Dec 29, 2009 GMTThe new year is almost upon us, so it's a good time to wrap up the year 2009 and ruminate over the best open source software and hardware this year brought us. So without further ado, let me present my personal "Best of 2009" list in no particular order. The coolest hardware: TonidoPlugThe concept of plug computer has been floating around for quite some time. But CodeLathe turned the idea of a tiny server with extremely low power consumption into a real and genuinely useful product named TonidoPlug. The little server runs Tonido software, an open source peer-to-peer platform and application suite that includes several top-notch applications such as a blog engine, a torrent...
Dec 22, 2009 GMTIf you are familiar with the Read It Later (RIL) extension for Firefox and the accompanying service, you know how useful this solution is. And the recently released version 2.0 brings a slew of improvements that make this must-have tool even better. The latest release features a completely redesigned interface to provide easier access to the extension's essential features. You can now tag and edit entries in the reading list using the dedicated Edit button next to each item. The Text View button opens a given Web page in the text mode stripped of all graphics and media content. This can come in handy when you are on a slow or expensive internet connection. The clever part is that during...
Dec 21, 2009 GMTWant to create your own personal paper organizer similar to the trendy Hipster PDA? The DIY Planner Widget Kit offers a set of professionally-designed widgets and templates that can help you to craft your own cool-looking paper planner with a minimum of fuss. The widget kit is supplied as an OpenOffice.org Draw document, but before you start using it, you should install the supplied Blue Highway font. The kit includes a wide range of widgets you can use to design custom organizer pages. There are also weekly and monthly calendar templates which you can use as a starting point. The easiest way to create your own page...
Dec 16, 2009 GMTWhile Identi.ca is not nearly as popular as Twitter, this open source microblogging service is home to many open source advocates, developers, users, and just interesting people. Thanks to a Twitter-compatible API, many closed source Twitter clients for the Android platform will happily work with Identi.ca. But why settle for a closed source app if you can install the excellent open source Mustard client? Mustard is not the most advanced microblogging app out there, but it offers all the essential features and a few clever tricks to boot. It supports multiple accounts and sports the geolocation feature which attaches...
Dec 14, 2009 GMTGood news for Google Chrome users: the latest version of the browser supports extensions, so you can extend its default functionality by installing extensions from the official extension repository. While the repository offers only a few hundred extensions (compared to several thousand add-ons available on Firefox), it does feature a few neat modules that can make your browsing more productive.Things To Do is a pretty nifty extension that turns every new tab into a to-do list. Install the extension, and next time you open a new tab, you'll see a simple to-do list. To add a new task, start typing in the empty field. Using the buttons you can then move tasks up and down as well as delete...
Dec 09, 2009 GMTThe holiday season is approaching fast, but there is still time to buy a nice gift for the Linux geek in your life. Not sure what to give? Here are a couple of gift ideas.Nothing makes a geek happier than hardware which is designed to run Linux. This year, you might consider TonidoPlug -- a tiny and inexpensive Linux server that runs a slimmed-down version of Ubuntu and the Tonido application suite. The Tonido apps are top-notch, and the fact that you can access and tweak TonidoPlug via SSH is guaranteed to make your Linux partner ecstatic. Kingston V series solid-state disks are not designed specifically for Linux, but they make a great gift anyway. One of the most affordable SSDs on the...
Dec 08, 2009 GMTWhile KDE, Gnome, and Xfce come with dedicated graphical utilities for monitoring notebook battery, you might still want to use IBAM to keep an eye on the battery parameters directly from the command line. IBAM stands for Intelligent Battery Monitor, and it "uses statistical and adaptive linear methods to provide accurate estimations of minutes of battery left or of the time needed until full recharge." In layman terms, this means that IBAM provides a more accurate estimate of the remaining battery life and charge time. IBAM does this by creating a battery and charge profile from which it can compute the actual times. ...
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