appealed to me.....even though I don't really consider myself to be a 'geek'. It's certainly important to keep an eye on temperatures, if nothing else.

 

But I've always wanted an easy route to such a display, due to the fact that the work involved doesn't appeal to quite the same extent... :rolleyes:  :blush:  Which is why I was so pleased to find pWidgets in Puppy (and even more pleased to realise there's a 64-bit version, too, especially since I've now begun to use the 64-bit Pups).

 

I'd certainly recommend it to anyone who wants a basic system information display. It's been well thought-out, and implemented. Personally, I like it!

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 04 July 2016 - 03:44 PM.

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#4 cat1092

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 01:25 AM

 

 

 Which is why I was so pleased to find pWidgets in Puppy (and even more pleased to realise there's a 64-bit version, too, especially since I've now begun to use the 64-bit Pups).

 

As you likely see yourself firsthand, the 64 bit Pups are growing in numbers, a lot of the main reason being is that many older 32 bit computers becomes broken & parts for some costs more than the entire computer is worth. Though normally there's tons of used components at dirt cheap pricing shipped free on eBay (where I get all of my used upgrade CPU's & replacement/upgrade wireless cards), and not the first one has failed, including those installed for others. There's wireless cards of the 'AC' spec w/BT 4.0 on there for 25% of the cost at retail, and many are unused, pulled from business computers. Plus many other low cost components, lots of options below $10. 

 

On the other hand, there's some that are in higher demand & this dictates higher pricing. Motherboards are one example. So is DDR2 RAM, yet the 'A-Tech' brand can be purchased new on Amazon with free shipping. These are remanufactured moules, though still carries the A-Tech Lifetime warranty & 50% less than on sites such as Newegg. 

 

There's also the times when a machine has fallen apart, piece by piece & the user runs these until they'll go no longer, then snag a former business/corporate 64 bit PC on eBay for $100 (or less) shipped. I hit the silicon lottery when catching a Dell Optiplex 780 DT with a Core 2 Quad 9650 (3.0GHz), the largest of the series for home/business use, though there were 2-3 others that were very expensive & still are today. One (if new) still will cost as much, or close to, a i7-4790K/6700K, these were $1,000 CPU's & have retained value great, considering these are 8 years old. 

 

This is why 64 bit Pups are growing, as the 32 bit computers are falling apart, why would one invest in another? When there's $100-125 computers that includes a TPM to lock down the drives that'll run the latest Linux releases, plus Puppy on a USB stick (or frugal install, if possible with 64 bit). FatDog64 was the first & only 64 bit Pup I've ran, and it's fast as a racehorse on steroids, what I use to diagnose unbootable computers with. This helps me determine if it's the computer (often low cost & flimsy), or if the HDD has fallen over, or OS corruption/Malware infested. 

 

I always keep this CD handy, and have created the bootable USB stick versions. Though have never installed nor configured it, would be great to create one with a Persistence file to save changes. :)

 

Or Save file, if FatDog64 doesn't work with the normal Linux persistence file. :thumbup2:

 

Cat


Edited by cat1092, 05 July 2016 - 01:38 AM.

Performing full disc images weekly and keeping important data off of the 'C' drive as generated can be the best defence against Malware/Ransomware attacks, as well as a wide range of other issues. 


#5 Al1000

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 03:24 AM


Hmm. Although I've read quite a bit about Conky, and downloaded sample Conky config files and perused them, they look horrendously complicated to me..!

 

 

If you have Conky installed, you'll see many similarities between the configuration files in /etc/conky/, and pWidgets configuration files in ~/.pwidgets/widgets/. pWidgets configuration files are basically Conky configuration files, so I see what the developer means when he says pWidgets uses Conky as its "engine." :)

 

Take a look at htop though, and note that I have five instances of Conky running. The first instance is for my original Conky display on the left of the screen, and the other four are for the four pWidgets displays on the right. Then there is another process, gtkdialogue -p, which also seems related to pWidgets. So according to htop, this small pWidgets display is using over four times the amount of RAM than the much bigger Conky display is using.

 

pwidgets_zpsg3gjbhan.png

 

So while I appreciate that pWidgets is easier to configure, as far as its options in its GUI interface are concerned, Conky is much lighter weight and a more efficient way of displaying system information.

 

With Conky, it's also easier to configure the configuration file itself, because there only is one at either /etc/conky/conky.conf, or ~/.conkyrc. Whereas pWidgets has a configuration file for each widget. For some reason the CPU bar was shorter than the RAM bar and wasn't aligned to the right, and I also wanted the CPU bar to say CPU instead of CPU1, so had to edit the relevant configuration file to change all that anyway. I would also have changed the colour of the CPU lettering while I was at it, but  couldn't see how the developer has done it.

