Gmail, Conky, and libnotify
Several years ago I discovered a fantastic system monitor named conky. Over the years I've been tweaking my .conkyrc and it has really evolved into a little command center all on it's own. However, I read my e-mail through a mutt, and thus to check it I have to open mutt and look and see if I have any new mail. This is often obnoxious, because I'll either forget to check and miss something until later, or I'll check a lot and not get any e-mail. Today it occurred to me "hey, computers are good at repetitive tasks!", so I decided to automatically check my e-mail and render the results in conky. I also have heard lots of noise about libnotify, and how wonderful it is, so I decided to use that as well. The result is a script which checks a user's Gmail (using a password stored in a keyring), updates conky, and shows a libnotify notification if necessary. It also supports querying of arbitrary Gmail labels, allowing you to display unread counts for other e-mail addresses you might possibly have mapped to your Gmail account.
You can get your own copy to play around with if you like. It's fairly well documented, but I'll answer any questions anyone has. The dependencies (at least on Ubuntu) are
python-notify python-keyring and your favorite of:
I've released it under a beerware style license, in hopes that someone, somewhere, might find it useful. Feedback is appreciated!