Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Five Simple Photo Fixes with digiKam

Jun 14, 2010 GMT

digiKam is an immensely powerful photo application, so learning all its features requires time and effort. But this capable photo management application also offers a few easy to use features which you can use to instantly improve your shots. If a photo has problems with exposure, the Color | Auto-correction menu item should be your first stop. The Auto correction feature offers several presets that can instantly improve the default exposure. The Auto Exposure preset usually provides the best result, but there is no reason why you shouldn't experiment with other available options, such as Auto Levels, Normalize,...
Pino: Lightweight Microblogging Client

Jun 02, 2010 GMT

If your microblogging activities are limited to the Identi.ca and Twitter services, Gwibber might be overkill for your needs. In that case, Pino is exactly what you need. This microblogging client is lightning fast, and it's not overloaded with features you might never use. But it does support multiple accounts, URL shortening, notifications, and even spell checking. Pino's interface is simplicity itself, and a main toolbar provides quick access to all the key functions. The Preferences window lets you tweak Pino's settings, and most of the available options there are self-explanatory. Installing Pino is not...
Perfect Cloud-based Photo Setup with digiKam and Piwigo

May 31, 2010 GMT

Using digiKam's Kipi plugins, you can upload your photos to a variety of popular photo services, including Flickr, Picasaweb, and SmugMug. But what if you want to host your own photo album and still be able to populate it with photos directly from within digiKam? In this case, you might want to try Piwigo, a nifty photo application that has everything you need to host and share your photos on the Web. Piwigo is supremely easy to install and get to grips with, and you can use the vast collection of available extensions and themes to customize the application to fit your specific needs. The best part is, though, that digiKam comes with the Piwigo upload plugin, so you can push your photos...
Hassle-free Backup with Déjà Dup

May 27, 2010 GMT

The Déjà Dup backup utility may not be the most powerful or flexible backup tool out there, but it does have its advantages. Its straightforward interface makes it dead-easy to configure backups, while the support for the Amazon S3 storage back-end is a boon for users looking for unlimited backup storage on the cheap. In addition to that, Déjà Dup supports incremental backups, and it can encrypt and compress data during the backup operation. Besides Amazon S3, Déjà Dup supports other types of remote storage, including FTP, Windows shares, WebDAV, and SSH. And you can use Déjà Dup to perform scheduled backups.To install Déjà Dup on Ubuntu, you have to add the project's repository...
Monitor Servers from Your Android Device with httpmon

May 21, 2010 GMT

Checking whether a specific Web server is up and running is as easy as issuing the ping command in the terminal, but if you are looking for a more versatile tool that you can use while on the move, try httpmon for Android. For starters, this nifty tool lets you set up multiple monitoring profiles, which can come in handy when you want to keep an eye on several servers. Besides ping, httpmon supports other monitoring options, such as response time, response code, and specific header and content strings. Better yet, you can specify multiple criteria; for example, you can configure httpmon to ping a specific server and check its response time in one go. ...
Perfect Backup Solution with Amazon S3 and aws

May 20, 2010 GMT

Amazon S3 provides unlimited storage at low prices, which makes it an ideal solution for storing backups. But to make use of it, you need a piece of software that can actually interact with Amazon S3: create buckets, list the contents of a bucket, upload and download files, etc. And aws, a simple command-line utility written in Perl, is the perfect tool for the job. You might wonder why not use a GUI-based application like Jungle Disk? For two simple reasons: as a CLI-based tool, aws is light on resources and it can be easily scripted.Before you proceed, you should install the curl utility. On Ubuntu, you can do this using the sudo apt-get install curl command. Next, grab the latest...
Extension Watch: FeedSquares for Google Chrome

May 14, 2010 GMT

Google Reader is a mighty good feed aggregator with a boatload of useful features, but its traditional two-pane interface has some room for improvement. And the FeedSquares extension for the Google Chrome browser represents a bold attempt to rethink the way you read and manage RSS feeds. The basic idea is pretty simple: the extension displays all feeds from your Google Reader account as colored tiles on a wall. Each tile (or square) shows the name of the RSS feed and an unread count. Click on the square, and all articles in the feed pop up at the bottom of the window. Click on the article you like, and it opens in a...

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