Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Build a Portable Android-based Raspberry Pi Station

May 28, 2013 GMT

Transforming a bare-bones Raspberry Pi into a fully-functional portable station is a popular pastime among enterprising users, and you can easily find instructions on how to build a Kindleberry Pi, a Kindleberry Wireless, and even a Raspberry Pi Linux laptop. But if you happen to use an Android device, you can opt for a less complicated and more modular solution devised by yours truly. The Android device in this setup acts both as a wireless hotspot and a display for Raspberry Pi. The latter is configured to automatically connect to the Wi-Fi network created by the Android device. And an...
Use KDE's Digital Clock Widget as a World Clock

Apr 30, 2013 GMT

Here is a simple trick for those KDE users who need to keep tabs on time in different cities around the world. Instead of using a dedicated world clock applet or browser extension, you can configure the digital clock widget in the main panel to display time in different time zones. To do this, right-click on the digital clock widget and choose Digital Clock Settings. Switch to the Time Zones section, and type the name of the desired city in the search field. Tick then the check box next to the city. Repeat this for other cities, and press OK to save the settings and close the window. That's all there is to it. Hover the mouse over the...
BitTorrent Sync: Painless File Syncing without the Cloud

Apr 29, 2013 GMT

Cloud-based file syncing services are a dime a dozen nowadays. Most of them store copies of your data on remote servers and charge for storage space. This approach has two major drawbacks: you have to entrust your data to a third-party service, and the more storage you need, the more you have to pay. The recently released BitTorrent Sync tool offers an alternative solution that solves these problems. Instead of relying on a central server for storing files and syncing them between multiple machines, BitTorrent Sync uses a peer-to-peer protocol to keep files in sync across multiple machines. This is a brilliant solution, indeed. You don't need to run a dedicated synchronization server,...
Caledonia: Art Suite for the KDE Desktop

Apr 28, 2013 GMT

Tired of the default KDE themes, color schemes, and wallpapers? Then try Caledonia, a bundle containing everything you need to spice up your desktop. Caledonia comes with a set of high-quality wallpapers, a KDE Plasma theme, a splash screen, a KDM theme, and a color scheme. You can download individual parts, or you can use the Caledonia Downloader shell script to grab the entire bundle. Installing Caledonia components is not particularly difficult. To add the KDE Plasma theme, copy the Caledonia folder into the ~/.kde/share/apps/desktoptheme directory. Open the System Settings panel, switch to the Workspace Appearance | Desktop theme...
Manage Archives with patool

Apr 26, 2013 GMT

7z, ZIP, TAR.GZ, GZIP -- there are literally dozens of archiving formats. On top of that, there is also a multitude of tools for managing archives in different formats, and each tool has its own commands and parameters. Even if you stick to a popular format like tar.gz, you still have to remember somewhat arcane commands like tar -xzvf foo.tar.gz or tar -pczf foo.tar.gz /path/to/dir. Enter patool. This Python-based utility can handle a wide range of archiving formats and lets you work with archives using a set of easy to remember commands. To deploy patool on your system, you need to install the python-pip package first. To do this on Debian and Ubuntu-based distros, run the apt-get...
Trojita: a Lightweight IMAP Email Client

Apr 25, 2013 GMT

Looking for a lightweight desktop email client for managing an IMAP-based account? Say hello to Trojita, a nimble Qt-based email application that provides full support for the IMAP protocol.The project uses openSUSE Build Service to create binary packages for various Linux distributions, and you can install Trojita on any of these distros by pointing your browser to the download page and following the installation instructions. To configure the email client, choose IMAP | Settings. In the General section, create one or several identities. Switch then to the IMAP section, and provide the required IMAP info. Finally, configure the SMTP...
Type Zebra App for Google Chrome and Chromium

Apr 24, 2013 GMT

Thanks to Google Web Fonts, you now have access to hundreds of high-quality open source fonts, and using a simple Bash shell script, you can easily install all of them on your Linux machine. But how can you find the font you like among the hundreds of typefaces installed on your system? The Type Zebra app provides an elegant solution to the conundrum. When you evoke Type Zebra in the browser, the app automatically scans fonts installed on your machine and lists them in the left sidebar. Type then the text you want in the main area and select the desired font from the list to apply it to the text. Instead of custom text, you can select the...

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