Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Use an Android Device as Screen and Input for Raspberry Pi

Jun 29, 2013 GMT

Got an Android device? Want to use it as a screen and keyboard for Raspberry Pi? A simple trick described in a thread on the Raspberry Pi forum site can help you with that.For this trick to work, you need an Android device that supports USB tethering and VX ConnectBot app installed on it. On Raspberry Pi, run the sudo nano /etc/network/interfaces command, and add the following configuration to it: iface usb0 inet static address netmask network broadcast effectively turns the first USB port into a network interface. Reboot Raspbery Pi, connect your Android device to it via USB, and enable USB tethering. Launch VX ConnectBot,...
Monitor Raspberry Pi with RPi-Monitor

Jun 28, 2013 GMT

When it comes to keeping an eye on your Raspberry Pi server, you have several tools to choose from, including RPi-Monitor. This simple application can give you a quick overview of the key info, such as CPU load, memory and storage usage, network activity, temperature, and uptime.RPi-Monitor is distributed as a regular DEB package, and deploying it on Rasberry Pi requires only a few simple steps. First, install the required packages using the following command: sudo apt-get install librrds-perl libhttp-daemon-perl libhttp-daemon-ssl-perlNext, grab the latest .deb package from and install it using the sudo dpkg -i...
Make CSS Pretty with CSS Beautifier

Jun 27, 2013 GMT

I don't know about you, but I love simple tools that make everyday life a little bit easier. Recently, I wrote about HTMLify, a simple yet handy tool for converting code snippets into HTML-friendly markup. Here is another one-trick pony that you might appreciate: CSS Beautifier. This web app is perfect for turning messy CSS files into nicely-formatted and easy-to-read stylesheets. As you would expect, using CSS Beautifier is as easy as it gets: paste unformatted CSS code into the top text area, and the app produces a formatted version of the code in real time. There are a handful of formatting settings you can tweak to your liking, too. CSS Beautifier's...
Language Drills with Raspberry Pi

Jun 27, 2013 GMT

After a long pause, I'm back to my favorite pastime: learning foreign languages. But this time, I've enlisted Raspberry Pi as a little language learning tool. Currently, I'm using an audio language course, and Raspberry Pi helps me memorize the words and phrases I learn. The way this works is very simple. I chop each audio lesson into sentences and phrases using Audacity and save them as MP3 files in a separate directory. Raspberry Pi is hooked to a breadboard with a push button and a resistor as shown on the diagram. When I push the button, a Python script picks a random mp3 file and plays it. The script is rather simple, and it uses the mpg321 player to...
Speed up Android Storage with SD-Booster

Jun 26, 2013 GMT

Slow storage can often be a bottleneck that hampers your Android device's performance. SD-Booster provides a solution to the problem. This app lets you set up cache for each detected storage device, including an external microSD card and internal storage. SD-Booster requires root access, so it only works on rooted Android devices. Using the app is as easy as it gets. When the app is running, it automatically detects and lists all available storage devices. You can then specify cache for each storage device, or set up cache size for all devices globally. The recommended values are 512, 1024, and 2048. The optimal cache size depends on many factors, and the best way to find out the...
Power up gedit with GMate

Jun 25, 2013 GMT

While gedit is a versatile text editor as it is, you can extend its functionality by installing third-party plugins and tweak its appearance using themes. There are quite a few plugins and themes floating on the Web, but if you want to take gedit's functionality to a whole new level, look no further than GMate. This package contains an impressive collection of plugins that will likely cover most of your writing and coding needs. GMate also packs a large selection of themes which will satisfy even the most picky users. Better still, if you're using Ubuntu or any of its derivatives, you can easily install the entire package from the project's PPA. To do this, run the following commands: ...
Blog from the Command Line with bashblog

Jun 24, 2013 GMT

Static blog generators come in all shapes and sizes, but probably few of them can rival the simplicity and elegance of bashblog. As the name implies, bashblog is written in Bash. In fact, the entire blog engine consists of a single Bash shell script, so deploying bashblog couldn't be easier. Grab the script from the project's GitHub repository, and move it to a separate directory for your blog. Open bashblog in a text editor, and adjust the global variables, such as the blog's title, description, URL, author, etc. Alternatively, you can create a separate configuration file and specify the desired values in it using the key=name format (don't forget to update the...