Readers offer their best tips for keeping headphones from fraying in your pockets, tightening loose battery doors on your phone, and communicating with your housemates.
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 lifehacker.com.au.
Keep Headphones from Fraying with an Extension Cord
Photo by Brian Turner.
Gillespieza shares a recurring issue with his headphones:
I like to listen to audiobooks and music on my iPhone using a nice pair of silicon in-ear earphones. I do this while shopping or driving, with the phone in my jeans pocket and the cable sticking out of the top of my pocket. However, the cables always end up getting damaged after a couple of months - usually at the base where the jack goes into the phone. By damaged, I mean sometimes there is no sound, and if I wiggle the cable at the point, sometimes it will make a connection, and sometimes not.
I'd still like to be able to have my phone in my pocket, since my jeans pockets are a snug fit for the phone, and less of a security risk (in South Africa) than wearing the phone on a belt clip.
And akshay2000 shares a solution:
I think if you use 3.5 mm extension cables, you should be just fine. Connect around 3 inch extension cable to the phone and then connect your earphones to the cable. This way, the end (which, according to you, gets damaged) will always be out of pocket and will face no pressure. However, you might need to replace those extensions. And they don't affect sound quality, in case you were worried!
Tighten Loose Battery Doors with a Piece of Paper
2¥ben fixes a breaking phone with just a small index card:
If you are anything like me and are constantly fiddling with your phone (and/or dropping it), the back plate of your phone might be a bit loose. After putting a folded note in between the back plate and battery, I realised the back plate was tighter.
So, aside from possible flammability concerns and the obvious nature, I thought it was a pretty nice fix.
You could probably find something a bit less flammable, too, like some electrical tape or something of the sort.
Use Twitter to Easily Communicate with Housemates
Photo by Cory Doctorow.
Lackofsunshine shares his preferred (digital) method for keeping in touch with his housemates:
Hey folks. I thought this would be useful to share. I live in an apartment with three other people and we relied pretty heavily on the dry erase board for quick notes. Email is just an annoying, disorganized way to go digital with quick updates and messages, so I thought a twitter account for the house would be useful. So, we set up an account for the house and instead of writing stuff on the whiteboard, we just shoot out a tweet to the house. This way stuff doesn't have to get erased, emails don't clutter up the inbox, and everyone can see what's happening/important in a quick, succinct context that, coincidentally, holds about the same number of characters as the dry erase on the fridge. Hope this helps!
"Lock" Your Linux Desktop with Console Mode
Photo by Neil Bird.
Command line ninja the-soup shares a handy trick for locking your computer:
Use Ctrl-Alt-F1 as a quick and dirty lock for Ubuntu (this works on Lubuntu, too, and probably works on other linux distros). That key combo brings up a terminal that takes up the whole screen. It'll fool some people who aren't that good at computers or don't know Ubuntu, but won't work for many others. To get rid of it, hit Ctrl-Alt-F7.