Joachim Breitner

pidgin-blinklight goes subliminal

Published 2010-01-30 in sections English, Digital World.

A long while ago I wrote a plugin for gaim called gaim-thinklight that blinks ones ThinkPad ThinkLight when a new message arrives. By now it is called pidgin-blinklight and supports some other hardware as well, but has not changed since over a year. Today, I implemented a new feature, and I’m curious if it will actually work:

Until now, the blink pattern was hardcoded: ON, wait 150ms, OFF, wait 125ms, ON, wait 150ms, OFF. Since version 0.11, pidgin-blinklight will calculate these three delay times based on the contacts login name. So different contacts will have very slightly different blinking patterns. The idea is that, after a while, you start to recognize your frequent buddies already by the blinking. The wait times are from the range from 50ms to 250ms, I hope that range works well.

Users of Debian unstable will get the new version automatically. If you want to compile pidgin-blinklight from source, you will have to grab it from the debian ftp server. The source is in the pidgin-blinklight Darcs repository.


Do you get the blinking based on Morse code?
#1 Mihai Maruseac (Homepage) am 2010-01-31
No, it’s just hasing the contact’s name and then picking some bits for the three values to choose. I don’t understand morse, so that would not be useful for me. The thought occured, though.
#2 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-01-31
pidgin-blinklight is one of my favorite open source creations. It's the one thing that desktop Linux does better than my Mac :) I have gleefully shown it to countless uninterested strangers.
#3 Jeremy Shaw (Homepage) am 2010-02-09
Is it possible to create this same thing for Empathy?
#4 Javed am 2010-03-08
Should not be hard. Give it a shot! :-)
#5 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2010-03-08

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