Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Tame ThinkPad's Fan with thinkfan

Nov 20, 2015 GMT

Most Linux distributions run perfectly well on ThinkPad laptops right out of the box, save for a few minor annoyances. Fan control is one of them. On my ThinkPad T410 running Kubuntu, the fan kicks in right from the start and keeps going until I turn the machine off. The thnkfan tool removes this particular fly from the ointment. Since this handy tool is available in the official Ubuntu software repositories, you can install it using the sudo apt-get install thinkfan command. But to make it work on the ThinkPad, it's necessary to load the thinkpad_acpi kernel module with the fan_control=1 parameter that enables the fan control. To do this, run the following command: sudo echo...
Custom Keybindings in the Atom Editor

Oct 29, 2015 GMT

The Atom editor has keybindings for practically all commands, but some of them may have trouble working with international keyboard layouts. Take the spell checking correction keyboard shortcut, for example. Its default Ctrl-: keybinding doesn't work with the Danish (and probably other international) layouts. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. Open Atom settings (press Ctrl-, or choose Edit -> Preferences), and switch to the Keybindings section. Type spell into the filter field to view all spell-checking commands and their keybindings, and click the Copy to Clipboard icon next to the spell-check:correct-misspelling item. Choose Edit -> Open Your Keymap to open the keymap.cson...
Use Chromium and Chrome Browsers as Timers for the Pomodoro Technique

Oct 28, 2015 GMT

To practice the Pomodoro technique you need one thing: a timer. And there are plenty of timer tools and applets out there designed specifically for the Pomodoro technique. But you don't need to install a dedicated timer software to practice the Pomodoro technique. If you happen to use Google Chrome or Chromium as your preferred browser, you can use the set timer for search query to activate a timer in a separate window or tab. Just run the set timer for 30 minutes search query to start a timer. Of course, this little feature is not limited to the Pomodoro technique, and it can come in handy in many situations: from brewing a perfect cup of tea to doing exercises.
Krill: News Filtered

Oct 16, 2015 GMT

Overwhelmed by the news stream in your regular RSS aggregator? Try Krill. It may look like yet another text-based RSS aggregator, but this nifty little application has a few clever tricks up its sleeve. For starters, Krill can handle not only RSS and Atom feeds, but also Twitter. Krill can display a single news source, or you can point the application to an .opml file to view all your feeds as a stream. By default, Krill updates the current stream every five minutes, but you can specify a different refresh interval. Krill's most interesting feature, though, is the support for filters. Using the -f flag, you can specify a regular expression pattern to filter the stream. In...
DIY GPS Tracking for Your Android Device

Sep 29, 2015 GMT

Being able to pinpoint the current position of your Android device can come in useful in many situations, but using a third-party app or service may not appeal to privacy-conscious users. If you are one of them, Self-Hosted GPS Tracker might be right up your alley. It consists of two parts: 1) a simple Android app that obtains geographical coordinates and sends them to your own server, 2) a couple of relatively simple PHP scripts parse the pushed data and display the position in an OpenStreetMap-powered map.To get started with Self-Hosted GPS Tracker, clone the project's GitHub repository or download the source code as a ZIP archive, and move the PHP scripts from the server-side folder to...
UrlHosted: Publish Content through URLs

Sep 28, 2015 GMT

Sometimes you need to quickly share a text snippet or a blog post without going through the rigmaroles of dealing with a full-blown web publishing platform. In this situation, UrlHosted can come in rather handy. At first glance, it looks like a no-frills publishing web app, but it features a rather unique approach to storing and publishing content. In fact, it doesn't store content in the traditional sense of the word. Instead it saves the entire content in a URL in the base64 encoded and zipped JSON format. The app itself is stupidly easy to use. Point your browser to and start writing. UrlHosted supports Markdown and HTML formatting, and you can preview...
Connecting to proXPN VPN on Linux with the proXPN Bash Client

Sep 21, 2015 GMT

When the proXPN VPN service offered a premium lifetime subscription for a paltry $39, it was too good of an offer to pass up (this offer on StackSocial may still be valid). So I bought it on the spot. It turned out, though, that while proXPN provides support for OpenVPN, the service doesn't offer any help, tools, or configuration files for Linux users on their website. Of course, with some perseverance and a bit of googling, you can make proXPN work on Linux. But there is actually no need for that thanks to the proXPN Bash Client script devised by Matthew Surabian. Before you proceed, install the OpenVPN software on your system. To do this on Debian and Ubuntu, run the apt-get install...

Issue 23: Raspberry Pi Adventures/Special Editions

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $15.99
(incl. VAT)