Applications – Internet

In this posting, it’s back to our series of discussions on the contents of the main menu and, in particular, the offerings for accessing the world wide web. This is likely to be a short description of what is on offer since, as it turns out, I don’t use any of the items on this menu, or at least not in this form.

So, let’s explore the menu option:

Empathy – A messaging program which supports text, voice, and video chat and file transfers over many different protocols.

Firefox – The well-known web browser from Mozilla

Gwibber – A micro-blogging client that brings the most popular social networking web services to your desktop.

Remote Desktop Viewer – Vinagre is the default Virtual Networked Computing (VNC) client in Ubuntu Linux that allows you to connect to desktops running VNC servers and control them.

Terminal Server Client – The tsclient utility lets you connect to remote desktops using many different protocols.

Transmission BitTorrent Client – BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer (P2P) application that facilitates downloading big files.

Putting aside Firefox for a moment, let’s consider the other menu options.

Empathy appears to be what used to be called an instant messenger client, while Gwibber seems to handle message streams from social networking sources such as Twitter and Facebook. I don’t use any of these “services” [do the quotes show a little bias here?] and so don’t use either of the clients.

Remote control of other people’s computers is yet another feature that I currently do not use, so we can cross both Vinagre (Remote Desktop Viewer) and tsclient (Terminal Server Client) off the list for further consideration at this time.

I tried a BitTorrent file transfer, using Transmission, some time ago, but didn’t see much benefit in terms of file transfer time. I much prefer the (to me) simpler technique of using the wget command since this allows a partial file transfer to be restarted. I found this to be a very useful feature when downloading Ubuntu distro’s as .ISO files at a time when my Internet connection was unreliable (unstable).

The one program in this list that I do use is Firefox. But, I use the browser a lot, so rather than accessing it through this menu, which needs three mouse clicks (Applications – Internet – Firefox Web Browser), I set up an icon in the top panel that brings up the browser with a single mouse click.

The process is really simple and very efficient:

(1) Right click in the top panel and select Add to Panel

(2) Select Create Custom Application Launcher and press the Add button

(3) Set Name = Firefox Web Browser, Command = firefox and press the OK button. Note that the Firefox logo has been selected automatically as the graphic to be used on the icon.

(4) Press the Close button in the Add to Panel dialogue box

A new icon, with the Firefox logo, is now displayed in the panel. Left clicking once on this icon will launch Firefox.

The above steps are fairly generic for setting up a program launcher in the panel; however, because Firefox is already installed and listed on the main menu system, we can cheat and use a faster method.

(1) Navigate to Applications – Internet

(2) Right click on Firefox Web Browser and select “Add this launcher to panel”

That’s it! The Firefox launcher “magically” appears on the panel just as if we had completed all of the previously-outlined steps.

So, you can see that I can launch Firefox with a single click of the program launcher established in the top panel, and thus have no need to access any of the menu options under Applications – Internet


Introduction to GNU Wget

GNU Wget – Manual

W-getting Ubuntu distros

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