Productivity

From The Tips Box: Tablet Home Screens, Wireless Mice, Blurry Photos

Readers offer their best tips for arranging your tablet’s home screen, charging the batteries in your wireless mouse, and taking better action photos at night.

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.

Set Corner Icons For One-Handed Access

MsCassLopez shares a one-handed tip for her new tablet:

Instead of following the masses and arranging your icons in a nice rectangular grid on your tablet think about how you use the darned thing: one handed; and you only have the thumb of your right (or left) hand to click with. Arrange your icons as in the image above. Your stuff is all in reach of your thumb. Lesser-used stuff is in reach of your left thumb. Group related apps together in a folder to save switching screens all the time.

Use Old Gadgets As Battery Chargers

The_Ov3rminD finds a use for a mostly-broken mouse:

Use an old wireless mouse as an inexpensive battery charger. I have a Logitech G700 and as anyone that owns one knows, they devour batteries at an alarming rate. So my solution is to use my old G700 that has broken buttons as a battery charger. That way, I always have a fresh battery waiting for my G700! I never have to plug in my mouse to charge it, just swap the batteries from my older, broken G700 and continue on with what I was doing.

Obviously, this only works if you have the same mouse, or if your old device takes the same kind of battery as your new one. Image remixed from Michael Joseph.

Take Video Instead Of Photos In Low Light

Nell324 takes better pictures at night:

To take action photos in low light, like at night, just set your camera or phone to take a video or movie clip. It will let enough light in and by using free frame-capture software such as VLC, you can get perfect, motion-free, well-lit photos.

Your mileage may vary a lot on this — you may find that a lot of your video’s frames are blurry, but it might work if you can’t figure out another method (particularly on a low-end camera such as your phone). Image remixed from Stig Nygaard.

Check SSD Compatibility Before Installing Windows 8

Kfang1233 finds that his SSD doesn’t work with Windows 8:

If you have an SSD and you plan to update to Windows 8, do some research before you actually do, as many SSD’s don’t support Windows 8 yet and require new firmware. My Kingston HyperX 120GB SSD ran Windows 7 perfectly fine, but in Windows 8, after 5 minutes of booting, it gives me a “DPC WATCHDOG VIOLATION” blue screen. Newer SSDs are probably fine.

Just look up your model name then the word “Firmware” on Google. If you don’t see anything, I’d suggest waiting until there’s a firmware update. My Kingston HyperX doesn’t have a firmware update, so luckily I had a spare HDD to use my computer on, but remember to look for a firmware update or do some research before installing Windows 8 on your SSD!

I’ve yet to see any problems like this (my SSD was pretty old and it worked fine), but a compatibility search certainly couldn’t hurt.


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