Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Turn Your Chromebook into a Lightweight Backup Station

May 21, 2015 GMT

A Chromebook excels at all things that require an Internet connection, but its usability is somewhat limited when it comes to mundane computing tasks like backup. Say, you want to use a Chromebook to back up SD cards from your camera to a USB drive when you travel. On a regular Linux machine, this task would be easy to accomplish using good old rsync. On Chromebook, however, your only option is to copy files using the Files app, which is both excruciatingly slow and impractical. A combination of Crouton and Crouton Chrome extension provides an elegant solution to the problem. Install the extension, and grab the latest version of Crouton using the link. Press...
FilePizza: File Delivery Simplified

May 20, 2015 GMT

File transfer tools and services have been popping up recently like mushrooms after the rain. And FilePizza is the most recent addition to the growing list of services that make it possible to share and transfer files using a regular browser. Simplicity is undoubtedly the main attraction of FilePizza. Open the main page in your browser, and drop the desired file onto the upload area (or use the Select a file button to pick the file you want). This will automatically generate a unique URL like which you can share with others. This link will work as long as the web page is opened. The fact that the service doesn't require you to upload...
Wik: Probably the Simplest Wiki Ever

May 18, 2015 GMT

Wik is really, really simple. In fact, if there was a competition for the simplest wiki out there, Wik would win it hands down. The entire wiki consists of a single HTML file containing just 160 lines of code, which is an impressive achievement in its own right. Wik is also ridiculously easy to use. There is no separate edit mode, so you can edit pages right away. The wiki doesn't support text formatting, but it does allow you to add external and internal links. All data is saved in the browser's local storage, so you can use Wik offline. Better still, Wik works equally well on desktop and mobile devices. Obviously, Wik is not a drop-in replacement for a fully-fledged wiki engine, but it...
Work with SQLite Databases on Android with aSQLiteManager

May 14, 2015 GMT

SQLite is a great little database engine for maintaining all sorts of databases, but to work with them, you must have a database client. And when you need to create and manipulate an SQLite database on an Android device, aSQLiteManager is just the tool for the job. Despite its bare-bones appearance, this open source app packs a rather impressive array of features. For starters, aSQLiteManager features a database creation wizard that makes it easy to create a database from scratch and populate it with tables and fields. The app can handle not only tables, but also views and indexes. The database browser allows you to view, edit, and delete records in the current table, while a simple...
Save Web Pages on Android with Save For Offline

Apr 30, 2015 GMT

In the good old days of not so pervasive and fast internet access, utilities like HTTrack were indispensable for reading web pages offline. A lot has changed since then, but a tool for saving web pages for offline access can still come in handy in many situations. While HTTrack is still a good option on the Linux desktop, the Save for Offline app has got you covered if you happen to use an Android device. Unlike services such as Pocket and Wallabag that store reformatted versions of pages, Save for Offline saves pages in the native HTML format on your device. This means that you can open and view fetched pages using a regular browser. The app integrates with the Android sharing...
Instant File Transfer with airpaste

Apr 29, 2015 GMT

Need to quickly transfer a file between machines on the same network? Consider using airpaste. To push the foo.txt file, run the airpaste < foo.txt command. Issue then the airpaste > foo.txt command on the receiving machine to download the file. No muss, no fuss.airpaste is based on Node.js, so you need to install this runtime environment along with the NPM package manager on your system to be able to run the utility. Both components are available in the official software repositories of most mainstream Linux distributions, so you can install them using your system's default package manager. On Ubuntu and its derivatives, use the sudo apt-get install nodejs npm command. Once you've...
Leave Geographical Breadcrumbs with Geofix

Apr 20, 2015 GMT

When I'm out and about, I often need to quickly record my current position. As an amateur photographer, I appreciate the ability to record the geographical coordinates of locations I plan to photograph later and spots I've already taken pictures of. The latter helps me to geotag my photos in digiKam. When I travel, I prefer to record the locations of good eateries, coffee shops, interesting places, etc. An Android device is perfect for this task, but none of the apps I tried fit my needs. So I cobbled together my own tool called Geofix. This relatively simple Python-based script can be used to obtain and store the geographical coordinates of the current location. The script uses both the...

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