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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.'

Send SMS texts via Google chat!!!

Sending SMS texts to friends in the US can really be a hassle if you live abroad. Some countries support it, some carriers support it, many do not. And even if you can do it, it can be expensive.

Google Labs to the rescue!

There is a (new?) feature to Gmail, available in the Labs tab of the Settings, that allows you to send texts to US cellphones via the chat client in Google. Here's what you do:

1) Log into your Gmail account (duh).

2) Click on "Settings" in the upper-right.

3) Click on "Labs" in the dark yellow bar at the top.

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.

QTFairUse6 2.5

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) just got useful.

With the release of QTFairUse6 2.5, you can finally, quickly and effortlessly, strip Fairplay DRM infection from your iTMS files without screwing up your iTunes library or playlists. This handy little app scours your library for offending files, captures them to non-DRMed AAC files, and replaces them in the database, so everything continues to work as before. It also backs up the infected ("protected" in industry parlance) files to a folder of your choosing, should you find that something didn't work right.

There is no command line to fuss with, no obscure settings, nothing. Just fire up the application, tell it to process all, tell it whether and where to save the original files, and hit "Start Conversion."

Since this was released last week, I have spent about $50 at the iTMS. I still don't like the sound of the files that much, but for things like re-buying CDs that I stupidly sold when I was strapped for cash in college but that I don't care that much about (Nirvana's In Utero, for example), it's quick and easy. And now that I know that I can keep the things I buy, I have no qualms about using the iTMS.

Hey Apple and RIAA thugs, if you're reading this: Do you understand what I'm saying? I will give you money if you let me keep what I buy. If you don't, I won't. It seems pretty straightforward to me, but then again, I don't have shit for brains.

Anyway, get this app and clean up your tracks before Apple makes you upgrade iTunes again and you have to wait for that to be cracked!

UPDATE:
For those of you (I'm looking at you, aaron!) who are unwilling to read the post linked above, here is a direct download link, which includes the files necessary for cracking iTunes 7.1.1:

HOWTO: Wipe Your Butt

I felt it was necessary to respond to this YouTube video with my proposal of a better way of wiping your butt. My method retains the hygienic properties of the crumple method, while preserving the economical and environmental properties of the fold method.

I present to you: The Rolling Method: Best of Both Worlds!

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