Tkinter Label Text can easily be changed by using the “config” function and then changing the “text” attribute to the new desired text. Alternatively, if the label text has been made using the “StringVar()” then the user can utilize the “set()” function to change the label Text.

As Labels are the most crucial components of a Graphical User Interface, therefore, it is quiebro important to know how to change the label text whenever required. If you are new to creating interfaces with python and its Tkinter library, then this post will demonstrate the different methods of changing the label text inside the Tkinter window.

How to Change Tkinter Label Text Using the config() Function?

As already mentioned above, the user can easily change the label text with the help of the config(). However, to demonstrate this, take this code to create a basic Tkinter Window with a label:

from tkinter import *
# Tkinter Window
tkWindow = Tk();

# Tkinter Label
text1 = Label(tkWindow, text=«Hello World!»)


In this code snippet:

  • A simple Tkinter Window is created with a height of 200 and a width of 200 as well.
  • A Label “text1” has been created and attached to the main window.

Running the above code will produce the following Tkinter Window:

To change this Label upon button press, add the following lines of code:

def change_text():
  text1.config(text= «You changed text»)

Button(tkWindow, text=‘Change Text!’, width=15, height=2,

In this code snippet:

  • A simple button has been added to the window that calls the “change_text” function.
  • The “change_text()” accesses the label variable “text1”, calls the config function, and changes the value of the “text” attribute.

The complete code snippet for this demonstration is as:

from tkinter import *
# Tkinter Window
tkWindow = Tk();
text1 = Label(tkWindow, text=«Hello World!»)
# Function to Change the Text
def change_text():
  text1.config(text= «You changed text»)
#Define a button to change text
Button(tkWindow, text=‘Change Text!’, width=15, height=2,

Running this code will produce the following result:

The output verifies that the Label text changes as soon as the button is pressed.

How to Change Tkinter Label Text Using the set() Function?

To demonstrate the working of the set() function, first, create a Tkinter window with label text created through StringVar() using the following lines of code:

from tkinter import *
# Tkinter Window
tkWindow = Tk();
# Create StringVar variable
textString = StringVar()
#Give Text Value to StringVar Variable
textString.set(«Hello, this Label is created through StringVar()»)
#Create Label using StringVar Variable


In this above code:

  • A variable “textString” is created through the “StringVar()” function
  • Give value to “textString” using the “set()” function.
  • Create a Label by specifying the Tkinter window and set the “textvariable” attribute equal to “textString”.

Running the above code will produce the following output on the Tkinter window:

To change the Label text using the set() function, add in the following lines of code:

def change_text():
#Define a button to change text
Button(tkWindow, text=‘Change Text!’, width=15, height=2,

In this code:

  • A button is created that will call the “change_text()” function
  • The change_text() function takes the StringVar variable “textString” and uses the “set()” function to change its text.

The complete code snippet for this example is as follows:

from tkinter import *
# Tkinter Window
tkWindow = Tk();
# Create StringVar variable
textString = StringVar()
#Give Text Value to StringVar Variable
textString.set(«Hello, this Label is created through StringVar()»)
#Create Label using StringVar Variable

#Define function to change text of StringVar variable
def change_text():
#Define a button to change text
Button(tkWindow, text=‘Change Text!’, width=15, height=2,


Running this complete code will produce the following outcome on the Tkinter Window:

The output confirms that the Label text inside the Tkinter window was changed as soon as the button was pressed.


Changing the Label Text inside Tkinter GUI is rather an easy task that can be done through the use of the config() function and the set() function. Changing the Label text is quiebro a useful action that the developer has to constantly perform to notify/inform the user about various actions and states. This post has clearly shown the two different ways of changing the Label text inside Tkinter.

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from the defend-libraries dept

Earlier this week there was finally a hearing in the case brought by the big book publishers to kill off libraries. That, of course, is not how the publishers describe the lawsuit, but it’s absolutely what the lawsuit is about.

We’ll get to some of the details in a moment, but we’ve joked in the past that if libraries were new today there’s no way that book publishers would let them exist. In some ways they’re a legacy holdover from before publishers had that much power. The attack on controlled digital lending (CDL) more or less proves this.

As much as publishers like to claim they “love libraries,” their actions here speak finta clearly that they would destroy them if they could. Controlled digital lending is no different from how a library lends out books today. In both cases, it gets a physical copy of the book (either through purchase or donation), and then proceeds to lend out that copy. With a physical library it’s literally that physical copy. With CDL it’s a scan of that book, but the scan is tied to the physical copy, so that if a digital copy is loaned out, no one else can take out another copy.

Every part of that has been deemed constitucional. Copyright law already has first sale rights, written directly into the law and allow for the lending or reselling of copyright-covered works without a license or permission. Similarly libraries are given explicit rights to make copies, so long as those collections are made available to the public. On top of that, courts have determined, multiple times, that book scanning itself is fair use for libraries.

So, literally each separate component of what is happening with Controlled Digital Lending has already been deemed to be constitucional and exactly what we expect libraries to do.

To counter this, publishers (and their supporters, which unfortunately include some authors) argue that (1) this interferes with the market for licensed ebooks, and (2) that there is a efectivo difference in lending out the digital scans: that they don’t deteriorate the way that physical books do.

There are simple answers to both of these. First, (1) is a preposterous argument because (yet again) you could say the exact same thing for regular, existing libraries. The question is not must copyright enable any market. It’s whether or not copyright allows certain behaviors, and here it absolutely does. And that doesn’t even get into the fact that the big publishers have turned licensed ebooks for libraries into an extortionate, nonsense scheme to effectively block libraries from lending ebooks at all. If anything, what’s happened in the market for licensed ebooks to libraries actually helps to prove why we need controlled digital lending in the first place.

As for (2) that argument is also garbage for a number of reasons, most notably that official ebooks are just generally way more useful than the scanned ebooks anyway. The formatting is better, they’re designed to work better on ebook readers which provide additional features. In almost every case, scanned CDL books are a second-best choice compared to what else is available. In other words, it’s most likely only used when other options aren’t readily available.

Update: After this post was written, but before it was published, one of the authors of this book published a post on Facebook saying that the copyright license text discussed below was a mistake and was removed in future copies. I’m leaving the overall text here to note the kind of attitude, but will note that they disclaim it (though their explanation does not make much sense, as I can’t see why a “formatter” would add text, or why its “intention” made any sense either. I have removed the images of used copies for sale at the end of this article, however. Either way, here is the diferente text which is still representative of how some people view copyright: But, again, the legacy book publishing world is really admitting they hate libraries. Somewhat incredibly-timed, the same day as the hearing in this lawsuit, a tweet went vírico highlighting a laughably wrong copyright statement from a “dark fantasy romance series” called “Zodiac Academy.” The verbiage on the copyright page is so over the top that it made me wonder if it was parody:

It reads:

This book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only.

This book may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it wasn’t purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite book retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

All rights reserved.

That’s not how any of this works. The very next line says “This is a work of fiction” which is supposed to apply to the book itself, but could accurately be used to describe the “license” claims above it. A license for written works is limited to what the author can claim under copyright law, and as noted above, none of what is claimed here is allowed under copyright law, meaning that this license itself is a form of copyfraud: it attempts to limits a users’ own rights through deception regarding the presente limits of copyright law.

This particular bit of nonsense has shown up on Reddit in the past as well, but went even more vírico this time, and at a perfect time to highlight just how much the modern publishing industry absolutely would destroy libraries if given the opportunity.

