Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
How to Enter Unicode Characters

Jun 17, 2015 GMT

It has been a while since I needed to enter a Unicode character into a text document, so when I recently had to use the Greek alpha character in an article I was working on, I paused for a minute to recall how this is done. In case you find yourself in a similar situation, here is a refresher. Press and hold the Left Ctrl and Shift keys and hit the U key. You should see the underscored u under the cursor. Type then the Unicode code of the desired character and press Enter. Voila! The trick is, of course, to know the exact Unicode code for the character you want to insert. If you are using KDE as your preferred desktop environment, you can use KCharSelect to quickly look up the codes...
Notes for Mobile: Responsive Note-Taking App

Jun 12, 2015 GMT

Notes for Mobile may be a simple note-taking app, but it ticks a lot of the right check boxes. Browser-based? Check. Mobile-friendly? Check. Support for Markdown? Check. Easy to deploy? Check.Let's start with the latter. To deploy Notes for Mobile on your own machine, clone the project's GitHub repository, switch to the resulting directory and run the python -m SimpleHTTPSever command. Point then the browser to 127.0.0.1:8000 (replace 127.0.0.1 with the actual IP address of the machine running Notes for Mobile) to access the app. As the name suggests, the app is designed to work with mobile devices, so it makes a perfect note-taking companion for your smartphone or tablet. The app...
Google Drive File Sync with rclone

May 26, 2015 GMT

If you use Google, you probably have some storage space on Google Drive. It would be great to put it to some use, but the lack of a Google Drive client for Linux makes the idea less appealing -- especially if you prefer to access and use Google Drive from the command line. Enter rclone, a little command-line tool that lets you use Google Drive (as well as other cloud storage services) from the convenience of the terminal.To install rclone on your Linux machine, grab the appropriate release from the project's download page, extract the downloaded archive, switch to the resulting directory and run the install rclone* /usr/local/bin command as root. Next, issue the rclone config command to...
Secure Image Sharing with img.bi

May 22, 2015 GMT

Web apps like FilePizza can come in handy for transferring files and documents in a pinch, but what if you need to securely share a photo or an image? img.bi to the rescue. It looks and acts like any other simple photo sharing service: drop a photo or an image onto the upload area, push the Upload button, and the service does the rest. But there are several things that make img.bi stand out from the crowd. First of all, before the image is uploaded, it's encrypted using the AES-256 algorithm with a random key. This ensures that your photos are stored on the server in a safe manner. During upload, you can specify for how long you want the uploaded photos to be stored on the server,...
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 https://goo.gl/fd3zc 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 http://file.pizza/fungi-peppers-salmon-snowpeas 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...

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