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June 1, 2012

Customizing Linux Mint: Window and GTK+ Themes

In addition to Cinnamon themes, Linux Mint also allows you to change its Window and GTK+ theme. Much like installing a Cinnamon theme, it is simple and easy to do. Although there are a few tweaks you may have to do to get your desired theme to be universal across multiple accounts (especially the root account).


Firstly, head over to Gnome-Look and take a look under the "GTK 3.x" section. If you are using a relatively new Linux distribution, chances are you are using GTK 3.x. Once you have downloaded a theme, uncompress it and open up your home directory.

To install a Window/GTK+ theme:
  • Open your home directory and navigate into the ".themes" folder. If there isn't one, then create it. (Your files may be hidden, hit Ctrl+H to unhide hidden files)
  • Copy your extracted theme folder into the ".themes" folder
  • Now open up Cinnamon Settings then to the Themes section
  • In the Other Settings tab, you should see "Window Theme" and "GTK+ theme"
  • Select your downloaded theme in the two drop down boxes
  • You're done! (If your theme doesn't apply properly, just reload the window manager by doing a Alt+F2 and r)
Although the theme applies successfully, you may have noticed that when you run applications as root, you lose your current theme. The result is an ugly, bland, Windows 98 type user interface. To fix this abnormality simple follow these steps to extend your current theme into 'root' territory.

Open up Terminal and enter the following commands:
  • sudo ln -s ~/.themes /root/.themes
  • sudo ln -s ~/.icons /root/.icons
  • sudo ln -s ~/.fonts /root/.fonts
After that, you may have to restart your computer for changes to take affect. You can also try logging out and in again but I personally have not tried it.

So there you have it, a simple way of changing your Linux Mint's Window and GTK+ theme. Next time I will be talking about how to change your system's icon theme. Until then, happy customizing!

Anime Review: Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini

Darker than Black: Ryuusei no Gemini takes on a different approach that the original series with Hei sharing the spotlight with a new character Suou. Together they change the fate of the world.

Darker than Black: Ryuusei no GeminiSynopsis:

In the sequel, Hei and Yin are now on the run after betraying the Syndicate in the previous season. After leaving Japan, Hei encounters Suou Pavlichenko, a 13-year-old Eurasian girl who becomes embroiled in the war and politics of the various factions and Contractors vying for power. Meanwhile, Hell's Gate remains standing in Tokyo, after Hei's efforts to stop the Saturn Ring anti-Gate particle weapon from activating. Although Contractors are safe from the danger of having their existences erased, this does not prevent new and old Contractors from abusing their powers. As Misaki Kirihara and her team in the Public Security Bureau deal with the increasing Contractor cases, she also has to keep the Syndicate at bay, who has major positions in the Japanese police and intelligence bureaus around the world. The storyline setting primarily takes place in both Japan and Russia.

Review:

If you watched Gaiden before Gemini then you will understand this sequel a lot more than those who watched Gemini first. As pointed out, the story takes on a totally new direction that previously. Hei is no longer the main focal point of this story as Suou has become one of the more important characters in the plot. After Hei and Yin betrayed the Syndicate they are on the run to find out the truth behind Hell's Gate and of the mysterious Yin. Along the way, they encounter Suou whom gets involved with the whole political war and mess between the contractors and the governmental agencies. It is up to the newly form group to discover the real truth behind such an incident and to prevent more destruction from happening. The story is engaging, entertaining and is definitely a better anime than the original. Everything gets answered in the end and the amount of detail you've collected from the prequels will help you along the way in forming the pieces of the storyline together.

The art was again excellent with smooth battle animations and detailed backgrounds. The new characters all looked pretty original portraying the distinct country they are from (whether it was America, Russia or Japan). Each respective government agency had their own unique style, artwork and equipment. It was a refreshing experience to see new situations, environments and characters here.

The soundtrack was again excellent for Gemini. The opening and ending theme songs were a real treat which I particularly enjoyed. The voice acting was the same cast from the prequels mixed in with a few new characters such as Suou herself. I could recognise some characters' voice from other anime that I have watched so it's nice to see the same representation of character's personalities from other anime. The battle scene background music surely put the right mood in presenting the audience with an epic battle ahead. It was enjoyable.

The anime starts off with Suou instead of Hei. So for the first few minutes you would be wondering what had happened to Hei. Fear not- he comes in at the right time seemingly like a villain to capture Suou but it thwarted by the enemy before he could take her away. Overall, Suou is a really interesting character to follow as you watch her personality and opinions change as she follows Hei. There were also other new characters introduced, but the anime was far too short to properly give detailed information of these new characters and how they came to be. The anime would have been better if they had been given more time for their characters to be known properly rather than just through some cameo roles.

Overall, it was quite exciting and enjoyable to watch. I'm glad that this series introduced some new characters whilst keeping the old crew together. I was glad that most characters retained their "memories" from the prequels so we could still enjoy them of who they are. If you are a Darker than Black fan that you must definitely watch this. It has all the action, adventure and sci-fi you will ever need in one series.

STORY: 8
It was entertaining to watch once again. Although a bit short, it was understandable nonetheless.

ART: 9
The art was better this time with improved battle animations and use of some CG.

SOUND: 8
The theme songs were catchy and the voice acting was great.

CHARACTER: 7
Suou was great and the returning cast were up to expectations but the new characters should have had more character development.

ENJOYMENT: 8
The story was quite interesting but not without some ambiguous details. The battle scenes were fun nonetheless.

OVERALL: 8
It was a good sequel and ending to the Darker than Black series.

Introducing the Humble Indie Bundle V



The Humble Bundle is back in it's 5th reincarnation.

As per usual, you pay what you want for Psychonauts, LIMBO, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP. If you choose to pay more than the average price, you will also receive Bastion! Each game comes with its soundtrack in both lossless (FLAC) and MP3 formats.

Each of these DRM-free games works on Mac, Windows, and Linux, and can optionally be redeemed on Steam if you choose more than $1. Bundle buyers can also benefit the Child's Play Charity and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, non-profits doing excellent work in the name of gamers worldwide.


The deal will only be live for 2 weeks, so click here to pick up your Humble Indie Bundle V before time runs out!