From The Tips Box: Standing Desks, SkyDrive Auto-Upload And More

Readers offer their best tips for creating an easy standing desk, fitting your spanner into a tight spot, and automatically uploading photos to SkyDrive.

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 a Cheap Wooden Shelf as a Standing Desk

We've talked a lot about the benefits of standing desks, and Rafael Campos shares one of the cheapest solutions yet:

I've been getting in on this "Standing Desk" trend, attempting to find something you can just put on top of an existing work desk. I'm currently experimenting with this shelf I found at Lowe's. It's only $US13.

So far, it's been comfortable, it provides additional storage and it's very cheap.

It isn't adjustable, but I'm sure you could find a similar shelf that's just the right height to fit you and your existing desk.

Combine an Allen Key and a Socket Wrench to Reach Tight Spots

Nick Woods discovers a match made in DIY heaven:

I had to get to a nut that was in a very tight spot. I'm sure I'm reinventing the wheel, but I put a 6mm Allen Wrench into the socket and it worked great. I'm going to cut down a wrench to get the profile even smaller. Unfortunately, this doesn't work with a standard set of non-metric wrenches -- 7/32 is too small and 1/4 is too big -- so you'll need a metric set to make this work (you win again, metric system).

Automatically Upload Photos to SkyDrive

MsCassLopez emulates Dropbox's auto-upload with SkyDrive:

If you have a Skydrive account and wish you could upload your photos automatically from your iPhone or Android phone -- similar to the way Dropbox does -- then you can do it like this. You'll need a Dropbox account, a SkyDrive account, and an app called Folder Actions. Folder Actions For Windows does for Windows what its Apple namesake does. It's free for home use and businesses that have sloppy ethics.

Install Folder Actions. Windows 7 users will get a warning saying the file isn't commonly downloaded and may be harmful. It isn't, so go ahead and continue the download. The application watches folders you select for the addition of new files and then does something with them. There's a whole bunch of preconfigured actions built in but the one we need is "Move file". You just set up Folder Actions intuitive interface to watch your Dropbox/Camera Uploads folder and have it move the files to your SkyDrive folder where they become accessible in all their 25-gigabytical glory across your devices. The process goes like this:

  1. You take a photo on your mobile phone.
  2. Dropbox automatically uploads it.
  3. Once you turn on your computer Dropbox syncs your machine with the server. Folder Actions notices the new files and moves them to your Skydrive folder.
  4. Photos are stored in your Skydrive with room for plenty more.

Folder Actions runs in the background - set it and forget it. You can set up Folder Actions to run at Windows startup too.

Folder Actions has other built-in actions such as automatically converting your media files from one format to another but it's main gig is it will run batch scripts. Batch scripts can fire a VBS script (using cscript //nologo //b action.vbs) and from there the world's your shellfish -- including printing from your mobile phone, controlling one computer from another, and all kinds of other geek stuff.

You can also use the Lifehacker-created program Belvedere to do this on Windows, or something like Hazel to do it on a Mac.


    "Combine an Allen Key and a Socket Wrench to Reach Tight Spots"
    You can only use this with the one size socket on this and from what I can see, this one is upside down unless he ground the hex key to a four sided connector. Really silly thing to have here!!

    You can use it with any size socket the allen key fits into (it is the bolt gripping side of the socket that changes, not the driver side)
    The socket is the correct way up, it is just a matter of finding an allen key that fits into the square hole properly (you can fit a hex key in a square hole).

    whoa whoa whoa

    HOW do I get those delorean time circuits to the right of that standing desk photo?


      Probably built it himself

    There's a MUCH easier way to make your SkyDrive sync everything that's in your Dropbox folder: put your Dropbox folder *inside* your SkyDrive folder. Even if you don't have 25GB of SkyDrive space (which, really, most nerds ought to have) there's plenty of room in 7GB to nest the average Dropbox.

    Why bother with extra software when you can let Dropbox and SkyDrive do it for you?

      I doubt putting my Dropbox folder inside of my SkyDrive would work. When I take a picture from my phone, it gets uploaded to Dropbox, then synced to the computer's Dropbox folder which gets uploaded to SkyDrive. I'm currently at 95% full, so soon I won't be able to upload to get this process started. Unless I'm missing something perhaps?

    I know that this thread is a little out dated but wanted to share: IFTTT ( will now allow users to auto upload ios photos to Skydrive. :)

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