knilob + diy   281

How Can I Improve the Water Pressure in My Shower?
A disappointing shower is no way to start your day. Luckily, there may be a quick fix to pump up the water pressure in your shower. The DIY mavens at Stack Exchange tell you how. More »
DIY  Plumbing  Bathroom  Home_Repair  Shower  Home_Improvement  Crowdhacker  water_pressure  Top  from google
march 2013 by knilob
Easily Add an Auxiliary Port to an Old Car Stereo for About $3
If you have one of those stereos that was released in that awkward time between CDs and MP3 players, then it might be missing the now-standard auxiliary port for easy playback. Redditor Esplodies found themselves in this exact situation, and cleverly hacked together an auxiliary port for about $2.50 that works on some older CD players with a CD changer output. More »
Digital_Music  DIY  Automobiles  Radio  Top  Cars  Stereos  from google
march 2013 by knilob
How to Recover Data When Your Hard Drive Goes Belly Up
Imagine this: you're busy working on your computer and need to access documents saved on your external hard drive. You connect it, get ready to find your data, and...nothing happens. Your hard drive isn't working. Uh oh. Before you panic, there are several things you can try on your own before calling in the pros. More »
Drives  DIY  How_To  Recovery  Data  Top  Republished  Data_Recovery  Hard_Drives  Guest_Post  from google
february 2013 by knilob
Make Your Own Gadget-Cleaning Solution
Don't waste money on one of those expensive screen-cleaning solutions from office supply stores. With household items you probably already have and this recipe from CNET, you can create your own monitor/keyboard/smartphone cleaner. More »
Cellphones  Hardware  DIY  Cleaning  Monitors  Mice  Health  Smartphones  Gadgets  Laptops  Tablets  Keyboards  Household  from google
february 2013 by knilob
Ten More Awesome Projects for Your Raspberry Pi
We've shown you how to get started with the Raspberry Pi, the pocket-sized DIY dream computer. Here are ten awesome projects you can put together in a weekend with this $35 board. More »
Raspberry_pi  Photography  Pandora  Automation  Rpi  Arcade  dropbox  Projects  DIY  How_To  Airplay  Feature  resources  How-to  PI  Hacks  Electronics  Top  Time_Lapse  Server  Photos  Hacking  Security  from google
january 2013 by knilob
Do Everything With a Raspberry Pi, Switch to an Online Bank, and Get a Job You Love
This week on the podcast we're talking about everything you can do with a raspberry pi, what documents you need to shred, and whether or not an online bank is worth the hassle. We're also answering your questions about getting a job you actually like, the legality of DVD ripping, and making your iPhone more power-efficient. More »
Raspberry_pi  iPhone  Teeth  Privacy  Documents  online_security  Jobs  DVDs  Hardware  DIY  Airplanes  News  Health  shredding  Microsoft  Banking  Work  know_your_rights  Law  Q&A  Career  Job  Audio  air_travel  Podcast  Microsoft_Surface  Show_notes  google_image_search  Tablets  Google  Downloads  The_Show  dvd_ripping  Security  Job_hunt  Software  Ikea  from google
january 2013 by knilob
A Beginner's Guide to DIYing with the Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a wonderful little computer that fits in the palm of your hand, yet packs enough power to run your home media center, a VPN, and a lot more. Before you can do anything awesome, however, you need to configure it and install an operating system. Here's how. More »
Raspberry_pi  Learning  DIY  Video  How_To  Feature  Computer_Science  Clips  Top  Raspberry_pi_week  Lifehacker_Video  from google
january 2013 by knilob
Turn a SNES Gamepad into a USB Game Controller You Can Use with Your PC, XBox 360, or PS3
The SNES (or Super Famicom, depending on where you're from) controller is probably my favorite console controller. Unfortunately, the proprietary connector makes it difficult to use with newer devices. Thanks to the Teensy USB dev board, you can get the best of both worlds: A great and sturdy game controller and USB connectivity so you can use it with modern consoles or with your PC. More »
Retro_Gaming  Controllers  Retro  Video_Games  Soldering  DIY  Friday_Fun  USB  Hacks  Fun  Gaming  Electronics  Entertainment  from google
january 2013 by knilob
How to Audit Your Furnace
Are you in a long-distance relationship with your furnace? Do you know what it's up to when you're not home? Save money and become more energy efficient with these furnace tips provided by users at Q&A site Stack Exchange. More »
Energy  furnace  Budget  DIY  How_To  Saving_Money  Heat  Home_Repair  Home_Improvement  Crowdhacker  Weather  Top  Winter  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Hack a Raspberry Pi Into an AirPlay Speaker Receiver
If you want to get wireless music streaming and AirPlay functionality on your home theater system you have to buy either an Airport Express or Apple TV and then connect it to a stereo. But if you want to DIY it on your own, blogger Jordan Burgess shows off how to make your stereo AirPlay compatible with a Raspberry Pi. More »
Raspberry_pi  ipad  iPhone  Digital_Music  DIY  Airplay  Top  streaming_music  from google
december 2012 by knilob
DIY Pancetta is a Nice Addition to Your Bacon Addiction
Pancetta is a wonderful Italian version of bacon and just like we covered earlier with bacon the best way to get high quality is to make your own. More »
Meat  Pancetta  DIY  Cured_meats  Bacon  Charcuterie  Italian_food  from google
december 2012 by knilob
How to Fix a Nail Pop in Your Wall
As my six-year-old house has settled in, a few nails have popped out of the wall between drywall and wooden studs throughout seasons of the wood swelling and contracting. The easy way to remedy this situation is to drive in a drywall screw near the nail pop to keep the drywall paper in place and drive the nail into the stud, dimple the surface of the drywall around the nail by tapping it with the handle of a putty knife, and fill in both the dimple and the head of the new screw with drywall filler. More »
drywall  Nails  DIY  Home_Repair  Painting  Walls  from google
december 2012 by knilob
DIY Lettuce Knife Reduces Produce Browning
Lettuce knives have grown in popularity over the last decade as their plastic blades do not oxidize lettuce leaves as quickly as a metal-bladed knives. If you have access to plexiglass scrap you can easily make your own unique lettuce knife that, despite the name, also is well-adapted to cutting tomatoes, cakes, and soft breads. More »
Salads  DIY  Knives  lettuce  Weekend_project  Plexiglass  from google
december 2012 by knilob
This DIY NAS In a Box Is Portable, Affordable, and Keeps Your Data Safe
So we've established that the DIY approach is your favorite NAS option, so perhaps this tiny, super-portable NAS in a box would be a good weekend project. More »
Projects  DIY  Customization  Hacks  repurpose  Disks  Repurposing  Top  Nas  Hard_Drives  Storage  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Open Your Garage Door with Siri and a Raspberry Pi
If using a regular garage opener is too old school for you, RaspBerry Pi forum user DarkTherapy discovers something much more awesome: opening your garage door with Siri on your iPhone. More »
Raspberry_pi  ipad  iPhone  Home  Garage  DIY  ipod_touch  SIRI  Clips  Electronics  ios  Household  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Print Your Own Wrapping Paper (Instead of Buying It)
There's plenty of stuff you can print for free so you don't have to pay for it, and wrapping paper is one of them. Whether you design it yourself or pick up some awesome designs online, it's a pretty easy way to save money and give awesome, custom-wrapped gifts this holiday. More »
Printable  Printing  gift_wrap  Christmas  DIY  Wrapping_Paper  Printables  Printer  Gifts  Holidays  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Hide a Flash Drive Inside an Old USB Cable for Super Secret Storage
If you have some files you want to keep hidden away from prying eyes, Redditor phi303 shows us how to turn an old USB cable into a hidden USB drive for all your secret files and programs. More »
DIY  files  Flash_Drives  Secret  Hidden  USB_Drives  Hard_Drives  Storage  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Ask an Expert: All About Repair Tools
Hey everyone! I'm Kyle Wiens, co-founder of iFixit, the largest online repair community. We make it easy for you to fix things yourself with our step-by-step guides, troubleshooting tips, and community of technicians who want to help. Last time I was here answering all of your questions about iPhone and Mac repair, and today I'm lending my expertise on repair tools with help from Alex Jansen and Brett Hartt, two of my iFixit teammates. With the holidays upon us, instead of giving a traditional gift to a friend or family member, why not fix something for them? Need to know what tools to use, or what tools would make great gifts? We're here for the next hour—fire away! More »
DIY  Tools  Q&A  ask_an_expert  Repair  Top  Gifts  from google
december 2012 by knilob
How To Weed Out a Good Contractor From the Bad
As we've gone over before, there are some jobs that you probably should not DIY. Everybody's gotta call a pro sometime. But do your due diligence before you let a contractor get to work. The experts at Stack Exchange tell you how. More »
DIY  Tools  Home_Repair  Home_Improvement  Crowdhacker  Repair  Contractors  Top  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Report on making your own cleaning products
If you've ever considered making your own household cleaning products, you've probably asked yourself the following questions: Does it save money? Does it take a lot of time? Do they work as well as commercially made products? Gerri Detweiler of credit.com wanted the answers so she tried making her own laundry detergent, dishwasher detergent, and all purpose cleaner. She was pleased with the laundry and dishwasher detergents, but found the all purpose cleaner to be somewhat lacking.

