Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
First Look at TonidoPlug

Aug 21, 2009 GMT

For Linux Pro Magazine readers, the name Tonido will sound familiar. I covered this sleek and user-friendly solution that lets you turn an Ubuntu-based machine into a nifty server in issue 105. Recently, CodeLathe, the company behind Tonido, launched TonidoPlug -- a tiny Ubuntu-based server running the Tonido software. In theory, this sounds like a great idea: plug the device, run a quick and simple setup, and you have a fully-functional Linux-based server that you can use to share files and photos, maintain a personal blog and collaborate with other users. But how does this idea work in practice? To find out, CodeLathe kindly agreed to send me a review unit of TonidoPlug, which duly...
Extension Watch: Transmogrify Long URLs with Shorten URL

Aug 19, 2009 GMT

Want to generate a shorter version of a long URL with minimum fuss? Enter Shorten URL -- the ultimate solution for all your link shortening needs. This Firefox extension supports over 100 shortening services, from the usual suspects like Bit.y,, and to the more obscure and Once you've installed the extension, you should add its button to the toolbar which provides quick access to Shorten URL's features. To do this, choose View -> Toolbars -> Customize and drag the Shorten URL button to the main toolbar. To configure the extension's settings, press the button and select the Shorten URL Options item. In the opened dialog window, you can specify the default...
Two Useful Commands for Your Linux Server

Aug 15, 2009 GMT

Want to back up files and documents on your laptop or desktop PC to a server? Assuming both machines run Linux, you can do that with just one command. First, install SSH server on the server and rsync on your machine. Both tools are available in the software repositories of most mainstream Linux distributions, so you can install them using your distro's package manager. Open then the terminal on your machine and run the following command: rsync --progress -avhe ssh --delete /path/to/local/dir user@host:/path/to/remote/dirReplace user with the name of the existing user on the server and host with the IP address of the server. Also, replace /path/to/local/dir with the path to the...
Read Ebooks on Android with FBReaderJ

Aug 12, 2009 GMT

When it comes to reading ebooks on your laptop or desktop machine, few ebook readers can rival FBReader. The same is true for the Android platform, too. The mobile version of FBReader called FBReaderJ offers pretty much all the essential features without sacrificing usability. Similar to FBReader, FBReaderJ supports several popular ebook formats, including EPUB and FictionBook. Once installed on the Android device, FBReaderJ registers itself as an application for handling ebook files. This means that when you click on a link to an ebook in the built-in browser, you can use FBReaderJ to download the book and add it to the library. This provides a convenient way of grabbing ebooks from...
Adding Word Count to DokuWiki

Aug 07, 2009 GMT

While DokuWiki makes an excellent tool for lightweight word processing, it lacks one essential feature -- word count. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. The DokuWiki Tips page offers two simple scripts that add the word count capabilities to DokuWiki. The first script adds a simple counter to the text editing area, and the counter displays the number of words in the currently opened section as well as the total word count for the current page. The second script puts the counter at the top of the page and displays the character count in addition to the word count. Here is a slightly modified version of the script: /** * Script to add a wordcounter on the edit form * *...
Artha: A GUI for WordNet

Aug 05, 2009 GMT

Although WordNet comes with a graphical browser, it can only be described as bare-bones. The browser doesn't offer any kind of desktop integration, and there is no support for color coding, rich text formatting, or hyperlinking. But thanks to Artha, you don't have to put up with these limitations. This nifty little dictionary tool wraps the WordNet database into a user-friendly interface and offers a few neat features that can help you to make the most of WordNet. If you've ever used a dictionary application, you won't have problems figuring out how to use Artha. Enter a search term into the Query field, hit the Search button, and the matching article appears in the pane below. The...
Extension Watch: Make Firefox netbook-friendly with Meerkat

Jul 29, 2009 GMT

You can optimize Firefox for use with your netbook by manually tweaking the browser's settings. But why bother when the Meerkat extension can do the donkey job for you? Once installed, Meerkat performs a few optimization tricks that reclaim valuable screen estate. According to the developer, the extension frees up about 60 pixels. This may not sound like much, but 60 pixels make a big difference on the netbook screen where every pixel counts. So how does Meerkat do its magic? First of all, the extension hides the status bar when there is no browser activity. It also replaces the main toolbar with a single menu button and reduces the navigation bar icon size. That's pretty much it. Before...

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