highlights

March 2008's Most Popular Posts

If you were too busy being productive instead of reading Lifehacker this month, have a quick rundown of March’s most popular posts: Top 10 Software Easter Eggs“Sure we like our chocolate bunny ears, but around these parts the best easter eggs aren’t painted pink and stuffed with jelly beans—they’re the undocumented and unexpected fun features hidden deep inside various software apps.” Turn Your PC into a DVD Ripping Monster“Commercial DVDs are far too expensive to let scratches turn your video into a glorified coaster, but most people still don’t back up their DVD collection.” Protect Your Privacy When Downloading“Whether you’re downloading copyrighted material or not, no one likes to have their activities online monitored.” Download Music from Your Friends’ iTunes Libraries Over the Internet with Mojo“Windows/Mac only: Share any song in your iTunes library and download any song from your friends’ iTunes libraries over the internet with freeware application Mojo.” Top 10 Ways to Get Cables Under Control“When you finally decide it’s time to do something about that rat’s nest of cables that’s spreading like kudzu, you don’t have to spend a lot of time and money to get it under control.” Get Back to Your Mac Without Paying for It“When Leopard was released, one of the most enticing new features was Back to My Mac, a tool that made it possible to access your home computer remotely—including remote control of your desktop and access to your files—no matter where you are.” Caught Downloading Copyrighted Material—Now What?“Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from Cablevision (my ISP) saying that Paramount/Dreamworks had filed a complaint with them regarding my illegal download of one of their films.” Run Windows Apps Seamlessly Inside Linux“You love working inside your Linux desktop, but at the most inconvenient times you’ve got to reboot into Windows—whether to open a tricky Office file, try out a Windows application, or even just play a quick game.” First Look at Ubuntu 8.04 “Hardy Heron” Beta“Every six months when a new version of Ubuntu Linux gets released, long-time users and curious toe-dippers ask the same questions: ‘What’s new?’; ‘Is it worth upgrading?’; and, ‘Will my wireless card finally work with this version?’”


January 2008's Most Popular Posts

What, you didn’t spend every day of this month refreshing Lifehacker every hour? We forgive you. Here, have a recap of January’s most popular posts. Top 10 Obscure Google Search Tricks“Dozens of Google search guides detail the tips you already know, but today we’re skipping the obvious and highlighting our favourite obscure Google web search tricks.” Turn Your $60 Router into a User-Friendly Super-Router with Tomato“There’s been a lot of development of open source firmwares, and today we’re taking a look at my new favourite, a firmware called Tomato.” Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required“Now you can install Leopard on your computer about as easily as installing Leopard on a Mac–no command line hacking required.” Download and Listen to Free Music on the Web“RIAA lawsuits have scared you off P2P, but the iTunes DRM is both too expensive and too restrictive for your tastes, right? Then it’s time you head to the web.” Top 10 BitTorrent Tools and Tricks“BitTorrent is the go-to resource for downloading everything from music and movies to software and operating systems, but as its popularity continues to grow, so do the number of tools available for making the most of it.” Top 10 Underhyped Webapps“Even in this golden age of Big Internet Companies Acquiring Everything In Sight, there are still a few independent, small webapps out there that don’t get the attention they should for their useful functionality.” The 20 Best iPhone and iPod touch Applications“Last week we showed you how to install third party apps on your iPhone or iPod touch, and since then a new firmware preview has leaked its way to the ‘nets with saucy new features that–once released–may tempt you to abandon your jailbreak for the newly introduced features.”