"These simple recipes gave me the confidence to try more. And that’s usually what happens, Matt Jabs [co-author of DIY Natural Household Cleaners] says: 'A lot of people just can’t believe that it’s going to work…because we’ve been conditioned through the excellent advertising agencies and commercials they make that (commercial products are) great. But really, it does work. So just start with one project and then go from there. It’s very exciting.'"

Credit.com: Making your own household cleaning products
Post  DIY  makers  from google
december 2012 by knilob
Make a Simple and Safe Trip Wire Alarm to Catch Intruders in Your Home or Liquor Cabinet
Trip wires are most well known for setting off explosives but in this case you'll be setting up a low-voltage piezo alarm to let you know when a trespasser is in your home or if your teenager is trying to get in your gun case or liquor cabinet. More »
Alarms  DIY  Electronics  Security  from google
november 2012 by knilob
Combine a Wireless Router and Wall Charging Station for the Ultimate All-In-One Travel Gadget
Why waste outlets on your router and cellphone charger when you could combine them into one, unified box? DIYer James shows us how. More »
Cellphones  Charging_Stations  DIY  Travel  Cellphone_chargers  Clever_Uses  Gadgets  Electronics  Chargers  Routers  from google
november 2012 by knilob
Give the Gift of Better Organization This Year
We're all about efficiency, and nothing makes life easier than a bit of organization. If you have a friend that could use a bit more order in their life, here are our favorite organizational gifts for home, work, and travel. More »
DIY  Gift_Guide  Feature  Gadgets  Stuff_we_like  Top  Shopping  Gifts  Gift_Guide_2012  Holidays  Roundup  from google
november 2012 by knilob
The Best Places to Hide Valuables in Your House
There's more to hiding your valuables than making them hard to find. Whether you're hiding a money stash from burglars or secret documents from an enemy spy, here are a few tips anyone can use to keep something under wraps. More »
Valuables  Hiding  Thieves  DIY  Spy_week  Clever_Uses  burglars  Security  Theft  Household  from google
november 2012 by knilob
DIY Multiple Roll Tape Dispenser
In your home workshop or craft area you probably use a few types of tape depending on your work. It might be handy to have one jumbo dispenser that handles all types of tape that you regularly use. Here's how to make one out of scrap lumber, a dowel, and a hacksaw blade. More »
workshop  Tape  DIY  from google
november 2012 by knilob
Top 10 DIY Repairs and Upgrades to Make Your Smartphone Last Forever
You can never save your phone from every drop, spill, scratch, and crash you encounter during its life. Heck, even a year of wear and tear can take its toll on any phone. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars for a new device every time yours breaks, here are 10 repairs and upgrades you can perform yourself at home. More »
ipad  iPhone  Cellphones  Batteries  Scratches  DIY  Feature  Accidents  Smartphones  Battery_Life  ipod_touch  Fix  Clips  ios  Lifehacker_Top_10  Top  fixes  Android  Repairs  Upgrades  from google
november 2012 by knilob
DIY PVC Extension Cord Caddy
If you have a fifty-foot or longer extension cord you'd be served well by having a place to keep the cord tangle-free when not in use. There are several types of commercial cord caddies available but you can make a practical caddy from several small PVC pipe cuttings, end caps, and t-connectors. More »
Garage  DIY  PVC  Organization  from google
november 2012 by knilob
Winterize Your Home and Yourself This Weekend
It's getting chilly in the Northern Hemisphere because winter is coming. Prepare your house, your car, and yourself this weekend so you're comfortable despite the cold. More »
Home  DIY  Winterize  Heat  Cold  Home_Improvement  Weekendhacker  Survival  Top  Household  Winter  from google
november 2012 by knilob
Roll Your Own Fusion Drive on Older Macs
by Melanie Pinola
Apple’s new Fusion Drive technology is a hybrid drive that combines a fast SSD and traditional hard drive, along with smart storage handling by OS X. You can create your own version at home using existing drives and the command line.
Mac developer Patrick Stein details the method he used to create a Fusion Drive using an internal 120GB SSD and an external 750GB HDD. With Terminal and the diskutil command, he created a single volume from the two drives. Surprisingly, the single volume shows Fusion Drive-like file handling, with no additional configuration. Stein notes that he won’t be using the Fusion Drive, since HFS+ has an increased risk of data failure.
If you’d like to create your own Fusion Drive, you’ll need to run OS X Mountain Lion. Any other combination of SSD and HDD should work, though.
See the full details on Stein’s Tumblr post.
Fusion drive on older Macs? YES! | JollyJinx via TechCrunch
apple  drives  diy  mac_os_x  from google
october 2012 by knilob
Install Ubuntu on a Nexus 7
If you're feeling experimental and you're willing to get your hands dirty to be on the bleeding edge, there's a version of Ubuntu available that'll run on the Nexus 7, and Canonical is looking for developers and testers to give it a whirl and make sure it works well. More »
Ubuntu  DIY  Nexus_7  Hacks  betas  Beta  Android  Tablets  Linux_hacks  Linux  from google
october 2012 by knilob
The Six Biggest Media Center Annoyances (and How to Fix Them)
The best thing about having an media center is that you're in control and can watch whatever you want. Unfortunately, you also get the pleasure of troubleshooting when plug-ins break, files won't play, and nothing works right. Here's how to take an HTPC that's driving you crazy and whip it back into shape so you can enjoy the show. More »
Torrents  Htpc  streams  DIY  Video  Streaming_Video  Feature  Movies  How-to  Television  TV_shows  Programming  Annoyances  Home_Theater_PC  Apple_TV  appletv  Streaming  Top  channels  Xbmc  Set-top  TV  Downloads  Troubleshooting  Entertainment  from google
october 2012 by knilob
Create a No-Waste Soap Dish
Soap gunk can clog drains when you wash the buildup from its container, but soap dishes designed to prevent buildup still end up wasting the soap you use. YouTube DIYer OneFreeBrain created a no-waste soap dish that prevents both problems. More »
Home  DIY  Video  Bathroom  Clips  Soap  DIY_Creations  Household  from google
october 2012 by knilob
DIY Vinegar
Making vinegar starts with a culture just like yogurt or sourdough bread. Add to this wine and a year and you'll have wonderful vinegar that will impress ay foodie and only get better with time. More »
Wine  DIY  vinegar  Food_Hacks  from google
october 2012 by knilob
What Are a Homeowner's Must-Do Tasks Before Winter Hits?
Winter is coming, and with it come the hazards of the cold: busted pipes, frozen gas caps, and mice in the attic. The DIY experts at Stack Exchange provide tips on preventing winter's worries before the weather hits. More »
Home  DIY  Preparation  Home_Improvement  Crowdhacker  Weather  Top  Winter  from google
october 2012 by knilob
Turn a Raspberry Pi Into a Super Cheap, Packet-Sniffing Power Strip [DIY]
If you have a Raspberry Pi and one of those surge protectors that also protects your network cables from voltage fluctuations, you have most of the tools you need to build a cheap network observation device, as long as you're not afraid to use a soldering iron. When you're finished, you'll have the perfect addition to your pen-testing toolkit. More »
Raspberry_pi  Power_Strip  Networks  Evil  DIY  Network_monitoring  Lan  Hacks  Monitoring  Top  Evil_week  network_tap  Hacking  from google
october 2012 by knilob
DIY Stevia Syrup [DIY]
Do you enjoy powdered Stevia as a sweetener? Well not only can you grow the no-calorie sweetener yourself you can easily process those leaves into a syrup that's easily used in yogurt, pancakes, and other situations where you don't want to sprinkle powder on a food to sweeten it. More »
Sweeteners  DIY  Stevia  from google
october 2012 by knilob
Identify Hard-to-Reach (and See) Screws with a Push of Your Finger [Macgyver Tips]
Need to unscrew a screw? Can't see what it looks like and don't know the type? Redditor spacewolf46 suggests pushing your finger into the screw for a few seconds to find out: More »
Home  screws  Hardware  DIY  Maintenance  Macgyver_tips  Household  from google
october 2012 by knilob
DIY Goo Gone [DIY]
Goo Gone is a commercial degreaser we like because it makes removing sticker or tape residue a breeze. But if you're looking to save money or you enjoy making your own cleaning agents you can make it yourself with gasoline and citrus oil.
Frugal living weblog The Simple Dollar author Trent Hamm reports that he has success making homemade Goo Gone using one part gasoline to four parts citrus oil mixed in a spray bottle. You can make citrus oil by putting the rinds of three oranges in a closed gallon of water for ten days then straining out the rinds. Get the gas by taking a small jar with a lid with you the next time you fill up and add an ounce or two—a little goes a long way.

