Increase The Volume Of Thunderbird Notifications

Today’s article is one of a personal nature, an issue that affected me personally, where I needed to increase the volume of Thunderbird notifications. It was a bit of a problem and one easily resolved – at least in my case. I think it will be trivial to overcome this for others and thought that I’d make a quick article about this.

Thunderbird is an email client. The Thunderbird email client is brought to you by the same people, that is Mozilla, that brings you the Firefox web browser. As far as graphical email clients for Linux goes, you’re probably better off using Thunderbird.

This article is specifically about the calendar. It is only applicable if you have the calendar (sometimes called Lightning) installed. Further, it is only applicable if you then also have it set to chime an audio file when a scheduled activity is due. If none of those things are true, this article is not meant for you.

I don’t allow most audio notifications, but I do rely on Thunderbird for scheduling and noting appointments. If you’ve configured Thunderbird to show notifications and to create a sound to denote those notifications, you may notice that the notification is quieter than you’d like.

I searched for a solution for the low volume of Thunderbird notifications. I had a solution in mind, but I looked for something more graceful. The goal was to find something ‘in-app’ that let me set the notification volume. Not only was I unable to find a solution in that direction, I was unable to find anyone suggesting this path to increase the volume of Thunderbird notifications.

I’ll be giving directions for Debian (and derivatives such as Ubuntu, and all official Ubuntu flavors, Linux Mint, ElementaryOS, and such) but you can adapt these directions for your needs. The tool we’ll be using is ‘Audacity’ and that’s probably going to be in everyone’s default repositories.

If you’re unfamiliar with Audacity, the application is used to edit audio. As a general rule, I don’t bother with full-fledged DAWs and prefer the simplicity that Audacity offers. So, I guess that does make it my DAW of choice.

Odds are good that you don’t have Audacity installed by default. Again, assuming you use a distro with apt, you’d simply install Audacity with the following command:

If you’re curious, the man page describes it like this:

audacity – Graphical cross-platform audio editor

That’s a fine description and Audacity is the only tool you’ll need to increase the volume of Thunderbird notifications. As near as I can tell, this will work on default sounds or the sounds you add as your notification sounds.

So then, let’s get on with it… Let’s learn how to…

Increase The Volume Of Thunderbird Notifications:

If you read the intro correctly, or at least as how I expected it to be read, then you should have already installed Audacity. You can do this with any DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) but Audacity is quick and easy, easy enough for me to use.

So, I’ll assume you have Audacity installed.

You can do this with Ocenaudio. If you want a full-blown DAW, you can do this in Reaper. You have choices, but these directions are for Audacity.

Your first step is to open your file manager. With your file manager now open, double-check in Thunderbird to see where your notification sound file is located. It’s in the Settings menu, under the Calendar settings.

Thunderbird's notifications settings.
This should be fairly easily explained. A picture is worth 1,000 words!

As you can see, I’ve chosen a custom audio file. The process is the same. You need to find the file in question or add your file. If you wanted to you could root around and find the default file, but I suggest adding your own.

Once you have found the sound file, right-click on it and open it in Audacity. You can also open Audacity and then open the file by clicking on File and then Open. Both should work on most distros.

You’ll then see a screen that looks similar to this:

We'll increase the volume with Audacity.
That’s the waveform of my ‘cymbals’ notification chime.

What you do from here is right-click on any part of the spectrum shown in the image above.

You then press CTRL + A to select the full file.

You next click on Effect and then you click on Amplify. Adjust the amplification to suit and use the preview button to judge the volume level you’d like to achieve. That screen would look something like this:

Using Audacity to control the reminder sounds from Thunderbird.
If you want to hear your Thunderbird notifications easily, this is how you do it.

This works with more than just increasing the volume of Thunderbird notifications. You can raise and lower the volumes of almost any sound file quickly and easily. Rather than mucking about with some Thunderbird extension, you can just raise the volumes yourself.


I’m not sure how many folks will be helped by this article, but I hope it’s some. This was an itch that I needed to scratch and this was how I went about doing so. I figured I’d share that with you by making it into an article. That seemed like a reasonable choice at the time.

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A Few Geeky YouTube Channels

Today we’ll have an absolutely meaningless article, as I share a few geeky YouTube channels with you for your appreciation. I’ve done similar before, with the ‘few good channels‘ article. It was fairly well received and today will be a bit similar, though probably a bit shorter. After all, there have been a few long articles lately. I might as well mix things up a bit.

I am also curious about AdSense. I’m not sure what’s happening, but it hasn’t registered any clicks lately. That’s not good! So, if you want to do me a favor, you can whitelist the site and let me know if you saw any ads. (Don’t click on them just to help me! Ads should only be clicked if you have a legitimate interest in the product! Otherwise, Google gets made and throws a hissy fit and takes away some credit for clicks.)