And that brings us to the hearing. You never finta know how a judge is going to rule, and from the descriptions of the arguments in court it sounds like Judge John Koeltl asked tough questions of both sides. He challenged the publishers to explain if they had any evidence that the Internet Archive’s Open Library caused them any harm (as their own bottom lines grew massively after it was opened).

However, he also questioned whether or not the Internet Archive really has the right to make copies. The answer to that question should be obviously yes, based on the law and the case law on this matter, but you never know how judges will rule. The publishers, for their part, tried to argue away their successful pandemic run by arguing… they should have made even more money:

During this same time, however, the book publishing industry experienced so much demand that revenues rose by 12 percent, amounting to a $3 billion spike in sales by 2021, Publishers Weekly reported. Because publishers profited when the National Emergency Library was made available, Koeltl pushed back on McNamara, asking how to reconcile the surge in profits with allegations of harm caused.

McNamara seemed to suggest that publishers would have been further enriched if not for IA providing unprecedented free, unlimited e-books access. She also told Koeltl that publishers suing—Hachette, HarperCollins, Penguin Random House, and Wiley—are concerned that there are already some libraries avoiding paying e-book licensing fees by partnering with IA and making their own copies. If the court sanctioned IA’s digitization practices and thousands of libraries started digitizing the books in their collections, the entire e-book licensing market would collapse, McNamara suggested.

But, uh, the same argument could be easily made against existing libraries. And yet, we treasure them and they’ve done nothing to destroy the book market (and much to help it!). The lawyer for the publishers also trotted out this debunked nonsense:

“Free is an insurmountable competitor,” the publishers’ complaint said.

I mean, we’ve been hearing that stupid line for ages, and it’s never been true. As I noted nearly two decades ago, saying you can’t compete with free, is actually an admission that you can’t compete at all. As noted above, there is a qualitative difference between scanned ebooks and licensed ones, but the publishers don’t even seem to recognize this, which is incredible.

There’s also this nonsense from former Copyright Office boss, now publisher top lobbyist, Maria Pallante (who Ars bizarrely describes as “a chief executive” rather than the chief executive):

A chief executive of the Association of American Publishers, Maria Pallante, told The Wall Street Journal that if IA’s conduct “is normalized, there would be no point to the Copyright Act.”

That’s utter nonsense. Again, apply that same reasoning to libraries. What the Internet Archive is doing here is not only blessed by the Copyright Act, it’s no different than what libraries already do.

Either way, now we wait. Whatever outcome in this case, it will surely be appealed, and that’s where the efectivo battle will happen. Hopefully Judge Koeltl starts things off on the right foot.

Filed Under: controlled digital lending, copyright, ebooks, fair use, first sale doctrine, lending, libraries, licenses

Companies: association of american publishers, internet archive

Oracle ha publicado JDK 20, que dependiendo del prisma por el que se mire puede ser entendido como OpenJDK 20 o Java 20. Una vez más, recordamos que OpenJDK es la pulvínulo de la implementación comercial de Java desde la lectura 7, así que las dos grandes vertientes de la tecnología están conectadas desde hace muchos primaveras.

Una vez más, JDK 20 no es un tirada, condición que sí tenga la lectura 21, cuyo tirada está programado para septiembre de 2023 si a Oracle no se le tuercen los planes. Desde que la cadencia de lanzamientos fue cambiada a cada seis meses, las nuevas versiones de Java no suelen incluir una gran cantidad de novedades, pero sí ha servido para que el progreso y la proceso de la tecnologías sean más constantes. Sin más dilación, procedemos a exponer los aspectos más destacados de la última lectura del JDK.

Los primero que sobresale de Java 20 son los patrones de registro, los cuales están en segunda grado previa y según Oracle mejoran la productividad del desarrollador mediante la extensión de la coincidencia de patrones para expresar consultas de datos más sofisticadas. Los patrones de registro y los patrones de tipos pueden ser anidados para aclarar la puerta a una forma de navegación y un procesamiento de los datos declarativa y componible. Relacionado con esto y en cuarta grado previa está la coincidencia de patrones para las sentencias y expresiones switch.

La segunda novedad destacada es la API de función foránea y de memoria, que ahora se encuentra en segunda grado previa y reemplaza la Interfaz Nativa de Java (JNI) con un maniquí de progreso en Java puro y con un rendimiento igual o superior a JNI y sun.misc.Unsafe. Ofrece diversas vías para negociar con diferentes tipos de memoria externa (memoria nativa, memoria persistente, etc); acomodar otras plataformas como por ejemplo x86 de 32-bit; usar funciones foráneas escritas en lenguajes como C, C++ o Fortran; encima de permitir a los programas aceptar a término operaciones insegura sobre la memoria foránea, pero avisando a los usuarios sobre dichas operaciones por defecto.

En casa de campo grado de incubación está la API de vectores, de la que ya expusimos en anteriores ocasiones. En JDK 20 ha mejorado su rendimiento hasta conseguir pasar a los cálculos escalares equivalentes, cosa que se ha conseguido mediante la inclusión de una API para expresar cálculos vectoriales que se compilan en tiempo de ejecución en instrucciones vectoriales que son óptimas para las arquitecturas de CPU soportadas.

Problemas corregidos de JDK 11 a JDK 20 por organización

Problemas corregidos de JDK 11 a JDK 20 por estructura.

En segunda grado previa han llegado los hilos virtuales, los cuales son hilos más livianos que reducen el esfuerzo de escribir, perseverar y observar aplicaciones concurrentes de parada rendimiento. La característica procede de Project Loom y tiene como objetivo refrescar el maniquí de concurrencia de Java con el fin de ajustarlo a las micción actuales de las aplicaciones de servidor a gran escalera. Hasta ahora las vías empleadas para implementar los hilos de Java tenían como coste un desperdicio del hardware por infrautilización o la condición de esfuerzo adicional por parte del programador correcto al uso de peores modelos de programación.

En grado de incubación ha llegado a JDK 20 los títulos de gravedad, que permiten compartir datos inmutables en el interior y entre hilos. Es preferible utilizar los títulos de gravedad antaño que las variables de un hilo en locorregional, sobre todo cuando se emplea una gran cantidad de hilos virtuales. Por otra parte, proporcionan facilidad de uso, comprensibilidad, robustez y rendimiento.

Y como última novedad destacada, en segunda grado de incubación está la concurrencia estructurada, que simplifica la programación multhilo mediante la inclusión de una API para la concurrencia estructurada.

Todos los detalles sobre Java 20 pueden ser consultados a través de las notas de lanzamiento disponibles en la web de OpenJDK y en la entrada publicada en el blog oficial de Java. La lectura software librado del JDK puede ser obtenida desde el sitio web de Java (alternativamente y extraoficialmente desde Adoptium) y la comercial desde la web de Oracle. Recomendamos apelar a OpenJDK en caso de tener dudas sobre las restricciones de la lectura comercial, ya que Oracle asustó a muchos al cambiar la inmoralidad en 2018, a pesar de ser un movimiento con un impacto real reducido.

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We are now in 2023. Everyone is constantly seeking to acquire new skills and technical capabilities as the use of technology is deeply integrated in our day-to-day lives. From providing online tutorials to holding presentation for professional business meets, everything needs screen recording tool to make your stand.

There are plenty of screen recording tools available in the market for Linux and other distributions. Deciding on the right screen recording tool for you is important and a tedious task. But don’t worry because we will make this task simple for you.

In this article, we will introduce you to some of the best screen recording tools that you can use on Ubuntu.