It may not be 100% as potent as commercial Goo Gone, but even if it's only 50% as efficient if you eat oranges and drive a car the homemade version is basically free.

For one time uses you can get a similar effect by using vodka, vinegar, or lighter fluid. Photo by Inha Leex Hale

The Frugal Geek's Toolbox | The Simple Dollar
DIY  Citrus_oil  Cleaners  Gasoline  Goo_gone  from google
august 2012 by knilob
Top 10 Highly-Desired Skills You Can Teach Yourself [Video]
On countless occasions, you've likely said to yourself "I wish I knew how to do ______." Then, of course, life got in the way and you put it off until you could find the time. Maybe you wanted to become fluent in a language, learn a new instrument, start performing your house repairs, or a master a myriad of other skills. With the vast amount of knowledge online, you're now your only excuse. Here are the top ten most highly desired skills that you can teach yourself—and should.

10. Repair Just About Anything
Sure, you don't need to repair anything anymore. You can just pay someone else to do it. But where's the ingenuity in that? Plus, who wants to waste a bunch of money on simple tasks you can handle on your own? If you've adopted the DIY spirit, learning to repair your own stuff is one of the easiest and more rewarding skills you can acquire. It's especially fruitful because as you learn new things, you can put them to use right away. So how do you teach yourself? We've outlined tons of repairs you can learn on your own to get you started, but if you're looking for something specific there is no shortage of how-to videos available on YouTube and VideoJug. There will be occasions when you do need to call a professional, as you're not going to be a master repairman (or woman) instantly, but do remember that there is an opportunity when things break: you can learn how to fix them.

9. Pick Up an Artistic Skill Like Illustration, Painting, or Photography
Although it often won't earn you the big bucks, artistic skills are highly desired because they provide you with the technical abilities required to create something beautiful. You're going to have to find your own inspiration and subject matter, but the skill you'll need is really just a matter of technical aptitude and practice. Picking up a book of anatomy and drawing different bones and muscles will teach you how to draw people. Drawing grids over photographs can show you basic perspective. Obviously it isn't as simple as that, but focusing on learning to draw one simple thing, like the petals of a flower or the human hand, will help you learn how it works and get in a reasonable amount of practice. When you're ready to move on from the basics and start illustrating on your computer, check out our digital painting lessons. For those of you interested in photography, we have lessons for you, too.

Whatever you're looking to learn, just set aside 15-30 minutes every day to practice a very small part of that skill. It'll take awhile to teach yourself how to draw, paint, take better photos, make hamburger sculptures out of clay, or whatever it is you want to do, but breaking the daunting task into pieces and practicing each part slowly will do the trick. Plus, it's a really nice way to unwind at the end of the day.

8. Learn to Defend Yourself
Who likes getting their ass kicked? Probably a very small majority. If that's what you're into, it doesn't require much skill—just endurance. If you'd prefer to not end up hurt or injured as the result of an unexpected attack, perhaps it's time to pick up some self-defense skills. While you'll probably want to have a partner around to help you out—at least when you want to test your skill—we've outlined several self-defense moves that you can learn on your own. Although you will hopefully never need to actually employ the techniques you acquire, if you do you'll increase your chances of coming out of a fight unharmed. Plus, it's pretty cool to walk around with the confidence of being able to take on most anyone in a fight.

7. Improve Your Design Skills (or At Least Acquire a Sense of Style)
Design and style aren't an exact science, as tastes differ and change as time goes on, but there are a few principles you can pick up that'll make your work, home, or whatever needs an aesthetic boost looking better than average. If we're talking traditional design, you'll first want to learn the basics of type and layout. These are skills you can employ in your everyday work to make it look a lot more attractive. This may seem like a nearly-useless skill, because spreadsheets aren't getting entered in any beauty contests, but when something looks good it can have a greater impact. That's always a plus in your work. If you want to take things a bit further, you can bump those skills up a notch and apply them to web site design in Photoshop. Your sense of style is even a useful thing when choosing a great wallpaper and creating a clean and organized desktop on your computer. If your home is boring, just follow these guidelines for awesome interior design. You don't have to be a pro, but learning the basics of design can make your life a lot brighter.

6. Pick Up Just About Any Subject You Missed In College
Whether it's science, finance, math, humanities, law, or anything else, if there's a course you wish you took in college you're not out of luck—you can probably find it online. To help you out, we've rounded up every great source of online education so you can gain that knowledge you missed. What's great about learning online is that you can take it at your own pace and put in as much time as you can spare each day. You don't necessarily have to master a subject, either, but learn as much as you need or want to know. While you won't end up with a degree for your hard work, you will be a little bit smarter—and that's the most important part.

5. Build and Hack Electronic Hardware
We love technology, and we love it more when we can make it do pretty much whatever we want. There is almost no end to what you can hack, but getting started does require teaching yourself a few skills. Learning to build a computer is a good place to start. Soldering is especially helpful, and understanding the basics of arduino can help you build some really neat stuff. One of the best ways to get started is to pick a project and learn by doing. If you're not sure where to start, our DIY tag page can offer a few ideas.

4. Play a (New) Instrument
Whether you already know how to play an instrument and want to learn something new or are musically inept, you'll find plenty of resources online to help you teach yourself to play just about anything. If guitar is your thing, you're in luck as you'd be hard-pressed to not find online lessons. JustinGuitar.com offers over 500, and we've rounded up plenty more. The internet can also teach you piano, drums, and even orchestral instruments like the flute and violin. Just like with repair skills, you can find a lot of how-to videos on both YouTube and VideoJug.

In addition to the instrument, you're also going to want to learn a little music theory. Ricci Adams' musictheory.net offers a bunch of free lessons to get you started. When you're starting to get good, you can put together a home recording studio on the cheap to start capturing your talent and sharing it with others.

3. Cook Like a Pro
With so many recipe sites and cooking skill how-to videos online, it's a surprise that everyone isn't a master chef at this point. There are so many simple things you can learn that can vastly improve your culinary skill set really quickly, many of which we've covered. We've written so much on the subject of learning to cook better that this little paragraph isn't enough to cover it all, but there are a few posts in particular that you'll want to read to get started. First, these tips and tricks for budding foodies will make your learning process easier. Second, follow this station-by-station kitchen guide to stay organized and efficient when cooking. Finally, these must-know recipes will help you round out your arsenal of cooking knowledge. For more, we like recipe and how-to sites Epicurious and How2Heroes. And, of course, you can always check our how to and kitchen tag pages for more great tips.

2. Become Fluent in a New Language
When we asked you which skills you really wanted to learn, language was at, or close to the top of many peoples' lists. Fortunately for you, this clever technique offers a way to all but master a new language in a short period of time by teaching yourself. You'll still have to work hard and put in the minutes every day, but you can come out speaking fluently in about half of a year. Pretty cool.

1. Make a Web Site, Create an App, or Just Learn to Code
Learning to code is something most of us Lifehackers aspire to do at one point or another, as it's not only a great way to create cool apps and tools that we want to use but it's also an incredibly marketable skill when trying to get a job. To get you started, we've put together two helpful sets of lessons: the basics of programming and making a web site.

Both sets include further resources, but there are plenty of others that we've learned about or have cropped up since. For starters, commenter mistermocha suggests using the "learn ___ the hard way" series. For example, if you wanted to learn Python, you could visit learnpythonthehardway.org. If you just fill in the blank with the language you want to learn and put that into a web search, you'll likely find what you're looking for. (You can also find most of the series here.) If you prefer more interactive lessons, you'll want to check out one of our favorites: Codecademy. I learned by subscribing to online learning site Lynda.com (and through a few basic classes back in college), which is still excellent, but I'd probably have gone with Code Academy at this point since it's in the free category. Regardless of how you decide to learn, programming skills are becoming more and more useful as time goes on. Code is not as complicated as you think, so go get started!

Photos by Mister Wilson, Alex Indigo, Andy Mangold

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Lifehacker_Top_10  Art  code  Computer_building  Computers  Cooking  DIY  drawing  Education  Feature  Food  Gadgets  Hacks  Hardware_Hacks  Illustration  Instruments  Kitchen  Language  Learn_to_code  Learning  Music  online_classes  Programming  Repair  Repairs  Self_Defense  Teach_Yourself  Top  web_development  from google
april 2012 by knilob
DIY Brown Sugar [Food Hacks]
If you don't have any brown sugar and need some for a recipe you can make it yourself by mixing granulated sugar and molasses. The best part is that by making brown sugar as needed that you won't need to find tricks to keep it soft or de-clump your brown sugar brick.
Baking weblog Joy the Baker offers the admitted simple recipe for brown sugar. You only need a bowl and a fork for this process but if you need an excuse to use your new Kitchen-Aid mixer it'll work too. The basic ratio you're looking for is 1 tablespoon of molasses per 1 cup of granulated cane sugar. For the first minute or so of mixing you'll think it won't work, but eventually it'll turn into familiar brown sugar.

