From The Tips Box: Trimming Photos, Timed Shutdown, Minimalistic Twitter

From The Tips Box: Trimming Photos, Timed Shutdown, Minimalistic Twitter

Readers offer their best tips for trimming home-printed photos, turning off your PC after a certain period of time, and taking unwanted features off the Twitter home page.

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

Trim Printed Photos Neatly By Hand

Pojken shows us an effective way to trim photos:

I learned this a while back at an architecture firm – to trim out photos or pictures neatly and more precisely, start by trimming off the corners. This makes lining up the horizontal edges a lot easier. You don’t have to estimate the edges across the white space. It’s been a lifesaver for my presentation boards.

Of course, my preferred method is using an Exacto blade and straight edge, but if I have a lot to do, this is much easier.

Shut Down Your Computer Later with a Batch Script

Natael shares a batch script for shutting down your computer after a certain period of time:

Recently I decided that on those nights where I watched a TV episode right before sleep I didn’t want to have to get up out of bed to turn my computer off or hibernate it when the episode was done. In retrospect I should have done an online search for a utility to take care of this, but not thinking of that in time I opted to write some old batch file coding to automate my Windows shutdown. Turns out there are some new commands in Windows 7 command prompt that weren’t there before which proved useful, so the resulting code I came up with was:

Title Delayed Shutdown Utility
CHOICE /C HS /D H /T 60 /M “Hibernate or shutdown after wait?”
set /P Length=How many minutes do you want to wait?:
echo Computer will shut down in %Length% minutes.
set /A Sleep=Length*60
IF /I %Type%==1 (echo You set this utility to HIBERNATE your computer %Length% MINUTES after %time:~0,5%) ELSE
(echo You set this utility to SHUT DOWN your computer %Length% MINUTES after %time:~0,5%)
echo The utility will complete this after the below remaining time:
timeout /T %Sleep% /NOBREAK
IF /I %Type%==1 (C:WindowsSystem32rundll32.exe PowrProf.dll, SetSuspendState Hibernate) ELSE
(C:WindowsSystem32shutdown.exe -S -t 0)

This code put into a text file and saved with a .bat extension and executed will give you the option to select ‘h’ or ‘s’ on your computer (for hibernate and shutdown) and then select a number of minutes to delay (e.g. 90 for 1.5 hours) after which it will show a countdown screen and at the end of the countdown will execute the shutdown or hibernate. To cancel at any time you need only exit out of the command prompt window, but you can leave it running in the background or minimized without cancelling it.

Note: Fair warning, since it was written for Windows 7 with some new command prompt commands it is likely not to work on older systems. The delay function would probably need to be implemented differently on Vista or XP, perhaps with an ip timeout of some sort.

Get Rid of Unwanted Twitter Features with a User Script

ArpitNext shares a user script that cleans up the Twitter home page:

Remove unwanted stuff from twitter homepage, with the use of this online Greasemonkey script generator. Decide the elements to be removed (such as trending topics, geolocation request, or RSS links), generate a userscript, and install it to your browser.

Note that the page is in French, but it’s basic enough that translated with Google Translate, it will be clear enough in English.

Use Your Phone’s Default Ringtone as Your Alarm

Photo by Jeff Turner.

Hey Friend tells us how he wakes up easily in the morning :

I have an extremely hard time waking up in the morning, and I have recently come up with a method that seems to be helping. In addition to having a regular alarm set up across the room, I have changed my tone on my cell phone from the standard alarm buzz, to my actual cell phone ring (Blackberry Tour). The classic ring seems to force a relatively more strenuous thought process, as opposed to the habitual snooze. It’s surprising how much the small increase in cognitive processing can help.

Log in to comment on this story!