Command-line productivity tools
Emailing with Alpine
No matter what you do for a living, chances are you spend most of your daily computing receiving, sending, and managing emails; the command-line-based Alpine  email client will help you to do that with consummate ease (Figure 4).
Although this email client is infinitely customizable, getting started with it is very easy – all you have to do is configure an email account.
Because Alpine supports both the POP and IMAP protocols, you can use it with virtually any email service – even with the popular Gmail offering from Google. To do that, launch Alpine and go to Setup | Config. Fill out the fields as follows:
User Domain = gmail.com SMTP server = smtp.gmail.com:587/tls Inbox Path = firstname.lastname@example.org
Replace the "username" string with your Gmail user name, choose Exit Setup, and save the settings. Alpine boasts a huge number of options that allow you to tweak virtually any aspect of the application. Although you can leave most of the settings at their defaults, you might want to change the way Alpine sorts messages in your Inbox. If you want new messages to appear at the top of the screen, select the Reverse Arrival option in the Sort Key section.
To change the default color scheme, go to Setup, press the K key, and select the color scheme you want (e.g., use-termdef). Then you can scroll down to the GENERAL COLORS section where you can tweak individual colors.
Pygmynote and Calcurse
Need a no-frills command-line task manager? Then you might want to try Pygmynote , written by yours truly (Figure 5). The newest version of this simple personal data manager stores all the data in an SQLite database. To make it work on your system, you must install the python-pysqlite2 package first, then you can launch Pygmynote by running the python pygmynote.py command in the terminal. Pygmynote uses a handful of commands to add, modify, and view records, and you can view a list of all commands and their descriptions by using the h command.
If you need a more powerful and flexible tool for managing your tasks and appointments, take a look at Calcurse  (Figure 6). This ncurses-based calendaring application provides a rudimentary interface divided into three panels: Appointments, Calendar, and ToDo. The status bar at the bottom provides a quick overview of the available commands, so you should have no trouble getting started with Calcurse even without reading the online help. Adding events and to-dos in calcurse is straightforward. Use the Tab key to focus on the pane you want (e.g., ToDo if you want to add a task) and press the A key. Calcurse lets you specify a priority for each task and time for events. You can also add notes to the events using the N key. Although calcurse can't sync calendaring data directly with other applications or web-based services, it can import and export the data in the iCal format.
Leaving the colorful world of graphical apps can be a difficult step to take, but adding command-line tools to your toolbox doesn't necessarily mean that you have to abandon your graphical favorites. Because command-line applications are not resource-hungry and don't require a lot of screen real estate, you can load them on your laptop or netbook and use the heavyweight graphical applications on your desktop machine.
Buy this article as PDF
Founder of ownCloud launches the Nextcloud project.
Will The Machine change the way future programmers think about memory?
The new Torus distributed storage system is available under an open source license on GitHub
Juries decides Google’s use of Java APIs Was Fair Use
But if you are not using the latest Linux kernel, your system is insecure.
Home routers will give room for custom firmware but still comply with FCC rules
Frank Karlitschek will continue to lead the open source ownCloud project
“Xenial Xerus” comes with a new packages format and several improvements for the enterprise.
Linux users can now download and install the Windows code editor
New initiative will address security and interoperability concerns around container technology.