Categories
How-to

Why do Ikea screws always strip?

Let’s face it, we’ve probably all put together way too much Ikea furniture in our lifetimes. Some of us may have even experienced the frustration of stripping screw after screw as we try to assemble the Swedish-named chairs, cabinets and desks, not to mention entire kitchens. Well I have great news for you! There is a secret to this screw-stripping madness. The answer is “Pozidriv”.

Categories
How-to

Being more productive in 5 easy steps

Have you ever had a busy day filled with little tasks that added up to practically nothing, walking away at the end of the day, you realize you just worked for 8 hours straight and have nothing to show for it? You’re not alone. We all have days like this. Sometimes, the key to being productive has nothing to do with how long you work, but rather how you organize your time. The following are 5 ways that I improve my productivity on a daily basis. If they don’t apply to you or your career directly, think about modifying them or pulling out key points to become more productive yourself.

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How-to

How to flip a mattress

Most mattress manufacturers recommend that you rotate your mattress to allow it to wear evenly and prolong its lifetime. This is especially important if you have a partner that you share your bed with. If you and your partner are different heights and weights, then you will need to rotate it to prevent it from getting too worn in some areas, but not others. The concept is not unlike rotating the tires on your car, allowing them to wear evenly as well.

So how do you flip a mattress? Do you flip it the long way, or the short way? What way did you rotate your mattress last time? This past weekend, I came up with an easy system that is pretty straight forward and will help you remember when and how to flip your mattress.

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Photography

DIY Super Clamp

Recently I was looking on eBay for a Super Clamp. A Super Clamp is a small device that can me used to attach your camera flash to surfaces in a room to provide light from different angles. It’s way smaller than carrying around a separate tripod or stand for your flash and this small device costs about $40. That price is about $35 more than I am willing to spend. Here’s how I made my own Super Clamp for about $5 to fit my Nikon SB-800 camera flash.

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Programming

Instance Arrays in Flash

One thing that I thought wasn’t planned very well in Flash 9 and AS3 is having a bunch of instances on your stage, and then having to declare each one in your ActionScript files. Up until now, I have been naming all my objects something like “obj0”, “obj1”, “obj2”, etc and then in my constructor, adding each of those objects manually to an array one at a time. The problem with this, obviously, as it doesn’t cater well to expansion or large numbers of objects. If I added more objects to the stage, I’d have to update the code.

Here’s code I came up with today:

public class RollingNumberDisplay extends MovieClip {

    protected var digits:Array;

    /**
      * Constructor
     */
    public function RollingNumberDisplay() {
        super();
        var counter:uint;

        digits = new Array();

        counter = 0;
        while(this.hasOwnProperty("digit" + counter)) {
            digits.push(this["digit" + counter]);
            counter++;
        }

        trace("length=" + digits.length);
    }

}
Categories
How-to

Why I shave with olive oil

Shaving is a fact of life for most. Both men and women have felt the need to chop off hair as close as possible to their skin for thousands of years. I am no exception. Seeing as I shave my face almost every day and realizing that there’s millions of other things I would rather be doing at 7:00AM, I have made it my mission to find the best, most comfortable, fastest and generally most enjoyable method of shaving available. I have tried disposable razors, fancy razors with up to 6 blades, straight razors, shaving cream, shaving gel, shaving soap and for a period of time I even just gave up and let my beard grow. This has all changed now though, because I found olive oil.

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How-to

Truth-Gammon

Truth-gammon (or maybe T-gammon) is a game I just thought of while playing backgammon with a co-worker. I call it Truth-gammon because I think it truly exposes the strengths and weaknesses of backgammon players. Here’s how you play:

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How-to

A tip from Inch’s bathroom

Have you ever been frustrated by condensation on your bathroom mirror when you get out of the shower? Are you annoyed when you wipe it off only to discover that you’ve now created streaks on your mirror, and the condensation just comes right back anyway? Here’s a discovery I made a couple months ago to get rid of your foggy mirror after a hot shower.

Simply use a hair dryer on its hot setting and move it in a circle over the area you would like cleared. At first, it won’t look like it has any effect, but then after a few seconds, the mirror will become crystal clear. Also, because you’re using hot air, the mirror heats up and doesn’t allow more condensation to form after you’ve cleared it off.

You can now shave, brush your teeth or style your fancy hair with confidence and a clear image staring back at you.

Categories
How-to

iTunes 7 – Unnamed Album Fix

For those of you who haven’t heard yet, Apple released version 7 of iTunes yesterday. The new version has lots of new features including movie support from the iTunes Music Store, iPod games, and way more support for album artwork including automatic downloading from the iTunes Music Store, and Cover Flow which is an awesome new way of showing all of your albums in iTunes visually.

One problem that people will notice almost immediately while browsing by album, is that any tracks that do not have an album name specified will automatically take up their own spot in your album browser. So if you have 20 tracks by an artist, but no album information specified, then each of those 20 tracks take up a spot in your album browser. It would be much better if Apple had grouped all of these tracks together in one “Unnamed Album”, but we wouldn’t be so lucky.

Here’s a simple fix that will rectify that problem lickety-split: In the album view, sort all your tracks by album name. All of the tracks with unnamed albums will go to the bottom of the list. Highlight all of those tracks, and view their info (Command+i on a Mac). You’ll get a warning about changing all the tracks at once, then simply type the album name “Unnamed” or “Unknown” or “null” or whatever you’d like. Click OK. All of the tracks will be assigned an album of that name.

Now when you’re browsing by artist, any tracks that previously took up their own spot in your album browser, are now grouped under an album named “Unnamed”. Voila!