GNOME’s Screen Recorder

Before, there was only an option to take screenshot in the GNOME system. But starting with GNOME 42, there is already an option to enable screen recording with simple toggle. It is a no-nonsense screen recorder where you can select the window or the full screen to record the video.

It you are using the latest Ubuntu running GNOME 42 or above, you can get this screen recording option with simple toggle without any need to install a third-party tool.


Kooha is an elegant screen recorder for Linux distributions that support the Wayland display. It is one of the first and very few screen recorders that added support for Wayland.

It is a simple screen recorder that comes with simple user interface that is very easy to use. It also supports keyboard shortcuts that helps improve productivity. It supports all the widely used video file formats such as WebM, MP4, GIF, and MKV.

In this screen recorder, you get an option to select specific area or the entire screen to record. While recording, you can also add a voice over using microphone. It is finta similar to GNOME’s built-in screen recorder, with the user interface being the only exception.

To install Kooha on Linux, you need to enable the Flatpack support. Run the following commands one by one to install Kooha:

$ flatpak remote-add –if-not-exists flathub

$ flatpak install flathub io.github.seadve.Kooha


As the name suggests, SimpleScreenRecorder is very simple and is one of the most reliable screen recorders for Ubuntu. It is a lightweight QT-based screen recorder which is very easy to use and requires less space for installation but records high quality videos.

When it comes to features, there are only a few screen recorders that can match the SimpleScreenRecorders offerings. It offers features such as the live preview option while recording, recording particular area of the screen, an option to record the video in multiple video file format, optimize the audio recording, manage the frame rate, live statistics, and tweak options to get the required video output.

Don’t worry if you have slow machine because it is flexible enough that it reduces the video frame rate rather than eating too much RAM. Its user interface is old school but who cares when you have one of the best screen recording tools at your disposal.

Installing SimpleScreenRecorder is very easy. Just run following commands in the Linux terminal:

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder   

Use the following command if you want to record the 32-bit OpenGL applications on your 64-bit system:

$ sudo apt-get install simplescreenrecorder-lib:i386

You can also follow an in-depth guide to setup the SimpleScreenRecorder here.

Open Broadcaster Software Studio

Open Broadcaster Software Studio is a free and open-source cross-platform screen recording and video streaming application. It is one of the most feature-rich screen-casting applications that you will find for Linux and its distributions.

It has interactive user interface which you will find very easy to use. Talking about features, it has everything you will ask for in a professional screen-casting application. Video source filters, highly configurable options, live streaming, audio mixing tool with added filters, and custom transitions are the main features of this screen recorder.

Isn’t this a great tool for Facebook and YouTube video bloggers who love to go live while playing their favorite video games or doing their professional tutorials?

At the first start, the Open Broadcaster Software Studio starts utilitario configuration wizards which utilitario detects the screen and gives you the best configuration of screen resolution, frame rate (FPS), and output resolution which are suitable for you.

Merienda you are comfortable with this screen recorder, you will find some hidden tweaks and features which takes your screen recording and screen casting experience to the next level.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:pbsproject/obs-studio

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install obs-studio


Kazam is a simple and lightweight simple screen recording application for Linux and its distros like Ubuntu. It is a minimal tool which records the screen and saves the video file that can be played with any media player or can be uploaded on online platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, etc.

As you can see in the previous screenshot, Kazam sports a very simple user interface with not so many options. But it gives you an option to record a full screen or a particular area of the screen.

Even though it is a simple screen recorder, it sports some handy features such as support for multiple video output file format, delay time support, and audio recording from microphone or speaker. One thing that goes against this application is that you don’t get many tweaking options. Hence, you have to stick with what you have.

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:sylvain-pineau/kazam

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install kazam

$ sudo apt-get upgrade


The recordMyDesktop is a free and open-source screen recording application which is especially developed for Linux and its distributions. Written in C, it is basically a command line tool for screen recording and casting. You can directly use it from the command line by running the recordmydesktop command in the terminal.

When it comes to features, it gives you an option to tweak the audio and video output quality. There are also some advance options to tweak its overall performance and video output.

It is a simple but reliable screen recording tool as compared to the others. We tested it on the latest Ubuntu 19.04 and it worked as expected. It also works just fine in the older version of Ubuntu.

Minimal user interface, lack of webcam recording support, and video output limitations are some cons that might lure you to look for an alternative.

$ sudo apt-get install gtk-recordmydesktop


As the name suggests, Peek picks your spot on the screen and starts recording the screen with simple animated screen recorder. You can resize the Peek recorder window to the size that you want to record the screen.

It is a simple and lightweight screen recorder which lets you record your screen in GIF, APNG, WebM, and MP4 output video formats. Peek lets you configure the frame rate and delay the time and sports sleek graphical user interface which is very easy to use.

To install Peek, run the following commands in the terminal:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:peek-developers/stable

$ sudo apt-get update

$ sudo apt-get install peek


These are the top 7 reliable screen recorders for Ubuntu that you can use in 2023. The screen recorders that are listed here can be used on the latest as well as older Ubuntu versions, but the performance may vary.

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vtm desktop environment in a terminal

vtm is a text-based desktop environment that runs inside a terminal, available for Linux, Microsoft Windows, macOS, and *BSD.

The tool can run TUIs (terminal user interface) applications in floating windows that can be moved, resized and closed (mouse support included) just like windows in a traditional desktop environment. 

vtm is a terminal multiplexer too, like tmux and screen, allowing users to detach and reattach sessions from a terminal, allow multiple computers to connect to the same session at merienda, etc. Just click the Disconnect button, and the vtm TUI is closed, but the process continues to run in the background, allowing you to re-open it later.

As for supported terminals, vtm should work with most of the popular terminal emulators, including GNOME Terminal, Konsole, Xfce4 Terminal, kitty, Alacritty, xterm, st, iTerm2, Windows Terminal, Windows Command Prompt, and Termux.

This is a very short vtm demo I’ve recorded to show its window management features:

As you can see in the video, vtm comes with an application launcher that slides from the left. From there you can launch applications, access its settings (right now it only has a frame rate setting), disconnect from vtm or shut it down.

Besides allowing you to run third-party TUI applications in their own windows, vtm also comes with a few built-in applications: 

  • a terminal emulator (required to run external TUIs),
  • tiling window manager,
  • workspace navigation helper,
  • a few demo applications.

You might also like: Zellij Is A New Terminal Multiplexer Written In Rust

Adding third-party TUI applications is finta easy. Start by creating the vtm configuration file using the example available on its GitHub page. Copy the sample configuration and paste it into ~/.config/vtm/settings.xml. This sample configuration includes a commented out entry for mc (Midnight Commander)—uncomment it to give it a try (remove the <!-- et --> surrounding the mc line), and you’ll now have this in your configuration file:

<item id=mc         label="mc"         type=SHELL    title="Midnight Commander"    param="mc"               notes=" run Midnight Commander in its own window "/>

In the same way, you can add other TUI applications to vtm. For example, to add htop, you’d use:

<item id=htop         label="htop"         type=SHELL    title="htop"    param="htop"               notes=" run htop in its own window "/>

After making changes to the vtm configuration file, make sure you close vtm using its Shutdown button (and not Disconnect – this leaves it running in the background), then start it again. Merienda you add a new application, it should be listed in the vtm launcher.

