• Why and how the OpenDocument format can save you a lot of time!

    The OpenDocument Format (ODF) is an internationally recognized open standard for digital office documents whose importance has also been acknowledged by Microsoft. ODF is good for a lot of reasons I have already explained in Everybody’s Guide to OpenDocument. However, there is also one more reason why ODF is great for everybody who must produce a lot of office documents, one that will be the subjects of many posts on this website: ODF is really simple to generate or edit automatically.
  • How to extract audio from a VOB file in Linux

    A VOB (Video Object) file is a container for audio, video, subtitles and other content, normally used in DVDs. Here are two of the many possible ways to extract a song or other segment of audio from a VOB file and put it on a CD in MP3 format. Manual, GUI procedure: you can use Avidemux to view the DVD and manually save as a file only the video segment containing the desired audio.
  • How to import multiple pictures into a text document with OpenOffice or LibreOffice Writer

    This is a way to import multiple pictures into an empty text with OpenOffice Writer, one picture per page, with a database report. install the Sun Report Builder extension create a database in the same directory as the pictures enter or import in the database the file names of the pictures make sure that those names don’t contain special characters or spaces use absolute, full path names to step around a bug in the builder
  • Final Notes from the ODF Plugfest in Granada

    The second day of the Plugfest followed the same general scheme of the first one (covered in a separated page): a non-technical introduction followed by lots of hacking, feature analysis and product anticipations. A representative of the Spanish Ministry of Presidency, Miguel Angel Amutio Gomez, started the day explaining the crucial points of the Spanish law 11⁄2007: the right for everybody to use whatever digital technology they like best and the obligation for all Public Administrations to avoid discrimination of citizens based on their technological choices.
  • Notes from ODF Plugfest in Granada, Day One

    The ODF Plugfest is a Conference whose goal is to to achieve the maximum interoperability between competing applications, platforms and technologies in the area of digital document sharing, and to promote the OpenDocument format (ODF). This page, as the others that will follow on this website, is a short technical summary, primarily aimed at developers, of what happened during the first day of the conference. Later next week I’ll also post a non-technical summary of the whole event at the Stop.
  • Netlive, an interesting alternative to the Linux Terminal Server Project

    Netlive is a slightly unusual distribution developed in Italy: a live version of Linux that makes available on demand any other live version of Linux chosen by its administrators to all the computers of its local network. Its developers, Ezio Da Rin and Marco Clocchiatti, call Netlive “a very efficient way to build portable ICT labs for schools, alternative to the Linux Terminal Server Project (LTSP)“. The practical advantages of Netlive for end users, that is schools and students, have been already explained elsewhere.
  • How to extract email headers and store them in a cache file

    note: I am trying to publish, a piece at a time a lots of tricks that I use in my email management system, in such a format that each of them is usable separately. This is why it may be a bit difficult to understand certain parts of this and other pages, until I have published all of them. In the meantime, please let me know about anything you find not clear in these pages, so I can improve them, and read this article of mine on how to Build your own email server with Postfix, because it is a good synthesis of the whole picture
  • How to ignore uninteresting threads in mailing lists

    Even in this age of social networking and instant messaging, mailing lists are very useful tools to get technical support or carry on public discussions online. The problem with mailing list is that, especially when they are very popular, you will soon find out that most of the traffic is irrelevant, because it’s either some flame war or some topic that has no interest for you. This kind of email traffic is a big problem for two reasons: