Readers offer their best tips for alleviating sunburn, shortening URLs in Firefox with a keyword, and using Gmail Tasks as a borrowing/lending list.
About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, 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. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or email it to tips at lifehacker.com.au.
Use Vanilla Extract to Alleviate Sunburn
Photo by A.M. Kuchling.
Ty shares his favourite home remedy for sunburns:
Now I am just a lowly network analyst for Beatrice Community Hospital in Beatrice Nebraska, however being a ginger type Irish fellow, I get sunburns every year. I have tested this on sunburns and hand plant on the hot stove oopses alike. Pure vanilla extract, not imitation vanilla, but the good stuff doesn’t exactly get rid of the pain for good but it amazingly rids you of the burning at least for a short time. I don’t have a clue why or what it is in there that makes it go away, but when my son burnt his hand on the lawn mower that was the first thing I grabbed. When I went on vacation and fell asleep on the back deck with shorts on…. Guess what I used. For all your burning needs, (other than those in the lower abdominal area,) reach for the pure Vanilla extract.
Shorten URLs with Firefox’s Address Bar
Gabriel shows us how to quickly shorten URLs without navigating to the shortening service’s website:
I like shortening URLs, I don’t like unnecessary addons, especially if they add visual clutter or if Firefox already has this functionality in it. I like using Firefox’s search keywords to skip loading Google and pressing the search button, so when I loaded up is.gd to shorten a URL, it reminded me of the search box, and, indeed, Firefox lets me add a keyword search for it so if I give it the user-designated keyword and a URL via the address bar, [example isgd www.example.com]I’ve basically skipped a whole step.
is.gd is just my personal preference, but it looks like this would work with most shortening services as long as it has an input box
Use Portable Browsers to Run Multiple Versions
Mark describes how he runs multiple versions of the same browser at once:
I have a simple tip I thought I’d share. I’m a web developer and
therefore I’m required to support several versions of different
browsers. As a result, I find myself checking sites in both FF 2 and 3
among many other leading browsers. My tip pertains to any application
you can download at portableapps.com but focuses on Firefox as an
How to run many versions of Firefox at the same time:
1. Download all the versions you need at portableapps.com E.g.
FF 3.0 http://portableapps.com/apps/internet/firefox_portable/localization#legacy
FF 2.0 http://sourceforge.net/projects/portableapps/files/Mozilla%20Firefox%2C%20P.E.%20Legacy/
2. Extract each version to where you want — either a flash drive or
just your local disk. I have mine in C:Program FilesFirefox x.x
Portable (where x.x is the version)
3. In each browsers’ folder, navigate into Other > Source and copy the
4. Paste the copied file up two directories into the main folder so
you have both FirefoxPortable.exe and FirefoxPortable.ini in the same
5. Edit the following two lines in the .ini file:
Set both to true:
The first line makes the PortableApps.com slash screen not show on
launch and the second line allows different version to run at the same
Now you can run all your versions of Firefox at the same time — I’ve
also done this with Chrome 3.x and 4.x as well!
Use Gmail Tasks as a Lending/Borrowing List
Chaely gives us another clever use for Gmail Tasks:
I’ve seen a bunch of good task-related tips but I don’t know if I’ve seen this one yet. I’ve started using my gmail tasks to keep track of things I loan to & borrow from my friends & family. Every time I get an email from my friend asking to borrow a book I go up to the “more actions…” tab and tell it “add to Tasks” then file it under my “borrowed/lent” list, then archive the email. I also jot down things that I borrow from people in case they sink to the bottom of a drawer and I forget that I have it.