How to Make Brown Sugar | Joy the Baker
Food_Hacks  Baking  DIY  Kitchen  from google
april 2012 by knilob
Create a Kickass, Seamless, Play-Everything Media Center: The Complete Guide [Video]
DVD players are so 1999. In this day and age, a custom media center running XBMC is the only thing you really need hooked up to your TV—whether you're watching movies you've ripped, streaming your favorite TV shows from Netflix and Hulu, listening to podcasts, or even playing video games. This guide will tell you everything you need to know to create an awesome, customized, do-anything media center with XBMC. And, if you've already hopped on the XBMC bandwagon, it's sure to show you a thing or two you didn't already know.

XBMC, for those of you that don't' know, is a media center application that organizes your movies, TV shows, and other media in a beautiful, remote control-friendly library. You can run it on nearly any computer or Apple TV and hook it up in your living room, so all the media you used to watch on your computer—ripped movies, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and more—are all available from the comfort of your couch. Obviously, XBMC isn't the only media center software out there—but it's our favorite by a pretty good margin, and yours too.

You can play all your existing DVDs and Blu-Ray discs, stream videos to it from your iOS device via AirPlay, set it up as an old school video game console, and—if you're really adventurous—even sync it up with other XBMC boxes in the house, so you can pause a movie in one room and continue it in another. On top of all that, you can customize every corner of the interface to make it look super awesome. Not convinced? Check out the video at the top of the post to see what you'll get when the whole process is over.

Because XBMC is so powerful, you have a ton of options for setting up your media center to fit your needs. This guide covers the entire process, from choosing your hardware to importing your videos to extending XBMC to its furthest (and coolest) reaches. If you're new to XBMC, you should start from the top. If not, jump to the section that interests you most:

Choose Your Hardware
Install XBMC
Import Media Into XBMC
Customize Every Inch of Your Media Center
Stream Any TV Show or Movie to Your Media Center

Choose Your Hardware
Before you start, you'll need to think about where you're going to run XBMC. If you have an old computer, you can just hook that up to your TV and use it as a media center for a total of $0. Of course, if your old machine is big, loud, and draws lots of unnecessary power, you may prefer a dedicated media center. (It won't hurt to test on your old machine, though!)

You don't have to spend a ton of money on XBMC-capable hardware. In fact, the cheapest option is one of our favorites: a jailbroken Apple TV. The newest generation can play 1080p videos, has Netflix built-in to the Apple TV software, and can do all the basic playback of any XBMC machine. And, at $99, it's a steal. The newest generation hasn't been jailbroken yet, but hopefully it will be soon. In the meantime, you can grab a second generation Apple TV if you don't mind 720p, check out what installing XBMC is like on an Apple TV with our Apple TV 2 guide. (You'll see a post on Lifehacker as soon as the newest Apple TV is jailbroken.)

Of course, if you want to do some of the more advanced things in this guide, like play video games or sync XBMC with multiple XBMC boxes in the house, you'll need a real computer to do the job. You have a few options here: you could either grab a cheap nettop, like the $219 Asus Eee Box or $300 Acer Aspire Revo for a tiny, silent, standalone box, or you can build your own for a bit more money. The standalone box is great and gives you a few more options, but if you really want to go all-out with your box—by adding video games and Blu-Ray playback to the mix, for example—you'll probably want to build your own. It's a tad more expensive, but it gives you complete control over every aspect of your media center, which we really like. If you've never built a computer before, it's pretty easy—just check out our start-to-finish guide to building a computer from scratch.

Chances are you already have an idea of what you want to use for your media center, but if you're caught between two or more of the above options, be sure to check out our Ask Lifehacker on the subject. Don't forget to think about remote controls when making your hardware decisions, too. Apple TV users will be shocked at how well the Apple TV remote works, but other users will need to buy a remote separately. The easiest route would be to grab a Windows Media Center remote like this one, which comes with an infrared sensor and should work out of the box with XBMC. If you have a universal remote you really like, though, you can make nearly any IR remote work with XBMC using the complicated but awesome LIRC, too.

Install XBMC
XBMC comes in a number of different flavors, so the next step is choosing which one you want to install from their download page. You can install it as a regular program atop your Windows, Mac, or Linux system, which makes it easy to use other programs on your media center whenever you want—like playing video games (which we'll discuss in more detail later) or even just browsing the web from your couch. However, if all you want is XBMC with no other hassle, you could just install XBMCbuntu, which is a minimal Linux installation with XBMC on top of it. You can boot straight into XBMC by turning on the computer, and boot into a Linux desktop on the rare occasion you need to tweak some system-level settings. This is what most of us here at Lifehacker do, since it works great right out of the box—but if you have special needs, you can always install it over the operating system of your choice.

Alternatively, you can install a variation of XBMC like the fast-booting, self-updating OpenELEC. It's a great choice if you don't want to fiddle with any operating systems, and just want a box that starts up quickly and houses your movies. You could also use a program like Plex for Windows and Mac, which is based off of XBMC. It isn't nearly as customizable as XBMC, and most of this guide won't really apply to it, but we think it's worth mentioning for its awesome streaming powers. If you aren't looking for an insanely customizable media center and want to stream media to your iOS or Android device when you're away, Plex is a great choice.

Installing XBMC is a piece of cake once you've picked your version. If it's just a regular version of XBMC, download and install it like you would any other program. If you're installing OpenELEC or XBMCbuntu, just burn the installer to a live CD or USB drive, insert it into your media center, and boot from that device to start the installation. Once you have it installed, you're ready to start adding your media.

Import Media Into XBMC
You can stream a lot of media to XBMC, but where it really shines is with your local library of movies and TV shows. Here's what importing that media entails.

Where to Get Movies and TV Shows for XBMC
If you don't have movies and TV shows on your computer already, I highly recommend checking out our guides on how to:

Rip a DVD
Rip a Blu-Ray disc
Download Media using Usenet
Automatically download TV shows and movies as soon as they've aired

Where to Store Them (and How to Organize Them)
Before you go adding these files to your library though, you'll need to get them in order on your machine. You can either store them on your media center itself or on another computer on the network. Our preferred method is to store them on a network—whether you've stowed them away on your main machine (which you'll need to keep running 24/7 if you want those videos available) or you've got something like a NAS running as a home file server (which is what I do).

XBMC has a cool feature where it can grab all sorts of information about your videos—like the cover art, plot summary, year produced, and more—and display it in the menus for you. It does this by scraping information from sources like TheMovieDB.org and TheTVDB.com when you add those files to your library. However, in order to scrape that information, it needs your files organized in a certain way. There are a ton of ways to do this, but we'll feature a few options here.

The Easy, Automated Way: Create two new folders: one for movies and one for TV shows. Drop all your movies into the movies folder, and your TV shows into the TV folder. XBMC needs these separated to correctly process information. Then, just rename your movie files using a supported naming convention, such as Tron.Legacy.2010.1080p.mkv (the name, the year, and the resolution—though I usually add the resolution just so I can see at a glance which movies I've ripped in which format). For TV shows, put each show in its own folder with all the episodes inside, and use a supported naming convention like Firefly.s01e02.mkv for each one. You can add more information to your files if you want, but these are simple conventions with enough information for XBMC to scrape information.

When you add these files to XBMC, it'll grab all the information for you, including the movie's poster art and a high-resolution fanart image, which is usually a screenshot of the movie or other promotional image (see the image to the right for an example of what your menus will look like with fanart and poster art). It'll grab all this automatically so you don't have to do anything, and you can just start watching your media. If you'd rather pick which poster and fanart it uses, you'll have to use...

