Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Configure Conky with ConkyWizard

Jun 18, 2010 GMT

When it comes to system monitoring tools, Conky rules the roost. Using it, you can monitor virtually any aspect of your system, and a wealth of available options provides unlimited tweaking possibilities. But this power comes at a price. All Conky's configuration options are stored in the .conkyrc file and you have to edit it manually using a text editor. If fiddling with configuration files is not your cup of tea, you'll appreciate the ConkyWizard utility which lets you configure Conky's settings using a user-friendly graphical interface. ConkyWizard is distributed as a ready-to-run binary package, so there is nothing to install -- except...
Bubba Two Revised

Jun 16, 2010 GMT

As you might already know, I'm a huge fan of the Bubba Two Linux-based personal server. This nifty device is the center of my home setup, and it tackles every task I throw at it, from streaming music to backing up files to the cloud. Recently I've been playing with the latest version of Bubba Two which sports two new features: a Wi-Fi interface and a completely revamped front-end software. This may sound like minor improvements, but they do make a huge difference. Let's start with the front-end. The completely redesigned interface now sports a fresh and streamlined interface which provides instant access to Bubba Two's core applications...
Turn Your (Rooted) Android Device into a WiFi Hotspot with Wireless Tether

Jun 15, 2010 GMT

There are two ways to turn your Android phone into a mobile wireless hotspot: you can either buy a device running Android 2.2 Froyo, or you can root your current Android phone and install the Wireless Tether application. I did the latter, and rooted my HTC Magic using the Amon Ra's Clear Donut ROM which includes Wireless Tether. True, rooting an Android device is not particularly straightforward, and there is a risk of bricking the device in the process, but it's really worth it. Having a mobile wireless hotspot in your pocket can come in handy in many situations, especially when you travel abroad. In some countries like Germany, you can buy a daily pass which offers unlimited data...
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, Equalize, and Stretch...
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 particularly difficult either...
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...

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