If you check the headline for this article, it should kinda give you an idea of what’s to come. The previous video article was just about Linux channels. This article will have very little to do with Linux itself, so it’s even an appropriate article for our Windows-geek friends!

As a general rule, I’m not a huge TV watcher, but I do watch video content. I have more video content to watch than I will ever have time to watch. A great deal of what I watch has to do with automobiles, but I make time for other subjects – such as Linux and geeky topics. Today, I’m just going to share a few geeky YouTube channels. That’s it…

Geeky YouTube Channels:

So, crack open your favorite brand of popcorn…

Open up your favorite media-watching browser…

Take the rest of today’s to-do list and throw it straight in the trash…


The very first channel I want to share is called TechMoan. This guy loves old stuff, mostly media players. If it plays video or (especially) reproduces sound, he’s probably interested. From Edison’s wax disks modern MP3 players with Bluetooth, he’s interested in it. His videos are full of useful (and delightfully useless) information. If there’s a media format out there, he wants to be able to play it. It’s awesome!


Next on the list of geeky YouTube channels would be LGR. That once stood for “Lazy Game Reviews”, but now it just stands for nothing. He’s long since changed direction and covers old computers. For the people who read this site, this might be the most interesting of the channels. LGR covers a lot of older computers and tech. You’ll find a goodly amount of content from the 80s and 90s, and even some modern stuff sprinkled in for good measure.


Finally, on my list of geeky YouTube channels you might enjoy, is a channel from a real museum. They don’t have dinosaur bones and you won’t find a wooly mammoth in their museum. What you will find is the dinosaurs and mammoths of the computer industry. From some of the earliest computers to some of the obscure computers that fall into the ‘also ran’ category, you’ll find it all. All sorts of long-format videos will inform and entertain you for hours. The CHM (Computer History Museum) backlog is large enough so that you might never catch up and watch them all.



There you have it! You have a new article. This one doesn’t require much effort – but might require a bunch of your time. There are other geeky YouTube channels, but I figured I’d limit this to just a few of my favorites. I watch some other channels with a more narrow topic and I picked these for their (moderately) broader appeal.

Given what I know about my readers, I think almost all of them will appreciate these geeky channels. Feel free to leave a comment sharing your favorite geeky videos. I’ll have to manually approve them (as they’d contain links) but I’m pretty good at doing that promptly. The system’s pretty good at letting me know when there are new comments! It’s also pretty good at avoiding false positives where spam is concerned.

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A Few Good Linux Channels

Today’s article is going to be a nice and quick one, where I show you (what I think) a few good Linux channels – on YouTube, of course. Why? Because why not! It’s a good thing to share more content and all sorts of people like video content. So, to find my opinion on a few good Linux channels, read on!

I actually may have different picks than other sites. Well, I assume other sites have top-ten lists of good Linux channels. See, I don’t prefer to learn via video, at least not Linux things. I prefer text, as it’s far more information-dense per unit of time invested. Well, it *can* be far more information-dense per unit of time.

However, that doesn’t mean I don’t watch any Linux content, it’s just not that often and my picks might be different than what you pick. If you have a favorite channel list, you can always add it as a comment. Heck, if you leave that comment here this might turn into some sort of repository of solid Linux channels. I have an edit button!

Alright, this intro is long enough. It’s a quick and easy article!

A Few Good Linux Channels (On YouTube):

You don’t need an open terminal for this exercise! Imagine that! You have a browser open already, so you’re all set. 

I don’t know how to embed a full channel, though I do know I can embed single videos. You don’t want to watch those channels on this site, you want to watch them where they came from, so I’m not going to bother embedding a video or trying to figure out how to embed a full channel.

1. Linus Tech Tips


Linus Tech Tips is a passionate team of “professionally curious” experts in consumer technology and video production who aim to educate and entertain.


2. Switched To Linux


Switched to Linux is a channel about Technology, Privacy, and Linux. What sets this channel apart from my colleagues is that this channel focuses on real world applications with Linux. We have moved beyond theory and get down to what is important: Production.

3. Brodie Robertson


He hasn’t written one. So, I’d say:

Good, solid contributions to the Linux-education realm. He’s fairly opinionated but a fun channel to watch.

4. Average Linux User


His has not written a good description. I’ll say:

More great content. His content is definitely one of the more thought-out content out there. He also offers his videos in text format. That’s something I appreciate.

And there you have it… I ended up sharing four of them because I figure we’d count Linus’ page by default. I figure most Linux users (that frequently consume video) will already be subscribed to his channel.

Again, feel free to add your favorites. Who knows? It might end up as an article that gets edited with new material when said material becomes available. 


There you have it, another article! This time, we’ve covered what I think are a few good Linux channels. If you’re going to watch Linux content, you might appreciate these channels as much (perhaps more than) I do. I will not be doing a YouTube channel. You’re welcome!

