Saturday, February 2, 2008

Keep Your Wi-Fi Going Strong

The Web Worker Daily weblog suggests several methods to keep your router performing and your wireless internet strong. The post offers several tips for how to improve your wireless network, from performing a cycled reboot when things aren’t working correctly to adding access points to boost get your signal to every corner of your home. Honestly, after having turned my router into a super-router with both DD-WRT and Tomato, I’ve never enjoyed more stability and performance from a router. I can’t remember the last time I had to do a cycled reboot, and the Wi-Fi signal boosting doesn’t hurt, either. Routers running Tomato/DD-WRT also work as wireless bridges for extending your base signal, and they’re a cheap way to do it. Let’s hear how you keep your home network churning day in and out in the comments. Regular Checkups to Keep Your Wi-Fi Signal Spiffy [Web Worker Daily]


"Crowdsourcing a Better Gmail" Presentation Slides and Notes

This week I had the great pleasure and opportunity to present at the Web Directions North conference up in Vancouver about Better Gmail, the community-built Firefox extension that I compiled here at Lifehacker. If you’re interested in the full story behind the extension, above you can check out the slide deck I used during my talk, and after the jump, a rough transcript of the presentation that goes along with it.

Note: The text below isn’t exactly what I said on stage (I believe the audio will be available as a podcast at some point), but it was the script that I worked from. Throughout the text I’ve noted which slide was on screen during a particular section. Apologies for the length of this post, it was an hour-long talk!


Improve Your Videos or Photos with Five Cheap Tricks

This video from DIY web site Instructables offers five simple and cheap tips for the budding videographer (though most could just was easily apply to photographers), from keeping your tripod level with an inexpensive bubble level to keeping your camera steady. We’ve seen the camera stabilizer before, though this one uses slightly different materials. In all it’s a solid group of tips that should come in handy for any fledgling filmmaker or photographer. Kipkay’s Video Tips & Tricks [Instructables]


Favorite TiVo Tricks?

Calling all TiVo users! An (ahem) “friend” of mine just entered the 21st century and got herself a new Series 3 TiVo, and is wondering what all it can do besides, well, all that it does. What are your favorite TiVo tricks and helper applications? You a fan of TiVoToGo? TiVo.net? TiVo2DVD? You streaming your music and photo library to the old TV with TiVo? Tell us about your TiVo setup in the comments.


DIY Door to Dining Room Table Conversion

Weblog Design Sponge details a simple step-by-step for converting an old door into an attractive dining room table on-the-cheap. The results are impressive, and apart from scavenging a used door that will work for you, the process is quick, easy, and pretty cheap. If this idea seems familiar, you may be flashing back to reader Jason’s DIY startup desk, also forged from a repurposed door. diy project: dining table [Design Sponge via DIY Life]


Lockout

Locked out of Windows? One year ago, you learned how to crack a Windows password with the Ophcrack Live CD.


Master Photoshop's "Select Color Range"

Funny guy screencaster Donnie Hoyle is back with a new episode in his “You Suck at Photoshop” series, and this one covers color range selection. Like the rest of the episodes, you might want to pop on the headphones to listen at work or in front of the kiddies. Hoyle’s using Photoshop in Windows in this episode, and demonstrates how to expertly overlay a hammock onto a palm tree scene. Useful and hilarious. Here’s episodes one through three, and here’s episode four. You Suck at Photoshop, Volume 5: Select Color Range [My Damn Channel]


Add "Now Playing" Status Message to Pidgin with MusicTracker

Windows/Linux only: The MusicTracker plug-in for Pidgin displays music you’re currently listening to on your computer as your status message with the free, open source chat application, Pidgin. MusicTracker supports any of your Pidgin accounts (e.g., AIM, Gtalk, Yahoo, etc.) and a wide range of music players, from Amarok or XMMS on Linux to iTunes and foobar2000 on Windows. If you’re not the best at setting status messages, a simple plug-in like MusicTracker is a fun and simple way to keep that status set and changing so you’re not “out to lunch” for weeks on end. MusicTracker [Google Code]


Automate Repetitive Typing with Snippits

If you’re a regular Lifehacker reader and Linux user, you probably have a hole in your productive little heart where a great text substitution app should be. Our own Texter makes repetitive phrases a snap to call up in Windows, TextExpander gives Mac users loads of quick-text options, and you’ve read all about how you can save time with text substitution (or hit the play button above to see it in action). Say goodbye to unrequited speedy-text love with Snippits, a free, open source utility that can insert text, activate program shortcuts, correct spelling, and even run bits of code, all at the touch of one button. Here’s a quick start guide to installing and customising Snippits to start saving time and keystrokes in Linux.


Belvedere

Belvedere gets another quick update to version 0.2.1, fixing a small but show-stopping bug. If you downloaded 0.2 this morning, head on back and pick up 0.2.1 from the download page.