Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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...
Set up a Photo Gallery in a Jiffy with Noda

Mar 25, 2013 GMT

Noda can come in rather handy when you need to throw a stack of photos or images on the web in a hurry. Consisting of a single PHP script, Noda requires no installation or configuration. To deploy Noda, you need a web server with PHP and ImageMagick or GD. Grab the latest release of Noda from the project's GitHub repository using the git clone git:// command, and drop the index.php file and the desired photos in the root of your web server (or in a separate directory in the root, if you want to keep things tidy). Point the browser to the index.php file, and you should see a thumbnail gallery generated by Noda. Click on a...
Migrating to ownCloud

Mar 20, 2013 GMT

I've been meaning to move from Wuala to ownCloud for some time, but there were always more important things on my to-do list. Recently, though, Wuala started to act up, so it was time to take the plunge. What can I say? I wish I moved to ownCloud earlier. Deploying the application on my virtual private server took about 15 minutes. I chose the manual installation procedure, but there is also a web-based installer which does the donkey job of installing ownCloud for you. ownCloud requires practically no configuration. I disabled a few default apps I wasn't planning on using, and that was it. To enable the file synchronization functionality, I installed the...

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