Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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". ...
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 OpenOffice.org 3.0

Oct 13, 2008 GMT

Want to install the latest and greatest version of OpenOffice.org 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 OpenOfice.org 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 OpenOffice.org 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 2.6.21.7 kernel for better compatibility with older hardware, while the stock version ships with the newer 2.6.25.16 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. Bit.ly is a relatively new URL shortening service which sports some useful features such as history, automatic...

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