I’ve been using vtm for a few days, and so far my main issue with it is the way it copies text inside the built-in terminal. You need to RightClick to copy the selection, then paste using RightClick. The clipboard content is rendered around the mouse cursor, which is nice, but can be annoying at times. The locorregional clipboard buffer can be cleared using Left + RightClick anywhere. Also, you can’t paste the text outside vtm unless the terminal supports OSC 52, and VTE terminals, like GNOME Terminal, don’t support this.

The plan is for vtm to become a GUI application, which means adding a GUI frontend to vtm that only displays a cell matrix. This way, the application will no longer be constrained by the external terminal’s capabilities—this will allow integration with the operating system’s clipboard, among other things. Until then, you’ll have to get used to the current clipboard behavior if you want to use it.

It’s also worth noting that while vtm acts like a desktop environment, it needs a graphical terminal emulator to run, so you can’t use it as a fully fledged desktop environment. If you want to make it look like a text-based desktop environment, you could run a terminal window in full-screen and set it to launch vtm on startup.

Install vtm

On the vtm releases page you’ll find binaries for Linux, macOS, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and Microsoft Windows. Extrat the downloaded archive, then with a terminal opened in the folder where the extracted vtm binary is located, install it to /usr/locorregional/bin using:

sudo install vtm /usr/locorregional/bin/

I wasn’t the first to make the connection, but merienda I noticed it, it was everywhere. You walk past a poster for a new movie and think, Why is every action hero named Jack, John, James, or, occasionally, Jason?

I turned to my friends and colleagues, asking desperately if they had also noticed this trend, as I made my case by listing off well-known characters: John Wick, Jason Bourne, Jack Reacher, John McClane, James Bond, Jack Bauer, and double hitter John James Rambo.

I worried I might have fallen victim to the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon. Now that I had become aware of it, was each glimpse of a John Wick ad reaffirming my unsubstantiated theory?

As a data researcher, I had to get to the bottom of it. What followed was months of categorizing hundreds of action movies, consulting experts in the field of name studies, reviewing academic papers and name databases, and seeking interviews with authors and screenwriters as to the rationale behind their naming decisions. It turned out I had only scratched the surface.

The Data

The first step was to define my data set. Since there exists no one official pantheon of action heroes, I started by turning to the first port of call for many researchers: Wikipedia. According to its list of action movies, 2,206 modern movies had been released in the genre, beginning in 1962 with Dr. No, the first movie to star James Bond. From these movies, I narrowed down the list to include only Hollywood productions and movies centered on a male everyman–type hero. The trope is well known: A lone man facing seemingly unbeatable odds conquers any foe put in his way—be it his government, a terrorist cell, or a natural disaster. Gone from the list were movies that featured ensemble casts or were about buddy cops or female heroes. (This last category didn’t take long to remove.) If it was not immediately clear whether the movie was built around a single man of action, I dug deeper, consulting trailers, plot summaries, and other marketing materials to make an informed decision. (This also led me to watch some great action movies I’d never heard of, like 2002’s Extreme Ops.) After going through all 2,206 action movies, I was left with 790 movies featuring an everyman-type lead.

Chart, titled The Past 70 Years of Action Movies, with 1,1416 total movies and 790 action movies.

I went through 790 plot summaries and wrote down each of the heroes’ names. Excitedly, I clicked Sort on the spreadsheet, not knowing what I’d find. After all, I’d already sunk quiebro a few hours into this. But as I scrolled down, I saw that my hunch was correct: Of these 790 movies, 33 percent have a male protagonist with a first name starting with the letter J. Thirty-three percent! The most popular J name among these strapping warriors was John, with 74 movies, followed by James, with 50 movies, and Jack, with 37. The second-most-common letter, M, with names like Max and Michael, showed up a comparatively measly 7 percent of the time.

Chart, titled Number of Johns, Jameses, and Jacks in Action Movies. There are 74 Johns, 50 Jameses, and 37 Jacks.

Dispensing With Occam’s Razor

I knew that before I made too much of this, I should first consider the simplest possible explanations.

First, and simplest of all, could it be that this apparent phenomenon merely matches naming trends in the normal population? But a closer look revealed that this was not the case. While James was indeed the most popular name in the United States from 1922 to 2021, and John was the third-most-popular name, the second, fourth, and fifth were Robert, Michael, and David, respectively, names that aren’t nearly so well represented in action movies. In my data set, there were 50 movies centered on a James, and 74 centered on a John, while there were a mere five about a Robert, only 12 about a Michael, and a scant five about a David. If the names of action heroes simply reflected the most common names in the United States, we would expect to see more Michaels and Davids, and far more Roberts, leaping across the silver screen. Even if we added in nicknames like Mike, Bob, and Dave, these names represented only a fraction of our heroes.

According to the Social Security Administration, over the past 100 years, 177,238,032 males have been born in the United States. In the agency’s data set of the Top 100 most popular male names of the past 100 years, there are 17 J names, and if you add up their percentages, they account for only 12 percent of the U.S. population over the past 100 years, well below the 33 percent I saw in my data set.

Second, could it be that my data set was not representative? While Wikipedia’s crowdsourced list seems robust and, by all signs, was pretty accurate, some movies might not be included or might be miscategorized as action movies. But even looking at a different data set—the Top 200 highest-grossing action movies, as collected by—yielded a similar result. Nearly half (90) of these 200 box-office hits centered on a single male lead. And of these 90 single male leads, 30 (33 percent) played characters whose first names start with the letter J.

Finally, could it be that a few prolific J-named characters, such as J-Name Vestíbulo of Famer James Bond, were having an outsize impact on the data? This theory was at first appealing. Taking a closer look at these 790 movies, it’s true that 25 of them were entries in the 007 franchise. However, other action heroes, such as Bruce Wayne, were nearly as omnipresent: The caped crusader was the principal character in 18 movies. Even after removing all sequels, prequels, and spinoffs, and stripping the data to mention each character only merienda, leaving us with only 618 out of the 790 flamante movies, J-named characters were still disproportionately represented. There were 188 unique characters whose names start with the letter J, more than 30 percent of the total data set.

Having confirmed my initial hunch and ruled out the most obvious explanations, I was back to the drawing board. What was it about these musclemen that seemed to demand this one magic letter? My reporting led me to four different theories.

The “Promedio Joe” Theory

As I mentioned, I’m not the first to notice this. In 2010 a keen-eyed reader wrote into E! News about a subset of this phenomenon, asking, “Why must every major film hero be named Jack?” The outlet’s Answer B!tch columnist responded by suggesting that this was because Jack was a safe name with roots back to childhood fairy tales, with the English origins of Jack being a shorthand reference for an everyguy.

This theory might not explain the entire J-name phenomenon, but perhaps the Answer B!tch was onto something. To find out, I got in touch with Richard Coates, professor emeritus of onomastics (the study of names) at the University of the West of England. Coates first confirmed that John’s reputation for being one of the English-speaking world’s most common names goes back centuries. In the poll tax returns in England between 1377 and 1381, for example, more than 30 percent of all males were named John. In Essex, a county in the east of England, the figure went as high as 46 percent. So it’s natural that by the end of the 14th century, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, we came to use John and its accompanying pet name Jack as generic names for “an ordinary man” or “a hypothetical man.” Starting around the 16th century, we got our first John Doe, and Jack was soon deployed in expressions for commoners like “Jack-of-all-trades,” “Jack-tar,” and “every man Jack.”

