Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
GNURoot: Linux on Android, No Root Required

Dec 27, 2013 GMT

Installing Linux on Android usually requires rooting your device first. If that's not an option for you, then the GNURoot app is right up your alley. Despite its name, GNURoot doesn't require root access in order to run. Better still, the app greatly simplifies the entire process of getting Linux up and running on an Android device. To deploy Linux using GNURoot, you need to grab a helper app for a specific Linux distribution. For example, if you want to deploy Debian, you need to download the GNURoot Wheezy app. There are also helper apps for the Aboriginal, Gentoo, and Fedora Linux distributions. Next, install and run GNURoot, then press...
Spigot: The Simplest RSS Reader

Dec 25, 2013 GMT

To call Spigot simple would be an understatement. Indeed, this tiny web app is stripped of all creature comforts we take for granted in most web-based RSS aggregators. There are no tools for organizing and managing RSS feeds, the app lacks sharing capabilities, and the main interface is just a single page with a list of RSS snippets. In short, Spigot is as minimal as it gets. But that doesn't mean it's useless. It can come in handy when you want to keep track of a few RSS feeds without loading a full-blown RSS aggregator. Deploying Spigot on a server is so easy that you can probably do this with your eyes closed. Grab the latest release of...
Extension Watch: Fix Google Search Links with Firefox

Dec 20, 2013 GMT

Have you ever noticed that when you try to copy a link from a Google search result, you end up with some garbled URL? For example, a simple URL like turns into a long and incomprehensible string like Annoying, right? Fortunately, a Firefox extension with the ironically lengthy Google/Yandex search link fix name provides a simple solution to the problem. Once installed, the extension prevents Google from mangling links in the search results. As the name suggests, the add-on works with the Russian search engine...
Check Your Connection Speed with speedtest-cli

Dec 18, 2013 GMT is a popular service for checking the speed of your Internet connection. But loading the page in a browser every time you need to quickly measure your current connection speed is not always practical. Enter speedtest-cli, a one-trick pony that lets you test your connection from the command line. Written in Python, the utility is easy to deploy. You can either install it using the pip install speedtest-cli command as root, or clone the project's GitHub repository and install the utility by running the python speedtest-cli/ install command. You can then use the speedtest-cli command to run the utility. By default, the...
Use digiKam for Snapshot Archiving

Dec 17, 2013 GMT

There are plenty of Android apps that let you take snapshots of handwritten notes, drawings, receipts, etc. Some apps like CamiApp even include tools for organizing and editing the snapshots. But what if you want to keep and manage snapshots on a regular machine? For that, you can use digiKam. Although digiKam is first and foremost a photo management application, it offers tools necessary for working with all sorts of images. You can set up a dedicated album in digiKam for storing snapshots, and then work with them using the application's sorting and tagging features. Better still, you can use digiKam's editing capabilities to clean up and tweak the snapshots. ...
Build Your Own Portable Linux Distro with Porteus

Dec 16, 2013 GMT

Building a customized Linux distribution can be a daunting proposition -- unless you use Porteus Wizard. This clever and simple service lets you create a custom Live CD distro that fits a USB stick and loads in RAM. The best part is that you don't need any particular Linux skills to build your own distro. The wizard allows you to select and configure a handful of options, and the entire process takes only a few minutes. Pick the desired architecture, desktop environment, and applications as well as configure basic settings such as timezone and keyboard. Once you've done that, hit the Build button, and your freshly-baked Linux distro should...
Send Tabs from Desktop Version of Firefox

Dec 09, 2013 GMT

In a previous post, I described how to use Firefox for Android to send tabs to other devices and machines. But what about the other way around: sending tabs from the desktop version of Firefox to Android devices and other machines? Surprisingly, the desktop version of Firefox lacks this handy feature, but the Send Tab to Device add-on fills the void. Once installed, the extension adds the Send this link to device command to the right-click context menu which you can use to send any link in the currently opened page as a tab to any device linked to your Firefox Sync account. This feature will eventually be rolled into Firefox, and when it does, the add-on will uninstall itself.

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