This Week's Best Posts

So many Lifehacker posts, so little time. This week’s best posts include: Ensure a Fast Internet Connection When You Need It “Your internet connection is an indispensable part of your life, but between BitTorrent, Xbox Live, web browsing, and VoIP, sometimes there’s not enough bandwidth to go around.” Hot Image Your PC’s Hard Drive with DriveImage XML “You don’t need a complicated boot CD or expensive software to create a restorable system disk image for your PC: free utility DriveImage XML can save a full, working snapshot of your Windows hard drive while you work on it.” Top 10 Food and Drink Hacks “You may not be able to power an iPod with an onion, but there are plenty of neat tricks and techniques that actually do work with everyday foods.” Use Your iPhone’s Internet Connection On Your Laptop “It’s great that your iPhone has a data plan and a killer mobile browser, but when you’re sitting at the airport waiting to catch a plane with your laptop right next to you, wouldn’t it be nice to use your full-on desktop browser?” Get to Sleep Faster by Tensing Up and Repeating “The” “It’s not news that many of us aren’t getting enough sleep, but BBC News offers several tips from a director of Clinical Sleep Research for getting to sleep when your head hits the pillow that you may not have heard before.” Start Meaningful Conversations “Learning how to initiate that first conversation can be tough, but it doesn’t have to be.” Find Critically-Acclaimed Torrents at PickyPirate “BitTorrent search sites like The Pirate Bay can help you find recently-released tunes, flicks and video games, but deciding which are worth the hefty downloads usually involves digging in more mainstream channels.”


This Week's How To's

10 tips for finding rental accommodation easily Even in a competitive rental market you can make househunting a lot easier for yourself by following a few simple steps. I just rented a lovely house in a popular inner city suburb of Sydney for less than I expected to pay – and it only took me two days of looking at houses. Here’s how I did it. De-Pixelize Your Images with VectorMagic “Web site VectorMagic turns virtually any image into vector art that can be resized as much as you want without any nasty pixelation–perfect for creating your scanned signature, for example.” Save Time and Paper with a Scanned Signature “At one point or another, we’ve all gone through the print-sign-fax dance to return a signed document, but the Productivity501 weblog details how to create a high quality scanned signature that you can quickly insert in a document so you can save yourself time and paper.” Remote Control Leopard with TightVNC (Mac) “With VNC built right into Leopard, you can remote control your Mac from any other Mac via iChat or the Screen Sharing client–OR any PC using the right VNC client. “ Turn Your Old PC into a Webapp Monster with gOS “If you’ve got an extra PC gathering dust, gOS is not only a worthy operating system for a cheap PC from Wal-Mart; it’s also an excellent (and free) way to repurpose your old PC.” Change a Broken Bulb with a Potato “In short, you just cut a potato in half and stick the flat end of one of the halves into the socket and unscrew. “ Avoid Recipe Disasters Through Preparation “In his latest book, Ruhlman offers some tips for us non-chefs on how to save time and avoid disaster by reading closely and getting ahead.”

This Week's Featured Downloads

Add Double-Click Actions to Your Right Mouse Button with ClickZap (Windows only) “For anyone who’s ever wondered why double-clicking the left mouse button gets special status but the right button can only single-click, freeware application ClickZap adds double right-click actions to your mouse.” Add Movies to Your Netflix Queue from IMDB or Amazon with Movie Dude (Firefox with Greasemonkey) “The Movie Dude Greasemonkey script links popular movie sites to one another so that–for example–you can quickly add a movie to your Netflix queue after you’ve read about it on the popular movie web site IMDB, or after you came this close to buying it on Amazon.” Set Up a Self-Cleaning Mac with Hazel (Mac) “The Windows Janitor cleans out files of a certain age from a given folder on PCs, but Mac users have an even more robust, graphical alternative: the automated, rules-based file manager Hazel.” Batch Add Email Addresses with AddressContext (All platforms) “The addressContext Thunderbird extension batch processes to and from email addresses for a set of messages from the context menu.” Better Gmail 2 Firefox Extension for New Gmail (Firefox extension) “Google updated Gmail, and now we’re following up with Better Gmail 2, a Firefox extension that adds features to the new Gmail interface.” Turn Your Webcam into a Motion-Sensing Security Camera with Yawcam (Windows) “Got a webcam bundled with your last computer but don’t know what to do with it? Turn it into a motion-sensing security camera with freeware application Yawcam.” Skype 2.0 Beta Adds Video for Linux (Linux) “Skype’s latest 2.0 beta for Linux adds long-awaited video chat features to the popular freeware, cross-platform Voice over IP (VoIP) application.” Add Thumbnails to All Images in Explorer with Xentient Thumbnails (Windows) “Freeware application Xentient Thumbnails replaces all image icons on your desktop or in Windows Explorer with a thumbnail preview of the image.” Kick Off Your Daily Browsing with Morning Coffee (Firefox extension) “Morning Coffee bookmarks your regular reads by day (or by combinations of days) and opens up the appropriate set of bookmarks for each day with the click of a button.”

