Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Use Google Refine to Massage Your Data

Nov 15, 2010 GMT

Google Refine is an immensely powerful tool for dealing with "messy" data, and it sports a myriad of advanced features for massaging and analyzing complex data sets. However, that doesn't mean Google Refine can't be used to solve more mundane problems.Of course, before you can put Google Refine to some use, you have to install it. First off, make sure that the Java Runtime Environment is installed on your machine. Grab then the latest version of Google Refine from the project's Web site and unpack the downloaded .tar.gz archive. In the terminal, switch to the resulting directory and start the application using the following commands: cd google-refine ./refineThis starts the...
Geotag photos with Geotag

Nov 11, 2010 GMT

Need to quickly geotag a bunch of photos? A little nifty utility aptly named Geotag is the perfect tool for the job. Since Geotag is w ritten in Java, you must have the Java Runtime Environment installed on your machine to be able to run the utility. Geotag relies on an external tool called exiftool, a Perl script that enables the writing of EXIF metadata. The tool is available in the software repositories of many Linux distributions, so you can install it using your distro's package manager. On Ubuntu, you can do this by running the sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl command. If you want to use Geotag with RAW files, you should also install the dcraw utility. Launch then Geotag,...
Changing the Default Search Engine in Google Chrome and Chromium

Nov 04, 2010 GMT

I have to admit, I kind of like the new Blekko search engine. Maybe when the novelty wears off, I'll go back to Google, but for now, I keep Blekko as my default search engine in Chromium. If you are using Google Chrome or Chromium as your browser of choice, you can, too, replace the default Google search engine with Blekko -- or any other search service for that matter. To do this, click on the Wrench icon, choose Options, and switch to the Basics section. Press the Manage button next to the Default Search drop-down list, hit Add, and fill out the fields as shown on the screenshot below: Press Add to save the new engine and close the window. Now select the added engine and hit the Make...
Extension Watch: Sync Google Chrome Tabs with TabCloud

Oct 31, 2010 GMT

For some strange reason neither Chrome nor Chromium supports tab syncing, but the TabCloud extension fills the void quite nicely. Once installed, the extension allows you to synchronize browser sessions using the Appspot cloud service. TagCloud is not just a dumb tab syncing tool. The extension allows you to save multiple tabs as a group and open the group on multiple machines. This way, you can create, for example, a group of tabs with all your favorite blogs and open them with one click on other machines running Chrome. To save the currently opened tabs, click on the TabCloud icon (you'll be prompted to sign in to the service using your Google credentials) and click on the Save button....
Stream Internet Radio from the Command Line with mpg123

Oct 29, 2010 GMT

Pretty much every audio application worth its salt supports audio streaming, but what if you prefer to listen to your favorite Internet radios without leaving the convenience of the terminal? There are actually several command line players that can do the trick, including mpg123. This nifty little command-line player is available in the repositories of many popular Linux distributions, so you can install it using your distro's package manager. On Ubuntu, installing mpg123 is a matter of executing the sudo apt-get install mpg123 command. Since mpg123 can't handle m3u or pls playlists, you need to supply the player with the direct link to the Internet radio station. Extracting a URL from a...
Save Web Pages as Ebooks with Instapaper

Oct 28, 2010 GMT

Instapaper is a simple but genuinely useful service that lets you save Web Pages for later reading. While the service itself is not exactly brimming with features, it does have one nifty function which most ebook readers will appreciate: Instapaper allows you to convert the saved Web pages into nicely formatted ebook files in the ePub or Kindle format. Using this feature is as easy as clicking on the ePub or Kindle link, but before you do that, you might want to organize the saved pages into folders. For example, if you want to create an ebook file containing all Linux- and Open Source-related saved pages, create a separate folder and move these pages into it. Switch then to the folder,...
A Simple Bash Script to Download and Organize Photos

Oct 22, 2010 GMT

When it comes to dowloading photos from a storage card and organizing them in the process, Rapid Photo Downloader is just the ticket. But if you prefer to do that from the command line, here is a simple Bash script cobbled together by yours truly. #!/bin/bash SOURCE_DIR="/media/NIKOND5000/DCIM/100D5000" WORK_DIR=TMP TARGET_DIR=Photos cp -R $SOURCE_DIR $WORK_DIR cd $WORK_DIR exiftool -r -d ../$TARGET_DIR/%Y%m%d/%Y%m%d-%H%M%S- '-FileName<$dateTimeOriginal$MyShutterCount.NEF' -ext NEF ../$WORK_DIR rm -rf ../TMPThe script copies photos from a mounted storage device like an SD card to the TMP folder, organizes the photos into folders by date, and then renames each photo...

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