The Complicated, Customizable Method: Like the easy method, start by creating two folders: one for movies and one for TV shows. Drop all your movies into the movies folder, and your TV shows into the TV folder. XBMC needs these separated to correctly process information. Then, create a new folder for each movie, using the movie's title as the folder's name. Inside that folder, place the movie file with any file name you want, along with the poster art labeled folder.jpg and the fanart you want as fanart.jpg. You fan find images for the poster and fanart at TheMovieDB.org. TV shows are similar: just… [more]
DIY  Airplay  Apple_TV  Blu-Ray  Customization  DVDs  Feature  Hulu  Hulu_plus  ios  ipad  iPhone  ipod_touch  Linux  Mac  Mac_OS_X  Media  Media_Center  Movies  NetFlix  Os_X  Streaming_Video  Top  TV_shows  Video  Video_Games  Windows  Xbmc  from google
april 2012 by knilob
Snapguide for iPhone review: Best app for creating beautiful guides and DIY projects
Snapguide is a beautiful way to create, share, and find how-to guides, recipes, and other instructionals — straight from your iPhone. Snapguide for iPhone allows you to create instructional guides (including recipes) straight on your iPhone, complete with pictures, videos, and captions. When you’re done you can publish your guides and share them via Twitter, Facebook, or email, as well as with the Snapguide community.
When you first open Snapguide, you’ll be walked through a quick tutorial and then you’ll be able to create an account. Once you’ve finished the quick sign-up process you can get to creating guides.
Browsing Snapguides Searching for guides and browsing them within the Snapguide community is quick and simple. Just search for any subject or browse popular or most viewed guides.
Most users will probably want to spend most of their time viewing existing guides created by others. After you register you’ll be able to do exactly that. Just use explore the tabs along the bottom to view all kinds of guides. You can also use the search feature in the upper right hand corner in order to search for a specific guide you may want to view.
Creating your own Snapguides If you're creating a guide for others you can easily add steps including photo, video, and text to make it easier to follow along.
Once you’ve started to create a guide you can choose between photos, video, or text. Snap a picture or take a video of the first step to insert them into your guide. If you’ve got a bunch of images or video to shoot, just take them all in one go if you’d like and then go in and edit the steps afterwards.
Snapguide also has Dictation integration so if you’re explaining a particularly lengthy step and have an iPhone 4S you can enjoy adding captions to your steps by speaking them.
Add many photos or videos at once and then go back and edit in steps when you're done creating media.
Once you’re done snapping pictures or video, just tap them in your main guide window to add captions to them. Move things around or delete steps as needed. Don’t forget to add a list of supplies that users will need as well. (Especially important for recipes!)
Once you're done with your guide you can publish it to the Snapguide community and share it via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.
Once you’ve got your guide exactly the way you want it, you can publish it with a single tap. From there it’ll be shared with the Snapguide community and other users can comment on it or follow you in order to see all your guides.
You can also choose to email the guide to someone, share it to Facebook, or tweet it out. You’ll have to authorize Facebook but Twitter will just pull from your native Twitter accounts (you can choose which account you’d like to tweet it from if you’ve got more than one). You can also copy the link to share on other sites as too.
If you forgot a step and need to edit your guide, you can do so through your profile with just a tap and then re-publish your guide. You can also re-share guides via your profile as well.
If you figure out later on that you forgot a step or want to word something different, no worries. Just open up your profile and tap on the blue pencil next to the guide you want to change to edit it. Tap into the guide without clicking the blue pencil in order to view how many users have liked it or to share it again.
The Good Super simple interface to use Great layout that allows you to easily navigate and create guides with virtually no learning curve Already a pretty good amount of users and guides The Bad Google+ and Pinterest integration would be nice additions The Conclusion Snapguide is a beautiful way to create, share, and find how-to guides, recipes, and other instructionals — straight from your iPhone. I’ve yet to find an app that’s as intuitive or easy to use as this one for creating or viewing DIY guides. If you’ve got an iPhone and a spark for creativity, this is the app for you. I’ve already found tons of home DIY guides I want to get around to trying.
If you’ve picked up this app, let us know if you’ve found or created anything particularly interesting! I’ve already found quite a few guides relating to iPhone, iPad, and iPod. I’m excited to contribute to that number in the near future.
Free – Download Now Additional Resources:
More app reviews Best of the best apps iMore apps & games forums
guides  iPhone  projects  DIY  Reviews  recipes  App_Store_Apps  Snapguide  Featured  Top_5  from google
april 2012 by knilob
Top 10 Badass Things You Can Do One Handed [Video]
You know what's cooler than having lots of skills? Having skills you can use with one hand tied behind your back. Here are our top 10 tricks that only take 25% of your limbs to accomplish.

Obviously, there are a lot of things you can do with one hand. Here, we're trying to avoid the obvious (like cutting and pasting text, or unlocking your iPhone), as well as the things you're all thinking right now (like unhooking a bra, or other things you'd rather not talk to your mother about). A few of these you may already know, but for the most part, we're going for new skills you can learn today.

10. Measure Distances
Did you know the distance between your eyes is one tenth the length of your arm? Besides being a random fun fact, this tip can help you estimate distances using just your arm. Just stick your arm out, cover up the object with your thumb, and stare at it with your eye closed. Then, switch your open eye and sort out how far the object has "jumped" to the side. If you're looking to measure the height of something—like a tall tree or building—you can do that one-handed too.

9. Strip Wires





know what it's like digging into a DIY project. You're so excited that you want to do it all at once, without any regard to your personal safety or intricate details. So, if you want to unpack boxes with one hand while you strip and solder with the other, you can use this convenient one-handed wire stripping and tinning method to get the job done. Just don't burn yourself, please. Note that this one requires a bit of two-handed cheating in the first step, but if you really want to do it one-handed, you can always build a third hand that'll hold the wire for you.

8. Light a Match





From the "showing off at a party" files, lighting a match with one hand is a surefire way to burn yourse—ahem, look cool (seriously, be careful with this one). It's pretty easy to do with any set of matches, though if you have a set of strike-anywhere matches, you can even do it using just your thumb. Of course, if that's a little too close to skin for you, you can always use your pants zipper as well.

7. Do Anything on Your Computer
We'd be remiss not to mention some sort of computer trick here—this is Lifehacker, after all—but after searching for the most mind-blowing keyboard shortcuts we could find, we discovered the true one-handed computer marvel is the fact that you can turn any action into a keyboard shortcut, on both Windows and OS X. That means you can do virtually anything on your computer with just a one-handed keystroke. Of course, if you're looking for something a bit more impressive than that, you can always learn how to type one-handed, too. Photo by Daniel Novta.

6. Get the World's Attention





One of the skills everyone seems to be jealous of is the ability to perform that ear-piercing whistle with two fingers in your mouth. Whether you need to hail a cab or you just want to be the neighborhood's morning rooster, it's actually not that hard to do. We've talked about it once before, but you can also check out the video to the left for step-by-step instructions.

5. Crack an Egg





We've talked about the top 10 things every budding foodie should know, but we neglected to mention one of the easiest things any aspiring chef can learn: how to crack an egg with one hand. It's actually very easy to do, and you can probably learn it without wasting too many eggs in the process—especially if you have a few golf balls on hand to help you practice.

4. Open a Beer





We've shown you countless ways to open a bottle without a bottle opener, but if you don't even have a piece of paper on hand, you can actually open a beer with just your forearm. Okay, so this one's cheating just a tad, but you don't actually need two hands—just two arms. Check out the video to the left to see how it's done.

3. Shuffle a Deck of Cards





This one definitely takes some practice, but if you really want to be a cut above the other dealers at your next poker game (pun intended), you can learn this trick for shuffling cards one-handed. Cutting the deck with one hand is very easy, but that's not going to fly with more serious card players, so check out the video to the left to see some real one-handed shuffling. It'll definitely take you a few tries to learn it—and probably a few games of 52 pickup—but it'll be worth the effort when you can actually make it look easy.

2. Tie Your Shoes





If you're still tying your shoes with the granny knot, it's time to upgrade. You can tie them in two seconds flat with the Ian Knot, or, if you're looking to get a bit more impressive, you can learn Ian's one-handed knot. You'll only end up with one loop on your shoe when you're done, so it might look a tad silly—but it works. Alternatively, you can tie your shoes using a more traditional knot using one hand and one of your feet to keep one of the laces in place, as shown in the video to the left. The advantage of Ian's knot is that it's not only faster, but if you really want to get crazy, you can use it to tie both of your shoes at once. If that doesn't get you access to the cool club, I don't know what will.

1. Eat a Chicken Wing





It sounds messy, but it's actually less messy than the traditional, two-handed method of eating chicken wings. Not only do you only end up with sauce on one hand (because, you know, your other hand is holding your beer the whole time), but you don't have to pick apart the bones. Just hold the larger end of the wing, push the meat down at the top, and eat the whole thing in one fell swoop. Try it once and you'll never go back to eating wings with two hands again.

There are probably other neat, one-handed tricks out there, but these are our favorites of the ones we found. Of course, you could always include tricks that free up one of your hands—like this magnetic coffee cup—but we wanted to stick to the "one hand only" rule as much as possible. Got any of your own one-handed tricks to share (you know, that don't involve Chrome's private browsing mode)? Tell us about them in the comments.
Lifehacker_Top_10  Beverages  Clever_Uses  DIY  Drinks  Feature  Food  Food_Hacks  Fun  Games  Keyboard_Shortcuts  Knots  Shortcuts  Time_Savers  Top  Typing  from google
march 2012 by knilob
Healthy Eating for People Who Hate Cooking [Cooking]
One of the barriers for healthy eating is the time it takes to actually prepare a healthy meal. If you already don't like the idea of cooking, making a well-rounded meal is even more of a daunting task. However, it is possible to make meals without actually working too hard for them and we'll show you how to do it.

