From The Tips Box: International A/C Adaptors, Plantar Fasciitis, Dealhacker Searches

Readers offer their best tips for going overseas with your Mac, relieving the pain of Plantar Fasciitis, and searching for deals and giveaways on Twitter.

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. Got a tip of your own to share? Email it to tips at

Use Non-Apple A/C Plugs in Foreign Countries

Vlad Kuznetsov shows us that you don't need to buy Apple's expensive international adaptors:

You know how Apple wants you to buy their World Travel Adapters? Well, I was recently looking into the whole adapters world and, well, this little "hack" might save you a couple dozen dollars!

Basically if you find yourself in a foreign country and the power socket is different, just go to the nearest "Dollar Store" and buy a KETTLE! :D

Why a kettle? Well, it can actually be any electrical appliance with an unpolarized C7 or C8 IEC connector (or the regular "appliance connector" as normal people call it). The next step is to stick the connector into your MacBook power brick and enjoy your DIY travel adaptor.

It worked for me and I'm sure it will work for you too!

Relieve Plantar Faciitis Pain with a Glass Bottle

Photo by Terry Ross.

Dragonskin shares a simple treatment for Plantar Faciitis foot pain:

Around 4 months ago I got Plantar Fasciitis and it was terrible. Waking up in the morning and walking around was hell! Then my school nurse suggested a simple exercise and it worked wonders and hopefully it will work for you all as well.

Just a note: I did this for around 2 weeks and the pain went away. I continued it for a further month and after that I stopped and it still hasn't returned.

Grab a glass bottle or even a plastic bottle. A 1.5 Litre bottle will do fine. I used a plastic bottle. Fill it up with cold water. If it's too cold to put your foot on it, preferably wrap a cloth around it. You don't want to freeze your foot, that won't do any good. When you are watching TV or something put your foot on top of the bottle and roll it around with any part of your foot except your heel. Preferably try switching with different parts of your foot. Keep rolling it for around 30 minutes and repeat it at least 3 times a day. I didn't do it, but even repeating it a few times with lukewarm water helps a lot more.

Search for Deals and Giveaways Using Twitter

hun.addict> tells us a great search engine for finding good deals:

If there's a giveaway, promotion or sweepstakes somewhere on the Internet, it'll show up on Twitter as well. Search for "giveaway", "sweepstakes" or similar queries on to find them all. Watch out for spam/misleading links though, there are plenty of them.

This Firefox extension is probably a pretty good way to filter the spammy and misleading links — just check the URL and see if it is from a trusted source.

Put a Sticker on Your Phone for No-Slip Grip

Photo by adactio.

Yean lets us know of an easy way to give your phone a better grip without bulky cases:

Ever feel like the iPhone is a tiny bit too slippy and care for a bit more grip but don't like all these shells or cases that are available?

Simple mod: just stick any random sticker on the back and you will have your extra grip!

Credits go out to my girlfriend who stuck a sticker of some cute chickens on my iPhone on Easter.


    oversea plugs like china two prongs can also be twisted with pliers to fit in the aus sockets, just a random tip

      And a Euro-style plug (also used in parts of Asia) can be inserted in to a UK-style socket, as long as you first stick something (e.g. pen lid, pencil, screwdriver) into the UK socket's Earth hole first. So if you're travelling between Indonesia (euro style) and Malaysia (UK style), just take a euro adapter.

      I've been doing that with the flat US plugs (without the round grounding pin) for 15 years.

    This is not necessarily safe. Different countries use different voltages and AC frequencies.

    You don't need to buy a kettle -- just go to an electronics parts store (think Dick Smith) and buy the cord itself.

    This is perfectly safe to use with dual-voltage products (Mac laptops, for example). To make sure, check the specs page for that product that the line voltage is 110 to 240 AC, and the frequency 50 to 60 Hz.

    I've done this many times around the world for my laptop, my iPhone, my camera battery, etc, with European 'schuko' plugs, US plugs, Australian plugs, etc.

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