From The Tips Box: Flash Resources, Rearview Mirrors

Readers offer their best tips for keeping Flash from sucking up your CPU, avoiding light reflections in your rearview mirror, and launching your screensaver with a mouse click.

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? Add it in the comments, or email it to tips at

Minimise Flash's Resource Usage by Minimising It

Tobylane shares a tip for those that listen to music through video sites like YouTube:

If YouTube is taking up a lot of CPU (and battery) minimise the browser it is in. It's only useful if you only want the music, and you already have a playlist, but it cuts the CPU usage of Chrome and Flash to roughly a quarter of what it is when they are active.

Avoid Blinding Lights in Your Rearview Mirror with a Switch

KBS reminds us of a lesser-known feature in some cars:

You can switch back and forth with the toggle switch under the rear mirror with same range of vision but different percentage of visibility behind you to tackle with HIGH BEAM coming from behind.

As if driving at night was not enough, some car drivers behind you throw you a HIGH BEAM at you to make the experience worse.

There must be plenty of vehicles that have a toggle switch under the rear mirror. This situation is exactly where you need it. After you pull in the toggle switch, the mirror will block around 75% of the light and you will still be able to see whats behind you comfortably. [Note: It probably is due to total internal reflection.]

If the vehicle behind you is around the same size as yours, the light gets reflected back at her/him and you will see them leaving you alone. If you feel guilty about it, remember that you aren't throwing more light back than what they s/he threw at you. So, its cool.

I imagine this also works well if the sun is behind you and reflecting off the rearview right into your eyes.

Photo by Dsb Nola.

Toggle Your Screensaver with a Keyboard Shortcut in AutoHotkey

Sassy Shortcutter PrairieMoon shows us how to throw on your screensaver with just a mouse click in Windows:

Here is an simple AHK script for the Windows screensaver. I found it here.

Very simple, in what it does. How it's done, that part I wouldn't have worked out for myself.

In its original form, it launches your favourite screensaver if you hold down the middle button for 5 seconds. I used the left button and put it at 3 seconds instead:


Keywait, LButton, T3

If ErrorLevel

SendMessage, 0x112, 0xF140, 0,, Program Manager


Use Elastic Bands to Hold Vacuum Nozzles Together

Elizabeth replaces her shop-vac's finicky nozzle holder with a few elastic bands:

I got tired of the loose attachment to my shopvac. A simple piece of elastic band I had in my sewing stuff and a few knots later, I've got them stored much more securely.


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