Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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 3.1

May 05, 2009 GMT

You can get the latest release of the popular productivity suite from a mirror close to you. 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...
Organize Your Knowledge with Piggydb

Apr 25, 2009 GMT

We all have our area of expertise, but how can you actually convert your knowledge into an accessible and searchable form? To do this, you need software that allows you to create and maintain knowledgebases -- something like Piggydb.   Piggydb comes as a single .zip archive which contains everything you need to get started. Unpack the archive, switch to the resulting directory in the terminal, execute the sh command, and Piggydb is ready to go. Point your browser to http://localhost:8080 and log in using "owner" as both the user name and password. You can then start populating the database with entries (called fragments in Piggydb) by clicking on the Create a new...
Extension Watch: Denting with IdentiFox

Apr 22, 2009 GMT may not generate the same buzz as Twitter, but the open source microblogging service based on the Laconica engine is quickly gaining popularity among open source developers, enthusiasts, and casual users alike. While you can post and read status updates -- or dents in's parlance -- using the service's Web front-end, a dedicated client can help you to manage your microblogging activites more efficiently. After trying a few available microblogging tools such as Gwibber and twidge, I finally settled for IdentiFox.   It's essentially a tweaked version of the popular TwitterFox extension for Firefox, and as such it offers pretty much the same feature set. It supports...

Issue 180/2015

Buy this issue as a PDF

Digital Issue: Price $9.99
(incl. VAT)