Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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 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 For other Linux distributions, you can download an archived version of the application, unpack it, and launch DocFetcher using the script.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...
Managing Finances with Tonido Money

Feb 05, 2010 GMT

Managing your finances can be a real chore if you don't have a decent tool for the job. There are a few desktop applications out there that can help you to keep track of your personal finances, but if you are a freelancer or a small business owner, you might need something more powerful like Tonido Money. Based on the excellent Money Manager Ex, Tonido Money is part of the TonidoTonido personal cloud server solution. Besides providing all the essential features that help you to track your finances, Tonido Money runs directly in your browser, so you can access your financial data from any computer. Tonido Money offers a broad range of features designed to help you to keep tabs on various...
Tracking Time on Android with TimeTracker

Jan 29, 2010 GMT

Tools like Rachota can help you to keep track of time when you are working on your computer, but it's not much use when you are working on the move. In this case, you need the TimeTracker tool, a no-frills time tracking app for Android. TimeTracker is ridiculously simple to use, which is exactly what you'd want for a mobile application. First off, populate the app with tasks using the Menu -> Add task button. Once you've done that, tap on the task you want to start tracking it. Press Menu -> Report to view a weekly report. The Menu -> More button gives you access to several handy commands which you can use to export tracking data in the CSV format, back up the TimeTracker...

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