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I've purchased a Dell Inspiron 1545 for my wife. Due to some really bad judgement from the design team, the only indicator you have is the power one.

What do you guys recommend in terms of having some nice indicators for CAPS/NUM Lock and HDD activity? I just feel so lost without some quick visual clue on those items.

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up vote 10 down vote accepted

For the caps lock and num lock you can use the Indicator-keylock package. It looks like this:

alt text

And instructions for installing are available at:

For the hdd activity monitor you can use the system monitor applet available in the gnome-applets package. Go to preferences and choose to display disk activity.

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There is an applet you can add to the panel to do this.

Look for the "lock-keys-applet" package. You can find this in the Software Center (Applications - Ubuntu Software Center) by searching for "lock keys" or just clicking on that link.

Once you have installed it, right-click on a panel at the top or bottom of the screen and select "Add to Panel..." and selecting it. (Again you can search for "lock keys" to show it quickly.)

This will show the status of caps lock, num lock, and scroll lock on the panel.

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Not really an answer, but I'd just add a system monitor to the panel. Showing it in the leds would be kind of cool: and it's technically possible, I just don't know of pre-canned code to do it. You can script it using xset -led.

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