You are here

howto

Shape lock plastic iPhone dock.

I plug these things in and out all day long. I just doubled my productivity.. ;)

That's a tiny bit of shape lock plastic (aka instamorph, aka Polycaprolactone) wrapped around both plugs while they were plugged in to achieve ideal alignment.

It's a silent film because I was at the office, and I figured it was pretty much self explanatory.

Quick Release Cable Harness Stitching

A quick demo of how I stitch cables to keep them organized. (our living room has a bundle of about 5 cables running up to our fireplace mantle, so it's particularly important.)

The basic rule of thumb is to never bring the tail of your cord into the knot, or under any cables. Always work with loops.

Hacking an Extra Rechargeable NiMh Cell onto an "Alkaline Only" LED Circuit.

LED with Alkalines

Celeste bought some LED lights for my bike trailer this winter (as the second half of my commute is always in the dark). They were about $20 at target and come in lots of cool colors.

They run on 4 AA batteries. I didn't notice the fine print on the packaging until we got them home and I put a bunch of Nimh rechargeables into them. The lights were horribly dim. I looked at the fine print and it basically said, 'don't use rechargeable batteries.'

A Great GTD kit for $1.44

I read a lot of Lifehacker and other organizational blogs. The trend these days is GTD. Basically, you keep and manage lists and ideas on a series of cards, in folders, whatever. This is my implementation of that. (this has also been called a Hipster PDA as well.)

What I use are Mead Ringdex cards..

What's a Link? What's a URL?

I've been helping my mother set up a website for the business she started recently. I gave here a straightforward drupal setup, with TinyMCE for some WYSIWYG HTML authoring.

That's obviously not enough though. If she's going to make her own content, she needs to at least understand the basics. Here's an email I sent her on the topic of why the content she created isn't available anywhere, while some of it is. (there are no links to it.)

Maybe it'll help someone else as well.

File Faster, Pull Icons Off of Your Bills

I was reorganizing my file cabinet recently (after neglecting the project for many years and building up a severe organizational deficit.) I was getting all fired up and ready for making a word template for the folder tabs I would need, when laziness (and therefore invention) struck.

Why not just cut the cool colorful letter head off of one of the bills in each folder and slap that on there? I don't really care to define that 'comcast = cable bill' I know that.. I just want to come up with a tab that tells me what's in there.

Google Reader Keyboard Shortcuts

I use google reader in an effort to more efficiently waste time every day. It's quite handy for RSS/news reading.

Every once in a while they change a feature here or there.. sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. The other day Scotty and I noticed that f5 no longer refreshed google reader.. instead it brought up a tagging box... and I noticed that If I hit f6, it'd make the left pane with the subscription list hide or show itself.

Run that "Run" menu the way you wanna!

So my friend Nik asked me something about emulating launchbar and quicksilver on the mac, where you can basically type a command at the mac and it will figure out what you're looking for with pattern matching.

This won't do that. Not by a long shot. ; )

The thing he asked me was about the windows run menu, and getting things to run from there with simple commands.

If you're on a windows box, you can do the following:
hold down the windows key,
press 'R'
type 'calc'
hit enter.

Bam! you've got the calculator. Well.. that's handy and all.. but what if you want your own programs in there.

Nik pointed me to the PATH environment variable as the place to change what the run menu searches in.

If you know what your environment variables are, then you probably don't need my hand holding. I added one that points to My Documents\bin\ as I preserve my my documents folder across formats, and I like to keep everything there.

For the rest of you. There's already an environment variable in there pointing to your systemroot. that's C:\Windows\

If you go there, and drop any windows shortcut in that directory, the name of that shortcut becomes the keyword you enter in "run".

Yay! Make a shortcut that points to photoshop, name it 'ps' and put it in C:\Windows\

Then, windowskey-R, type 'ps', hit enter BAM! Photoshop! I'm never going to use my mouse again!

UPDATE

I hadn't a clue how cool this would have been!
1. It passes arguments along.. so.. i made a shortcut called 'ff' that points to firefox. if i use the command 'ff google' firefox opens up and runs google. also, because firefox is soo damned smart, if it's already running, it'll just put google in a new tab.

2. you can do shortcuts to sites. take a firefox shortcut and add a url as an argument after 'firefox.exe'. That pretty much give limitless capacity for web application shortcuts.

3. firefox will take multiple arguments. guess what
"ff aaronpropst.com google.com" does... ; )

Modify Dreamweaver to Open files in Vim

I use Dreamweaver to edit files on a variety of webservers. It's a pretty handy tool, that has definitely improved over time. The code editor is good, but not great.

One thing that's always bugged me, is that DW won't just open a file as text if it doesn't recognize the extension. So for instance, I wanted to look at drupal's module code today (a .module) file and DW wouldn't open it, even though it was php.

Subscribe to RSS - howto