Battery Monitor – rbatmon

I use a rather spartan windowing manager called awesome in all of my machines. This has been a fine setup until I used it on my netbook due to one small issue, battery monitors.

On my desktop machines and the laptop I use gkrellm to monitor cpu and memory and for the laptop it has a handy battery usage label. With the netbook however, screen real estate is quite valuable, so I opted for finding something to sit in the system tray.

After a quick look it seems there was nothing which was lightweight or simple or not requiring me to install the entirety of gnome.

In the end I made my own called rbatmon, then packaged it up for use in the AUR. If you have a substandard flavour of linux, not to worry, You can grab the script from my githib page here.

The most interesting challenge of this was building a package for the first time. There is a great package for Archlinux called abs (available on pacman) which fills /usr/share/pacman with some example PKGBUILDS for standard sources of gettings code from VCS’s.

Page on my site regarding this is here.

AUR page is here.


Article is actually … up!

Wow, it has been … 5 months since I said I would write that article? Well … here it is! A link to it anyway: .

Will be writing a nice auto table of contents generator and folding javascript now, so it looks a bit nice and follows the site a bit more.

Probably wise to add a link back too !

Next article to be written will be on a java version of the Enigma machine I wrote. Then I shall write up a maze generator and solver which Stephen Wattam and myself built for the Computing Society.


Possibly the third attempt to start using this.


Well, as everyone who has a blog is aware, its hard to actually find anything to put in it, never mind actually remembering to write it.

Ok, so personal stuff. Started my studentship at Lancaster University within the EIS( research group. Still unsure of an actual topic, although I will probably swing towards the algorithmic side of localisation in WSN.

Still, I rarely have time to do any personal code, yet some stuff happens. Recently wrote a basic heightmap generator in Ruby, currently porting to Lua, and it outputs some nice images using image tools like RMagick or just plain VT100 colour output.

Post to follow explaining the code.

Ruby and Watir: Sending keyboard events to an element

Ok, so you need to send certain keyboard events to an element to properly test a webpage, but stuck how to do it?

Ive looked at some tutorials on the web, but there doesn’t seem a simple solution.
However, I have been experimenting, and this method seems to work fine.

# First off create your Watir::IE object
ie =

# Then navigate to the page you are testing

# Grab the descriptor of the element you wish to send a keyboard command to
# (for example, a text field)
element = ie.textField(:id, "myText")

# Now, I found that keyboard events only work if the Watir::IE window is on top and has
# focus, so for example if we wish to send a "Pageup" keyboard command to the element
# "myText" we would do so by


This method does require Autoit( to be installed, and a full list of keyboard events can be found here: