Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Manage Amazon S3 with s3cmd

Nov 14, 2008 GMT

While Amazon S3 provides reliable and cheap backup, you need a third-party application to put the service to some practical use. JungleDisk is one of the most popular Amazon S3-based backup solutions out there, but it's not the only fish in the sea. If you are looking for a no-frills tool which can help you to manage the Amazon S3 service, try s3cmd -- a simple command-line utility written in Python. Before you start, you have to sign up for the Amazon S3 service, if you haven't already done that. To install s3cmd on your machine, download the latest release of the utility, unpack the downloaded archive, use the terminal to switch to the resulting directory and run the python setup.py...
MyToDoListPHP: No-frills Task Manager

Nov 11, 2008 GMT

If you are looking for a no-frills Web-based task manager, you might want to take MyToDoListPHP tool for a spin. Based on the PHP/MySQL stack and sprinkled with AJAX, this simple task management utility allows you to add and delete tasks, assign them to different users, add notes to tasks, and mark them as completed. Nothing earth-shattering, just a simple and effective application you can install on your local network or integrate into your own solutions.
Analyze GnuCash Data in OpenOffice.org Calc

Nov 07, 2008 GMT

Want to analyze your GnuCash data using OpenOffice.org Calc? This guide provides step-by-step instructions of how to pull financial data from GnuCash and work with them in OpenOffice.org Calc. In addition to that, the guide demonstrates how to use Calc's Data Pilot feature to make sense of the extracted data.
Live Sync with lsyncd

Nov 05, 2008 GMT

rsync is an excellent and versatile backup tool, but it does have one drawback: you have to run it manually when you want to back up your data. Sure, you can use cron to create scheduled backups, but even this solution cannot provide seamless live synchronization. If this is what you want, then you need the lsyncd tool, a command-line utility which uses rsync to synchronize (or rather mirror) local directories with a remote machine in real time. To install lsyncd on your machine, download the latest .tar.gz archive from the project's Web site, unpack it, and use the terminal to switch to the resulted directory. Run then the ./configure command followed by make, and make install (the...
Meeting OpenOffice.org Developers

Oct 27, 2008 GMT

Although OpenOffice.org is an open source project with its own community, the core team that does the bulk of the actual coding and quality assurance is based in Hamburg, Germany. Recently, I had a chance to visit the developers behind this key open source project. The Sun offices in Hamburg occupy three floors of a rather large business complex in an industrial area not far from downtown Hamburg. It's a surprisingly quiet and green area with a couple of decent restaurants around, which local businesses, including Sun, use for lunch breaks. The atmosphere in Sun's offices was relaxed, and I, in my shirt and shiny shoes, was definitely overdressed for the occasion. I was greeted by Ocke...
Extension Watch: Speed up Data Entry with DataForm

Oct 23, 2008 GMT

Let's face it, tabbing through cells in a Calc spreadsheet is not the most efficient way to populate them with data. The DataForm extension provides a faster, and more intuitive way to enter data into cells, and sports a couple of other useful features to boot.   To enable the form in a spreadsheet, you have to add at least two rows in it: one row containing column headers and another one with the actual data. For example: First Name Last Name Phone Number Wilhelmina Winterbottom 679 849 50 Now place the cursor in any cell within these three columns, and choose Data -> Form. This opens a form you can use to add a...
Manage PDF Documents with gPapers

Oct 17, 2008 GMT

If you struggle to keep tabs on PDF documents scattered all over your hard disk, then the gPapers tool can come in rather handy. Described as "iTunes for PDFs", this Gnome-based application sports a few clever features that can help you to manage PDF documents with consummate ease. Here is what you can do with gPapers: Search, download, and import PDFs from ACM, IEEE, PubMed and CiteSeer. Manage relations between authors, papers, organizations, sources, publishers. Organize papers into collections. Search your local library, including full metadata and text extracted from PDFs. Annotate PDF documents. Save searches as "smart playlists". ...

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