Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
´╗┐Tonido 0.7 Brings Improvements to Your Personal Cloud

Feb 23, 2010 GMT

Tonido has been covered in this blog several times, and I make no secret of the fact that I'm a huge fan of this personal cloud solution. The last couple of months, the software has been improving at a neck-breaking pace, and the latest release offers a real smorgasbord of new features and improvements. The new version comes with a completely rewritten network stack which is now based on HTTP instead of the UDP protocol used in the previous versions. This makes Tonido more reliable, scalable, and efficient. The Jukebox streaming application now supports guest accounts, so you can let other users access and stream your music collection. Thots, Tonido's blogging application, has been...
Quick Tip: Use xkill to Terminate Misbehaving Applications

Feb 19, 2010 GMT

Don't you just hate it when an application stops working properly and you can't close it? Fortunately, there are a few different ways to terminate the misbehaving application, including the kill and killall commands. But my favorite method of stopping a stuck graphical application is to use the xkill utility. Press Alt+F2, type xkill, and press Run. Point the cursor to the application you want to terminate and press the left mouse button. This should kill the selected application. Easy, eh?
Pinta: No-frills Graphics Editor

Feb 17, 2010 GMT

The Gimp is undeniably a competent graphics editor, but it has a pretty steep learning curve, and it's a complete overkill if you only need to tweak a photo or a screenshot every now and then. In this case, you need something like Pinta, a no-frills image manipulation application that offers all the essential editing tools. Pinta is written in Mono which you must have installed on your system in order to run the application. The project's Web site provides binary packages for Ubuntu and openSUSE, so installing Pinta on these distros is as easy as it gets. If you find the Gimp's multi-window interface confusing, you'll be pleased to discover that Pinta sports a more traditional...
Extension Watch: Chromey Calculator for Google Chrome

Feb 16, 2010 GMT

Google is not only a powerful engine, it also doubles as a rather versatile calculator. You can use Google search to perform simple calculations like 3+5 or 25*5/100, convert currencies and units as well as do other nifty tricks such as converting Arabic numerals to Roman (e.g., 2010 in roman numerals) and satisfying your curiosity (type, for example, mass of earth to find the mass of our planet). If you happen to use the Google Chrome browser, you can put Google's calculating power at your fingertips by installing the Chromey Calculator extension. Once installed, the extension adds an icon to the Google Chrome main toolbar. Press it to bring up the calculator interface, type the desired...
Searching Inside Documents with DocFetcher

Feb 11, 2010 GMT

There are plenty of tools that you can use to find a specific file or document by its name on your local hard disk or remote share. But what if you need to find a document containing a word or text fragment? Enter DocFetcher, a graphical desktop search application that can search inside documents. It supports a wide range of popular document formats, including Microsoft Office, HTML, PDF, RTF, plain text, and OpenOffice.org. If you are running Ubuntu, you can install DocFetcher using its .deb package. For other Linux distributions, you can download an archived version of the application, unpack it, and launch DocFetcher using the DocFetcher.sh script. Before you can put DocFetcher to use,...
Optimizing Ubuntu Netbook Remix

Feb 10, 2010 GMT

Although the Ubuntu Netbook Remix (UNR) distro is already optimized for use on netbooks, there are a few things you can tweak to make the system even more efficient. The MakeTechEasier blog offers 13 tips that improve UNR usability, from simple tweaks like hiding the date to freeing some screen estate to installing PowerTop to get more battery life. Some of these tweaks have been covered in this very blog (e.g., using syndaemon to disable the touchpad while typing), but there are a few other useful tips that deserve a closer look. Many of the described tweaks are not limited to UNR and netbooks, so if you are running an Ubuntu derivative on a notebook you might still want to check out the...
´╗┐Moving to Google Chrome

Feb 08, 2010 GMT

After having used development builds of Google Chrome for quite some time, I decided to take the next logical step and promote Chrome to my default browser. The one and only reason why I haven't done that earlier was the fact that Chrome didn't support extensions, and there are a few Firefox add-ons that are essential to my daily computing. Since Chrome gained support for extensions, the list of available extensions has been growing by leaps and bounds. And a few days ago, I discovered that pretty much all the add-ons I use in Firefox now have their equivalents on the Google Chrome side. I'll cover each of these extensions in length later, but for now here's a quick overview of extensions...

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