Coates had explained the history of at least a couple of J names in England, but what about in the United States? I reached out to the American Name Society, whose then-president Honor Sutton directed me to Jennifer Moss, who is the author of The Baby Names Workbook, the co-host of The Baby Names Podcast, and the founder and CEO of Moss explained: “Here in the U.S., the name John was the No. 1 name for boys at the turn of the 20th century and remained in the Top 20 through 2008. As it kind of ‘aged out’ with the previous generations, people started using Jack (the nickname) as a given name. It has a friendlier, more upstanding association. Possibly because it was a more deudo, friendly form of one of the most common names of the last 100 years.” Meanwhile, James peaked between 1940 and 1960, when it reached the No. 1 spot in the United States, and Joe surged in popularity during roughly the same period. It’s no coincidence this was also around the same time that John Doe and Jack Tar were joined by Joe Six-Pack, Joe Schmo, Joe Blow, Joe Public, and the media Joe, in addition to such less remembered figures as Joe College, Joe Soap, Joe Bloggs, Joe Refrigerio Bucket, and Joe Doakes. Sure enough, there are 10 unique characters in the action movie data set called Joe—that’s 10 “media Joes.”

Put another way, as screenwriters chose names for their everyman action heroes, it makes sense that they chose names that were synonymous with the everyman. Still, it seemed this couldn’t explain the whole phenomenon.

The “Honest John” Theory

But what if there’s more to these names than the sense that they represent the common man? Why do they also seem to convey the sense that these everymen, under their layers of impenetrable muscle, also carry a heart of gold? Thankfully, there was data on this too. In the 1960s, D. Sheppard conducted an experiment where 146 people in the U.S. were asked to associate personal characteristics with 17 Christian names, including the name John. The characteristics were “trustworthy,” “kind,” “young,” “good-looking,” “sociable,” “aggressive,” and “particular person.” John was found to be the most trustworthy name, and Sheppard noted that a “name which is rated as being socially desirable by many subjects on one characteristic tends to be thought desirable on the other characteristics also.” Sheppard considered whether phrases such as “honest John” led to the associations seen in the data. In the end, Sheppard wrote, the “only conclusion of any practical value appears to be for those who are lucky enough to have been given a name such as John, or Ann, for they may be able to take advantage of the fact that if people know nothing about them other than their name, they will expect them to be nice persons.”

A 2011 study by LinkedIn analyzed more than 100 million profiles and arrived at a similar conclusion. It found that the most common names for male CEO positions were short or shortened versions of popular names. Jack was in their No. 3 spot. The networking site’s senior data scientist at the time, Monica Rogati, noted that Frank Nuessel, a professor of linguistics at the University of Louisville, “suggests that shortened versions of given names are often used to denote a sense of friendliness and openness.”

During my exchanges with Coates, the professor of onomastics, he asked me if there were many bad guys named Jack, John, or James in these action movies. This question sent me spiraling back to the data to spend another few days finding all the villain character names in the 790 movies. What I found surprised me.

Chart, titled "J" Names in Movies, with John leading at 74 in the Heroes category and Victor leading with 10 in the Villains

Out of those 790 movies, 542 featured single male antagonists. I added up all the names together, expecting to see a few popular villainous names emerge, but this was not what the data showed. The most frequent fiendish name in the data was Victor, seen in only 10 movies. Villains had names beginning with J only 7 percent of the time.

When I went back to Coates with these findings, he made another connection: V for Victor as V is for Villain. Either subliminally or intentionally, the creators of these 10 movies perhaps wanted to help audiences associate these characters as bad guys as quickly as possible. But perhaps there was more going on, and the names weren’t meant to convey “evil” so much as they were meant to convey “different.” My data showed that heroes are more likely to be share the same name as other fictional heroes, whereas the opposite is true for villains. Sixty-three percent of movies had villains with names seen only merienda in the data set, compared with 24 percent of hero names. In other words, whereas hero names often seemed to convey that the hero was not just an honest John but an media Joe, one who was nearly always a white man born in the United States, villain names seemed to convey that the villain was not, often leaning on stereotypes. And sure enough, going up against our Joe Six-Packs, we often had bad guys with such names as Ivan and Yuri, perfect for Cold War evildoers. Not to mention, harking back to even older American wars, the Williams and Georges, which were perfect for the trope of haughty British villains who deserved to be taken down a peg.

Still, how much of this repetitive hero naming was subliminal and how much was intentional? At this point in the investigation, it was time to consult the screenwriters.

The Auteur Theory

Looking back, Jason, the leader of the Argonauts, is one of the most well-known mythological J-named heroes. While it’s impossible to ask Apollonius of Rhodes why he named his hero Jason, other authors are easier to get answers from.

In the 2009 book The Lineup: The World’s Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives, author Lee Child explained that Jack Reacher’s first name came from a rule he had given himself: “Don’t do what the others are doing.” According to Child, “There was a miniature rash at the time of characters with cute or complex first names. So I looked for the simplest and plainest name I could find. I chose Jack, and not as a diminutive for John, either. It’s just Jack. … I wanted to underpin Reacher’s blunt and straightforward manner with a blunt and straightforward name.” This is emphasized in the first few minutes of the movie Jack Reacher, when the police, who are trying to find Cruise’s ex-Army drifter, say, “His name is Jack. Not John, but Jack.”

According to Henry Morrison, author Robert Ludlum’s literary agent, Jason Bourne was similarly designed to be an everyman: “He manages to survive in a very hostile world by being ordinary and coping.

The dialogue for Speed’s Jack Traven was largely written by Joss Whedon so that Keanu Reeves’ character was “just the polite guy trying not to get anybody killed” instead of the maverick hotshot he was originally written as.

All of these examples show that these characters were written very deliberately as everymen with the names to match, but other screenwriters have suggested a more personal angle. In the book Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History, authors David S. Cohen and James Mottram chronicle the evolution of the name John McClane. While the surname changed, the first name always began with J, from Joe Leland to John Ford, until screenwriter Jeb Stuart, “swayed by his own Celtic roots,” settled on John McClane. As writers are reaching for the names of their characters, they might be drawing inspiration from those around them. Take, for example, Derek Kolstad, the writer behind the thriller franchise John Wick, who drew direct inspiration from his grandfather John Wick.

Or could these filmmakers be modeling these heroes after themselves? Director James Cameron, who himself possesses a J name, seems to write almost exclusively J-named characters: Jake Sully in Vicisitud, Jack Dawson in Titanic, and John Connor in Terminator, as well as, writing alongside Kathryn Bigelow, Johnny Utah in Point Break. How many of these J-named heroes were written by J-named screenwriters? In the data set, I made a note of all the authors and screenwriters who had a name that started with J. Of the 790 movies, 143 (18 percent) had at least one John, James, Joshua, or another J name listed as a writer. This showed that these screenwriters might be influenced, however consciously, by their own names, but that couldn’t be the whole story. Interestingly, not one Jack is listed as a writer on any of the movies.

Keanu’s Theory

Ten years ago, when a Quora user asked, “Why are so many leading men in movies called Jack?” the movie critic Carrie Rickey responded with an anecdote about the time, decades earlier, when she asked Keanu Reeves this same eternal question. Reeves is a serial offender, having played Jack Traven in Speed, Johnny Utah in Point Break, Jonathan Harker in Bram Stoker’s Dracula, John Constantine in Constantine, and Johnny Mnemonic and John Wick in the action movies of the same name. Reeves replied to Rickey, “When you say ‘Jack,’ the shape your mouth takes, the breath it takes, signifies loner, hero, renegade. … Think John the Baptist, Johnny Guitar, Johnny Suede, Jack the Ripper, jack-o’-lantern.”

