Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Set up a Personal Microblog with Bilboblog

Aug 28, 2009 GMT

There are many reasons why you would want to run your own private microblog, but how do you actually do that? The easiest way is to install Bilboblog, a tiny, no-frills PHP/MySQL-based microblogging engine. Although Bilboblog is described as a microblogging application, it's not a drop-in replacement for Twitter or It's actually more of a hybrid between a microblog and tumblelog. Similar to a conventional microblogging engine, Bilboblog lets you limit post length, but it also supports text formatting and sports the ability to embed images and videos. Bilboblog's major advantage is simplicity: it works right out of the box...
My Perfect Backup Setup

Aug 25, 2009 GMT

For a long time I relied on an external hard drive and Jungle Disk as my daily backup solution. This wasn't the most advanced backup setup, but it did the trick. Recently, however, I added a new device to my local network: a tiny Linux-based server with the silly name Bubba Two. Initially, I planned to use it for hosting my private wiki and testing LAMPP-based applications. But since Bubba Two can be used as a file, print, and streaming server, it made sense to put its functionality to some practical use, and use the server as a central storage for all my documents and files. There was only one problem with this: because Bubba Two is based on a PowerPC processor and Jungle Disk doesn't...
First Look at TonidoPlug

Aug 21, 2009 GMT

For Linux Pro Magazine readers, the name Tonido will sound familiar. I covered this sleek and user-friendly solution that lets you turn an Ubuntu-based machine into a nifty server in issue 105. Recently, CodeLathe, the company behind Tonido, launched TonidoPlug -- a tiny Ubuntu-based server running the Tonido software. In theory, this sounds like a great idea: plug the device, run a quick and simple setup, and you have a fully-functional Linux-based server that you can use to share files and photos, maintain a personal blog and collaborate with other users. But how does this idea work in practice? To find out, CodeLathe kindly agreed to send me a review unit of TonidoPlug, which duly...
Extension Watch: Transmogrify Long URLs with Shorten URL

Aug 19, 2009 GMT

Want to generate a shorter version of a long URL with minimum fuss? Enter Shorten URL -- the ultimate solution for all your link shortening needs. This Firefox extension supports over 100 shortening services, from the usual suspects like Bit.y,, and to the more obscure and Once you've installed the extension, you should add its button to the toolbar which provides quick access to Shorten URL's features. To do this, choose View -> Toolbars -> Customize and drag the Shorten URL button to the main toolbar. To configure the extension's settings, press the button and select the Shorten URL Options item. In the opened dialog window, you can specify the default...
Two Useful Commands for Your Linux Server

Aug 15, 2009 GMT

Want to back up files and documents on your laptop or desktop PC to a server? Assuming both machines run Linux, you can do that with just one command. First, install SSH server on the server and rsync on your machine. Both tools are available in the software repositories of most mainstream Linux distributions, so you can install them using your distro's package manager. Open then the terminal on your machine and run the following command: rsync --progress -avhe ssh --delete /path/to/local/dir user@host:/path/to/remote/dirReplace user with the name of the existing user on the server and host with the IP address of the server. Also, replace /path/to/local/dir with the path to the...
Read Ebooks on Android with FBReaderJ

Aug 12, 2009 GMT

When it comes to reading ebooks on your laptop or desktop machine, few ebook readers can rival FBReader. The same is true for the Android platform, too. The mobile version of FBReader called FBReaderJ offers pretty much all the essential features without sacrificing usability. Similar to FBReader, FBReaderJ supports several popular ebook formats, including EPUB and FictionBook. Once installed on the Android device, FBReaderJ registers itself as an application for handling ebook files. This means that when you click on a link to an ebook in the built-in browser, you can use FBReaderJ to download the book and add it to the library. This...
Adding Word Count to DokuWiki

Aug 07, 2009 GMT

While DokuWiki makes an excellent tool for lightweight word processing, it lacks one essential feature -- word count. Fortunately, this problem is easy to fix. The DokuWiki Tips page offers two simple scripts that add the word count capabilities to DokuWiki. The first script adds a simple counter to the text editing area, and the counter displays the number of words in the currently opened section as well as the total word count for the current page. The second script puts the counter at the top of the page and displays the character count in addition to the word count. Here is a slightly modified version of the script: /** * Script to add a wordcounter on the edit form * *...

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