Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Search Smarter with Inquisitor

Jan 14, 2009 GMT

The Search field in Firefox allows you to quickly search for a specific term using different search engines. It's a useful feature as it is, but the Inquisitor extension takes it to a whole new level. Once installed, it lets you perform searches using multiple search engines at the same time. When you enter a keyword in the Search field, Inquisitor displays a pop-up window containing a list of matching Web sites as well as a list of keyword suggestions. Inquisitor uses Yahoo! as its default search engine, but you can change that by tweaking the extension's options. To do this, choose Tool -> Add-ons and press...
Upload Photos Directly from the GIMP to Flickr or Picasaweb

Jan 09, 2009 GMT

If you use the GIMP to retouch and tweak your photos before you upload them to Flickr, then you'll most certainly appreciate the GimpPublishr plugin. It allows you to upload the currently opened photo to your Flickr or Picasaweb account directly from within the GIMP. To install GimpPublishr, download the latest version of the plugin from the project's Web site, unpack it, then move the resulting libpub directory and the publishr.py file into the .gimp-x.x/plug-ins folder in your home directory. Launch the GIMP, and you should see the Publish on Web command in the File menu. Run the command, and choose the service...
Save Ink and Planet with Ecofont

Jan 07, 2009 GMT

What do Swiss cheese and Ecofont have in common? They both have holes, and a lot of them. According to SPRANQ creative communications, the creator of Ecofont, perforating font's characters helps to reduce the amount of ink or toner used for printing documents. Why holes and not squares? Ecofont's Web site states, "After extensive testing with all kinds of shapes, the best results were achieved using small circles. After lots of late hours (and coffee) this resulted in a font that uses up to 20% less ink." Ecofont is based on the popular Bitstream Vera...
Extension Watch: List.it

Jan 02, 2009 GMT

Adding note-taking features to Firefox is not a new idea, and there are a few extensions out there that allow you to scribble notes right from within the browser. So which one to choose? If you need a tool which a) makes it extremely easy to enter notes, b) searches the existing notes, and c) synchronizes notes between multiple machines, then you should consider list.it. To install the extension, you have to sign up for a lits.it account (you need it to synchronize notes). Once installed, the extension adds a Note icon to the status bar. Click on it, and you can quickly enter or paste text in the opened text...
Transliterating Text in OpenOffice.org

Dec 19, 2008 GMT

Here is a problem: when working with an OpenOffice.org document you need to insert a few lines of text in a language that uses a non-Latin alphabet, for example Cyrillic. Of course, you can enable the Cyrillic support on your system, but it's overkill if you only need to write just a few sentences every now and then. Instead, you can use the following OpenOffice.org Basic macro to convert a selected text fragment written in the Latin alphabet into its Cyrillic version; for example "martyshka" -> "мартышка", "ogurec" -> "oгурец", and so on (this process is known as transliteration): Sub Translit() Dim ThisDoc As Object Dim...
Five Reasons to Make Friends with Puppy Linux

Dec 17, 2008 GMT

By now, you might have noticed that I'm a big fan of Puppy Linux. I wrote about this tiny Linux distro in Linux (Pro) Magazine, and extol its virtues at any given opportunity. It is the distro I'm running on my workhorse ASUS Eee PC 701 4G netbook, and it helps me to stay productive not only in airports, cafés, and hotel rooms but also at home. But if you are still undecided whether you should give Puppy Linux a try, here are five reasons why this little gem deserves a closer look. Puppy Linux is not only lean, it's also lightning fast. On boot, the entire system loads into RAM and runs from there. If you are...
Extension Watch: Tomfox

Dec 11, 2008 GMT

The Tomfox extension for Firefox is a real boon for Tomboy addicts. It allows you to select a text fragment in any Web page and turn it into a new Tomboy note. So if you use Tomboy for storing research notes and links, Tomfox can save you a lot of unnecessary cutting and pasting. Once installed, Tomfox adds the Create Tomboy Note command to the context menu. Select a text fragment in a Web page, right-click on the highlighted text and choose the Create Tomboy Note item from the context menu. This creates a new Tomboy note with the selected text. Better yet, Tomfox conveniently inserts a clickable link to the...

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