From The Tips Box: Chrome File Browsing, iTunes Clutter, Old Phones

Readers offer their best tips for lightweight file browsing, cleaning up your iTunes library and repurposing old dumbphones.

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

Use Google Chrome as a Lightweight File Browser

Suryamp shares a cool feature of Google Chrome:

Another Google Chrome tip: Typing file:///C: gives you another light file manager which is much cleaner than the default file browser.

Very useful if you use Chrome to view PDF files.

Swc oxcart adds:

You can have a bunch of browsable or bookmarkable text files saved on you system for links and even code and them as html and open them as local web pages.

I bet a bunch of cool stuff could be done with this combo.

Use iTunes DJ to Clean Library Clutter As You Go

Ianjtaylor shows us an easy way to clean out your iTunes library without going through the entire process at once:

I use iTunes DJ constantly to play semi-randomly shuffled songs, but recently space on my iPod touch has been cramped so I was looking for a way to clean it out as I go.

I figured to uncheck a song, I had to locate it in the Library, which takes time. But I found that if you option-click the drop-down arrow in iTunes DJ, it'll bring you immediately to your Library, enabling super fast unchecking and cleaning out bad music.

Use Your Old Dumphone as a Smart Alarm Clock

Photo by Honou.

KTope shares a neat realisation he had about his "dumb" phone:

I repurposed my old Samsung dumbphone as my alarm clock. It is perfectly suited to the job, so I'm surprised it isn't more common for people to keep an old phone around for this purpose.

Any song or sound I want as an alarm? Check.

Auto DST adjustment? Check.

Insusceptible to power-outage? Check.

Multiple alarms, including advanced settings for weekday only? Check.

Plus, any button on the face or sides snoozes, but to actually turn off the alarm when I get up, I have to flip it open and press 2 buttons. No matter how tired I am, I've never accidentally turned it off before being ready to get up for the day.

All of this in a 4"x2"x1" area of my nightstand.

All of a sudden the clock on my nightstand seems so feature-poor.

Use Silica Gel to Dry Sweaty Gym Clothes

A3sthetix lets us know another clever use for silica packets:

I've been coming across a lot of these packets with new electronics and shoes. You can easily reuse these over and over again for the purpose they were created — absorbing humidity.

Usually, my soccer shoes take a whole day to dry on my windowsill. I tried letting them dry with a gel packet on the windowsill and it took about half the time. No doubt this will keep smells to a minimum and I'll be able to use my favourite shoes two days in a row.

I also suggest keeping a packet with your electronics such as your camera bag or laptop case. Another good spot is in leather jacket pockets during winter since snow often ends up getting in and dampening the lining.

Disclaimer: Keep these away from pets and children. They can cause some harm if ingested.



    FRAAAAK, you make me sad :(

    I've been using old mobiles for alarms for years.
    I'm so good at sleeping through or switching them that I use both my current phone and last one and stagger the alarm times so it's harder to ignore them both.

    I keep old mobiles just for parts/emergency, since I can always use my current one as an alarm.

    I also have a stack of 5 nokia 2280's that were rendered near-useless when telstra killed their cdma network. They're mostly used for juggling now.

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