This Week's Best Posts

This week’s best posts include: 10 tips for finding rental accommodation easily Even in a competitive rental market you can make househunting a lot easier for yourself by following a few simple steps. I just rented a lovely house in a popular inner city suburb of Sydney for less than I expected to pay – and it only took me two days of looking at houses. Here’s how I did it. Make the Most of Your Dual Monitors “Now that you’ve added another monitor to your computer setup, you’ve got double the screen real estate to get things done—but are you putting all that space to good use?” Turn Your Old PC into a Webapp Monster with gOS “As more and more full-featured web applications look to replace traditional desktop apps, the concept of a web-based operating system has gained a lot of momentum.” Stream Digital Music to Your Stereo with Squeezebox “If you’ve got gigabytes of music you want to play from a central server in your living room—without keeping a big ugly PC there—the Squeezebox network music player’s for you.” Better YouTube Firefox Extension “Watch YouTube videos more efficiently with Better YouTube, a brand new Firefox extension that compiles our favourite YouTube Greasemonkey scripts into a single convenient package.” First Look at Firefox 3.0 “With the release of the much anticipated Firefox 3 looming just around the corner, we got our hands on the latest beta build of your favourite browser to get a closer look.” Find Full Episodes Online with Find Internet TV “Search for and find episodes of your favourite missed television shows or web-based video content with web site Find Internet TV. In essence, the site is a search portal that knows where to look for current shows and can quickly tell you where to find what you’re looking for.” Where to Search for Low Airfares Online “If you haven’t booked your ticket home for the holidays yet, the Productivity Portfolio weblog test-drove some top travel search engines you may want to hit up.” Ten Ways to Defeat Brain Drain “Those of us who are busy all the time can experience burnout, exhaustion, and fatigue from spending long periods of time in focused concentration. I call this syndrome ‘Brain Drain.’”


10 tips for finding rental accommodation easily

The newspapers are all atwitter about how competitive the rental property market is at the moment – particularly in Sydney. But even in a competitive market you can make househunting a lot easier for yourself by following a few simple steps. I just rented a lovely house in a popular inner city suburb of Sydney for less than I expected to pay – and it only took me two days of looking at houses. Here’s how I did it.


This Week's How To's

Stream Music from Your iPod touch or iPhone to Any iTunes Library(all platforms) “Stream music directly from your iPhone or iPod touch with the FireflyMediaServer application, a ported version of the same media service that shares iTunes libraries over your wireless network.” Make Shortcuts to Remote Desktops (Windows) “CyberNet News posts a shortcut one editor uses to shave seconds off connecting to other computers through Remote Desktop.” Tigerize Leopard (Mac) “Wired’s How To Wiki details what it takes to get the old Tiger-style Dock back (a simple Terminal command) and replace the glowing blue dots with Tiger’s old black triangles.” Make Your Linux Desktop Look Like a Mac (Linux) “Tired of hearing from all your Mac-happy friends how awesome Leopard looks? Got time to run through six pages of instructions? Then HowTo Forge has got you covered.” Turn Any Action into a Keyboard Shortcut (all platforms) “Today I’ll show you how to use AutoHotkey to turn almost any action into a keyboard shortcut.” Jailbreak Your iPhone or iPod Touch with One Click (iPhone) “Jailbreaking the iPod touch/iPhone is now an utterly simple, one-click affair–which means if you’ve been waiting to jailbreak your iPod touch or iPhone (since the 1.1.1 firmware upgrade), the time is now.” Upgrade Mac OS X to Leopard (Mac) “You’ve been salivating for months over all the exciting goodies Apple has promised to deliver with Leopard, and now that you’ve got your install DVD, you’re ready to make the upgrade to Mac OS X 10.5.” Make YouTube Better with Greasemonkey (Firefox extension) “From resizing videos and stopping YouTube from autoplaying videos (a la TubeStop) to adding better titles to YouTube pages so you know what video is in an unfocused tab, YouTube is ripe for a little tweaking–and that’s just what these scripts do.”

