Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Manage Amazon S3 with DragonDisk

Dec 28, 2010 GMT

Amazon S3 provides ample storage at bargain prices, but to put the service to practical use, you need a client software. There are a few command-line utilities out there that let you manage your S3 storage space, but if you are looking for a graphical client, then you might want to give DragonDisk a try. This graphical S3 client allows you to manage buckets as will as synchronize local directories with S3 buckets. Although DragonDisk is not released under an open source license, it's available free of charge, and it runs on Linux. There is a .deb binary package for Ubuntu and Debian uses as well as a tarball package for other Linux distros. You can use the latter on Ubuntu, too. To run...
Tomdroid: Now with One-Way Sync

Dec 20, 2010 GMT

The version of Tomdroid covered in a previous blog post lacked any advanced features like the ability to sync notes. A lot has changed since then, though. The Tomdroid developers have released a new version of the app which boasts a couple of improvements and new features. The most notable addition is the synchronization feature which supports syncing with the Tomboy Web service and SD cards. For now, the synchronization feature can handle only one-way syncing, though. Using the synchronization feature is supremely easy. Press the Menu hardware button, tap on Settings, and select the desired service. If you want to sync notes with the Tomboy Web service, you must authenticate the Tomdroid...
Keep an Eye on Network Usages with NetCounter for Android

Dec 18, 2010 GMT

Many (if not all) wireless carriers have bandwidth caps, so it makes a lot of sense to keep an eye on your network usage to avoid going over the limit. There are a few Android utilities that can help you with that, including NetCounter. This open source app lets you track bandwidth usage with consummate ease, and it can monitor both Wi-Fi and 3G interfaces. NetCounter displays the usage for each interface divided into four categories: Total, Monthly, 7 days, and Today. This gives you a quick overview of the bandwidth usage for different periods of time. In addition to that, NetCounter lets you export data to the SD card as a CSV file. You can access this feature by pressing the Menu...
Create Presentations with Ease

Nov 29, 2010 GMT

Although Impress offers a wide range of features for creating high-quality presentations, it's too heavy for users who practice the art of minimalistic presentation design. For them, a graphical presentation tool like Ease will probably be a much better fit. While this application may look rather bare-bones, it does include all the essential tools for creating polished presentations and offers a couple of clever features on top of that. Ease's interface is simplicity itself, and you can find your way around in virtually no time. The application offers a couple of pre-made templates to choose from, or you can create a presentation from scratch. Ease allows you to embed...
Turn Web Pages into Neatly Formatted PDF Documents with TidyRead

Nov 23, 2010 GMT

Reading lengthy articles using a Web browser is rarely a pleasant experience. It's not only inconvenient but also rather distracting: most of the Web site is cluttered with all kinds of distractions like ads and widgets. To solve this problem, I use TidyRead. This handy extension for the Google Chrome browser (it works with Chromium, too) can extract the body of a Web page and present it in a reader-friendly form. The extension does an exceptionally good job of extracting stuff that matters and discarding everything else. In addition to that, TidyRead offers a few options you can use to customize the default settings. For example, you can choose between different layout styles, select...
Use Google Refine to Massage Your Data

Nov 15, 2010 GMT

Google Refine is an immensely powerful tool for dealing with "messy" data, and it sports a myriad of advanced features for massaging and analyzing complex data sets. However, that doesn't mean Google Refine can't be used to solve more mundane problems.Of course, before you can put Google Refine to some use, you have to install it. First off, make sure that the Java Runtime Environment is installed on your machine. Grab then the latest version of Google Refine from the project's Web site and unpack the downloaded .tar.gz archive. In the terminal, switch to the resulting directory and start the application using the following commands: cd google-refine ./refineThis starts the...
Geotag photos with Geotag

Nov 11, 2010 GMT

Need to quickly geotag a bunch of photos? A little nifty utility aptly named Geotag is the perfect tool for the job. Since Geotag is w ritten in Java, you must have the Java Runtime Environment installed on your machine to be able to run the utility. Geotag relies on an external tool called exiftool, a Perl script that enables the writing of EXIF metadata. The tool is available in the software repositories of many Linux distributions, so you can install it using your distro's package manager. On Ubuntu, you can do this by running the sudo apt-get install libimage-exiftool-perl command. If you want to use Geotag with RAW files, you should also install the dcraw utility. Launch then Geotag,...

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