Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Manage Photos with Shotwell

Nov 16, 2009 GMT

When it comes to organizing and tweaking photos, digiKam and F-Spot rule the roost. But if you don't need all the bells and whistles of a full-blown photo management tool, then you might want to try Shotwell. If you are running the latest version of Ubuntu, installing Showtell is rather straightforward. Launch the Synaptic package manager, choose Settings -> Repository, and switch to the Other Software section. Press the Add button, add the ppa:yorba/ppa repository. Press Add Source, and hit the Reload button to update the repositories. Then locate and install the shotwell package. Of course, you can also compile the application from source and even build it on Windows, and the...
Extension Watch: Keep Tabs on Documents with History Master

Nov 13, 2009 GMT

While the Recent Documents command under the File menu gives you quick access to the previously opened documents, this feature has a few serious limitations. For example, you can't change the number of documents it keeps and there is no way to delete entries you don't need. The History Master extension aims to solve these problems and adds a few other creature comforts that make it easier to keep tabs on your documents. When installed, the extension adds two menu entries. The File -> Recent document of same type command displays the History Master dialog which displays a list of previous documents. But here is the clever part: all documents are grouped by their type, so if you want to...
Batch Renaming Photos with Command-Line Tools

Nov 07, 2009 GMT

Using date and time stamps as file names makes it significantly easier to manage your photos, and tools like Rapid Photo Downloader can automatically rename photos on the fly when downloading them from the camera. But what if you already have hundreds or even thousands of photos? In this case, you can rename them using a few simple command-line tools. The first one is the exiv2 package which contains tools for managing image metadata. On Ubuntu and Debian derivatives, you can install this package by running the apt-get install exiv2 command as root. The exiv2 tool features the mv option which renames files using the time stamp pulled from the EXIF metadata. The time stamp can be formatted...
Creating Ebooks with Sigil

Nov 05, 2009 GMT

There are plenty of places on the Web where you can find ebooks in the EPUB format, but what if you need to create an ebook yourself? Sigil can help you with that. This nifty application allows you to create ebooks using the graphical interface without getting your hands dirty with coding. Despite being a relatively new application, Sigil already sports all the essential features that simplify the process of formatting ebooks and generating ready-to-use EPUB files. Installing Sigil is as easy as it gets. Download the installer .bin file. and run it in the terminal as root: ./Sigil-x.x.x-Linux-x86-Install.binSigil supports most common formatting options such as bold, italics, and...
Blogging on the Move with wpToGo

Oct 23, 2009 GMT

Feel the urge to update your blog while on the move? As an Android user, you'll be pleased to learn that you can manage your WordPress blog from your device courtesy of the wpToGo application. This nifty blogging client lets you manage multiple blogs and it has a few clever features up its sleeve. On the first run, you are prompted to configure a new blog account. To do that, you have to enter your login credentials and specify the exact path to the xmlrpc.php interface of your blog. If you have a hosted WordPress blog, then the path to xmlrpc.php is yourblogname.wordpress.com/xmlrpc.php Once the account has been configured, you can enable a comment notification feature which alerts you...
Speed up Photo Transfers with Rapid Photo Downloader

Oct 16, 2009 GMT

When you need to offload photos from a digital camera onto your computer, you can do this using the default browser, a photo management application, or a dedicated tool like Rapid Photo Downloader. Despite its name, transferring photos is only one of Rapid Photo Downloader's many talents. For starters, it can simultaneously download photos from multiple sources, so if your camera has two card slots, you can transfer photos from both of them in one go. More importantly, using Rapid Photo Downloader's preferences, you can configure the way the utility processes and sorts the downloaded photos. In the Download Folder section of the Preferences dialog window, you can specify the destination...
Five Super Simple Photo Fixes with the GIMP

Oct 09, 2009 GMT

While the GIMP offers a plethora of advanced and powerful photo editing tools, it also sports a few easy-to-use features that can help you to instantly improve your photos with a minimum of effort.Most digital cameras do a good job of figuring out the correct white balance. But tricky lighting conditions or wrong white balance settings can result in a less than perfect photo. The GIMP provides an easy fix for that: choose Colors -> Auto -> White Balance, and the application does the rest.The red eyes problem is the bane of many point-and-shoot cameras. If your camera doesn't have an automatic red eye removal feature, you can use the Filters -> Enhance -> Red Eye Removal...

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