Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Check Your Connection Speed with speedtest-cli

Dec 18, 2013 GMT

Speedtest.net is a popular service for checking the speed of your Internet connection. But loading the page in a browser every time you need to quickly measure your current connection speed is not always practical. Enter speedtest-cli, a one-trick pony that lets you test your connection from the command line. Written in Python, the utility is easy to deploy. You can either install it using the pip install speedtest-cli command as root, or clone the project's GitHub repository and install the utility by running the python speedtest-cli/setup.py install command. You can then use the speedtest-cli command to run the utility. By default, the tool automatically...
Use digiKam for Snapshot Archiving

Dec 17, 2013 GMT

There are plenty of Android apps that let you take snapshots of handwritten notes, drawings, receipts, etc. Some apps like CamiApp even include tools for organizing and editing the snapshots. But what if you want to keep and manage snapshots on a regular machine? For that, you can use digiKam. Although digiKam is first and foremost a photo management application, it offers tools necessary for working with all sorts of images. You can set up a dedicated album in digiKam for storing snapshots, and then work with them using the application's sorting and tagging features. Better still, you can use digiKam's editing capabilities to clean up and tweak the snapshots. In fact, with digiKam, you...
Build Your Own Portable Linux Distro with Porteus

Dec 16, 2013 GMT

Building a customized Linux distribution can be a daunting proposition -- unless you use Porteus Wizard. This clever and simple service lets you create a custom Live CD distro that fits a USB stick and loads in RAM. The best part is that you don't need any particular Linux skills to build your own distro. The wizard allows you to select and configure a handful of options, and the entire process takes only a few minutes. Pick the desired architecture, desktop environment, and applications as well as configure basic settings such as timezone and keyboard. Once you've done that, hit the Build button, and your freshly-baked Linux distro should be ready for download almost instantaneously. The...
Send Tabs from Desktop Version of Firefox

Dec 09, 2013 GMT

In a previous post, I described how to use Firefox for Android to send tabs to other devices and machines. But what about the other way around: sending tabs from the desktop version of Firefox to Android devices and other machines? Surprisingly, the desktop version of Firefox lacks this handy feature, but the Send Tab to Device add-on fills the void. Once installed, the extension adds the Send this link to device command to the right-click context menu which you can use to send any link in the currently opened page as a tab to any device linked to your Firefox Sync account. This feature will eventually be rolled into Firefox, and when it does, the add-on will uninstall itself.
Better Power Management on Linux Notebooks with TLP

Nov 27, 2013 GMT

Although your favorite Linux distribution may already include tools for managing power settings, installing TLP on your notebook won't hurt. In fact, it can extend the battery life without any significant tweaking efforts on your part. TLP packages are available for many mainstream Linux distros, including Debian, Ubuntu, openSUSE, and Arch. To install TLP on Debian, open the /etc/apt/sources.list file for editing and add the following repository: deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/linrunner/tlp/ubuntu lucid mainAdd the PPA's public key: apt-key adv --keyserver pool.sks-keyservers.net --recv-keys 02D65EFFUpdate then the software repositories and install TLP: apt-get update &&...
Mirakel: Android Task Manager that Syncs with Taskwarrior

Nov 26, 2013 GMT

Another day, another task manager for Android. This time it's Mirakel, a sleek and lightweight open source app that lets you keep tabs on tasks with a minimum of effort. Although Mirakel may look like a basic app, it has all the essential task-management features -- and then some. As any task manager worth its salt, Mirakel lets you assign priorities and deadlines to tasks. In addition to that, you can also attach a file or a photo, add a note, configure a reminder, and specify recurrence. While it's possible to add a task in a regular manner (i.e., entering the task's name and tapping the Add button), you can also use the dedicated buttons to snap a photo or make an audio recording, and...
MediaCrush: Open Source Image Hosting for Privacy-Conscious Users

Nov 22, 2013 GMT

Next time you need to share a photo, an animated GIF, or an audio file, consider using MediaCrush. Why? Because this media hosting service is not only based on open source software, it also goes to great lengths to protect your privacy. MediaCrush uses https by default, it respects the Do Not Track settings, and it even allows you to turn off ads. The service doesn't store any history on its servers either; Instead, the history is saved locally in your browser. The only thing the service stores is your hashed IP address when you upload a file. This enables MediaCrush to identify malicious users and prevent them from uploading. MediaCrush is also transparent about its revenues, expenses,...

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