Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Access Multiple Map Resources with RMaps for Android

Aug 12, 2010 GMT

Google's own My Tracks is a fine tracking app for Android, but it does have one serious drawback: it can only use Google Maps as its map source. If you want to be able to access other map resources like OpenStreetMap and its derivatives as well as other map services, you might want to give RMaps a try. At first glance, this open source app looks rather simplistic, but it does offer a few essential features like compass, GPS tracking, and even support for points of interest. But RMaps' main attraction is its ability to pull maps from different sources. RMaps lets you use Google Maps, Microsoft Maps, OpenStreetMap...
Extension Watch: Colorize Code in OpenOffice.org Writer Documents with COOoder

Aug 11, 2010 GMT

Adding a pinch of color to code fragments in a Writer document can make it easier to read. But coloring code by hand is a rather daunting proposition, especially if the document contains hundreds of lines of code. Fortunately, there is an extension for that. COOoder is a one-trick pony extension that can automatically colorize code in many programming languages. Install the extension, select the code fragment you want to colorize, press the COOoder button in the COOoder toolbar (or choose Tools | Add-ons | COOoder), and select the desired language. Hit the OK button, and COOoder does the rest. COOoder is based on the...
Turn a Plug Computer into a Full-fledged Server with Amahi

Aug 11, 2010 GMT

A plug computer sounds like such a good idea, until you realize that before you can actually put it to some practical use, you need to install and configure some software and applications -- a task that requires time and technical skills. Fortunately, the recently announced Amahi Plug Edition solution provides a better and easier way to turn a plug computer into a useful device. As you might have guessed, Amahi Plug Edition is a version of their Amahi open source server solution optimized for the Plug Computer platform. Amahi is a Linux-based home server solution which is both easy to deploy and maintain. Moreover, it allows you to choose among dozens of available applications (e.g.,...
Add a Word Count Feature to Tomboy

Aug 10, 2010 GMT

If you use Tomboy as a drafting tool, a word count can come in handy in many situations. While Tomboy doesn't offer this functionality out of the box, you can easily add it using the Tomboy-Wordcount add-in. Although it's distributed only as a source package, compiling it is not particularly complicated. First off, you have to install two packages: gnome-sharp2 and mono-gmcs . On Ubuntu, you can do this using the sudo apt-get install gnome-sharp2 mono-gmcs command. Grab the latest version of the add-in from the project's Web site, and unpack the downloaded archive. In the terminal switch to the resulting directory, and run the make install command. Once the compilation process is...
Schedule Tasks GUI style with Gnome Schedule

Aug 09, 2010 GMT

The cron tool lets you schedule system tasks, but if fiddling with cron's settings in a text editor is not your cup of tea, then the Gnome Schedule tool is right up your alley. Gnome Schedule is available in the software repositories of many popular Linux distros, so you can easily install it on your machine using your distro's package manager. On Ubuntu, you can do that by running the following command: sudo apt-get install gnome-schedule To launch Gnome Schedule, run the gnome-schedule command in the terminal. To create a new task, press the New button in the main toolbar. Select the type of task you want to...
Adding a Dummy Text Feature to OpenOffice.org Writer

Aug 09, 2010 GMT

Every now and then, I need to fill a blank OpenOffice.org Writer document with dummy text. While OpenOffice.org comes with a built-in feature that allows you to do that (type dt and press the F3 function key), it generates only one paragraph at a time and doesn't allow you to specify your own dummy text. So instead of the built-in dummy text feature, I used to use the Magenta Lorem Ipsum Generator extension that pulls dummy text from the lipsum.com Web site. It is, indeed, a nifty solution, but since it requires an Internet connection to do its magic, it's not of much use when I work off-line. So I wrote a simple macro that inserts dummy text into the current OpenOffice.org Writer...
Add a Grammar Checker to OpenOffice.org using the After the Deadline Extension

Aug 06, 2010 GMT

The lack of a grammar checker is a pet peeve of many OpenOffice.org users. But there is a solution for those who are in desperate need of grammar checking capabilities in the productivity suite. The After the Deadline (AtD) extension adds a grammar checking feature based on the open source language checking server developed and maintained by Automattic (the company behind the popular WordPress software). The AtD server uses a combination of artificial intelligence and natural language processing technology to find writing errors and offer smart suggestions. To make use of the AtD extension, you need OpenOffice.org...

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