Personally, I can't stand cooking. For whatever reason, it always feels like a wasted effort to take hours making something only to completely destroy it within a couple minutes. But I'm well aware of the health risks that can come about from eating a frozen pizza for every single meal, and that's why I started digging into ways to get the nutrients I needed without always resorting to frozen dinners. First up, here's what I've done, and we'll look at what others suggest a little later.

The Smoothie for Vegetable and Fruit Intake
The smoothie is something like a garbage-disposal of healthy food. If you can't or don't like cooking, it's the easiest, simplest way to ensure you still get the fruits, vegetables, and vitamins you need in the day without having to come up with complex recipes that require you to cook several foods at once. All you have to do is toss a few fruits and vegetables into a blender with some water or ice, stand around for a few seconds while it blends, and then you end up with a food that's really a drink and requires a stupidly small amount of effort.

How much do you need to throw in there? Let's look at the recommended daily allowance of fruits and vegetables and see how we can get that into one or two no-cook meals.

Fruits: For most Americans over the age of 18, 2 cups worth of fruit is recommended a day. That's about a single large fruit—as in, one apple or one banana.
Vegetables: Vegetables require a bit more than fruit as far as recommended amount. You need at least 3 cups of raw or cooked vegetables.

So that boils down to about two cups of fruits and vegetables a day, which isn't hard to get out of a blender. Thousands of smoothie recipes are out there and it always boils down to preference, but here's a few I use to get my recommended daily allowance.

The nutritionally complete meal: Monster Chef shows off this simple recipe with some frozen mixed fruits, cranberries, milk, walnuts, and chocolate that smashes together an entire meal in six easy steps and about five minutes of your time.
The kid friendly approach: Because I have the taste palate of a five-year-old when it comes to most foods, I typically like things simple. If you hate the idea of cooking, you might too, which is why the simplified kid-friendly smoothie recipes parenting blog Inhabitots suggests making for kids is also handy for adults who'd prefer Soylent Green to an hour in the kitchen.
The incredibly easy approach: Even though cutting and tossing a few ingredients into a blender isn't hard, an easier way exists. Namely, removing the the cutting part. Recipes out there vary from just adding almond milk to some frozen fruit to tossing a frozen banana in with some peanut butter and soy milk.

While that will certainly take care of your fruits and vegetables, a smoothie can't cover your entire nutritional intake. That's why I learned to love the crock pot as an nearly automated cooking device. Photo by Tim Patterson.

The Crock Pot as Automated Cooking Device
The crock pot is about as close as you can get to set-it-and-forget-it automatic cooking. Throw some food inside in the morning or afternoon and it automatically cooks so it's edible later.

The benefit of the crock pot isn't just in its ability to cook food without you paying any attention to it, it's also the fact you don't need a lot of ingredients. The Simple Dollar's collection of five ingredient crock pot recipes will do most cooking-haters good and provide the protein and vegetables needed in your diet. The benefit? The directions are: dump food in crock pot, turn crock pot on low, walk away for 8 hours and return to a cooked meal.

The idea of the crock pot is pretty broad too. I love our own Adam Pash's ludicrously simple three-can chili because it requires nothing but a can opener and about two minutes of prep time. Similar toss-it-in-a-pot-and-walk-away recipes exist out there and they can provide a good amount of nutrition without any real effort on your part.Photo by Kurt Nordstrom.

A Few More Ideas
My above options, of course, are not the only ones. Since it's still winter and rather chilly, the crockpot provides a nice way to get a hot meal without any effort, but come summer it's not nearly as nice. Here are a few ideas from around the web to keep your diet healthy without the hassle of hours in the kitchen.

The sandwich and salad approach: These two great meal options come without the aid of cooking utensils and both provide your daily nutrients in a number of ways. If you don't know what to actually make, recipe site Eating Well has a bunch of suggestions for no-cook meals that are dead simple to make and require nothing more than a few minutes and a knife.
Embrace the microwave: Hardcore foodies will likely guffaw at this suggestion, but the microwave isn't as bad a place to cook food as we've all been lead to believe. The key is knowing how to read the frozen food labels properly and watching for a few key facts on the nutrition label. WebMD suggests you: keep the calories in the 250-300 range, pick meals with less than 4 grams of saturated fat, less than 800 milligrams of sodium, and with at least 3-5 grams of fiber.
Cook and freeze in bulk: If you happen to fall into the, "I don't despise cooking but still don't want to do," category, then the idea of bulk cooking meals for a month or five days might be appealing. This, of course, requires you to cook, but it boils down to dedicating just one or two days a month to it instead of of every day. You cook all your meals, freeze them up, then simply reheat later on.
Strategize your restaurant and take-out foods: Of course, the ultimate no-cook method of healthy eating is to do absolutely nothing and have the food delivered to you. As ABC News points out, it's not eating out that's unhealthy, it's where we eat. If you're not sure where to start, Cooking Light has a big list of healthy foods at a variety of restaurants as well as tips for ordering healthy foods. Don't forget the pre-made foods at your local grocery as they're often of the same caliber as what you'd be making at home with the same ingredients.

The above tips are just a few suggestions and a few of the things I've learned over the last couple months that help me get as much of my daily recommended allowance of food as possible without actually firing up any of the heavy appliances in the kitchen. Share your own tips or recipes in the comments. Photo by Daniel Orth.

Title photo by Gatanass.
Cooking  DIY  Food  Food_Hacks  Frozen  Health  Household  Top  from google
march 2012 by knilob
Freeze Oatmeal in Silicone Baking Cups [Food Hacks]
Old fashioned oatmeal tastes much better than instant varieties, is cheaper, and better for you. The downside is that it takes a while to cook, usually 10-20 minutes or a little longer if you use steel-cut oats. Why not make a large batch when you have the time and then freeze individual portions in silicone muffin tins and/or baking cups?
Crafting weblog Make Something... recommends preparing a batch of oatmeal for freezing using just rolled or steel-cut oats, water and salt. 3 cups of oats, 5.5 cups of water, and 1 tsp of salt will make enough for twelve small servings. When the oatmeal has finished cooking you can transfer it to the silicone cups or muffin tin and place in the freezer for a few hours until thoroughly frozen. Pop the frozen oatmeal "pucks" into a plastic freezer bag and they'll be ready to go for a month or longer.

You can also add in most oatmeal toppings before freezing such as brown sugar, raisins, nuts, other dried fruits and spices, but save fresh fruit and milk until you've reheated the oatmeal. To do so, place the frozen oatmeal puck in a microwave safe bowl and nuke for 2 minutes on high. Stir it, and then microwave for another 30 seconds, and add any last minute toppings such as banana slices or milk.

Last year we covered a similar idea, making an oatmeal breakfast for the week in 5 minutes but if you're like me you don't want the same thing for breakfast every day. By freezing the oatmeal it's available whenever you have a craving and it's also great if your kitchen area at work has a a freezer. Also you can buy frozen oatmeal at the grocery store but our DIY version comes out to around twelve cents a serving before additional toppings.

How to make frozen oatmeal at home for .12 a serving | Cathie Filian's Make Something
Food_Hacks  Breakfast  Cooking  DIY  Food  Frozen  oatmeal  from google
march 2012 by knilob
Remove Scratches and Dents in Hardwood Floors with an Iron [Macgyver Tips]
Have you ever gone to move a piece of furniture across a hardwood floor and heard the horrible scratching sound of the furniture cutting into the wood? It's not a pleasant sound, but according to DIY blog Apartment Therapy, you can remove those scratches with an iron and a little water.

As with any home repair tip, it's best to test this one out in a dark corner before trying it on a high traffic area. The process itself is pretty simple: wet the scratch or dent, apply a wet cloth or paper towel over the dent, and then move the iron in a circular motion across the towel for 3-5 minutes. If you do this on a finished hardwood floor you may have to sand up the finish a little bit. It doesn't work on all finishes, but it's incredibly handy if you've accidentally destroyed a floor trying to rearrange a room by yourself. Hit up the post on Apartment Therapy for a full guide.

How To Fix Dents in Wooden Floors & Furniture (With an Iron!) | Apartment Therapy
Macgyver_tips  Cleaning  Clever_Uses  DIY  Household  Repair  from google
february 2012 by knilob
How Can I Turn My Boring Digs Into an Awesome, Well-Designed Home On the Cheap? [Ask Lifehacker]
Dear Lifehacker,
My apartment is boring and I want it to be really cool, but I don't know much about interior design and I don't have very much money. What can I do to make my home look cool and not really dull?

Sincerely,
Design Out of Reach

Dear DOOR,

Making your home look nice is actually not as hard as you think. Although you'll want to know a few design principles to help you make the best possible choices, your primary goal simply needs to be to create an environment that exemplifies who you are. I spoke with Bradford Shellhammer, one of the founders of Fab.com (a site that offers steep discounts on all kinds of design items), for some guidance. He offered several suggestions on making just about any home a well-designed place imbued with your personal aesthetic.

