Productivity

From The Tips Box: Old Gift Wrap, Facebook Cover Photos

Readers offer their best tips for reusing old wrapping paper, storing your warranties for easy access, and making Facebook cover photos.

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Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.

Reuse Old Gift Wrap As Packing Material

Yarden shares a great second use for wrapping paper:

If you’ve got old gift wrap left from the holidays, reuse it by using it as packing material in shipping boxes. Got this idea from Dollar Store Mom.

Photo by Pete.

Create A “Warranty Box” For Easy Access To Your Gadget Warranties

The Inquisitive Guy lets us know a good way to keep track of your warranty policies:

Whenever you buy ANY new thing, whether it is in electronics, a new TV, a new watch or anything, always put your warranty papers and/or cards in one place. Maintain a box, in which you can throw all your warranty stuff so that you need not worry about it when you desperately need it. This is probably the best thing to do ’cause all your warranty stuff is in that one single box you’re maintaining. If you don’t have a box, a spare bag or any empty drawer in your room will do.

Part of me thinks this is blindingly obvious, but one person’s obvious can be another person’s light bulb moment.

Photo by Warrenski.

Create Good Facebook Cover Photos With Your Camera

The Troll drops some knowledge on Facebook’s new Cover Photo feature:

There are a lot of webapps available to generate a cool Facebook cover for you, but if you’re the artistic and self-reliant guy, you might one like to put up a picture that you took.

Now one issue that I found was the weird aspect ratio of the cover: 840×310. Now I, as do most people, take pictures by either following the rule of the thirds or by centering the subject. So, in order to take a picture specifically to fit the cover on your Facebook profile page, here’s an easy way to frame for the right aspect ratio: change the aspect ratio of the photo to 16:9, and then switch on the thirds’ grid. Then, frame your photo in the first two rows only (in landscape orientation).

The maths behind this is simple: The aspect ratio of the cover page is 840:310, i.e. 2.7096:1. If you restrict your 16:9 aspect ratio photograph to the first two rows only, you get 16:(9*2/3) = 16:6, i. e. 2.6667:1, that’s just a tad bit lesser than the aspect ratio of the Facebook cover, so that also gives you a little breathing space.

If your camera does not allow to you change the aspect ratio of your photos, or doesn’t have the grid feature (like for instance, my Sony Ericsson W580i), then try framing the picture in top half of frame only, in landscape orientation. What you get is an aspect ratio of 4:(3/2) = 4/1.5 = 2.6667:1.

Restore Your Browsing Session In Internet Explorer

Moon gives us a quick tip for getting back your tabs in IE9:

In IE9, it is possible to retrieve your last session. The only catch is it has to be done manually. Just close out the browser, confirming that you want to close all the tabs. Reopen the browser, hold down ALT, tap the letter T, then S. That gets you to Tools / Reopen last browsing session.

Java-Princess notes that there’s an alternative method, too:

You can just click the link on about:tabs to reopen the last session. This is available by opening a new tab if like most people you have about:tabs set as your home page.


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