Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Set up Your Own Firefox Sync Server with Weave Minimal

Aug 19, 2013 GMT

Using the Sync feature in Firefox, you can keep browser data in sync between different devices and platforms. By default, Firefox syncs data using the service maintained by Mozilla, but it's easy to set up your own synchronization server courtesy of the Weave Minimal software. First of all, make sure that the Python setuptools package is installed on your system. On Debian and Ubuntu-based distibutions, the package can be installed by running the apt-get install python-setuptools command as root. Once you've done that, run the easy_install -U weave-minimal as root to install the Weave Minimal server. You can then run the server using the weave-minimal --enable-registration command.Next...
Change Default Search Engine in Firefox for Android

Aug 15, 2013 GMT

I've been using Ixquick as my primary search engine lately, and I'm pretty happy with it so far. In fact, I like it so much that I decided to set it as the default search engine on Firefox for Android. It turned out, though, that this is not as straightforward as I expected. Here is how this can be done. In Firefox for Android, navigate to, search for ixquick, and install the Ixquick HTTPS Privacy Search Engine add-on in the usual manner. Once you've done that, tap on the Menu button in Firefox and choose Tools | Add-ons. Tap then the Ixquick HTTPS item and tap the Set as Default button. From now on,...
Bye-bye Pocket, Hello Poche!

Aug 08, 2013 GMT

Finally, there is a self-hosted open source alternative to Pocket and Instapaper. Poche is a relatively new project, but it already shows a lot of promise. The application is easy to deploy and it provides all basic functionality which lets you save web pages for later perusal. Written in PHP, Poche will happily run on a machine with the Apache web server, PHP, and the SQLite database engine. To install Poche, grab the latest version of the application from the project's website, unpack the downloaded archive, rename the resulting directory to poche, and move it to the root of your server. Make the poche directory writable by the server using the chown www-data -R poche command, and point...
Track Your Expenses with Budget for Android

Jul 31, 2013 GMT

Keeping track of your expenses is the first step to minimizing them, and Budget with envelopes (or just Budget) can help you with that with a minimum of fuss. This open source app is simplicity itself, which is a positively good thing: an expense app that requires you to go through a convoluted procedure of adding an expense every time you buy a cup of coffee is not of much use after all. Clever design is another highlight of Budget. The app is based around an envelope metaphor, where each envelope represents an expense type (Books, Food, Travel, etc.). You can create as many envelopes as you need, and then add funds to them and subtract...
Build Databases on Palm Device with Pilot-DB

Jul 30, 2013 GMT

I love the technology of yesteryear. That's why I prefer to shoot with my trusty Nikon F-501 film SLR. Film photography can be a great learning experience, but the lack of EXIF data makes mastering the basics more tricky. After all, knowing what aperture and shutter speed values were used in a specific situation can come in rather handy. To solve the problem I enlisted the help of another vintage device: Sony Clié PEG-NX73V. When launched almost a decade ago, it was mind-boggingly expensive, but I bought mine on eBay for peanuts. This Palm OS-based device from Sony features a swanky design, it runs for weeks on a single charge, and it's reasonably fast. More importantly, there are many...
Take Notes and Manage Tasks on Android with NoNonsense Notes

Jul 29, 2013 GMT

My quest for a note and task managing app for Android is now officially over (for the time being, anyway). Why? Because I've found a tool that meets pretty much all of my needs. NoNonsense Notes is an open source Android app with a sleek Holo-based interface and the ability to handle both notes and tasks. All notes in NoNonsense Notes can be organized into lists, and the app allows you to set as many lists as you need. In addition to that, you can assign a due date and reminder to each note. While you can't assign a priority to the tasks, you can rearrange them by dragging them up and down. Besides the regular time reminders, NoNonsense...
Quickly Publish Photos on the Web with Photocrumbs

Jul 29, 2013 GMT

Usually, I use my Pygmyfoto application to publish photos on the web. But there are situations when I need to quickly share a bunch of photos with a minimum of fuss. Inspired by the Loading images from a directory with PHP article, I whipped up a slightly more advanced version of the original script. For lack of a better name I dubbed it Photocrumbs. The app consists of a PHP script which does most of the work and a handful of helper files. Besides scaling photos and displaying them as a continuous stream, the script also extracts basic EXIF info, such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and date. Installing Photocrumbs is a rather straightforward affair, and you'll find installation...

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