Version 1.2.0, May 2010

Clock
Sound Control
Battery Monitor
General Options
Saving Preferences

INTRO

Flit is an applet 'tray', currently offering clock, master sound volume control, and battery monitor. It is written to be small and low-overhead, using the FLTK user interface library, so it is especially efficient on TinyCore Linux. The source code of Flit is released under the GNU license. See http://www.gnu.org/licenses/ for more details.

There is a menu of choices made available through right-clicking on Flit. The sound control applet has several additional keyboard shortcuts (see below). The Flit menu may optionally be opened automatically by a Ctrl key, as defined in the General Options section.

If you don't want to see all three applets, you can disable one or two of them in the right-click menu, but not all three!

'Hover' your mouse pointer over each applet to get more detailed information. The battery recharge time estimate is approximate.

If you want to start Flit automatically, invoke it in your /opt/bootlocal.sh startup script or make a custom .xsession script file, and use a & symbol to return control immediately to the script, like this:
     /path/to/flit &
Note: The base configuration of TinyCore Linux versions 2.3 through 2.9 automatically started Flit during the startx sequence. Versions 2.10 and later do not, so you will need to update .xsession or /opt/bootlocal.sh as described above.

CLOCK

The only option for the clock is 24-hour time format, or 12-hour format with AM or PM indication. Use the right-click menu to toggle between these modes. Hover the mouse pointer to see date and year in addition to time.

SOUND CONTROL

The current sound volume level is indicated by the number and size of the sound "rays" next to the speaker icon. To adjust the volume, place your mouse cursor over the speaker and use the mouse scroll wheel (or equivalent) to adjust the sound volume in 5% increments. You may also use the following keystrokes:
Louder: Ctrl+U, or Up arrow cursor key, or + key
Quieter: Ctrl+L, or Down arrow cursor key, or - key
Mute/Unmute: Ctrl+M, or Pause key

Future versions may also provide a pop-up slider control.

The sound control requires an OSS "mixer" device '/dev/mixer' or the ALSA amixer utility to be present. There is a lot of variation in how sound devices can be controlled depending on your audio hardware, but Flit will try to support some common methods. By default, Flit will try to find an appropriate mixer control parameter to adjust the overall playback volume. You can override this behavior by specifying an exact OSS or ALSA mixer control name in the .flit.conf file, in the "sound_control_name =" statement. If the name is "autosel", Flit will do the default auto-selection. But if you know that you get best results from a specific mixer control, such as "vol" or "pcm" or something else, put it name into the .flit.conf file, such as:

    sound_control_name = pcm
If flit is not successful in finding a suitable control (which must be marked with the MASTER_VOLUME or PCM_VOLUME in OSS or pvolume in ALSA), you won't see the sound control applet in Flit, and you won't be able to "unhide" it. You may want to manually experiment with one or move sound mixer utilities such as ossxmix (note the X in the name) or amixer and experiment with the controls made available for your hardware to see which ones can control the volume. If OSS/ALSA + your hardware does not support an adjustable output volume, you may still be able to use a mute control with Flit.

LIMITATIONS: If using OSS, the vmix software mixer control will only work if vmix is fully "attached" to your audio hardware (beyond the scope of this document). ALSA is now supported, but is not widely tested with different sound devices.

BATTERY MONITOR

In the battery icon, charge is colored green if the level is 40% or higher, yellow when 20% or higher, and red below 20%. If the estimated charge Is less than 13%, the outline of the battery icon will slowly flash red. When recharging power is available, an AC power plug icon is shown over the battery icon. If the battry is discharging, the remaining charge percentage number is shown above the battery icon.

Version 1.2.0 now supports the OLPC XO-1 laptop and computers with the ACPI s system. For ACPI, boot Linux with the 'laptop' kernel option or load the appropriate ACPI kernel module to ensure Flit can find the info it needs under /proc/acpi. About three minutes after a switch between charging and discharging, Flit will begin showing estimates of the remaining time.

GENERAL OPTIONS

By default, Flit will automatically pop up the right-click menu if Flit has the keyboard focus and you press either Ctrl key, which you may do as part of a Ctrl+key combination. If you would prefer to not have Flit open the menu on Ctrl keypress, select the 'Toggle Ctrl key menu activation' menu option and then save the configuration.

You can choose one of these appearance styles:
 a) Normal: black on light gray, with a sunken tray effect
 b) Inverse: light gray on black, also with a sunken tray effect
 c) 'Transparent', which has a background color slightly lighter than the
     X11 root window where Flit plans to appear and a contrasting
     foreground color, with a flat effect, which matches
     wbar nicely. If the planned location is occupied
     by a window when Flit starts, its background color
     will be based on that.

You may reposition Flit with your mouse (left-click + drag), or hand-edit the .flit.conf configuration file (see cautions below). The location can be defined to one of the four corners (se = SouthEast, i.e. the lower-right corner, and so on) or a x,y pair. See the configuration file for an example.

NEW in version 1.2.0 is scalable sizing of Flit applets! If you have a high-resolution screen and you would like the Flit applets to be larger, you may enter a new zoom factor in the .flit.conf file. First, make sure you save your preferences (as described below), then edit the .flit.conf file in your home directory, changing the line zoom = 1.0 to new value. A factor of 1.5 would be 150% of the normal size (50% larger), 2.0 would be double-size, and so on. Smaller than normal sizes are possible too. Note that some factors will look better than others. In general, factors that are nice ratios will work better, e.g. 3/4 = 0.75, 4/3 = 1.33, et cetera.

SAVING PREFERENCES

Use the 'Save configuration' command to make flit remember your preferences by writing the .flit.conf file in your home directory (as defined by the $HOME environment variable). You may edit this file with a text editor, but please preserve the spelling, capitalization, and spacing of content to prevent parsing problems. You can revert to default settings by deleting the .flit.conf file and restarting Flit.

Post bug reports and suggestions to the TinyCore Linux Forum (http://tinycorelinux.com/forum/).

Michael A. Losh