Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Wired-Marker: Highlighter for Web Pages

Oct 15, 2008 GMT

On the face of it, Wired-Marker looks like an ordinary highlighting tool that you can use to mark text on a Web page. But dig deeper, and you'll discover a few clever features that make this Firefox extension a rather nifty research and commenting tool. Once installed, Wired-Marker adds a new item to Firefox's context menu which allows you to quickly highlight the selected text fragment on any Web page using one of the default color markers. Unlike a conventional highlighter, though, Wired-Marker treats each color marker as a folder which is used to store all highlighted text snippets of the particular color. For example, if you mark a text fragment using the default Marker7 color, the...
Installing 3.0

Oct 13, 2008 GMT

Want to install the latest and greatest version of on your Linux machine? First of all, use the official list of mirrors to locate the download server closest to you. Download then the latest version for your Linux distro. For example, if you want to install 3.0 on Ubuntu, or any other Debian-based distro such as Sidux, download the OOo_3.0.0_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz package. In the terminal, use the following commands to unpack the downloaded archive and install on your machine: tar -xvf OOo_3.0.0_LinuxIntel_install_en-US_deb.tar.gz cd OOO300_m9_native_packed-1_en-US.9358 cd DEBS sudo dpkg -i *.deb cd desktop-integration...
A New Puppy Is Born

Oct 06, 2008 GMT

Although the Productivity Sauce blog is all about, well, productivity, I'm willing to make an exception and mention the newly released Puppy Linux 4.1. I've been using this lightweight Linux distro on my ASUS Eee PC 701 for quite some time, and it helped me to be productive wherever I went. While the new release sports only a minor increase in version number, it does feature a few significant improvements. The new release is available in two flavors: the "retro" version of Puppy Linux comes with the older kernel for better compatibility with older hardware, while the stock version ships with the newer kernel. Puppy Linux 4.1 offers better hardware detection,...
Five Nifty Ubiquity Scripts

Oct 03, 2008 GMT

The default Ubiquity commands make this Firefox extension one of the niftiest tools around, and the 15 Ubiquity Commands to Enhance Your Web Experience post on the Tools for Thought blog can help you to get the most out of the available commands. While the default commands allow you to perform quite a few actions, the extensible and open nature of Ubiquity means that you can easily expand its functionality by installing additional scripts that add new commands. There are dozens of Ubiquity scripts floating on the Web, but here are a few that you might find particularly useful. is a relatively new URL shortening service which sports some useful features such as history, automatic...
In-cell Charting in Calc

Oct 01, 2008 GMT

In-cell charting is not a new idea: do a quick Web search, and you'll find quite a few examples of how to create in-cell charts. While most of these examples are designed to work with Excel spreadsheets, you can easily use in-cell charting techniques in Calc. As the name suggests, an in-cell chart is a bar graph where each bar occupies a separate cell. Each bar represents the value from another cell, and the bar itself is generated using the REPT function which is normally used to insert a particular character or string a specified number of times. To make the REPT function create a chart bar, you can use the pipe (|) as the repeating character. To see how this work, create a new Calc...
Quickly Encrypt and Decrypt Files with GPG

Sep 22, 2008 GMT

Need to quickly encrypt a file or an archive? You can do this using the GPG encryption software which is installed by default on many mainstream Linux distributions. To be able to encrypt files with GPG, you have to generate a key pair. To do this, run the following command and follow the on-screen instructions: gpg --gen-key When generating the key pair, GPG creates a user ID (UID) to identify your key based on your real name, comments, and email address. You need this UID (or just a part of it like your first name or email address) to specify the key you want to use to encrypt a file: gpg -e -r part_of_UID file_to_encrypt For example, if I want to encrypt the TidlyWiki.odt document...
Sync Files with Dropbox

Sep 15, 2008 GMT

Keeping files and documents in sync on multiple computers can be a real pain, but Dropbox offers a clever solution to the problem. This Web-based service allows you to seamlessly sync files and documents across multiple computers, and it offers a few other nifty features to boot. The key component of the Dropbox service is a client software. Once installed, it sits quietly in the System Tray and syncs files and documents in the Dropbox folder in your home directory with the Dropbox service and all the machines linked to your account. This way, you can work with your files and documents on any linked computer, and changes made to documents and files in the Dropbox folder are automatically...

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