Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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....
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...

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