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Find Your Graphics Card Information

Today’s article isn’t all that spectacular, but it is useful, as we’re going to discuss a few ways to find your graphics card information. That’s handy stuff to know, especially if you are new to the computer or are looking to do things like find drivers for said graphics card. This should be remarkably quick and easy, actually.

We will be using tools we’ve used before. These are simple tools, tools used to learn hardware information. Well, they can all be narrowed down to show just the graphics card information. They can also give information about other hardware, not just graphics card information.

All the tools we’ll be using should be installed by default. We will use one program that isn’t necessarily installed by default. That program will be inxi. You can learn how to install inxi easily enough, and the rest should be installed by default. If inxi is not installed, install it.

Like I said, the article should be fairly quick and easy. You only need a few specific commands. ‘Snot all that complicated, now is it? 

So, let’s take a minute to read an article that tells you how to learn more about your…

Graphics Card Information:

As is often the case, this article requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, let’s go ahead and use the inxi command first:

See? Plenty of graphics card information.

How about we use ‘lshw’, a tool for listing hardware information? Well, the command for that would be pretty easy. You just need to specify that you want graphics card information. It looks like:

Finally, we can use ‘grep’ and ‘lspci’. We’ll also use the -k flag to list kernel drivers. It’s easy. You don’t have to memorize it, you can just refer back here later when you actually have a need for your graphics card information. It looks like:

That should do it. You can use any of those three methods (or more) to find your graphics card info. I just use on-board graphics, so a screenshot would be quite boring.


Well, there you have it. You have yet another article. I didn’t go deep into the usage of each tool because there’s no reason to. Each program has a help file associated with it. Consult the help file if you wish to know more. This article’s goal was to demonstrate a specific use.

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Let’s Disable Your Webcam

In today’s article, we’re going to show you how to disable your webcam. It’s something I’ve seen folks ask before, and something someone contacted me to ask about. While I don’t normally answer questions via email, it did seem like a good article to write.

I see this question, about how to disable your webcam, quite a lot. There are some ingenious solutions, from sliders you can stick to your laptop to just putting a piece of electrical tape over it. Some vendors have gotten in on it and include a sliding cover that you can use when the webcam is not in use.

If you’re that paranoid, you might want to look for a laptop (generally) that doesn’t have a webcam – but that can be hard to find these days. In some cases, they’ll have a red light that comes on when the webcam is in use. Of course, the truly paranoid don’t trust that. And the really, truly paranoid people know their coffee pot is spying on them!

Well, in today’s article we’re going to share how to disable your webcam. It won’t be all that difficult. It’s something a beginner could do, if they can follow directions, because we’ll be using nano. So, anyone can do this…

NOTE: I only tested this with Lubuntu. That means it should work with any Ubuntu flavor and with any derivatives of Ubuntu. It should also work up-stream and in most distros, but I can’t say that those have been tested.

Disable Your Webcam:

Like many articles, this one requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

Once you have the terminal open, enter the following command:

Now, copy/paste (or type yourself) the following into that file:

The first line, the line starting with a # sign, is a ‘comment’, meaning that it’s there for you, the reader, and won’t be interpreted by the computer as an input or a command of any kind. This is pretty common and traditional. You can change that text to anything you’d like. Something short and descriptive is probably best.

Now, you’ve gotta save it. It’s nano, so it’s actually not that hard but might confuse some folks. After all, it could seem hard if you’ve never done it before, but this is how you save it with nano. You just press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER Bob’s your uncle! It’ll save the file and close nano for you.

Finally, you need to reboot for the changes to take effect. The effect is permanent, more or less. If you want to undo it permanently, then just reverse the process from above. If you want to disable it temporarily, you can try this and it should work for you:

That should do it! Though you’d still have a non-working webcam the next time you rebooted your computer. If you’re going to take the time to disable your webcam, you probably want that behavior anyhow. Again, if you disable your webcam and want to truly reverse it, just remove the lines like I mentioned.


I don’t really want to encourage people, but I won’t be terribly rude if you email me with a question. Just, you know, know that I have other things going on in my life and that I don’t actually have all the answers. I write about the things I know, the things in my notes, or the things that spring to mind when I am late with scheduling another article. Ah well, now you know how to disable your webcam.

On the other hand, you can feel free to email me questions you think I might be able to answer (Keep ’em simple!) that might make good articles. I could use your question as a bit of an intro fluffing device and then do a “Reader’s Questions” kinda thing. There’s a big difference between emailing me for support and emailing me with a question that might make a good article. There’s no pressure in the latter case, as there is no time constraints or expectations. So, feel free to do that – just don’t expect me to respond with a solution, and there might be an article that comes from it.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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