Thunderbird and Firefox are GTK+ apps.  GTK+ is a windowing toolkit that GNU/Linux application developers tend to use when creating software on the GNOME Desktop Environment.

If you decide to switch to an alternative desktop environment, such as KDE, the default settings for GNOME/GTK applications may be ignored.  This is because KDE uses the Qt windowing toolkit instead.

To fix this, you need to do it tell KDE to pick up the GTK settings and apply them to your GTK apps.

In Fedora/CentOS, this is simple:

# yum install qtcurve-gtk2.x86_64

Then in KDE, point to Kicker (the application menu) > system settings > Application Appearance > GTK+ Appearance

Change the Widget Style (dropdown) from Redmond to qtCurve.

More information for Ubuntu users is here:

Short one today – I was looking for a way of converting all my ripped CDs to an alternative format for portable audio use.

Here’s a useful link for doing scripted, recursive audio format conversion.

Now you can rip all those CDs to FLAC format (which is lossless, unlike lossy mp3CBR or VBR) and then convert the lot to mp3 for the iPod, car, etc.

Oh, and a copy of Fedora or Ubuntu would probably be handy too 😉

Of course, you could pay for a commercial alternative or even – heaven forbid – “upgrade” your iTunes for DRM-de-restricted AAC files (which are still lossy-format files anyway).

So, why bother, when a CD costs the same and has better sound quality?

Forget digital downloads, until they respect your freedom.  Buy CDs!!

Or, if you are 100% sure your data will always be safe and/or don’t have a hi-fi CD player (in addition to CD/DVD-ROM drive) to justify getting physical media, investigate these forward-looking alternatives: