Readers tell us how they separate work and play with different browsers, keep track of their dynamic IP addresses with Gmail, and avoid long waits for the bathroom.
Track Your Dynamic IP Address With Gmail
Brad writes about a (potentially creepy) way of keeping track of dynamic IPs:
Sometimes when I'm at work I use TightVNC to access my computer at home. The problem is that I need to remember my network's IP address and it's set by Comcast to dynamically change. DnyDNS won't configure correctly so my workaround is to use Gmail. At the bottom of the screen next to "Last account activity" it says your current IP and has a link to Details. In details it lists my home Google Notifier's IP address so I always know what it is. I think this is a good tip for people that don't want to mess around with their routers to broadcast their IP address, or as a warning for people to see if a crazy ex is logging into their account without them knowing.
Separate Work and Play Browsers
Photo by TotalAldo
Matt tells us about how he keeps work and play separate when he's browsing:
My productivity tip is using two browsers: one for work and one for personal stuff. This is akin to separating work and personal email but in my experience is done much less often. Here's my setup:
Like many people, I have a work-provided laptop that I take most everywhere. As a result, plenty of my personal life creeps onto the machine. Of course I have a "personal" disk folder for documents, and I keep a personal email account (which does not display alerts for new messages).
But I've found it hard not to be distracted by the web during the day, especially as friends and family post to Twitter and Facebook and while my RSS feeds fill up with all sorts of goodies. I used to launch a browser to find out something for a project and then inevitably end up "just taking a peek" at one of those sites, only to find a half hour had gone by.
My solution is to use two browsers. My default browser I use for work stuff. It doesn't have any of my personal bookmarks, and I'm not signed into any social or news websites. My navigation bar doesn't pop up any distracting sites from my history when I start to type a URL; ditto for my search history. And because I know that I can't get to those sites without signing in, I'm less likely to click on personal links sent to me during the day.
(Yes, it's a bit of a pain to have to copy a "fun" link, open my "personal" browser, and paste it in. But that's sort of the point, to keep myself on task!)
For me, Firefox is the default browser because it handles certificates well. I use Chrome for personal stuff.
We've been using separate Firefox profiles for this for quite some time, but with the bevy of good browsers out there these days, using separate browser apps may be just as easy.
Get Rid of Roaches in a Jiffy (Or With a Jiffy Jar)
Photo by brandi666
Kathy writes about how to control a pest problem:
Nobody wants to admit they have a roach problem. Here, in Las Vegas, when one neighbour has the pest control guy spray their property, the ugly bugs will run to the next nearest property to get out of the heat. For some people, for one reason or another, spraying isn't an option.
Here's a safe approach to getting rid of roaches. Get yourself an empty glass jar. A washed out mayo jar will do. Dump your used coffee grounds into the jar; at least, enough to cover the bottom. Put the jar outside. You'll need to sit the jar on the ground and tip it at a slight angle to lean against a wall or something. Don't throw the lid away.
The roaches will not be able to resist the coffee's aroma. They'll climb up the wall and down into the jar to get to the grounds. Because the glass is slippery, they won't be able to get out. If there are any roaches around, it won't take long before you find your jar filling up. Get your gloves, put the lid on tight and toss the whole thing.
Just be sure you use your jar outside. You don't want to lure the creepy crawlers into your house to get rid of them. Oh, a couple of spoons of wet instant coffee will work just as well.
Forget Pens, Get Those Lil' Buttons With an SD Card
Photo by functoruser
Nicholas writes about his reset button pushing trick:
My Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard are nice, but when setting them up you have to press a really tiny button with a pen - I don't really want to use a pen to do it, as it could hurt it or just write on it. It's not possible to just press it with a fingernail either. I found that using a corner of an SD card (or virtually any other memory card) can hit this type of button perfectly! I've seen these little buttons on some toys, my router (to reset it), and of course mice and keyboards.
Avoid Bathroom Lines by Watching the Clock
Photo by bradleygee
Raghav writes about how to avoid long lines:
Most long lines in aeroplane bathrooms happen right when it's mealtime, since most people want to get fresh and wash their hands before eating. In the beginning of the flight, ask for a schedule of meals (or just listen when the captain is making his take-off speech), and go to the bathroom 10 minutes before each meal is scheduled to be served.
Find More Uses For Dryer Sheets
Photo by trekkyandy
Walter Glenn chimes in with more ways to use dryer sheets:
Dryer sheets are amazing things. They do absorb odors well. You can place one under the seats of your car to keep it smelling fresh or in suitcases before you store them. When I fold our bedsheets, I place the folded sheets into one of the pillowcases for the set, making a nice pouch so things stay organized, and then place a dryer sheet inside to keep them fresh.
Used dryer sheets also have tons of uses. You can use them to:
- Shine chrome or other metal fixtures
- Remove pet hair from surfaces
- Put in a sealed baggy with an old book for a day or two to remove the musty smell
After pulling them from the dryer, I just stuff them in an old Kleenex box so I always have them on hand.
About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox (tips at lifehacker.com.au) but for various reasons—maybe they're a bit too niche, maybe we couldn't find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn't fit it in—the tip didn't make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites for your buffet-style consumption.