Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Pin 'em up: No-frills sticky notes tool

May 21, 2009 GMT

Sticky notes utilities for Linux are a dime a dozen these days, so what makes Pin 'em up so special? For starters, it's written in Java, so it runs happily on different platforms -- a boon for users who have to deal with different operating systems on a daily basis. Pin 'em up also lets you categorize your notes, and you can define as many categories as you need. To edit the default list of categories, right-click on the Pin 'em up icon and choose category actions -> Manage categories. You can then specify the categories you want and assign specific note colors to each category.   The Settings item in the Pin 'em up menu lets you tweak the utility's settings. For example, you can...
Track Your Software Usage with Wakoopa

May 16, 2009 GMT

It took Wakoopa a while, but the company has finally released a Linux version of its tracking client. For those not familiar with the strangely named service, Wakoopa generates a so-called software profile using a small tracking utility running on your desktop. Once installed, the Wakoopa tracker collects information about the applications you are running on your machine and uploads the collected data to Wakoopa's Web site. You can then share your software profile with other users in a variety of ways. For example, Wakoopa lets you create widgets you can add to your blog, Web site, and Facebook profile.   So how can Wakoopa be of use to you? For starters, by sharing your software...
Monitor Bandwidth Usage with vnStat

May 13, 2009 GMT

In these days of bandwidth caps and pay-per-kilobyte rates, keeping an eye on your bandwidth usage makes a lot of sense. While there is no lack of bandwidth monitoring utilities, vnStat stands out from the crowd thanks to its ability to store monitoring data in a database and resume monitoring automatically on reboot. This means that once installed and configured, vnStat quietly monitors a specified network interface and saves the collected data. You can then use vnStat's command parameters to view detailed reports of your bandwidth usage. vnStat is available in the software repositories of many mainstream Linux distributions, so you can easily install it using your distro's package...
Kick-start Your Brain with Scribble

May 08, 2009 GMT

Sometimes your brain needs a gentle push to get into gear. For some a good cup of coffee does the trick, while others prefer to use a good word game to kick-start their gray cells. If you belong to the latter category, you might appreciate Scribble, a command line-based version of the popular Scrabble game. Scribble is available in the software repositories of many mainstream Linux distributions, including Debian and Ubuntu. To install Scribble on the latter, run the sudo apt-get install scribble command and you are good to go. Run the scribble command to start a new game. You can also specify a difficulty level from 1 (easiest) to 9 (most difficult), for example: scribble 5 or scribble...
Access Your Apps and Docs Remotely with FreeNX

May 06, 2009 GMT

The ability to control your primary machine remotely can come in rather handy when you need to access your documents and applications using your netbook or laptop. While you might be tempted to go with a solution based on the popular VNC protocol, you should keep in mind that it has two serious limitations: it's both insecure and slow. A much better solution is to use the FreeNX server and an NX client, which offers a secure connection that works well even with a slow modem link -- a boon for users on the move.The first order of business is to install the FreeNX server software on your primary machine. To do this on Ubuntu, you have to add the FreeNX Team PPA repository to the...
Two Things You Need to Know about OpenOffice.org 3.1

May 05, 2009 GMT

You can get the latest release of the popular productivity suite from a mirror close to you. OpenOffice.org Wiki provides a detailed description of new features and improvements in version 3.1.
Speed up Common Tasks with Launchy

May 01, 2009 GMT

There are quite a few good launcher utilities out there that can make a great addition to your productivity arsenal. Gnome Do is probably the most popular launcher for Linux, but if you are looking for something less flashy and more streamlined, try Launchy. This unobtrusive tool can help you to quickly launch applications and open URLs, directories, and documents using keyboard shortcuts. In addition to that, Launchy sports a couple of plugins which add a few nifty tricks to the launcher. Installing Launchy on your system is easy. If you are running a Debian or Ubuntu-based Linux distribution, you can install the .deb version of Launchy by executing the dpkg -i launchy-x.x.x.deb command...

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