From The Tips Box: Sluggish Macs, Dropbox Referrals

From The Tips Box: Sluggish Macs, Dropbox Referrals
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Readers offer their best tips for dealing with Hulu commercials, speeding up problem Macs, and getting extra Dropbox space.

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

Check Your Mac’s Printer Queue If It’s Acting Up

Billiken shares a handy troubleshooting tip for Mac users:

Mac Users: Watch your Printer Queue!!

My girlfriend’s MacBook slowed down over the last 5 months for no apparent reason. Her cpu was overloaded, her ram was always near capacity and her internet was super slow. My MacBook Pro is the same age and has held up much better so i went ahead and took hers in a few nights ago aaaaaaand…. the problem was, frankly, hilariously stupid.

The ‘Genius’ told me that if your mac is running slower than usual, one good place to check for a problem is the printer preference pane in System Preferences. Apparently a lot of times, a print jobs sent to a networked printer can get “stuck” and eat up system resources. If you see a printer in your queue that is ‘idle’ or connected and has a job in the queue, but you’re not even in the same city as that printer, that’s your problem. He deleted two jobs that have been trying to print since February and the computer sped up immediately.

Get More Dropbox Space by Playing the Birthday Card

Adam shares his favourite place to solicit Dropbox referrals:

Put your Dropbox referral link up on Facebook on your birthday. That way people can get you something that you want, without spending any money, and they’re more apt to click the referral.

Be sure to check out our cheapskate’s guide to getting free Dropbox space for more referral tips, too.

Condition Yourself to Sleep Easier on the Floor

Photo by Bill Selak.

If you find yourself crashing on your friend’s floor more than a little often, reader Joe shows us how to make it a bit more comfortable:

Like many people I always considered the ability to sleep on the floor to be a great advantage – people claim health benefits of all types, but it was the minimalist feel and practicalities that appealed to me (makes it much easier to find a place to to bed down after a party at a friends house).

I tried occasionally for a few years and failed every time. I’d put my blanket down, wait patiently… relax, and wait for a couple of hours before eventually abandoning in favour of my bed. Epic, as the kids say, fail.

The solution turned out to be pretty easy. Normally my alarm goes off at 7am so I set it for 5am. When it went off I got out of bed and immediately lay down on the floor with my blanket. Because I was already sleepy, warm, and relaxed, I found it much easier to go to sleep. It wasn’t the deepest sleep I’ve ever had, more like a lie-in. But it was a first step. After two nights like this I set my alarm to 3am, and did the same, then 1am. After only a couple of days I was sleeping soundly on the floor and by the end of the week I had got over my mental block about sleeping on the floor and was was able to just lie down and drift off pretty much anywhere.

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