From The Tips Box: Coffee Measuring, Regretful App Purchases

Readers offer their best tips for storing remote controls, creating ZIP files that extract themselves, and making your Android phone run a little smoother.

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 Small USB Conversion Cables as Breakaway Cables

Photo by Manchester City Library.

Will G. finds a use for those tiny USB conversion dongles:

This is something I’ve been doing for a while. I have a bunch of short USB A Male to A Female that came with little USB dongles. The best use for them is to connect them in between my USB mobile phone charging brick and the longer micro USB cable to create a breakaway cable. It’s come in handy to stop myself from tripping over the cable and either sending my phone flying or bending one of the prongs on my charger. Something I almost did this morning grabbing my phone while in bed.

Use Formula Dispensers for Easy Coffee Every Morning

Chad discovers a clever use for leftover baby products:

Before I was a parent, I never considered drinking drip coffee at home. I was more of a “fancy” starbucks coffee drinker. Anyways, now that I am a drip coffee drinker at home, I was looking for ways to make the preparation easier and more efficient. I found a few of these laying around.

I figured out that if I filled each compartment with ground coffee, it was the perfect amount. Each week I fill them up and now I don’t have to measure and make a mess every day, just once a week. A cheap and efficient solution to more caffeine.

Hide iOS App Purchases from iTunes’ Purchased List

Curare shows us how to hide the disappointing fart apps from your iPhone’s Purchased list:

Like most iOS users, I have downloaded a bunch of iOS apps to try out and later deleted them after discovering those apps were garbage.

With the introduction of iCloud, I can be reminded of my bad download history by looking at the ‘Purchased’ apps list in the App Store. To get rid of apps on this list, simply swipe and tap on hide.

Use Microsoft Office’s Clipboard Manager for More Powerful Copying and Pasting

Java-Princess reminds us of a lesser-known feature in Microsoft Office:

A lot of people use some MS Office program, I guess usually Outlook but any of the individual apps will do. The Office apps all have a multi-clipboard that stores the last 24 things you copy – text, images, audio… #25 knocks #1 off the end and so on… These are available only for pasting into an Office application but allow copying from anywhere. The Office clipboard has its own icon in the notification area and only runs while an Office app is running; so keeping an app running all day allows you to use the multi-clipboard. Several commenters in the previous thread had no idea the multi-clipboard existed so now I’m telling everyone.

If you don’t like wasting your taskbar space with an Office app unnecessarily then consider using Outlook – it minimizes to the notification area and keeps out of the way.

To enable the Office clipboard which is off by default and hides under a rock click the Home tab in any Office app and click the word Clipboard in the Clipboard panel – not the icon for a clipboard which is for pasting; in Outlook this tab is in the New Message window. The only serious drawback to the multi-clipboard is the lack of an ability to paste into non-Office documents as Office uses its own pasting method; you can get round this in a kludgy sort of way by first pasting into some Office app; the copied text/image/mp3 file is now on the Windows clipboard and can be pasted in any app which will accept it.

Of course, if you need this in apps other than Office, you can always install a separate clipboard manager for your whole system.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

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