Undervolt GUI

There's a fantastic command-line tool called intel-undervolt that gives you a fine level of control over how your Intel CPU is powered. It's the opposite of what you might typically do to facilitate overclocking your CPU, and it's useful for reducing power consumption and heat generation at the cost of performance. It can be a very effective way to extend battery life, especially if you're simply web browsing or typing up a document. As with overclocking, there is a risk you can damage your hardware, and it only works with Haswell and newer Intel CPUs. The intel-undervolt command can be a little intimidating, requiring a specific configuration file and command-line arguments, which is where linux-intel-undervolt-gui can help; it's a graphical wrapper around a Python script that is itself a wrapper around the voltage control provided by intel-undervolt.

The GUI requires your root password, so you may want to test this on a non-critical machine first. With those credentials it can then read your current voltages with a single click. There are four sliders: core/cache voltage (a single slider, because these need to be the same), GPU voltage, uncore voltage, and analog I/O voltage. Start with the CPU/cache voltage, and see how your system performs. However, only make small changes, because it can take a while for problems to become apparent. One change too many is likely to cause your computer to hang, especially when dealing with the CPU. This happened when we tested values over -100mv, for example. The GPU voltage for your graphics hardware seems to be a little more forgiving and less likely to cause crashes. Values less than -120mv caused graphical glitches for us, but we were able to restore the slider to a more modest value without a crash.

Project Website

Give your laptop better battery performance, with less heat, by undervolting its Intel hardware.

Git explorer


Tools for navigating git repositories, their history, and their branches are becoming almost as common as CPU monitors. But like CPU monitors, they also happen to be very useful. Having more options to choose from means you're more likely to find a tool to fit your exact requirements. One fully fledged option is grv, which runs from the command line and features several different view modes for diving into the details of any git repository. At the other end of the feature spectrum, gitin is another great option. Unlike grv, gitin isn't an application in which you spend time in; instead, it works best as a form of wrapper around the git commands you might use anyway. Its principle functions allow you to work with branches, check the status of a repository, and view the logs, which are all you need in a tool since you don't want to duplicate what git already does so well.

Type gitin log within a repository, for instance, and you see a list of the most recent commits. Using the cursor keys to scroll through them updates details on each commit, and pressing return dives into which files have changed. Select a file, and you get the traditional diff view of what's changed within that file. It's minimal and effective and, most importantly, doesn't detract from the work you're likely trying to do in the same terminal. It just lets you see the same details git can provide in a more convenient and interactive way that's also quicker than trying to work out the commands using git alone. The use of color is also very effective and helps especially in the diff view where the red of a remove line and the green of a new line is far easier to see than the - and the +.

Project Website

If you need a simple, quick, and easy way to view vital git repo information, gitin is an excellent choice.

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