 

I am glad you told us about pWidgets in any case, mostly because it works with a transparent background on Lucid Puppy. I have this on other operating systems, but have never managed it with Lucid Puppy. So in due course, I'll go through the pWidgets configuration files again and see if I can figure out how its done. :)

 

This situation also highlights one of the other things I like about Conky. It was Nick that first recommended Conky to me, on the grounds that it's good for people who want to know more about how their computer works. Whereas pWidgets would be better for people who want a system information display that they can change, albeit in much more limited ways, without having to know anything about how the display works or having to edit any files.


Edited by Al1000, 05 July 2016 - 03:37 AM.


#6 NickAu

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 04:43 AM

 

It was Nick that first recommended Conky to me, on the grounds that it's good for people who want to know more about how their computer works

I remember that, You learn a bit about your PC by setting up your own conky. 

 

I also prefer Conky, I think I used pWidgets once or twice.


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#7 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 05 July 2016 - 06:41 PM

Hi, Al.

 

Al1000 said:-

 

So according to htop, this small pWidgets display is using over four times the amount of RAM than the much bigger Conky display is using.

 

 

 

I quite happily give ground to people with more experience on this one. I have never, ever, pretended to be anything other than a 'tinkerer', and enthusiastic 'dabbler' when it comes to these boxes of electronic gubbins. 

 

 

Al1000 said:-

 

So while I appreciate that pWidgets is easier to configure, as far as its options in its GUI interface are concerned, Conky is much lighter weight and a more efficient way of displaying system information.

 

 

 

Al. old son, I'll take your word for it. In my case, Linux was a welcome refuge from years of increasing frustration with Windows; EOL for XP was simply the final 'nudge' I needed to switch for good.

 

I also don't pretend that my graphical efforts are anything other than those of an amateurish 'tinkerer', compared to the truly understated masterpieces I've seen composed by others who really know what they're doing with this wonderful OS that we all enjoy so much. But one thing I can't deny; Linux is, for me, so much more customizable than Windows, right down to the tiny little things like determining where you want a window to appear on the screen when you invoke an application. Things like that make it, to my mind at least, far more satisfying to use.

 

 I'll not deny that there are doubtless ways of doing this in Windows; but such things are frowned upon by the Windows ecosphere as not really being 'sporting' (i.e., cheating the developers out of well-deserved income..!! (*cough*)) Whereas in Linux, the average user (especially in Puppyland), is positively encouraged to 'join in', to try their hand at 'coding', 'development' & 'packaging', specifically to benefit the rest of the community.  And it is appreciated; that's the nice thing about it. The only cast-iron stipulation of the GPL is that you share your modifications with everybody else......  :)

 

It's a truly wonderful situation, too! I like the idea that something I might decide to knock together, initially for my own use, will, after further 'development', end up benefiting others in the community, and will be appreciated.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Which brings me back to pWidgets in a roundabout way. Sigmund, like all Puppy developers, is always aware of the need to adhere to the Puppy 'spirit' by keeping things as lean as possible.....but when you consider that Puppy is not necessarily a first port of call, but in many cases, a final 'resting-place' for a certain class of ex-Windows refugee, then I believe that pWidgets was put together not so much as a tutorial of how your system works (and how to make it as efficient as possible), but purely as a demonstration of what is possible; to show just what Linux is truly capable of. I doubt RAM usage was, on this particular occasion, absolutely top of his list of considerations when he put it together.

 

(Don't forget, many Linux users are still very much as they were as Windows users; they're not that interested in why their system does something, or how; they simply want to 'fire it up', secure in the knowledge that it will just work.....and allow them to 'get on' with what they want to do.....)

 

Yes, there will always be those Linux users who truly want to know what every last part of their system does, and, moreover, yearn to be in FULL control of it. I admire such individuals, I really do. They display a dedication to their chosen path that I can only dream of, as do many of your good selves. You're all far more dedicated to your hobby than I shall ever be.....and for that alone, I'm FULL of admiration.

 

 Which is why I always maintain, and always will, that I'm only a crude kind of amateur; a 'thorn' among so many roses..!  :lol:

 

 And now, since I'm in danger of going 'off-topic' yet again, I'd better shut my pie-hole, quit waffling, and leave the Forum to those who are trying to help others... I think my style of posting is rather at odds with the guidelines given:-

 

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/597428/maintaining-continuity-of-support-topics/

 

I'm too used to the 'laid-back' style of the Puppy Forums; we just 'muck-in' together, and have a laugh while we're at it. We don't take life seriously.....and that, perhaps, is just one reason why the Puppy Forums membership is stagnating. We have no end of newcomers complaining, quite vocally sometimes, that they can't get the level of response that they do on other, more serious forums.

