From The Tips Box: Business Hours, CD Organising, Fresh Snacking

Readers offer their best tips for keeping track of business hours in foreign cities, organising CDs on a spindle, and keeping snack food fresh and bag-free.

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? Email it to tips at

Take Pictures of Store Hours in New Cities

Photo by Justin Henry.

njefferson shares a great travel tip for remembering when businesses are open:

I recently traveled to another country with my iPhone. While walking around taking in the businesses nearby, I used the iPhone camera to snap the business hours on each door. That way, while I was in town, I never had to wonder if the coffee shop was open or the restaurant was serving breakfast while I was jet-lagging and not sleeping normal hours. It could work for anyone in a new place, really.

Use Post-Its to Organise CDs on a Spindle

DannyBR shows us an easy way to organise a large amount of CDs:

After my hard drive crashed, I noticed I had two blank DVD-R spindles to back-up to organize my different back-ups in addition to the new external HD. (Music, Movies, My Digital Art, TV Shows, etc) My only problem was how to keep them separate or find a way to easily locate a certain group in the spindle. Enter the page marker Post-it Pads (or any type similar). I write what section it is on the slip and have it fold over the edge and down. That way, if you're looking for TV Shows, you know which spindle it's on. Also, since the case comes down, it presses the tabs down so they're always visible. Not the most techy way to organize your media but sure makes it easier to find without going through all of them one by one.

Store Snack Food in Tupperware for Fresh, Quiet Snacking

Photo by Collin Anderson.

CrispyAardvark shows us that Tupperware is useful for more than just food in the fridge:

Do you love chips? (Lays, Utz, Doritos etc).

Hate the noisy bags that get crushed in the pantry along with chip-clips that get lost?

Decant your favourite snacks into those resealable plastic containers designed to keep cereal fresh and stack them alongside your cereal.

Open, munch, close and stack.

Your chips stay fresh longer, plus bonus points for not waking your partner up with midnight snack rustling noises.

Fix Disappearing List Panes in Windows Media Player With AutoHotkey

Resident AutoHotkey ninja PlatypusMan gives us a small script to fix disappearing pane issues in Windows Media Player:

OK, so in Windows Media Player 12 (the default WMP in Windows 7), I have noticed that it will sometimes toggle the list pane (in the "Now Playing" mode) against my will.

For instance, let's say I'm listening to music. I want the list there so I can pick what song I want to listen to. However, if, later, I watch a video in WMP, the list pane goes away. I guess that's fine, since the chances that I'm going to want to see it are pretty slim. However, the next time I want to listen to music, it's still gone.

OK, so it's not a huge deal. You can still right-click and click "Show list," but there really should be an option to always show it, to always show it for certain filetypes, or something like that. At the very least, a keyboard shortcut to quickly switch it would be nice.

In searching for a solution, I found this thread full of very frustrated people. Determining that there was no way to do anything that they (or I) wanted, I set out to do the best I could, which was create a keyboard shortcut.

I used (what else?) AutoHotkey. My post near the bottom of the page shows it, but I'll copy it here as well. It uses Ctrl+L if WMP is open to toggle the list pane:

#IfWinActive ahk_class WMP Skin Host



Send +{F10}

Send {l}



It works for me, but I haven't tested it elsewhere. Hell, I don't know if anyone here is having this problem, but until someone tells me a better solution, this is what I'm using.


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