Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Back up Android Apps with oandbackup

Nov 21, 2013 GMT

Titanium Backup is not the easiest app to master, but it's loaded with useful features and does the excellent job of backing up apps and settings. The only fly in the ointment is the fact that Titanium Backup is a closed source commercial app. If this is a deal-breaker for you, or you prefer something less complicated, then oandbackup might be right up your alley. This app offers a simple way to back up apps and settings on rooted Android devices. Besides the root access, oandbackup also requires that BusyBox is installed on your Android device. Since oandbackup is available only through the F-Droid catalog, you have to install the F-Droid app as well. When you launch oandbackup, it scans...
OpenNote: Web-Based Notebook

Nov 20, 2013 GMT

Although OpenNote is touted as an open source alternative to Microsoft OneNote and EverNote, the application is not on par with both solutions in terms of features and functionality. This doesn't mean that OpenNote is useless, though. If you need a no-frills note-taking web application that you can deploy on your own server, OpenNote might be exactly what you're looking for. Being a PHP/MySQL-based application, OpenNote runs on any server with the Apache/PHP/MySQL stack. To install the application, clone the project's repository using the git clone https://github.com/FoxUSA/OpenNote.git command and move the OpeNote folder to the root directory of your server. Use then the mysql client to...
Store Logs in RAM with LogRunner

Nov 18, 2013 GMT

Storing log files in RAM reduces the number of read and write operations, which can extend the life span of an SD card (or any solid state storage device, for that matter). This trick can be useful on devices running Linux or an SD card (e.g., Raspberry Pi). While you can enable and configure logging to RAM manually, LogRunner provides a more elegant solution. When running, LogRunner creates a RAM disk and copies all log files onto it. The clever part is that the utility has a backup function that helps to keep RAM usage below a specified limit (16MB by default). LogRunner continuously monitors individual log files, and when a log reaches a certain limit (by default, 1MB), the utility...
Use the Reader Mode in Firefox for Android

Nov 15, 2013 GMT

The ability to push tabs to other devices is not the only clever feature of Firefox for Android. The app also features the handy Reader Mode which makes it easier to read long-form articles and view pages with complex layout. Switching to the Reader Mode is as easy as tapping the Reader Mode icon in the Location bar. This automatically displays a stripped version of the currently viewed page. Using the button in the bottom toolbar, you can adjust fonts and switch between different themes as well as share the page using Android's sharing functionality. Better still, a dedicated button lets you add the page to your reading list. This feature does two things: it bookmarks the page in a...
Rainloop: Lightweight Webmail Client

Nov 07, 2013 GMT

Instead of relying on the web-based interface offered by your email provider, you can deploy your own webmail client using Rainloop. This fast and lightweight application is easy to deploy and features a polished interface. Deploying Rainloop on a server is easy. Run the following commands to create the rainloop directory in the server's root (in this case, it's /var/www), set the correct permissions and owner, and install Rainloop: mkdir /var/www/rainloop cd /var/www/rainloop find . -type d -exec chmod 777 {} \; find . -type f -exec chmod 666 {} \; chown -R www-data:www-data . wget -qO- http://repository.rainloop.net/installer.php | phpOnce you've done that, point your browser to...
Share Locations with OpenStreetMap

Oct 31, 2013 GMT

OpenStreetMap can come in handy not only for looking up specific locations on a map, but also for sharing them with others. However, it might not be immediately obvious how to do this. Start with locating the desired place on the map. You don't need the exact address: an approximate area will do just fine. Press the Share button in the overlay toolbar to toggle the dedicated sidebar containing the sharing tools. Tick the Include marker check box. Drag then the displayed marker to the exact position on the map, if necessary. Select then the desired sharing option: you can choose between Link (full URL of the shared map), Short link (shortened URL suitable for use in emails), and HTML (code...
Play Internet Streams on Android with ServeStream

Oct 31, 2013 GMT

It so happens that my favorite radio station is not available via the TuneIn app for Android, and the only way to listen to the station is to use an alternative SHOUTcast stream. The problem is that none of the media apps on my Android device support streaming via m3u files. A quick search through the Google Play Store yielded a few apps, including ServeStream, an open source app that can handle Internet streams with aplomb. ServeStream is decidedly a one-trick pony: it plays streams and nothing else. It does, however, support playlists in popular formats like m3u, pls, and asx, and can handle the HTTP, HTTPS, MMS and MMSH protocols. The app also sports a couple of creature comforts like...

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