Oct 06, 2008 GMTAlthough the Productivity Sauce blog is all about, well, productivity, I'm willing to make an exception and mention the newly released Puppy Linux 4.1. I've been using this lightweight Linux distro on my ASUS Eee PC 701 for quite some time, and it helped me to be productive wherever I went. While the new release sports only a minor increase in version number, it does feature a few significant improvements. The new release is available in two flavors: the "retro" version of Puppy Linux comes with the older 22.214.171.124 kernel for better compatibility with older hardware, while the stock version ships with the newer 126.96.36.199 kernel. Puppy Linux 4.1 offers better hardware detection,...
Oct 03, 2008 GMTThe default Ubiquity commands make this Firefox extension one of the niftiest tools around, and the 15 Ubiquity Commands to Enhance Your Web Experience post on the Tools for Thought blog can help you to get the most out of the available commands. While the default commands allow you to perform quite a few actions, the extensible and open nature of Ubiquity means that you can easily expand its functionality by installing additional scripts that add new commands. There are dozens of Ubiquity scripts floating on the Web, but here are a few that you might find particularly useful. Bit.ly is a relatively new URL shortening service which sports some useful features such as history, automatic...
Oct 01, 2008 GMTIn-cell charting is not a new idea: do a quick Web search, and you'll find quite a few examples of how to create in-cell charts. While most of these examples are designed to work with Excel spreadsheets, you can easily use in-cell charting techniques in Calc. As the name suggests, an in-cell chart is a bar graph where each bar occupies a separate cell. Each bar represents the value from another cell, and the bar itself is generated using the REPT function which is normally used to insert a particular character or string a specified number of times. To make the REPT function create a chart bar, you can use the pipe (|) as the repeating character. To see how this work, create a new Calc...
Sep 22, 2008 GMTNeed to quickly encrypt a file or an archive? You can do this using the GPG encryption software which is installed by default on many mainstream Linux distributions. To be able to encrypt files with GPG, you have to generate a key pair. To do this, run the following command and follow the on-screen instructions: gpg --gen-key When generating the key pair, GPG creates a user ID (UID) to identify your key based on your real name, comments, and email address. You need this UID (or just a part of it like your first name or email address) to specify the key you want to use to encrypt a file: gpg -e -r part_of_UID file_to_encrypt For example, if I want to encrypt the TidlyWiki.odt document...
Sep 15, 2008 GMTKeeping files and documents in sync on multiple computers can be a real pain, but Dropbox offers a clever solution to the problem. This Web-based service allows you to seamlessly sync files and documents across multiple computers, and it offers a few other nifty features to boot. The key component of the Dropbox service is a client software. Once installed, it sits quietly in the System Tray and syncs files and documents in the Dropbox folder in your home directory with the Dropbox service and all the machines linked to your account. This way, you can work with your files and documents on any linked computer, and changes made to documents and files in the Dropbox folder are automatically...
Sep 11, 2008 GMTPuppy Linux is an excellent Linux distro for all occasions, but to turn it into a real productivity workhorse, you might want to install OpenOffice.org on it. Unfortunately, the Puppy software repository holds an older version of OpenOffice.org, but you can install the latest release of the productivity suite by following the steps bellow: Download the openoffice-2.4.1.sfs squash file. Move the downloaded file to the /mnt/home directory Choose Menu -> Setup -> Wizard Wizard -> Configure startup of Puppy -> Choose which extra SFS files to load at bootup. Add the openoffice-2.4.1.sfs file and make sure that the Ignore above user selection check box is unticked....
Sep 09, 2008 GMTWant to expand OpenOffice.org's default functionality? The official extension repository has quite a few extensions you can use to add some nifty features to the productivity suite. Precisely which extensions you might find useful depends, of course, on your particular needs, but there are at least five extensions that deserve a closer look no matter how you use OpenOffice.org. The Bookmarks Menu extension adds the ability to bookmark frequently used documents, so you can open them in a few clicks instead of wading through directories. Better yet, the extension allows you to bookmark directories, macros, and even...
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