Readers offer their best tips for cheaply wrangling their cables, measuring ingredients when cooking, and turning your phone into a retro gaming device.
Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favourites. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments or send it using the contact tab on the right.
Use Newspapers To Cheaply Organise Cables
Here’s a simple and fairly effective way to conceal all that heavy cabling that comes with a desktop PC, that is particularly effective if the table is placed against a wall: make some tubes out of newspapers, and paste them along the edges of your table, so that they are not visible from the front. Pass all your cables through these tubes, and there, you have a neat table. You’ll have to use sturdy tubes (I rolled up entire newspapers, so that they could carry the weight of some of the heavier cables), and then used a mixture of glue and tape and fix them in place. Here’s a before and after of the table.
Yeah, I know the tower’s supposed to placed [lower], but I often need to open it, and it’s a pain to bend down and reach for its back, so I keep it alongside my ancient monitor.
Search Google.co.uk For Weight-Based Recipes
Jesseg shares a tip for internet-savvy chefs out there:
Unfortunately, American recipes rarely give measurements by weight. Weighing ingredients leads to much more consistent cooking and baking, and it’s also easier, as you don’t need to dirty measuring cups and spoons. Fortunately, our friends across the pond in the UK do use weights in their recipes. When looking for recipes that use weights, search from google.co.uk, rather than google.com.
And this is a large catalogue of nutrition data that gives serving sizes in both volume and weight. It’s helpful for converting odd ingredients.
Upload Albums To Picasa With Drag-And-Drop
Easily share photos from iPhoto to Picasa Web Albums by simply opening their newly redesigned upload page and dragging the photos from iPhoto into it. It’s literally that simple. I just dragged an entire event out of iPhoto and I’m watching those 200 photos upload. Couldn’t be easier! Definitely beats the Web Albums uploader from Google.
This probably would work with many other image library programs, as well — as long as you can drag them out of the program, they’d probably go into Picasa Web.
Speed Up Your Old, Repurposed Android Device For Gaming
Photo by Johan Larsson.
We’ve shown you how to turn your phone into a retro gaming device, but KatsumeBlisk takes it a step (or 10) further:
Have an old Android device that’s too underpowered to do almost anything? Use it for retro gaming. I inherited an LG Ally after my family played musical phones when I got my HTC Incredible 2, and I love it for this purpose. I put it into aeroplane mode, turned on Wi-Fi, installed NESoid, SNESoid, GBCoid, and Gameboid from SlideME.org, threw some ROMs on the SD card (and the gba_bios.bin for Gameboid) and went to town. These don’t lag at all because they don’t require much power.
I went the extra mile and rooted to freeze the apps I don’t use like the phone and messaging apps (couldn’t figure out how to install a recovery for a ROM since ClockworkMod isn’t supported) to free up processing power/RAM and have Zeam with only two home screens and almost no widgets. I only have Transparent Clock, a battery widget, and the power control widget. This phone is actually almost usable with these tweaks (still laggy outside of the emulators). I also use it to SSH into my server when away from my computer using Connectbot. Best part is that this phone lasts days because it’s not being synched with any services. I don’t charge it often.
The Ally has a physical keyboard and I think that is a key feature if you want to do this. That’s really the only reason I am using the ~3.2″ Ally for the gaming and SSH instead of my 4.0″ Incredible 2. The physical keyboard is easier to use than a onscreen one for the emulators and SSH. It doesn’t cover anything you want to see.