Sunday, January 18, 2009

Use Your Playstation Portable As An Additional Windows Monitor

Windows only: If you’re on the look out for a new trick to teach your PSP, using it as supplemental monitor for your Windows rig is pretty sweet trick indeed. Like many of the other awesome PSP based projects we have suggested here at Lifehacker, this requires a little bit of homebrew magic. The results are quite impressive however. Once you install PSPDisp and tether your PSP to your computer with a USB cable, you can use it as an independent display. Update: several readers have reported that they can tether over WiFi. Thanks guys! Check out the video:


Collagr Generates Collages From Flickr Photos

Collagr is a web based application that creates collages from photos uploaded to Flickr and Photobucket. You can use your own photos by plugging in the URL for the directory into Collagr or use search terms—the sample here was generate from a search for red roses. Once Collagr has grabbed images from the URL you supply, you can tinker with settings like the background colour, spacing between pictures, the resolution of the output, and you can apply a grayscale or inverted colour filter to the image. Collagr hosts the image once it is generate, you can either download it or use link to the unique URL that is generated. [via MakeUseOf]


VisiPics Ferrets Out Your Duplicate Photos

Windows only: Concerned you’re wasting disk space with duplicate photos but too cautious to go about wantonly deleting pics? Fire up VisiPics and find those dupes. VisiPics is an extremely thorough program. Many duplicate checkers are limited to comparing the file name, size, and date of creation to compare files and flag them as duplicates. VisiPics uses an algorithm to examine each picture and compare it to the rest, seeking out similarities based on the actual image not just the parameters of the file. VisiPics allows you to specify the degree of filtration. On the strictest setting it looks for tiny differences to consider the images distinct, the looser you set the restrictions to more liberal it becomes in comparing items. An example of this in application: on the strictest setting VisiPics considered two photographs of the same person taken milliseconds apart where their facial expression had changed only very slightly to be identical pictures. When adjusted to a more lax setting it allows for greater variations in photographs and still considered them duplicates. VisiPic is not the kind of program that you want unleash unsupervised on your photo collection, it certainly can’t tell if the difference between one photo and another is the difference between a genuine smile and a grimace. It is however an excellent tool for culling your collection, especially if you’re an avid photographer with a preference for use the burst mode when you’re shooting. Be forewarned, because Visipics actually compares the content of the photo instead of just the file metadata it is a CPU intensive process. Scanning 29,000 photographs during my test run of the software required approximately 2 hours of background processing while I used the computer for other tasks. For another photo comparison-engine check out Duplifinder. For a quicker, but less intensive method of scanning for duplicate files check out DoubleKiller.

Visipics [via MakeUseOf]


Extend Your Flash Cord With Network Cable

Don’t spend money on pricey flash extension cords, you can make a cheap and effective extension using CAT5 cable. Over at DIYPhotography.net, Udi found that his TTL—through the lens—Nikon flash extension-cable was a bit too short. He didn’t want to shell out even more money for an only slightly longer cord, so he bit the bullet and sacrificed the cable he had to his experiment. I cut the TTL cable in half, stripped back the rubber shielding and I used 2 Cat5e network wall jacks, 1 for each end. Cat5e cabling and jacks consist of 8 wires, so it was a perfect match for this. The other aspect of those cables is that they are shielded – after all, they transfer high amounts of traffic.

His gamble with the cable paid off, network cable was the perfect match to create an extension. He tested it with both 5ft and 50ft lengths of CAT5 cable with no apparent delays in the flash triggering. Given the small fortune he would have spent on a propriety extension cord of that length—if he could even find one 50ft long!—he saved a bundle with his cable modification. If you have ingenious money-saving camera hacks of your own, share the wealth in the comments below.Photo by pieterjanviaene. Extending Your TTL Flash Cord [DIYPhotography.net]


Remove Labels Without Tearing The Box

Stop shredding your cardboard boxes when removing labels. Peel them cleanly off with a razor and a steady hand.

If you reuse boxes with any frequency you know what a hassle having to remove or cover up old labels can be. Clean up the recycled boxes you use for your eBay empire with this simple trick. By tracing lightly around the label with a razor blade you create a score line that contains the tear created by peeling the label. When you peel up the corner of the label to remove it, it will remove some of the cardboard box but only the very top layer of box and only in the rectangle you’ve created. Now your legions of Pokémon-loving eBay bidders will never know that the boxes that their loot arrives in were originally from Mr. Winky’s Wonder Emporium. Thanks Sandra! How to Remove Shipping Labels From Boxes [Chica and Jo]


Automatically Name Zip Files In Windows XP

Create archives with significant names automatically by selecting the most important file in the group before creating your new archive. When using the built in ZIP-file creator in Windows XP—accessible by right clicking on a file and clicking Send To -> Compressed (zipped) Folder—there is a handy trick for assigning a name to the resulting ZIP file. When selecting multiple files to insert into a new archive, after highlighting the files right click on the file that bears the name you want to apply to the new archive. When the new archive is created, it will be assigned the name of the file that the right click context menu was activated off of. In the screenshot at right selecting ThisFileHasThenameYouWant.txt yields a ZIP file with all the highlighted files named ThisFileHasTheNameYouWant.zip. If you’re looking for a little more bang than the default Windows archive creator can provide, make sure to check out the Hive Five: Five Best Compression Tools. Thanks Jennifer!


Avoid Putting On 'Recession Pounds'

Avoid the trap of “recession pounds”, weight put on by eating less healthy food as a result of financial hardship. Historically recessions and depressions meant less money to spend on food, so in many cases weight loss was inevitable. The advances in food manufacturing and packaging have changed the culinary landscape, now it is possible to buy a fairly large volume of food cheaply. Unfortunately you end up with lots of junk food and “empty calories” if you’re not careful. What can you do to avoid putting on those recession pounds? Fred Lee of the financial blog Wise Bread writes: Be inconsistent. Like losing weight, gaining weight doesn’t happen by itself. In other words, you won’t gain weight in your sleep, you have to consume. So don’t eat junk food regularly, three times a day, everyday. Incorporate a healthy meal in there, with something nutritious that is high in fiber.

While his use of the term junk food conjures images of some guy sustaining himself entirely on Pringles and Dollar Menu Cheeseburgers, there are tons of junky low-nutrition value foods out there. If you can stand a simple diet and a little bit of cooking, there are lots of ways to stave off resorting to cheap and nutritionally-lacking foods. For ideas on how to keep eating healthy during a financial crunch check out how to prepare cheap and healthy food with minimal resources. Photo by mandj28. How to Avoid Putting on Recession Pounds [WiseBread]