Many Ubuntu Linux users have Desktop Effects enabled. (If you don’t have it enabled, click System>Preferences>Appearence>Visual Effects Tab to enable). This is the window management feature (formally known as Compiz Fusion) that is responsible for creating all that bad ass eye candy that makes Windows and Mac users livid with envy. You know what I’m talking about. You’ll be sitting in a classroom with someone who just spent $3000 on a new Vista equipped laptop. In an attempt to live up to the hype and justify the money they just spent, they flaunt their new laptop as if it were encrusted with platinum and diamonds. Then they say in a very serious tone, “Watch this.” As if they were about to cast some sort of medieval hand magic, holding their breath hoping to invoke absolute silence in the rest of the room, they proceed to slowly press the Windows+Tab keys together with their left hand (slightly touching themselves with their right). At the same time they look at you waiting to see and absorb your initial reaction for the purposes of boosting their self-esteem as their screen does this:
Glancing back at this person basking in the glow of their costly purchase you reply, “Mine does something like that.” While reaching for your own Ubuntu equipped laptop, they proceed to tap the Tab key while holding the Windows button, thumbing through their 3D Rolodex of running apps in an attempt to grab your attention again. “You can switch between them like this,” they add, while verging upon self-induced nerdgasm. In your most professional tone you reply, “Neat.”
Revealing your own laptop, a device that could easily be 4 years old by now, you set it down and turn it on with a semi-placid smile. They appear to be conflicted with child-like curiosity and clinical anxiety as the boot-splash screen appears. To sooth the mild nervousness while waiting, they go back to fiddling with their side-bar and grin again while changing the themed appearance of the analog clock. But once your cost free, open-source Linux OS is up and running, you start to watch their eyes, waiting for that split second their glued stare falters back to your laptop, and that’s when they see this on your screen:
You didn’t even give them any advanced warning. For a second they’re in a state of denial, but as you start to drag your mouse around to freely rotate that cube, they can’t help but let their hands fall away from their respective peripherals. Drool almost precipitates as you maximize and minimize windows. Some vanish with a Star Trek teleporter effect; others in a ball of flames and smoke. They feel that perhaps they’ve been fooled by a dreadful hoax, like those poor saps who partook in the Mojave experiments. And then…
So, what’s this about watching Youtube?
Right. Sorry, got carried away there. Bloggers call that “filler”. Without it the post would be about as exciting as milk without the the stawberry syrup…. Moving along:
If you’ve got Compiz running right now try this:
- Hold down the Windows Key (called the SuperButton in Ubuntu)
- Roll the scroll wheel up on your mouse
This will cause you to zoom into wherever your mouse is located. To zoom out, just hold that Super Button down again, and scroll down instead of up.
Now you’re might be thinking, “I see what you’re getting at. You’re going to show us how to zoom in on our Youtube videos so we can watch them full screen. Big fat deal!”
Well, no it’s not a big deal. But something you’ll probably discover and be annoyed by when you try this with Youtube is the fact that the mouse cursor stays on the screen, often right over the middle of the video you’re trying to watch. So, here’s the other half of this trick:
- After zooming in, press SuperButton + L
This will unlock the cursor from the zoom, allowing you to move it off screen and away from the video you want to watch. When you’re finished, you just hit Super Button + L again to lock it again, and then Super + Downscroll to zoom back out to normal.
I prefer to do this with Youtube (and other flash-based videos) because often times using their built in “Full-screen” buttons causes the frame rate to get jerky (Windows suffers from the same problem). But when you zoom into the videos with Compiz, they often playback more smoothly. Anyway, enjoy your Youtube.
If you haven’t heard, Steam is officially coming to Linux! Hence the epicness of the Black Mesa teaser.