Saturday, May 25, 2013

Run Terminal Commands on Your Home PC with a Text Message

If you have an always-on computer at home, like a home server, you probably run the occasional command on it to start a process, troubleshoot something, or otherwise control it through a terminal. DIYer Steve figured out how to run commands on his Raspberry Pi just by sending a text message.

Steve's process uses Google Voice and a simple script that checks his messages every minute. If he sends a text message from his phone starting with "cmd," his computer will run the command that comes after it—basically, it allows him to SSH into his computer via SMS. You probably won't perform any mega-complicated tasks, but it can be handy to have if you find yourself needing to control your computer from afar. Hit the link to download the script and tweak it for your own machine.

Controlling Raspberry Pi via Text Message | Steve's Computer Vision Blog via Hack a Day

How to Import Instapaper or Readability Articles Into Pocket

There are a lot of great bookmark-and-read-later services out there, but if you want to switch from one to another, you probably want to take your old articles with you. Here's how to import your old Instapaper or Readability articles into Pocket.

All three services—Instapaper, Readability, and Pocket—offer options to export your data, but strangely Pocket is the only service with an import function. Luckily, it's really easy to use:

If you use Instapaper, just head to Instapaper's home page and click the "Export CSV" button in the right-hand sidebar. Choose the "Download HTML File" option, save it to your computer, then head to and click Browse. Choose your Instapaper HTML file, click Import, and you'll find that all of your articles appear in Pocket. It won't be able to "favorite" the articles you had favorited before, but it's still a pretty simple process.

If you use Readability, you'll have to go through one extra step. Head to Readability's Export page and export your list as a JSON file. It'll email you your file when it's ready. You won't be able to import this directly into Pocket—since Pocket's importer is designed for Instapaper only—but you can run it through the Readability 2 Pocket tool.

Open your JSON file and copy the contents into the first box on the Readability 2 Pocket page, then click Convert. Copy the resulting text, open your favorite text editor, then paste it in and save it as an HTML file. When you're done, upload that HTML file to Pocket's Import page using the same instructions as Instapaper users.

Unfortunately, we tried to find options that went the other way around—from Pocket to Instapaper and Readability, or between Instapaper and Readability themselves—but since the others don't have import tools (for whatever reason), it's much more complicated. There are a few scripts that claim to import from Pocket to Instapaper or from Pocket to Readability, but they require a little command line work and we haven't tried them. If you know of any other options, tell us about them in the comments!

CupCloud Saves Tabs and Documents, Instantly Loads Them On Another PC

Windows/OS X: CupCloud makes it easy to save and stop your work on one computer and pick right up where you left off on another, or save your session so you can reboot your computer and get right back to work without opening a ton of tabs or applications again.

CupCloud is in public beta right now, but it works like a charm. Just keep CupCloud running in the background on your Windows PC or Mac, and when you need to save your computer's session, just bring up the window and click "Cup" to save your system's current state—that includes open browser windows, open documents, files, and Explorer or Finder windows. Then, when you sit down at your other computer, you can click "uncup" to automatically open the programs you were working in, tabs you were reading, documents you were editing, and so on. It's quick and easy—and you don't have to leave everything open on the other computer for it to work.

Similarly, the app is useful if you suddenly have to reboot—like after a new application install, or because your IT department just pushed new updates to your computer that require a restart. Just Cup your current session, reboot, Uncup it, and you're back to work. You can even share those "cups," or saved sessions, with others so you can work together.

CupCloud isn't perfect—right now it only supports popular web browsers, Microsoft Office, Apple iWork, Finder, Explorer, and Acrobat—but more applications are coming soon as the beta progresses. You'll still have to remember to re-open your IM client, for exampe, or your favorite Twitter app. However, the service is completely free and very useful. Hit the link below to see how it works, and to sign up.


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How to Supercharge Your Router with DD-WRT

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Loader Droid Gives You Full Control Over Your Android Downloads

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Get SwiftKey, Our Favorite Android Keyboard, On Sale for 50% Off

Android: SwiftKey, our favorite keyboard for Android, is on sale now at Google Play for $1.99. That's 50% off its $4 regular price, and for your money you get all of SwiftKey's features, from accurate predictive text to gesture typing.

If for some reason you haven't at least tried SwiftKey yet, now is a good time to jump on the bandwagon. SwiftKey 4, which launched back in February, includes predictive text that learns from your email and social networks, SwiftKey's new "Flow" gesture-based swipe-to-type feature, the "Flow through Space" feature that lets you type entire sentences without lifting your finger off the screen, international support, and support for close to 60 different languages. It's a great Android keyboard, and more than worth $2. It's been on sale for a few days now to celebrate the addition of three more colorful keyboard themes to the app, so the half-price offer could expire at any time. Grab it at Google Play at the link below.

SwiftKey Keyboard ($2) | Google Play via SwiftKey Blog