From The Tips Box: Old SD Cards, Secure Passwords, iPad Speakers

Readers offer their best tips for old SD cards, keeping your login information safe, and improving the iPad's built-in speakers.

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 Old, Small SD cards as a Precautionary Password Reset Disk

Photo by Uwe Hermann.

Java-Princess shares a good use for old drives that might save your bacon:

Remember when 128mb SD cards were the biggest you could get? Now we don't give them the time of day. Rummage through your junk drawer to find one, stick it in your Windows computer and create a password reset disk. It takes seconds and may save you hours. Put it back in the junk drawer, tape it under your laptop, or throw it in your pocket book.

This would be great for old flash drives, too. Of course, you can always break into your own computer if you forget to do this.

Use a Different Email Address for Security-Important Sites

Brett Schulte lets us know one way to keep your most important login information safe:

Set up secure sites like banking or LastPass with a different email than you use for everything else for added security.

That way, if someone gets your email address and password from another site, you have an added layer of security between them weaselling their way in into other sites. You can always get emails from that service forwarded to your main address, too.

Use a Post-It Note to "Direct" Sound from the iPad's Small Speakers

Nick Gallagher doesn't like to use headphones, so he improves the iPad's speaker instead:

i just realised that putting a Post-It behind the speaker of an iPad 2 helps redirect the sound to where you are, rather than behind the iPad.

Pretty good if you're using an iPad dock or stand to watch videos.

Use Chrome to See Hidden Files on Your Hard Drive

Monstermash161 makes an odd discovery in Chrome's file manager:

Really odd Chrome tip on OS X: if you navigate to /, it gives a file directory just like Finder, but with all hidden files shown.

You can do this in Windows by typing C: into the address bar instead of /.


    Hi - I'm sure everyone has a really great tip :)Would love to read them. Mine is the use of portable apps. You can run heaps of apps from a thumb-drive. This would be very very old news to most people.

    I used to use a popular browser (shall remain nameless :)but got sick of the way it picked up net nasties. Now I use chrome-portable from a folder on my desktop. Chrome syncs bookmarks (to google) as you go. If the browser gets an unwanted toolbar or BHO, I just kill the folder and start another instance of portable chrome. Then I can recover all my bookmarks :) portable apps at; Stephen

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