Plan First
First things first, you need to make a plan before you go out and start picking up the things you need. Bradford said he sees people often go out and just buy furniture or random art to fill the walls because they know these are things that homes are supposed to have. This tends to breed the kind of boring home you want to avoid because it's purely utilitarian. When you plan ahead, you can get everything you need without sacrificing design.

Select a Color Scheme
Picking a color scheme is an important first step because it will inform the majority of the choices you make. Bradford suggested starting with a few colors you like, so that the choice is personal, and working from there. Finding a color scheme that suits you doesn't require a knowledge of color theory (although you can learn the basics here) because all you need to do is explore existing schemes. One of the best places to do that is at Adobe Kuler, as it offers a variety of different color collections that you can explore. If you want to practice putting a few colors together yourself, the site will let you do this as well. It's a very useful tool to employ when you're exploring the colors that are going to inform all of your design choices.

Steal What You See
When you're putting your plan together, don't be afraid to steal somebody else's idea and repurpose it for your own home. Chances are you're going to want to make a few changes, so you're not going to wind up with the exact same look by your own design, but you'll also have a difficult time finding every little piece of furniture and art in a photo of a room you want to copy. Even though you'll have natural differences, don't be afraid to combine ideas as well. Bradford suggests picking up a shelter magazine (like Dwell, or whatever suits your personal style) and finding ideas you can bring to your own home.

Mix and Match Your Furniture
If you've just moved, you might need furniture. If not, perhaps you're looking to get a few new things. When you need furniture for whatever reason, Bradford suggests straying from a single outlet and mixing and matching your options. Deciding to buy everything from the IKEA catalog would just result in your home looking like an IKEA showroom. Your goal is to add some personality, so pick furniture from a variety of sources that all adhere to your color scheme.

You don't have to spend a lot of money—there's nothing wrong with purchasing used or inexpensive furniture so long as you like it. If there's an item you want that's out of your budget, remember that you don't have to get it right now. Wait until you can afford it, and keep an eye out for sales. You can even ask an employee at the furniture store to let you know if and when the item you want becomes a part of a floor sample sale. In the event the furniture store is willing to give you a call when that happens, you can pick up your furniture at a heavy discount. I once bought a great $900 couch for $250 with delivery this way. Alternatively, if you're ordering from national retailer (think Crate & Barrel or Room & Board), check if there are outlet stores in your area to find some steep discounts.

Paint an Accent Wall or Two
Although most people are under the impression that white walls make a home feel bigger, Bradford argues that adding color to your walls is responsible for that effect because it provides the illusion of depth. You don't even have to paint every wall. You can simply select a wall or two to make your accent wall to add an extra impact. Just refer to your color scheme when you're deciding which paint to buy.

If you're a renter who's worried about pissing off your landlord, or just don't want to paint your walls back to white when you move out, you have a few alternatives. Temporary wallpaper—while more expensive—can be easily added to the walls and removed when you leave. Although its additional cost may be a deterrent, it does have the advantage of being reusable. Unlike paint, you can transplant it from one apartment to another as you move. Alternatively, vinyl wall decals (like these great ones from Blik) offer an easy way to add some unique designs without the risk of damage. For a few more painting alternatives, check out our guide to customizing your apartment without pissing off your landlord.

It is worth noting that paint is pretty cheap and the simplest, most-effective option. Alternatives will cost you more, and if you're looking to make your home look great on the cheap you'll want to stop worrying and use paint. Bradford says "screw your landlord, paint your walls, and just repaint when you leave." It's less work than you might imagine.

Add a Rug (or Other Floor Covering)
Bare floors aren't the worst thing in the world, but Bradford suggests that rugs and floor coverings are one of the best ways that you can make your home feel bigger, better defined, and more visually compelling. He says most people tend to pick a small rug when they have a small space, but this is actually the wrong way to go. Bigger rugs can make a space feel larger because they help define an area of a room. If your living and dining areas are all part of the same room, adding a rug creates visual separation and that makes the space feel larger. To keep costs down, buy a vintage rug on eBay, something from IKEA, or look for flat cotton-weave rugs (which won't feel as nice as some rugs but will still look great).

Use Your Personality to Fill the Walls and Shelves
Bringing your personality to the design of your home is what will make it unique and special, and utilizing your wall and shelf space is one of the easiest ways to do just that. People looking to save money often resort to generic, boring art, but you can create or find better options. Bradford offered up plenty of interesting ideas for ways you can add inexpensive art by just thinking about the things you like. For example, if you're a surfer you could frame and mount a map of the coastline. If you like architecture, go buy a book of architecture, tear out the pages, and frame them. Well-framed screen prints, band posters, drawings from your nieces and nephews, newspaper clippings, or anything that related to you can be used to fill the void created by your empty walls. Collections are also your friend. If you loved toy robots as a child, start collecting them and arranging them nicely on your shelves. Frame a bunch of ticket stubs from your favorite movies. Multiples can make a big visual impact, so various types of collections add a unique style to your home.

If you'd prefer to acquire art that already exists, the hard part won't be finding anything good but narrowing down your options. Your best bet is to think of something you like—such as cars—and search for car-related art on or offline. Etsy is filled with unknown but very talented artists selling their work at reasonable prices. Some will even do custom work for you based on criteria you specify. If Etsy isn't your thing, eBay is another source. You can also find discounted art at Fab.com. If you want to see what you're buying in person, attending student art shows are great ways to find interesting new work without breaking the bank.

Bradford says it all comes down to this: find things you like that tell the story of who you are. If someone else doesn't like it, who cares—they don't have to live there. The only person who needs to love the look of your home is you.

A special thanks goes out to Bradford Shellhammer, one of the founders of Fab.com, for his great, helpful interior design tips.
Photos by Sumetho (Shutterstock), Hometone and Wallcoo.
Ask_Lifehacker  Apartment  Art  Color  Design  DIY  Home  House  Household  Saving_Money  Top  from google
february 2012 by knilob
Use Painters Tape and a Strong Magnet as a Cheap, DIY Stud Finder [Household]
A good stud finder is an excellent addition to any toolbox, but if you don't have one and you just want to hang some art, this tip from a general contractor over at Houzz is a money-saver. Get the strongest magnet you can find, and wrap it in painter's tape, leaving enough loose that you can use as a handle. Then drag the magnet across the wall where you want to find a stud. If it's strong enough, the magnet will be attracted to the nails, screws, and junctions in the stud as it passes over one, and offer some resistance.

I'll say this for the method—it's clearly not perfect, and it's not going to land you right in the middle of a stud by any means, but if you just want a method to hang some art or anchor a bookshelf, this is a good way to go, especially if you don't already own a stud finder and don't really want to go buy one for a single job. In fact, the contractor who uses this method notes at Houzz that he doesn't bother with anything else—the key is in the strength of your magnet, and the commenters there seem to agree.

What do you think? Too inaccurate to be useful, or a great hack for around-the-house projects? Share your thoughts—and your alternatives—in the comments below.

Quick Fix: Find Wall Studs Without an Expensive Stud Finder | Houzz via TipNut
Household  DIY  Magnets  Maintenance  Projects  Repairs  stud_finder  Tape  Walls  from google
february 2012 by knilob
DIY Candied Ginger Is Easy to Make and Relieves Stomach Discomfort and Nausea [Food]
Candied ginger is one of those things that I keep around the house at all times. Not only is it a tasty treat and great to sweeten a cup of hot tea, but it's also great for upset stomachs and light nausea. Unfortunately, it's frequently only available in health food stores, and even then it can be pricey. Here's how to make it at home.

America's Test Kitchen shows us how to make this stomach-calming treat home with minimal effort. You'll need some fresh ginger, of course, but aside from that the only thing you'll need is sugar and water. You'll use some of the sugar to make a simple syrup to soak the ginger in (the simple syrup will be the binder that keeps the rest of the sugar sticking to the ginger) and the rest to toss the ginger in when it's finished its soak. All in all, you can buy the sugar and the ginger for half the price required to buy a package of the stuff already candied.

Have you tried candied ginger, or do you make your own? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

How to Make Candied Ginger | America's Test Kitchen

You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter or Google+.
Food  DIY  Food_Hacks  ginger  Health  Kitchen_hacks  nausea  stomach  Stomachache  from google
november 2011 by knilob
Add Turn Signals to Your Bicycle For Less Than $40 [Video]
Even if you're fully decked out in reflective coating, riding a bike at night can be a dangerous thing, which is why Instructable user NEIN decided to rig up a simple system to add blinking turn signals to his bicycle.

It's a bit of a process to outfit the bike, but it's an inexpensive fix considering you'll end up with a safe means of transport. Using commercially available parts, NEIN hooked up a simple on/off stitch to a pair of flashing safety lights so he could easily signal to drivers behind him without using the hand signals many drivers don't recognize. Hit up the full Instructable for the instructions on how to make these yourself.

