From The Tips Box: Brachiosaurus iPhone Dock, Reading Faster

Readers show us how to use old toys as iPhone docks, read faster, and set up automatically expiring database backups in our Gmail Spam folders.

Use Gmail's Spam Folder for Expiring Database Backups

Cullen tells us how he backs up his blog using Gmail:

I know a lot of Lifehacker readers out there are fellow bloggers, so I wanted to share a tip that I use for managing my site's backups.

I have our site database automatically backed up and emailed to me on a daily basis, which after a while gets tedious to manage. I tried setting up labels through Gmail but I still had to go in periodically and delete old backups that were just taking up space.

As a workaround to this issue, I recently implemented a little life-hack, that so far is working out great! Instead of just using labels to help filter through my database backups, I'm now sending my backups to my spam folder. Since items in the spam folder automatically delete after 30 days, I always have 30 days worth of backups quietly tucked away in my Gmail account. For extra redundancy, have a couple people in your organisation do this.

Read Faster by Skimming

Photo by gj_theWhite

treznick tells us the skinny on how to skim to read faster:

Better tactic (again, from a history grad student) is to cut a book. Read the book reviews (academic, not the amazon ones), read the intro, the conclusion, get a sense of the argument, and skim the rest of the book, reading closely when things get interesting. You may not be able to speed read at 1,200 wpm, but you will be able to retain the argument, make notes in the margin (a necessity), think of insightful commentary, and get a better sense of the actual content of the book, rather than race to the last page.

Dinosaurs Have iPhones, Too

Jonathan wrote in with a money saving DIY iPhone dock tip:

I bought my iPhone 3G a few months ago but didn't see the point in paying 30 bones for the iPhone dock—it doesn't even come with the required cable! My life felt incomplete for a few months as I quietly resented my iPhone for just laying on my desk while charging. One day I looked around my desk at work and saw my plastic dinosaur toys that I keep there to remind me to stay young and playful (and because I'm a huge Serenity/Firefly/Wash fan ^___^ ). "Perfect!" I thought and grabbed my trusty Dremel tool and iPhone cable. A floor full of yellow plastic shavings and four fingers super-glued together later... I had my precious iPhone dock.


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