Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Five Super Simple Photo Fixes with the GIMP

Oct 09, 2009 GMT

While the GIMP offers a plethora of advanced and powerful photo editing tools, it also sports a few easy-to-use features that can help you to instantly improve your photos with a minimum of effort.Most digital cameras do a good job of figuring out the correct white balance. But tricky lighting conditions or wrong white balance settings can result in a less than perfect photo. The GIMP provides an easy fix for that: choose Colors -> Auto -> White Balance, and the application does the rest.The red eyes problem is the bane of many point-and-shoot cameras. If your camera doesn't have an automatic red eye removal feature, you can use the Filters -> Enhance -> Red Eye Removal...
Quick Tip: Upload Photos to TwitPic with cURL

Oct 08, 2009 GMT

You can upload photos from your machine to TwitPic using the following command: curl -F "username=[username]" -F "password=[password]" -F "message=message" -F media=@/path/to/photo.jpg http://twitpic.com/api/uploadAndPostYou need the cURL tool installed on your machine for this command to work. Since cURL is available in the software repositories of most mainstream Linux distributions, you can install it using your distro's package manager.You might wonder why you'd want to upload photos from the command-line when there are many other ways to do that. The answer is automation. For example, you can write a simple Bash script that transfers all new photos...
OpenOffice.org Basic HTML Macro Redux

Oct 03, 2009 GMT

While the markup macro described in the previous post does the trick of formatting Writer documents, it has one tiny drawback: it doesn't save the formatted text in a separate file, which can come in handy in many situations. So here is an updated version of the macro that formats the currently opened Writer document and saves it as a plain text file in the same directory. Sub HTMLMarkup Dim Args(0) As New com.sun.star.beans.PropertyValue ThisDoc=ThisComponent MarkupHeadingsFunc("Heading 1", "<H1>", "</H1>") MarkupHeadingsFunc("Heading 2", "<H2>", "</H2>") MarkupHeadingsFunc("Heading 3",...
Extension Watch: Improve Your Flickr Experience with Better Flickr

Sep 28, 2009 GMT

Although Flickr sports a functional, lightweight interface, it still has some room for improvement. And if you are using Firefox as your primary browser, you can turbocharge the photo sharing service by installing the Better Flickr and Greased Lightbox extensions. Greased Lightbox is a one-trick pony, but the trick it does is a pretty clever one. Normally, clicking on a thumbnail in a Flickr gallery or your photostream opens the related photo page. The Greased Lightbox extension changes the default behavior, so when you click on a thumbnail, the related photo appears as a slide on top of the main window. You can then...
Installing Firefox on Puppy Linux

Sep 26, 2009 GMT

SeaMonkey, the default browser in Puppy Linux, is good, but what if you prefer Firefox? No problem, it takes only a few simple steps to install your favorite browser onto Puppy Linux. Download the latest version of Firefox from Mozilla's Web site. Use then the following command to unpack the downloaded archive into the root directory: tar -jxvf firefox-x.x.x.tar.bz2Launch then the Rxvt terminal and run the firefox command. Instead of launching Firefox from the command line, you can create a desktop shortcut. To do this, drag the firefox script in the firefox directory onto the desktop. To change the generic script...
Format Writer Documents with Any Markup

Sep 25, 2009 GMT

Although I use OpenOffice.org Writer for all of my writings, most publishers I write for require plain text files with a dash of markup formatting. This means that pretty much none of my articles are delivered as .odt files. So before I can send the article, I have to format it using one of many markup dialects. For example, all my blog posts must be formatted using markup supported by eZ Publish software, while articles for Linux Pro Magazine must be formatted using a special in-house markup.Doing formatting manually is both tedious and time-consuming, so I wrote an OpenOffice.org macro that does the donkey job for me. The way the macro works is pretty simple: it searches for formatted...
Using Eye-Fi Card on Linux

Sep 24, 2009 GMT

The Eye-Fi card is a nifty solution for adding wireless capabilities to virtually any digital camera, but it does have one serious drawback: the card relies on proprietary software that runs only on Windows and Mac OS X. Fortunately, the standalone Eye-Fi server written in Python will happily run on Linux, courtesy of the enterprising hacker Jeff Tchang. Better yet, the server is extremely easy to configure and run. You do need to have access to a Windows or Mac OS X machine to initialize your Eye-Fi card, though. This must be done in order to obtain the upload key required for the Eye-Fi server to function properly. On a Windows machine, install the Eye-Fi manager software and use it to...

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