 

 

 Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 06 July 2016 - 06:23 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

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#8 Al1000

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Posted 07 July 2016 - 11:21 AM

Which brings me back to pWidgets in a roundabout way. Sigmund, like all Puppy developers, is always aware of the need to adhere to the Puppy 'spirit' by keeping things as lean as possible.....but when you consider that Puppy is not necessarily a first port of call, but in many cases, a final 'resting-place' for a certain class of ex-Windows refugee, then I believe that pWidgets was put together not so much as a tutorial of how your system works (and how to make it as efficient as possible), but purely as a demonstration of what is possible; to show just what Linux is truly capable of. I doubt RAM usage was, on this particular occasion, absolutely top of his list of considerations when he put it together.

 

When I say pWidgets is using several times the amount of RAM than Conky used, that's not a criticism any more than saying multiple Conky displays use several times the amount of RAM than a single Conky display uses, and I have seen lots of multiple Conky displays.

 

I have no doubt that pWidgets would still be much lighter than most other system resource monitors. If we were to measure how much RAM pWidgets uses compared to Linux Mint System Monitor, for example, pWidgets would prove to be much, much lighter.

 

It's quite possible that pWidgets is the lightest Linux system monitor that can be configured though a GUI. I certainly can't think of a lighter one.

 

The "Puppy way" of doing things quite often results in multiple ways of doing the same thing. The "internet connection wizard" is a good example, since there are actually four of them. I can see how this happens though. Someone writes an internet connection wizard, so it's included in the release. Then someone else writes a more comprehensive one, so it gets included as well, and so on. After all, what if someone prefers the basic one? Why not give people the choice of which of the four internet connection wizards they wish to use? :)


Edited by Al1000, 07 July 2016 - 11:22 AM.


#9 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 05:36 AM

Morning, Al. 

 

Have to agree with you there; the 'Puppy' way does indeed result in many ways of doing the same thing.....but I think that probably applies to most OS's. 'Multiple redundancy' is, I believe, the expression for it.

 

Certainly pWidgets is extremely easy to set up, as well as being quite comprehensive. It's ideal for raw beginners to acheive a fairly 'professional' looking display without too much effort. Yet, as you say, the ability is always there for more experienced Linux users to employ the 'full' Conky, should they so wish.

 

'Horses for courses'. As always, it boils down to personal choice in the end.....the one thing that Linux can never be accused of being short of..!  :P

 

 

Mike.  :wink:


Edited by Mike_Walsh, 08 July 2016 - 05:38 AM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

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#10 Al1000

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 11:34 AM

I just so happened to be browsing the Puppy forum looking for different variables for the Conky configuration file earlier today, and noticed someone mention that pWidgets makes a good Conky Manager.

Something went wrong with my Lucid Puppy frugal install yesterday, a while after uninstalling pWidgets, I found that Conky wouldn't start, even though I had just closed it down. Rather than try and fix it, I just replaced the save file with a backup I had made prior to installing pWidgets. The only thing is I forgot to back up my Conky configuration file, and had just managed to get a transparent background in Puppy for the first time, using some of the variables from the pWidgets configuration files. Now I can't remember the exact variables I used, which is why I was browsing the Puppy forum. :)

Anyway, I soon decided the easiest thing to do would be to install pWidgets again, and try the variables from the configuration files in my Conky configuration file again, until I find the right combination for a transparent background in Puppy, again. So that's where I'm at with pWidgets now. Next time I'll be sure to back up my Conky configuration file. :)

Edited by Al1000, 08 July 2016 - 11:34 AM.


#11 Mike_Walsh

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Posted 08 July 2016 - 02:21 PM

Next time I'll be sure to back up my Conky configuration file.  :) 

 

 

 
Ah, I'm sure you won't forget to do that again in a hurry!
 
Of course, it's just another of those features that are so easy to do in Puppy; I honestly don't know of any other distro you can back up with a simple copy/paste operation. Yet another plus for the 'frugal' install!
 
 
Mike.  :wink: 

Edited by Mike_Walsh, 08 July 2016 - 02:21 PM.

Distros:- Multiple 'Puppies'..... and Anti-X 16.1

My Puppy BLOG ~~~  My Puppy PACKAGES

Compaq Presario SR1916UK; Athlon64 X2 3800+, 3 GB RAM, WD 500GB Caviar 'Blue', 32GB Kingspec PATA SSD, 3 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, ATI Radeon Xpress 200 graphics, Dell 15.1" pNp monitor (1024 x 768), TP-Link PCI-e USB 3.0 card, Logitech c920 HD Pro webcam, self-powered 7-port USB 2.0 hub

Dell Inspiron 1100; 2.6 GHz 400FSB P4, 1.5 GB RAM, 64GB KingSpec IDE SSD, Intel 'Extreme' graphics, 1 TB Seagate 'Expansion' external HDD, M$ HD-3000 'Lifecam'.

 

KXhaWqy.gifFQ8nrJ3.gif

 

 





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