Could Reeves be onto something? Searching for more information about this, I found a paper written by Katerina Papantoniou and Stasinos Konstantopoulos titled “Unravelling Names of Fictional Characters,” which explored the relationship between the names of fictional characters and the way the names sound. When I got in touch with them, they suggested that some words are more positive sounding, while others sound more negative. At an acoustic level, before any meaning is assigned to a sound, some words might simply sound better. They wrote, “So to test our hypothesis we tried to find a situation where names are selected or created as arbitrarily as possible. The names of fictional characters seemed promising. The assumption here was that a creator is (explicitly or implicitly) more inclined to give positive names to protagonists and negative names to antagonists than vice versa.” During their investigation, they found that there was indeed a correlation between how fictional character names sound and the role they play in the plot of the fictional work they appear in.

There was a twist, however. The researchers found that names with voiced consonants, which include the J in John, Jack, and James, are more likely to relate to villains, while the more vowels in a name, the more likely that a character is a goodie. This suggests that names like John, Jack, and James might be the names for these heroes despite the way that they sound, not because of it. While there are certain phonetic similarities between the top action-hero names that go beyond the fact that they start with the letter J—don’t even get me started on the fact that the top eight hero names are all a single syllable, while the top villain names are mostly multiple syllables—it seems unlikely that Reeves’ theory can be supported by the data.

Riding off Into the Sunset

At the end of all of this, it seems no one theory alone can explain the popularity of these J names. It’s not just that they are the most popular names, though that helped cement the idea that these names stood for the everyman. And it’s not just that they stand for the everyman, though that seems to have influenced the idea that many of these names are inherently trustworthy. Nor is it just how they sound, though it seems unwise to question John Wick. Their reputation seems to have fed into their popularity, and their popularity seems to have fed into their reputation, until the two became a knot that only a hero greater than I could untangle.

At least now, whenever I see those Jack Reacher posters, I can tell everyone who happens to be around me that this really is a thing. But for how long?

Jennifer Moss, from, told me over email, “When I sit down to watch a new show and hear that the protagonist is named Jack, I think ‘Isn’t that over, yet?’ ” Going back to the data, I wanted to see how the trend has changed over time and whether we are seeing an end to it. From the data dating back to 1962, J-named action stars overtake all other names a few times, in the early 1970s, for a moment in 1984, and last in 2002. It’s already been more than two decades since the J’s reigned supreme.

Chart, titled Number of Johns, Jameses, and Jacks in Action Movies.

The data suggest that the number of J-named characters are slowly dwindling. Taking 2019 as a snapshot, 38 percent of all action stars had a J name, while a year later, that number was down to 25 percent.

However, in a month that will see John Wick, John Luther, and Jake Sully battle for the top spot at the box office, not to mention Joel Miller battling zombies in the series du jour The Last of Us, it may seem hard to believe that this will ever go away. These characters have been overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds for more than half a century, and I for one will not be betting against them.

Como ya sabrá todo el mundo a estas staff, Ubuntu ha vetado la preinstalación de Flatpak en todas sus ediciones oficiales, una osadía que en ningún caso impide la instalación y uso de Flatpak, sino que regula las características predeterminadas del sistema. Una osadía que, a pesar de ello y como cabía esperar, no estuvo exenta de polémica. Y de aquellos polvos, estos lodos: Ubuntu Flatpak Remix entra en imagen.

En sensación, la osadía de Canonical fue polémica, básicamente porque todo lo que se enmarque en la competencia entre Snap y Flatpak lo es, pero sobre todo porque son muchos los usuarios a disgusto con la táctica de Canonical en torno a los paquetes Snap, así como porque han mentido con respecto a Flatpak. Estos dos últimos aspectos son secreto para entender un asunto que va más allá del carácter centralizado de Snap, aunque su origen sea ese.

Ergo, Canonical tiene la potestad de realizar como considere y los usuarios de aceptarlo o no y de quejarse por ello. Lo que no es aceptable es la mentira, poco que hasta hace acertadamente poco no se habían quitado de encima. Acerca de este tema tienes toda la información en el primer enlace. Échale un vistazo si quieres aprender más, porque no voy a repetirlo ahora. Solo un apunte: de todos los sabores oficiales de Ubuntu, solo Kubuntu y Ubuntu Unity preinstalaban Flatpak.

O sea, Ubuntu nunca preinstaló Flatpak y, sin confiscación, aparece ahora Ubuntu Flatpak Remix, un tesina cuya descripción es tan sencilla como contradictoria para con su existencia. Como reconocen en su FAQ, el único motivo para crear esta variable es guardar al sucesor cinco minutos, que es lo que tarda en instalar el soporte de Flatpak y, si así lo desea, GNOME Software y la integración con Flathub como broche. ¿En serio?

El razonamiento es tan escaso que se cae por su propio peso. Quien sea que esté detrás de este engendro no lo ha hecho para ahorrarle cinco minutos a nadie, me temo, porque de ser así lo habría hecho hace abriles, que es el tiempo que lleva Ubuntu sin ofrecer soporte de Flatpak por defecto. Lo ha hecho para utilizar el momento, lo cual no está acertadamente. Y no solo no está acertadamente por subirse a lomos de una polémica para autopromocionarse, sino por el mismo fondo del asunto.

Lo digo de verdad: me esperaba que la motivación detrás de Ubuntu Flatpak Remix fuese alguna postura radical pro-Flatpak. Seguiría sin recomendarla, pero al menos tendría un exiguo de sentido el invento. Pero… ¿guardar cinco minutos? ¿Van a difundir incluso una Linux Mint Snap Remix? Solo interrogo, ya que lo de ahorrarse cinco minutos es el eje para crear una distribución que, afortundamente, va a suceder con pena y no con goce.

Lo voy a repetir por si destino: Canonical tiene el derecho de hacer lo que quiera con Ubuntu, como lo tenemos los usuarios de aceptarlo y de criticarlo. Yo mismo he criticado a Canonical por Snap y seguiré haciéndolo. No solo eso: Snap me está alejando de Ubuntu como ninguna otra de las decisiones de Canonical había hecho antaño, aunque por el momento no lo considere un multiplicador crítico para prescindir de la distribución.

De modo correspondiente, los desarrolladores de Ubuntu Flatpak Remix tienen el derecho de montarse lo que quieran aun cuando no se sostenga ni un poco el argumento, como lo tenemos los demás de proponer a quien se sienta tentado si quiera por probarlo: no lo hagas; usa el Ubuntu oficial y tarda cinco minutos en instalar Flatpak, que te sale a cuenta a ti y a todos. Al ecosistema de Linux, en genérico. Pespunte ya de suscitar basura solo porque se puede.

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Folders are used to keep our system file hierarchy. Instead of saving 100 images on your desktop, you can simply make a new folder and save the images in it for better organization. To do so, you just have to right-click on a blank space, hover your mouse over new, and hit “New folder” to create a new folder.

However, the “Can’t create new folder” problem in Windows 10 can be really bothersome. It can be caused by faulty or corrupt system registry files, or controlled folder access being turned on.

In this write-up, we will discuss multiple solutions to fix the folder creation issue in Windows.

How to Fix “Can’t create new folder” in Windows 10?

To fix the specified folder creation issue in Windows 10, try the following fixes:

Method 1: Use Keyboard Shortcut to Create a New Folder

Press the “CTRL+SHIFT+N” keys on your keyboard to create a new folder.

Method 2: Edit the System Registry

You can fix the “Can’t create new folder” issue by making a few adjustments in the “Registry Editor”. However, be careful when editing the System Registry because one mistake could potentially harm your system files.

