Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
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...
Power Management with cpufrequtils

Aug 05, 2010 GMT

Switching to a lightweight graphical desktop environment is a great way to improve the overall performance of your system, especially if this system happens to be a notebook or netbook. But if you opt, for example, for LXDE, you'll discover that it lacks a graphical tool for managing power profiles and controlling the processor frequency. This might not be a big problem on a desktop machine, but the ability to adjust power settings is crucial for improving the battery life of your mobile companion. The cpufrequtils utility provides a neat solution to this problem. This utility can help you to tweak power management options from the command line. cpufrequtils is available in the software...
Lookup Words from the Command Line Using a Simple Bash Script

Aug 03, 2010 GMT

The humble nano text editor can be a rather handy distraction-free drafting tool, but now and then I need to look up words and their definitions in WordNet. To do that, I tweaked a simple Bash script I stumbled upon on the Stack Overflow Web site. The original script pulls data from the Google Define source, but it took just a few minutes to make it work with WordNet. So if you, like me, need to look up words and their definitions without leaving the terminal, here is a script that can help you with this: #!/bin/bash echo "Enter your word:" read word /usr/bin/curl -s -A 'Mozilla/4.0' 'http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s='$word \ | html2text -ascii -nobs -style...
Push Links from an Android Device to the Chrome Browser with android2cloud

Jul 27, 2010 GMT

While the built-in browser on your Android device lets you bookmark interesting and useful links, you'd usually want to save them on a Web-based service rather than storing them on the mobile device. There are several utilities that can help you with that. InstaFetch, for example, lets you bookmark the currently viewed Web page on the Instapaper service, and there is a plethora of utilities that can bookmark pages on your Delicious account.But what if you want to push links directly from your Android device to a desktop browser? android2cloud is a nifty open source solution that allows you to do just that. Using it, you can push links from your Android device directly to the Google Chrome...
Keep Tabs on Your Data with Pygmynote

Jul 22, 2010 GMT

When it comes to filers and pilers, I firmly belong to the latter category. I do like to keep all my disparate data -- notes, links, to-dos, etc. -- in one application, so when I need to find something, I have to look in one place. That's why I wrote a simple Python command-line tool that acts as my personal data manager. While there are many open source applications out there that provide this type of functionality, none of them scratch my particular itches. So I wrote my dead-simple script that does pretty much anything I need. The first version of Pygmynote was released in August 2008, followed by a major update in January 2009. A few days ago, I released version 0.5.1 which fixes a...
Better Battery Monitoring with the Battery Status Applet

Jul 19, 2010 GMT

The default battery applet in Gnome is fine for basic use, but if you are looking for something more powerful, try the Battery Status applet. Once installed, the applet provides more detailed information about the battery, and you can specify what additional data the applet's icon should display. For example, you can display the estimated remaining time, so you can save yourself a couple of mouse clicks. In addition to that, the Battery Status applet offers other useful features such as the ability to switch between different power modes. By enabling the session actions (Show | Session Actions), you can also use the applet to shut down and restart your machine, and you can put it into the...

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