Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
BitTorrent Sync: Painless File Syncing without the Cloud

Apr 29, 2013 GMT

Cloud-based file syncing services are a dime a dozen nowadays. Most of them store copies of your data on remote servers and charge for storage space. This approach has two major drawbacks: you have to entrust your data to a third-party service, and the more storage you need, the more you have to pay. The recently released BitTorrent Sync tool offers an alternative solution that solves these problems. Instead of relying on a central server for storing files and syncing them between multiple machines, BitTorrent Sync uses a peer-to-peer protocol to keep files in sync across multiple machines. This is a brilliant solution, indeed. You don't need to run a dedicated synchronization server,...
Caledonia: Art Suite for the KDE Desktop

Apr 28, 2013 GMT

Tired of the default KDE themes, color schemes, and wallpapers? Then try Caledonia, a bundle containing everything you need to spice up your desktop. Caledonia comes with a set of high-quality wallpapers, a KDE Plasma theme, a splash screen, a KDM theme, and a color scheme. You can download individual parts, or you can use the Caledonia Downloader shell script to grab the entire bundle. Installing Caledonia components is not particularly difficult. To add the KDE Plasma theme, copy the Caledonia folder into the ~/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme directory. Open the System Settings panel, switch to the Workspace Appearance | Desktop theme section, select the...
Manage Archives with patool

Apr 26, 2013 GMT

7z, ZIP, TAR.GZ, GZIP -- there are literally dozens of archiving formats. On top of that, there is also a multitude of tools for managing archives in different formats, and each tool has its own commands and parameters. Even if you stick to a popular format like tar.gz, you still have to remember somewhat arcane commands like tar -xzvf foo.tar.gz or tar -pczf foo.tar.gz /path/to/dir. Enter patool. This Python-based utility can handle a wide range of archiving formats and lets you work with archives using a set of easy to remember commands. To deploy patool on your system, you need to install the python-pip package first. To do this on Debian and Ubuntu-based distros, run the apt-get...
Trojita: a Lightweight IMAP Email Client

Apr 25, 2013 GMT

Looking for a lightweight desktop email client for managing an IMAP-based account? Say hello to Trojita, a nimble Qt-based email application that provides full support for the IMAP protocol.The project uses openSUSE Build Service to create binary packages for various Linux distributions, and you can install Trojita on any of these distros by pointing your browser to the download page and following the installation instructions. To configure the email client, choose IMAP | Settings. In the General section, create one or several identities. Switch then to the IMAP section, and provide the required IMAP info. Finally, configure the SMTP settings in the SMTP...
Type Zebra App for Google Chrome and Chromium

Apr 24, 2013 GMT

Thanks to Google Web Fonts, you now have access to hundreds of high-quality open source fonts, and using a simple Bash shell script, you can easily install all of them on your Linux machine. But how can you find the font you like among the hundreds of typefaces installed on your system? The Type Zebra app provides an elegant solution to the conundrum. When you evoke Type Zebra in the browser, the app automatically scans fonts installed on your machine and lists them in the left sidebar. Type then the text you want in the main area and select the desired font from the list to apply it to the text. Instead of custom text, you can select the Sample Layout...
Gnote Now Supports Synchronization

Apr 23, 2013 GMT

Gnote has always been an excellent Mono-free alternative to the popular Tomboy note-taking application, but it lacked one crucial feature: the ability to synchronize notes across multiple machines. Fortunately, the latest developer release of the application fills the gap and introduces syncing functionality. The synchronization feature is still under development, but if you are comfortable with using beta software and you happen to use an Ubuntu-based distro, you can install the latest experimental version of Gnote from the project's PPA. To do this, use the following commands: sudo apt-add-repository ppa:gnote/ppa-experimental sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install...
Serve Calibre Library with COPS

Mar 29, 2013 GMT

If you want to access your Calibre ebook library via a browser, you either use Calibre's built-in content server, or you can opt for something more nimble like COPS (COPS stands for Calibre OPDS PHP Server). Deploying the application on a server is relatively easy. Grab the latest version of COPS from the project's website, unpack the downloaded archive, and rename the resulting directory to cops. Rename then the config_local.php.example file to config_local.php. Open the file in a text editor, and specify the path to the Calibre library, for example: $config['calibre_directory'] = './calibre/';In this example, the Calibre library is stored in the...

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