Readers offer their best tips for silencing annoying sports commentators, keeping things stored in Dropbox when you're out of space, and equalising your music without incurring distortion.
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.
Disable the Centre Speaker to Silence Sports Announcers
Stephen Clark shows us how to shut those annoying commentators up:
Here's a trick I learned by accident while setting up my home entertainment system during the Rangers/Capitals game 7 on the weekend.
I hooked up the left and right speakers first and noticed that I could hear the skating and fans cheering, but no commentators. Shortly after finishing the set up, I became annoyed when they started comparing hockey to football. As a Canadian, I'm a little peeved that none of our teams made it past the first round, but the insult is doubled when we have to listen to commentators who feel they need to dumb-down the game. So, after removing one of the wires from the back of the centre channel I had beautiful, surround-sound like I was right there in the arena. No commentators, no one to ignore or get insulted by.
I imagine it works for other sports too, but haven't tried it yet. I'll wait for after the Stanley Cup finals to try it.
A quick search reveals that this is pretty common practice, so it should work for other sports, as long as you have a 5.1 surround system setup.
Photo by William Hook.
Store Files Without Taking Up Dropbox Space
Dragonfire312 M.D. has a simple recommendation for those running out of Dropbox space:
Dropbox does not count deleted files or "revisions" of files against your quota. So if I'm right at the limit of my Dropbox space, I will "delete" my "Comics" folder (which is about 5GB) until I can delete some other unnecessary files, and then "restore" it. Please don't use this tip on critical files, obviously.
Equalise Down, Not Up, to Avoid Distortion
Clark shares a tip for making your speakers and headphones sound perfect:
I'm sure this is common knowledge and practice among audiophiles, but for the budding audio nerds out there, I've found a good way to equalise your music without making it sound crappy. Instead of raising the frequencies you want louder, set those frequencies to zero and lower everything else. Give it the same "shape" of the general curve you want, but don't let anything past 0. Then, just turn up your volume a little bit louder to fit your tastes.
I've found that even if I raise a frequency up one notch in Winamp, things start sounding a bit distorted. This fixes the problem, and with just a bit of extra volume, it sounds exactly like I want it to!
Mould a Flexible Desktop Cable Grommet with Sugru
This is the new Sugru project I just finished. I made the prototype by combining two packets of white, rolling it in my hands, and smooshing it onto the desk. Once hardened, I went at it with an X-Acto and that was it.
The awesome part is that the Sugru's elastic nature means I can even shove a DVI cable through and it still works great!
If you were to fit this on the edge of the desk rather than the top, you could keep it a little bit hidden, which would be nice -- Sugru doesn't always make for the prettiest of DIY projects, but darn if it isn't handy.