The Week's Best Posts

This week’s best posts include: Rebuild Your Mac with 20 Useful Downloads “You erased your hard drive to install Leopard, and now you’ve got to load your Mac up with all your essential software…” Top 10 Free Video Rippers, Encoders, and Converters “To have your favourite clips how you want them–whether that’s on your DVR, iPod, PSP or desktop–you need the right utility to convert ‘em into the format that works for you.” Homemade Halloween Costume Photo Gallery “Last week we put out a call for the best do-it-yourself Halloween costumes lifehackers could come up with, complete with instructions and images. As usual, you did not disappoint.” Turn Thunderbird into the Ultimate Gmail IMAP Client “If IMAP’s got you curious but you’re not sure what desktop application to use with Gmail, consider the extensible, fast, cross-platform and free Mozilla Thunderbird, our beloved Firefox’s little sibling.” Gmail Speeds Up, Improves Contacts “First IMAP support, and now a new version’s rolling out which includes message pre-fetching for speedier performance, a new contacts manager, and more keyboard shortcuts.” Get A First Class Ticket For Coach Class Prices “First class airplane tickets might be less expensive than you think.” Auto-Hide Your Firefox Bookmarks Toolbar “Love the bookmarks toolbar but only want it there when you need it? Reader Andy writes in with a tweak that makes the toolbar hide automatically, unless you mouse over it (like auto-hiding your Windows taskbar or Mac Dock.)” The Simplicity of Time Machine Compels You “If you’re running Leopard and you’ve got an external hard drive, you WILL back up your data, even if that wasn’t your intention when you bought the drive or plugged it into your Mac.” Turn Any Action into a Keyboard Shortcut “The free, open source scripting language AutoHotkey may not be one of the most powerful or popular programming languages on the planet, but that’s okay–it’s not just made for programmers.”


October '07's Most Popular Posts

Happy Halloween! Lest you missed any good Lifehacker this month, here’s a quick list of October’s most popular posts: Top 10 Wi-Fi Boosts, Tweaks and Apps “No doubt you’ve got a home wireless network or you’ve connected to hotspots at the local coffee shop or airport–but are you getting the most out of your Wi-Fi?” Top 10 Ways to Sleep Smarter and Better “Studies show that sleep deprivation costs Americans significant work productivity; yawning employees can’t stay alert, make good decisions, focus on tasks or even manage a friendly mood at the office.” Top 10 Google Products You Forgot All About “Living in the shadow of Gmail, Reader and Calendar’s got to be tough, but that’s what a slew of useful Google products do every day.” Discover the .EDU Underground “Little appreciated outside the world of academia, there are literally thousands of .edu sites bursting with incredibly useful and interesting information and resources.” Six Ways to Catch Your Favorite TV Shows “With the fall television schedule in full swing, many of us are back in the habit of plopping down in front of the tube at night to catch the latest installment of our favourite show when it’s scheduled to air.” Rebuild Your Mac with 20 Useful Downloads “You erased your hard drive to install Leopard, and now you’ve got to load your Mac up with all your essential software.” A Look at Ubuntu 7.10 “Gutsy Gibbon” RC1 “Experienced Ubuntu users know what to expect from this Thursday’s release of Gutsy Gibbon, the love-it-or-hate-it code name for version 7.10 of the popular Linux distribution.” MacBook Pro 1GB, 2GB, and 3GB Memory Speed Tests “You already know you can upgrade your Mac’s RAM yourself and save big money, but how much extra memory do you want?”