Lightweight Productivity with Puppy Linux
When it comes to managing your personal information, Osmo is your best friend. It is a capable PIM utility that has a few clever tricks up its sleeve. For starters, each module in Osmo – Calendar, Tasks, Contacts, and Notes – is only a tab away, so you can access important information with a single mouse click. Osmo's Calendar screen consists of two panels: Calendar and Info (Figure 4). The latter provides all kinds of useful information such as the current day's number, the week number, the number of weekend days in the current month, and even the moon phase. The main toolbar contains navigation buttons that let you quickly go to a specific day and month. As the name suggests, the Full-year calendar button displays a calendar for the entire year. But Osmo adds a little twist to this feature: If you add an iCal file in the Options | Calendar section, you can use the year calendar to view the events in the file. Date calculator is another interesting feature which allows you to perform date-related calculations. This can come in handy in many situations – for example, when you need to figure out how much time you have to a deadline. In the Options | Calendar section, you can specify calendar categories such as Work, Travel, and Personal and assign color codes to them. To add a category to a specific day in the calendar, press the Toggle date note panel button in the main toolbar, enter text, and use the Select day color button to choose the color code you want. With the Insert timeline button, you can specify a time period and insert a list of hour slots in the note. This can be useful when you need to plan your day hour by hour.
The Tasks module lets you add tasks with due dates, priorities, and categories (they must be defined beforehand in the Options | Tasks section). The buttons on the main toolbar allow you to manage tasks easily, and you can use the Category Filter drop-down list to locate tasks quickly that belong to a specific category.
If you add a due date to the task, it appears in the Info panel of the Calendar module, so you can keep tabs on your to-dos with the calendar, too. Osmo also uses color code to mark overdue tasks and tasks due today and the next seven days, making it even easier to keep tabs on deadlines. In the Options | Tasks section, you can change the default color codes.
The Contacts module is designed to help you to keep tabs on your contacts. Besides the usual set of buttons for creating, editing, and deleting contacts, the main toolbar sports the Show birthdays button, which allows you to view a list of people with approaching birthdays. This list also shows each person's age, which can help you to avoid potentially embarrassing situations. The Import contacts and Export contacts buttons can be used to exchange contact data with other applications. Osmo can import contact data from a comma-separated value file and export contacts to CSV or XHTML files.
Besides the applications described so far, Puppy sports a few other gems that can make your daily computing more efficient. Like any Linux distro worth its salt, Puppy Linux comes with the excellent rsync command-line backup utility. But if dealing with the command line is not your cup of tea, you will be pleased to learn that Puppy Linux comes with the Gadmin-Rsync graphical interface to rsync (Figure 5). Not only can you create local and remote backup profiles with this utility, but you can schedule them through cron.
GWhere is designed for cataloging and searching external media like CD-ROMs, DVDs, and USB storage devices (Figure 6). With the use of GWhere, you can create multiple catalogs and add as many storage devices as you need. For example, you can create a catalog called "Backup" and add all your backup media to it. When you add a new disc to the catalog, GWhere indexes it, which makes searches lightning fast.
Finally, Puppy Linux bundles the PPLOG blogging engine, so you can turn your machine into a personal blogging platform (Figure 7). Despite its simplicity, PPLOG supports categories, tags, comments, IP ban, email notifications, RSS feeds, and other features you would expect from a decent blogging engine.
Puppy Linux can help you be productive with a hand-picked selection of high-quality lightweight tools and applications. Whether you want to view and tweak your photos, manage your finances, or keep tabs on your appointments, Puppy Linux has you covered. Moreover, you can use Puppy Linux to take these applications for a spin without going through the rigmarole of installing and configuring each and every one of them.
- Puppy Linux homepage: http://http://www.puppylinux.com
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