Readers offer their best tips for setting up computers for your kids, solving regular application crashes in Mac OS X, and sending articles to Instapaper.
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 Computer Passwords to Help Kids Memorise Important Info
JCMasterpiece uses inception on his kids through computer passwords:
I have recently setup a profile on our family computer for our younger kids with limited application access, limited site access, etc. I wanted the kids to get used to using a password to access it, but since it was just in our home I wanted it to be reasonably easy to access. My wife and I didn't want to have to constantly log into their account for them.
So I setup the account, setup the password, and gave them the hint: "Mum's phone number". From there they had to figure out how to get in. Periodically I am changing the password and hint phrase to things like "street address", "How do you call the police?", "What do you do if a stranger asks you to get in their car?", "If your clothes catch on fire?", etc.
I figure this way they are definitely going to learn and/or practise the basic knowledge skills they need to stay safe.
Solve Regular App Crashes By Deleting Save States in OS X Lion
Cinnamonster discovers one possible cause of recurring crashes:
If a particular application is consistently crashing on launch, try deleting the saved state, since Lion uses this to try and restore all open windows, files, etc, from the last session. These can be found in
/Users/[user]/Library/Saved Application State. Since Library is not ordinarily visible, use Shift+Cmd+G to go to the directory. This worked for me after Xcode crashed trying to open a file.
The inquisitive guy also reminds us that deleting the app's .plist file in
/Users/[user]/Library/Preferences can often help, too.
Use Extensions Instead of Bookmarklets for Keyboard Shortcuts, Extra Features
The inquisitive guy lets us know the advantages of browser extensions, despite their memory usage:
Do you use Instapaper-type services often, and find it hard and kinda obsolete to click on the extension icon or bookmarklet in your browser to save it? Make use of the extension's keyboard shortcut feature. Set a nice and easy keyboard shortcut for it and then use it. It works like a dream. It is very useful and easy and time saving.
P.S I use Alt+Shift+I for Instapaper.
This should be really obvious, but I always used bookmarklets because I didn't want the extension slowing down and/or cluttering up my browser. It never occurred to me that they'd be worth having around for things like this.
Use Neck Pillows as Portable Seat Cushions
Pojken finds a better use for neck pillows:
I recently caved and bought a neck pillow (from IKEA for $US3) for my transatlantic flights. When I got on the plane, I found I didn't need it since the bendable headrests were enough. I decided to use it as lumbar support instead. That actually helped quite a bit. Then, I fell asleep for most of the 11-hour flight. When I awoke, my tailbone really hurt. I tried shifting, standing up, etc. Then in an act of desperation, I decided to screw appearances and sit on my neck pillow. Instant relief. For the remaining portion of the flight, I sat on it, able to shift left and right anytime I started to feel too much pressure on any given area.
I now use it as an office seat cushion. It's great for shifting left and right, probably similar to sitting on an exercise ball.
P.S. The foam ones are no good. They compress and don't allow as much shifting. The air-filled ones are the way to go. (Either that, or buy an inflatable butt doughnut from the medical stores).