Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Using BlinkStick with Raspberry Pi

Jun 19, 2013 GMT

Hooking up LEDs to Raspberry Pi's GPIO pins and controlling them using Python scripts is a great and fun way to learn the ropes. For more advanced projects, you might want to consider investing in BlinkStick, an open source USB LED kit that works with Raspberry Pi, or any other machine for that matter. BlinkStick plugs directly into a USB port, which eliminates the need for a breadboard and wires and makes the setup more tidy. The accompanying software can control multiple BlinkSticks, which you can hook up to a USB hub. More importantly, BlinkStick supports a long list of options, and you can put it to a variety of practical and not-so-practical-but-fun uses.To get started with...
Fix gedit on Kubuntu

Jun 17, 2013 GMT

gedit works fine on Kubuntu, but the editor does have a few quirks that can quickly become a nuisance. For starters, the Up and Down arrows in the Find panel use generic blank icons. To fix this problem, install the gnome-icon-theme-symbolic package using the sudo apt-get install gnome-icon-theme-symbolic command. By default, when you launch gedit on KDE or open a text file in it, the editor automatically creates an empty Untitled document. Needless to say that closing and discarding each and every empty file manually can quickly become rather annoying. Fortunately, this issue is easy to fix (I stumbled on the solution in a Ubuntu Forums...
Make Code Snippets HTML-Friendly with HTMLify

May 30, 2013 GMT

Sometimes the simplest tool can prove to be one of the biggest timesavers. Case in point: HTMLify. This web app does one very simple thing: it converts code snippets into an HTML-friendly format. This may not sound like much, but if you often need to insert code blocks into blog articles, this tool can make your life easier. Using HTMLify is as straightforward as it could possibly be. Paste a code snippet into the input field and hit the HTMLify button. Press then the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the processed code.
Build a Portable Android-based Raspberry Pi Station

May 28, 2013 GMT

Transforming a bare-bones Raspberry Pi into a fully-functional portable station is a popular pastime among enterprising users, and you can easily find instructions on how to build a Kindleberry Pi, a Kindleberry Wireless, and even a Raspberry Pi Linux laptop. But if you happen to use an Android device, you can opt for a less complicated and more modular solution devised by yours truly. The Android device in this setup acts both as a wireless hotspot and a display for Raspberry Pi. The latter is configured to automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network created by the Android device. And an...
Use KDE's Digital Clock Widget as a World Clock

Apr 30, 2013 GMT

Here is a simple trick for those KDE users who need to keep tabs on time in different cities around the world. Instead of using a dedicated world clock applet or browser extension, you can configure the digital clock widget in the main panel to display time in different time zones. To do this, right-click on the digital clock widget and choose Digital Clock Settings. Switch to the Time Zones section, and type the name of the desired city in the search field. Tick then the check box next to the city. Repeat this for other cities, and press OK to save the settings and close the window. That's all there is to it. Hover the mouse over the...
BitTorrent Sync: Painless File Syncing without the Cloud

Apr 29, 2013 GMT

Cloud-based file syncing services are a dime a dozen nowadays. Most of them store copies of your data on remote servers and charge for storage space. This approach has two major drawbacks: you have to entrust your data to a third-party service, and the more storage you need, the more you have to pay. The recently released BitTorrent Sync tool offers an alternative solution that solves these problems. Instead of relying on a central server for storing files and syncing them between multiple machines, BitTorrent Sync uses a peer-to-peer protocol to keep files in sync across multiple machines. This is a brilliant solution, indeed. You don't need to run a dedicated synchronization server,...
Caledonia: Art Suite for the KDE Desktop

Apr 28, 2013 GMT

Tired of the default KDE themes, color schemes, and wallpapers? Then try Caledonia, a bundle containing everything you need to spice up your desktop. Caledonia comes with a set of high-quality wallpapers, a KDE Plasma theme, a splash screen, a KDM theme, and a color scheme. You can download individual parts, or you can use the Caledonia Downloader shell script to grab the entire bundle. Installing Caledonia components is not particularly difficult. To add the KDE Plasma theme, copy the Caledonia folder into the ~/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme directory. Open the System Settings panel, switch to the Workspace Appearance | Desktop theme...

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