Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
GoldenDict: A Dictionary Nugget

Jul 01, 2009 GMT

While StarDict touts itself as "the best dictionary program for Linux and Windows," it has a serious challenger to the title called GoldenDict. On the face of it, GoldenDict looks like any other dictionary application. But dig deeper, and you'll discover a few rather neat features that make it not only a rather competent dictionary but also an excellent research tool. For starters, GoldenDict supports a wide range of dictionary formats, including StarDict dictionaries, Babylon .BGL files, Dict dictionary files as well as ABBYY Lingvo source files and audio archives. In addition to that, GoldenDict supports MediaWiki-based references, which include both Wikipedia and Wiktionary....
Krut: screencasts made easy

Jun 29, 2009 GMT

Need to whip up a quick screencast? You might want to use Krut for the job. This cross-platform screen recording tool has virtually no learning curve, and offers a few useful features that can help you to create high-quality screencasts with consummate ease. Krut is written in Java, so you have to install the Java Runtime Environment on your system before you can run the utility. Krut requires no installation, and you can launch the application by simply running the KRUT.jar file. When up and running, Krut places a floating palette containing four buttons: Menu, Rec, Snap, and Cursor. The latter lets you specify the recording area,...
First Look at Jolicloud

Jun 26, 2009 GMT

Linux distributions designed for netbooks are a dime a dozen these days, so one really has to pull something extraordinary out of the hat to impress the mobile crowd. While Jolicloud's main goal is not to awe Linux geeks, the new distribution does offers a radically different take on a system for your netbook that might appeal to the non-technical user. Jolicloud has been in development for quite some time, and its developers managed to keep it under tight wraps, carefully dispensing invites to a few chosen users. Recently, yours truly found himself among the lucky ones. As an avid netbook user, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to take Jolicloud for a spin. The currently available...
Announcing Writer's Jobs Project

May 30, 2009 GMT

As part of my Writer's Tools project, I've started working on a new database application designed to keep track of projects and jobs. It's a single-user solution geared towards freelancers and self-employed. It's still at a very early stage of development, but I thought it would be a good time to invite you to give it a try and submit your comments, suggestions, and ideas. The current version of the application (its current name is Writer's Jobs) allows you to keep tabs on your customers and contacts, keep track of time spent on a specific project, and manage multiple rates. The current version of Writer's Jobs is...
Create a DIY Planner with Dynamic Templates

May 30, 2009 GMT

The D*I*Y Planner Web site is a real treasure trove for fans of DIY paper-based personal organizers like Hipster PDA. Among other things, it offers a wealth of ready-to-print templates, an excellent handbook of how to build your own D*I*Y planner, and even an widget kit for creating custom planner templates. But that's not all. Somewhere on the Web site hides a nifty little application called D*I*Y Planner Dynamic Templates (or just Dynamic Templates) that comes with a few handy templates you can tweak and save as ready-to-use PDF documents. There are binary packages of the application for Windows and Mac OSX, and if you want to use Dynamic Templates on Linux, there...
Extension Watch: Access Statistics for DokuWiki

May 29, 2009 GMT

There are quite a few open source Web tracking solutions out there, but if you are running DokuWiki, there is no need to install and configure a third-party tool to gather stats on your visitors. Instead, you can let the Access Statistics plugin collect and analyze data about your visitors. The plugin stores the collected data in a MySQL database, so your first order of business is to create a separate database for use with Access Statistics (or use an existing database) and populate it with the required tables. The plugin comes with the handy db.sql SQL script which can do the donkey job for you. Simply use your MySQL client (e.g., phpMyAdmin) to run the supplied SQL script to create...
Pin 'em up: No-frills sticky notes tool

May 21, 2009 GMT

Sticky notes utilities for Linux are a dime a dozen these days, so what makes Pin 'em up so special? For starters, it's written in Java, so it runs happily on different platforms -- a boon for users who have to deal with different operating systems on a daily basis. Pin 'em up also lets you categorize your notes, and you can define as many categories as you need. To edit the default list of categories, right-click on the Pin 'em up icon and choose category actions -> Manage categories. You can then specify the categories you want and assign specific note colors to each category. The Settings item in the Pin 'em up menu lets you...

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