Tag Archives: How-to

Alternative to the Griffin Twenty

Griffin 20 Alternative

Ever since I bought an Apple TV, I’ve been enjoying using Apple’s AirPlay feature to stream music wirelessly to my home theatre from my iPhone. However, for about a year now I’ve wished that I could AirPlay music to my kitchen, where my wife and I spend a lot of time cooking, cleaning and entertaining.

Enter the Griffin Twenty. Recently Griffin Technology released a device called the “Twenty”. In short, it is an amplifier that uses an Apple Airport Express and connected speakers to deliver the exact functionality that I was looking for. However, at $99 USD + shipping + the purchase of speakers and the Airport Express itself, this idea was getting a bit pricey.

So then I started getting creative and doing some research to see if there was a cheaper alternative to the Griffin Twenty. It turns out there is, and here’s the route I went:

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Why do Ikea screws always strip?

Pozidriv screw

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”.

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Being more productive in 5 easy steps

Woman on Bike

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 flip a mattress

Number on Matress

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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DIY Super Clamp

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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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);
    }

}

Why I shave with olive oil

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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