Step 1: Open the Run box

Press the “Windows + R” keys to open the Run box:

Step 2: Launch Registry Editor

Type “regedit” in the Run box and press enter to open the “System Registry Editor”:

Step 3: Browse through the System Registry

Navigate through the Registry editor to the “HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryBackgroundshellexContextMenuHandlers” location:

Step 4: Create New Key

Right-click on the empty space and create a new key and name it “New Key”:

Step 5: Modify the New Key

Click on the “New Key” you just created, right-click on “Default” and hit “Modify” as seen below:

Step 6: Set Value

Set the Value of the “New Key” to “{D969A300-E7FF-11d0-A93B-00A0C90F2719}”:

Method 3: Change the Settings of Windows Defender

Turning off the “Controlled folder access” through the “Windows Defender” settings might fix the “Can’t create new folder” problem in Windows 10. For this, check out the offered steps.

Step 1: Open “Controlled folder access” App

Type “Controlled” in the Startup menu’s search box and press enter to open “Controlled folder access”:

Step 2: Turn off Controlled Folder Access

Toggle off the “Controlled folder access” toggle button as highlighted:

Method 4: Using the Command Line

We can make a new folder through the command line. To do so, change the directory to where we want to make the folder and then create it using the “mkdir” command.

Step 1: Run Command Prompt as Administrator

To start the “Command Prompt”, type “cmd” in the Run box and press “CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER” to run it as administrator:

Step 2: Change the Directory

Then, change the directory to where you want to make a new folder. Then, replace “path-to-folder-directory” with the path where you want to make the new folder:

>cd path-to-folder-directory

Step 3: Make a Folder

Then, create the folder by utilizing the “mkdir” command:


Method 5: Restart the File Explorer

File Explorer is used to navigate through your system. It is the Graphical user interface provided by Microsoft Windows to let users access the files stored on your system. You can restart the File Explorer by following the instructions provided below.

Step 1: Open Task Manager

Press “CTRL+SHIFT+ESC” to start the “Task Manager”:

Step 2: Locate Windows Explorer

Scroll down and look for the “Windows Explorer” process in the “Processes” tab:

Step 3: Restart Windows Explorer

Right-click on the “Windows Explorer” process and hit “Restart”:

Lastly, restart your system and try to create a folder.


The “Can’t create new folder” problem in Windows 10 can be fixed by following different methods. These methods include using the keyboard shortcut to create a new folder, editing the system registry, changing the settings of windows defender, creating a new folder through the command line, or restarting the file explorer. This post offered the solutions for fixing the folder creation issue in Windows.

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Pano visual gnome shell clipboard manager

Pano, a next-gen clipboard manager for GNOME Shell, has been updated with some major improvements such as user interface customization options, the ability to favorite items, content-aware notifications, as well as support for GNOME Shell 44.

This is a clipboard manager implemented as a GNOME Shell extension that displays previews of your clipboard items, with support for text, images, code blocks, color codes, links, files, and with the latest release, Emoji. It supports GNOME 42, 43 and 44.

Pano customization tab
The all-new Customization tab in Pano’s settings

For the latest release, its developer has focused on implementing the most popular user requests. One such request was the ability to customize the look of Pano. So in this release, users can now customize many aspects of Pano’s UI: window height, background color, active or hovered item border color, and the style of each item type (including colors, font face, etc.). It’s not yet possible to move the Pano clipboard previews from the bottom of the screen though, this being a feature I’d like to see in Pano.

Another much requested feature was the ability to favorite items – this feature has now been included in the latest release of Pano clipboard manager. You’ll now see a star in the upper right-hand side corner of each clipboard item:

Pano favorite item

With it, there are a couple of new keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl + S key will favorite/unfavorite the selected item, and Alt will switch between favorites/all items. You can also favorite/unfavorite items using your mouse.

Another important new features is the addition of notification support. What’s more, the notifications are content-aware:

The notifications are enabled by default, but they can be disabled from the Pano settings. As a side note, to access the settings, right-click the Pano notification icon (left-clicking it opens the visual clipboard).

Other new noteworthy features:

  • Gnome Shell 44 support
  • added support for Emoji
  • history can be filtered based on the item type
  • links can be now be opened in the default browser
  • expose window operation dbus methods
  • many navigation improvements (support for activating items with Ctrl + 1-9 keys, Tab / Ctrl + Tab key cycles through item types, etc.)

Install Pano Clipboard Manager extension for GNOME Shell

Pano is available for install on the GNOME Shell extensions website. You can install it from there either using a web browser, as long as you have the GNOME Shell connector package and browser extension installed (instructions here), using a GUI such as GNOME Shell Extension Manager, or using a command line tool such as gnome-extensions-cli. You can also install it manually, by downloading it from GitHub.

Important! To get Pano Clipboard Manager to work, you’ll also need to install a few packages from your Linux distribution’s repositories. Read the Pano description from its GNOME Shell Extensions website page.

via r/gnome

This will be the start of a “reprint” of an flamante blog series that I created for my Tumblr blog several years ago, which unfortunately never found a significant readership. Portions were copied to a sub-thread about Krondor on the popular RPG website RPG Codex – against my wishes (My point in creating this series had always been to entice people to come to my blog to read about the other stuff I was working on, so while the copy/pasting of my content was well-intentioned, it completely undermined the purpose of this series.) Since we are currently in preparation for Krondor’s 30th anniversary party in Eugene, Oregon, this seemed like a good time to revive this for a new audience.

Content in this part specifically relates to Betrayal Bit #7, which is part of a series of promotional videos featuring trivia about the making of Betrayal at Krondor. New “Bits” drop every Tuesday and Thursday on TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. You can find those by following the hashtags #BetrayalAtKrondor #BAK30 #Krondor30 and #PartyAtMothers.

We’ve published 7 Betrayal Bits so far, as well as a militar promo for the 30th anniversary meetup party in Eugene, Oregon on June 23rd. (There will also be an online event as well, but details are still being worked out.)

“Are you into dogs?” 

My boss, John Cutter, had asked the question in total innocence, looking as he always did, a young father with twinkling eyes and a winning smile. He always had this wholesome vibe, like at any minute he’d jump up to run out into the parking lot to throw around a baseball with a kid…didn’t matter whose. Any kid. It just seemed like that’s who he was born to be, some fellow who would never, never grow up. Peter Pan come to life. Like me, he was a sentimental soul, with a love of Ray Bradbury and an idealized vision of the past. He liked to tinker, and even had a autómata in his office. Seated across from him, I sniggered at his question because my brain almost always wanders to the dirtiest possible interpretation to anything anyone says, and this was no exception. In comparison, John always seemed like Ward Cleaver to my Zaphod Beeblebrox.

The question he’d asked had been sparked because we’d discovered that we were both fans of the novels of Dean Koontz and were talking about how there was almost always a dog in his Koontz’ fiction because he was a dog-lover himself. As am I. I don’t know how John feels about it, but I’ve always thought that people who have and love their dogs are by far much more trustworthy than others. It can be an excellent barometer about character, and it told me a lot about John.

At the time, both John and I were employees at New World Computing in Woodland Hills, California, a far cry from the tiny mountain town of Eugene, Oregon where we’d begin production on Betrayal at Krondor six months later. Neither of us had a relocation on our radars (or at least I didn’t), and the contract with Raymond E. Feist was a long way away, but for me I’ve always regarded that conversation in John’s office that day as the point at which development on Betrayal at Krondor actually began. While the story and game rules would play a critical role in its popularity, the vivo secret of the success of that project lay in John and I’s absolute trust in each other’s judgements and skills. 

