Productivity Sauce

Dmitri Popov
Keep Track of Your Current Work with a Bash Function

Mar 26, 2014 GMT

Here is a clever little trick I picked from a Hacker News thread. Using a simple custom now() function, you can keep track of things you are currently working on. Add the following code to the ~/.bashrc file: now() { echo $(date "+%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S") - "$@" >> $HOME/.now }Save the changes, and you can then record tasks by running the now Task description command, for example: now Working on an article. This records the specified task in the ~/.now text file in the following format: 2014-03-21 15:17:13 - Working on an article. You can also use special words like pause, continue, and done to mark the task as paused, resumed and completed. The thread...
Better Syntax Highlighting in nano

Mar 25, 2014 GMT

If you find the syntax highlighting functionality in the nano text editor lacking, you will appreciate a collection of .nanorc files in the nanorc GitHub repository. Here, you'll find a selection of definition files for a broad range of programming languages: from Python and HTML, to Lua and Markdown. To add all this goodness to nano, clone the GitHub repository using the git clone command, and then install the files by running the make install command. That's all there is to it.
git-sh: Bash Environment for Git Work

Mar 20, 2014 GMT

If you spend a lot of time running Git commands in the terminal, you might appreciate git-sh, a set of customizations that transform the Bash shell into an environment for working with Git. Installing git-sh is super easy, and it can be done using the following commands: git clone git:// cd git-sh make make installNote that the last command must be run as root. To start the customized shell, run the git-sh command. Use the help command to view a list of the supported Git commands. When you switch to an existing repository, git-sh conveniently shows the current branch in the prompt. git-sh essentially lets you run all key Git commands without prefixing them...
Rename Multiple Files and Directories with mvdir

Mar 19, 2014 GMT

Here is a problem: you need to give a bunch of DSC_xxx.JPG files meaningful names like Berlin_May_1981.JPG, Tokyo_Trip_1973.JPG, and so on. The mvdir Bash shell script dramatically simplifies this otherwise tedious task. The script scans the specified path and opens a list of all found files and directories in a default text editor. Edit then the names, and the script automatically renames the modified files and directories when you close the editor.To install the script on your system, create a new file in a text editor, paste the code in the file, and save under the mvdir name in the /usr/local/bin directory. Make then the script executable using the chmod +x ~/usr/local/bin/mvdir...
Scrub DRM off Kindle Ebooks with Calibre

Feb 27, 2014 GMT

DRM is a nuisance, no doubt about that. After all, you should be able to use whatever ebook reader application you want to read the ebooks you've bought. If you happen to own a Kindle device, you'll be pleased to learn that removing DRM from Kindle ebooks you legally purchased is a relatively straightforward affair courtesy of the mighty Calibre ebook suite. First step is to install the DeDRM plugin in Calibre. To do this, grab the latest version of the DRM Removal Tools for eBooks, and unpack the downloaded archive. Launch Calibre, press the button in the main toolbar, and choose Change Calibre behavior. Switch to the...
QupZilla: Lightweight Browser

Feb 26, 2014 GMT

At first glance, QupZilla looks like yet another lightweight browser. But it has several features that make it stand out from the crowd. For starters, QupZilla sports a built-in ad blocker. It's enabled by default, so the browser weeds out these pesky ads right out of the box. Ads are not the only thing that QupZilla can block. The browser comes bundled with the Click2Flash plugin which blocks Flash content. Thanks to the built-in RSS reader, you can use QupZilla as a no-frills RSS aggregator. The browser's RSS functionality is decidedly bare-bones, but it can come in handy when you need to check your favorite feed in a hurry. Of course,...
kpcli: Work with KeePass Databases from the Command Line

Feb 25, 2014 GMT

KeePassX is an indispensable graphical utility for managing passwords, but there are situations, when a command-line tool might be more practical. Enter kpcli, a Perl-based CLI tool that lets you work with KeepPass 1.x and 2.x databases. On Debian and Ubuntu, kpcli is available in the official software repositories, so it can be easily installed by running the apt-get install kpcli command as root. openSUSE users can install the utility directly from To open an existing KeePass database, use the kpcli --kdb=foo.kdb command. Issue then the help command to view a list of all available commands along with...

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