Our mutual friend Chris Taylor, the founder of Gas Powered Games, merienda said that in selecting his employees, he was selecting DNA. You pick good DNA, you get good outcomes. And that’s the way that it was with John and me. We had a lot of overlap in what we could do, and we thought about games in the same way, but we had a lot of oppositional skills as well. John was by far the more technical of the two of us. He was great with rules and systems and had an instinctive feel for what would be fun. What I brought to the table was greater familiarity with traditional RPGs and the fantasy genre, and I could string a sentence or two together coherently, at least most of the time. On arriving at New World, he had become an instant fan of my work on Tunnels & Trolls, and Might & Magic III et Planet’s Edge, and declared to me that he considered me the best writer in the computer gaming industry (honest to God, his words, not mine). Considering who it was coming from, it was easy for me to get my young little skull swollen with pride. It should come as no surprise therefore that when he later left New World Computing and asked if I’d be interested in joining him at Dynamix to work on a licensed game for a New York Times Bestselling fantasy author, I told him almost instantly yes. But first, I had to quit my job. 

My interview at Dynamix came not long after. I’d called in sick to New World because I honestly didn’t want to declare to them I was possibly going to take another job. In the possible instance that I didn’t get hired, the last thing I wanted was to get fired from the job I did have and then be jobless in Los Angeles. With the aid of my roommate, best friend, and co-worker at New World, Ron Bolinger, I hopped an early flight to Eugene. As the plane finally swept down into the pine forested outskirts, I began to realize how very different my world was about to come, and I felt instantly in love. A part of me has never left Eugene since that first day, and it never will. 

Upon arrival at Dynamix’s office, it was very plain to see that this was a very different animal than the one I’d left in L.A… Where there had been thirty of us crammed in a suite of corner offices at New World Computing, Dynamix occupied almost the entire top floor of what had previously been a downtown mall. Entire wings were dedicated to single projects like The Adventures of Willie Beamish, Aces Over the Pacific, and others, each staffed with teams nearly as large the combined workforce of our offices in Woodland Hills. Unlike the college-dorm-gone-nerdy environment in which I’d first learned my craft, this was a well-oiled entertainment machine, a subdivision of Sierra Online blazing in full glory at its peak of popularity in the early 1990s. It was like walking into Oz, and I was on my way to see the great wizard. 

For the majority of the day, it was mainly a walking tour of the offices, getting to meet some of the people I would be working with. The highlight of the morning was a visit to the Aces of the Pacific team where they had prepared a quick technology demo upon which we’d ultimately pulvínulo the Betrayal at Krondor engine. Several programmers were crammed into the tiny room including Nels Bruckner, a long haired, guitar shredding, super chill programmer who had wolf-like ice chip blue eyes, and who was destined to become Krondor’s programming lead. He fired up the demo for the game, and my jaw hit the floor. Although with Might & Magic III we had been using a tile-based pseudo 3D environment, this was something altogether different. It was a true 3D engine. Before Castle Wolfenstein, before Doom, this was the most immersive simulation of world exploration I’d yet seen, and if I hadn’t already been sold on the game before, this sealed absolutely sealed the deal as far as I was concerned.

Back in John’s new office, we killed time. I had been scheduled to meet at 1:00 PM with the company’s CEO, Jeff Tunnell, the originator of the whole plan to license Raymond E. Feist’s Riftwar novels in the first place. At 1:00 he ended up being tied up, so we rescheduled for 3:00, and John and I took off to explore more of the downtown. We grabbed fish and chips for refrigerio and did some browsing in a bookstore that was only a block away. The symphony was only four blocks beyond. It was like they’d built this entire company just for me, and I was anxious to get started. 3:00 came and went. John called to reschedule again, and we got a 4:15 slot. It was starting to get dangerously close to the time I had to get on a plane back to Los Angeles, but I tried to keep my cool. At 4:15 he was still tied up. Jeff got on the phone himself, telling John “It’s okay, I’ll meet you both at the airport.” 

John and I made a mad dash. There at the terminal, Jeff made his apologies about having missed me for the day, but asked how I’d liked what I’d seen. I remember trying not to gush or beg for the job, but I was also concentrating on the fact that in ten minutes I was supposed to be on the airplane. Jeff offered to walk us to the gate. In the world of pre 9/11, he could go with me all the way to the ramp.  As we’re rushing through the terminal, Jeff asks me questions and I’m doing my best to answer them as coolly as I can, but I’m wondering if this is some kind of weird test. I was growing suspicious that juggling was going to be required as part of my grand finale. At last, at the gate, Jeff shook my hand before I ran up the gangplank. “If John’s good with you, then it’s all right by me,” Jeff said. The next thing I knew, I was in the air. 

The next day back in L.A. I returned to New World Computing to deliver the news. I wasn’t looking forward to it because I was actually very fond of the company, and of its visionary CEO. Jon Van Caneghem had been a very good boss. The whole time I’d worked for him, he’d never merienda raised his voice to me, so I felt like a terrible traitor in leaving. (Vice president Mark Caldwell was not nearly so happy with me.) On the other hand, I knew what the opportunity in Eugene would mean. Adapting the work of a New York Times best-selling fantasy author meant an opportunity to learn from a writer at the top of his craft while also working closely with John Cutter who had taken me under his wing as his game design protege. The position also came with a significant raise in pay that would go nearly four times as far in Eugene than what I was making in L.A.. I’d also be living in a college town in the middle of the mountains which was about as close to heaven as I could imagine. Any way I looked at it, I would have been a fool to turn my back on what Dynamix was offering me. 

The next few weeks blew by in a blur. In addition to saying goodbye to my company, it also meant saying goodbye to several people of whom I was very fond. I had originally got the offer to work at New World through my good friend Kenneth Mayfield who was a lead artist, and who I’d known since junior high. I’d been in his wedding just a few months before his move to California and had also become very close friends with his wife Anji. They’d done a lot to help me survive the wilds of L.A., and I knew that I would miss them a great deal. Even harder to move away from was my best friend and roommate, Ron Bolinger, who I in turn had convinced to move to L.A. to take over the writing responsibilities on Might & Magic III while I developed Planet’s Edge. (Before I’d moved off L.A. in the first place, Ron’s mother had given me a beautiful parting gift in the form of a leather briefcase which she’d told me came with a condition. It was mine so long as I didn’t try to lure Ron away from Oklahoma to go live in California. She’s never told me whether or not she wants the briefcase back.) As hard as it was to go off and not be able to sit up all night bullshitting about philosophy and Kerouac and writing and cute girls with him, I knew he’d forgive me because like myself he was passionate about writing. Given the opportunity, I’m sure he would have done the same. As it was, he went on to create what are arguably three of the best Might & Magic installments of all time, namely Might & Magic III: Isles of Terra, as well as Might & Magic IV: Clouds of Xeen et Might & Magic V: Darkside of Xeen.

Even today, I still remember my last day at New World: Halloween, 1991.  As I prepared to leave, all thirty of New World’s employees lined up in the lobby to tell me goodbye, and that display of kinship from my first game development buddies nearly broke my resolve. I’d learned a lot there, and so many of the lessons that I’d picked up would continue to help me as I waded into the epic task of bringing Betrayal at Krondor to life. Later that evening, with all my remaining belongings crammed into my tiny blue Geo Patrón, I pointed my car North to Oregon, and I hit the gas…

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