Simple turn signals for a bicycle | Instructables
DIY  Bicycles  Cycling  Exercise  Safety  from google
october 2011 by knilob
How to Make an Improvised Backpack [Outdoors]
Brian's Backpacking Blog stresses that knowledge of how to make improvised gear is more important than having the latest and greatest equipment. The site shows how you can make an external frame backpack using tree branches, paracord, shoulder straps, and a tarp—along with knot-tying skills.
The site's technique for making an improvised backpack is designed to replace a destroyed pack while in the wilderness which is why they're using existing shoulder straps, but you should be able to improvise a solution if necessary, and can even make shoulder straps out of paracord.

Full instructions are at the link below—basically you're making a frame by lashing three branches in a triangle and attaching your shoulder straps. Use paracord to make a basic net in the cavity of the triangle, roll up all your gear in a tarp to make a bundle, and tuck that bundle in the net.

This is also a good weekend project if you'd like to give hiking a try but don't have room in your budget for a pack.

Making an Improvised Backpack | Brian's Backpacking Blog
Outdoors  Backpack  Backpacking  DIY  Hiking  paracord  from google
october 2011 by knilob
What Can I Do with an Old Server? [Ask Lifehacker]
Dear Lifehacker,
I have an old enterprise-class server that I've inherited from my office. It's been replaced with a shiny new one, and it's a little too powerful to just donate to charity. What can I do with it?

Signed,
Dumpster Diving IT Admin

Photo by Jamison Judd.

Dear Dumpster Diving IT Admin,
Congratulations! One of the perks of working as a systems administrator in a lot of datacenters is that when the old servers are decommissioned, you get to use them for your own purposes, especially if the company is getting rid of them and just wants them out of the datacenter.

There are a lot of things you can do with a rack-mountable server, even if you don't rack-mount it. Since most servers are designed to be headless, there are a lot of great, out of the way uses for an old server or servers in your home that can help you learn something new, or make your life easier. Here are a few.

Try a New Operating System. If you've ever wanted to get your hands dirty with Linux, now's the time. Since many flavors and distros of Linux have a strong foothold in the enterprise, its likely you'll be able to find drivers for your old server hardware. You also have the benefit of using another computer to try out a new operating system without endangering your primary computer. If you mess up, just wipe it and start again. Once you finish setting it up, you can tweak the system as much as you like.
Build a HTPC/Media Streamer. Having a spare computer around the house, especially one that's fairly powerful, means you have perfect hardware for a home theater computer or a media streaming system. Plus, since you're using an old server and it's designed to operate headlessly or be managed remotely, you have the benefit of a system that doesn't need a monitor and keyboard plugged in to it at all times. Just connect a network cable and manage it remotely.
Consider turning your server into a DVR, or storing your media on it and streaming it to any other computer in your house or your mobile phone using an app like Plex to stream your media to any device in or out of your home. Just watch how much bandwidth you use!

Roll Your Own Firewall/VPN using a Linux distribution like Smoothwall or IPCop, you can turn your old server into a firewall. This way you can use its two network ports (most servers have more than one – if yours doesn't, you can add a second network card easily) to manage and protect your home network, and get familiar with advanced concepts like port forwarding, traffic shaping, and bandwidth monitoring.
Sure, you can use a wireless router to do the same thing or install custom firmware like DD-WRT or Tomato on your router to get more control over it, but having a dedicated device functioning as your firewall gives you the ability to really get your hands dirty and learn the basics of networking and security.

Also, if you're concerned about security when surfing the web in public places like a coffee shop or even in a hotel room, why not set up that old server as a VPN using Hamachi, a VPN app we've mentioned before, or Open VPN, which lets you log in to your home network via an encrypted tunnel for safer surfing wherever you go.

Build a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Device. If your old server has enough storage in it, you can use FreeNAS to build your own backup, streaming, or torrenting machine. Most servers have multiple hard drive bays, and you can easily add more drives if they're not already filled and you need more storage.
The benefit to having a NAS go beyond having a dumping ground for your files or a backup location for your important data. You can also use a NAS as the home streaming box we mentioned earlier, or even set it up as an FTP server so you can get access to your files when you're away from home.

Use it to Fight Cancer or Search for Intelligent Life. Both are causes close to my heart, but if you have the spare processing power in your home and you're willing to endure the boost in your power bill by keeping your server on, why not install Folding@Home or SETI@Home on it and participate in the search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, or help more earthbound researchers find treatments for cancer. Both projects can use all of the processing power they can muster, and a spare server, even if you're using it for another purpose, has the horsepower to help crunch data while you sleep, or while you're doing something else, like streaming a movie or downloading files.

This isn't an exhaustive list of things you can do with a spare server (or even multiple unused servers) by any stretch, but they're great starter projects that can help you learn a lot without needing new, high-end technology to try them. Good luck, and let us know how your projects turn out!

SIncerely,
Lifehacker

PS – Do you have any additional uses for an old, decommissioned server that you can suggest? Share your ideas in the comments below.

You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter.
Ask_Lifehacker  DIY  Firewall  Htpc  Nas  Old_computer  Old_server  Projects  Research  Servers  Streaming  from google
august 2011 by knilob
Add a Salt Box Pour Spout to a Jar for Easy Pouring [Kitchen Hacks]
If you use Ball jars or canning jars around the house for other dry goods like sugar, salt, or flour, consider replacing the metal insert around the canning lid with the metal pour spout from a box of salt. That way you won't need to fish around in the can with a spoon: you can pour right what you need right into a measuring cup or bowl.

The blog New Old School walks us through the process with the pour spout from the top of a box of salt-which happens to be a good fit for the top of a canning jar. To make your own, cut the top off of a box of salt, being careful to preserve the metal pour spout. Then replace the metal disc from the canning jar with the paper cut-out and the pour spout, and tighten the whole thing down the with metal ring that goes on top of the canning jar.

Once it's tightened down, you should have a jar that you can open and fill with anything, and a pour spout you can flip open whenever you need to. If you don't have the salt box or a metal pour spout to use, you could do the same with heavy cardboard and just punch a hole out to get a similar effect. Regardless, if you have the type of salt box used here, this is a great way to get even more use from a spare jar.

DIY-Free, Easy, Clever | New Old School via Re-Nest

You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter.
Kitchen_hacks  DIY  Food  Food_Hacks  Household  Kitchen  from google
august 2011 by knilob
Create Wall-Mounted Glass Jar Storage with Embroidery Hoops [Clever Uses]
Here's a creative use for glass jars that can help you organize craft supplies, hardware parts, and other small objects while making use of empty wall space. All you need is wooden embroidery hoops from the crafts or dollar store.

As Home Made Simple instructs, just screw the hoops that fit around the jars to your wall, then buckle them in. You can see everything at a glance, save counter space, and easily remove the jars and re-attach them. Check out the slideshow via the link below for more storage solutions using jars.

Repurposed Organizers: Jars | Home Made Simple

You can follow or contact Melanie Pinola, the author of this post, on Twitter.
Clever_Uses  Crafts  DIY  Household  Organization  Storage  from google
august 2011 by knilob
How to Get Rid of Drain Flies [DIY]
Drain flies (aka moth flies) can be a common but harmless nuisance. They routinely show up in kitchen or bathrooms where they lay eggs in the gelatinous organic slime that can develop in sink drains. Bleach or boiling water are often touted as remedies, but it better to attack the slime in the drain with a brush or enzyme drain cleaner.
The first thing you must do is find out which drains are afflicted. Make an X with masking tape over each kitchen and bathroom sink drain. If you have drain flies, a few will get caught on the tape as they fly out of the drain.

Once you know which drains the flies are inhabiting you can use a brush or an enzyme/bacterial drain cleaner such as Earth Enzymes or BacOut to remove the organic slime. Bleach, vinegar, or boiling water have all been suggested as remedies, but while they may kill existing flies in the drain they will not remove the eggs or the slime. Photo by Justin Taylor.

Drain Flies | LivingWithBugs
DIY  Pest_Control  from google
august 2011 by knilob
Make a DIY Kettlebell on the Cheap [Exercise]
Exercise equipment can be expensive. If you work out at home, chance are, you have some weights and plates that can be repurposed into a DIY kettlebell for only $10.

Tim Ferriss, author of The 4 Hour Body shows you exactly what you need to do to build your own kettlebell, which is a weight that extends from a handle that you swing in order to build strength. To get started, you will need a few lengths of plumbing pipes from the hardware store. Once you have all the required parts, assemble them as instructed in the tutorial video. Photo by Usodesita.

The Kettlebell Experiment | Bodybuilding.com
Exercise  bodybuilding  DIY  DIY_Kettlebell  Fitness  Kettlebell  weightlifting  from google
july 2011 by knilob
Make Your Own "Scrubbies" [DIY]
Need to wash the dishes? If your sponge little more than a flattened, germ-filled version of its former, glorious self, blog Bonzai Aphrodite suggests making your own "scrubbie" for free with items you likely have lying around the house.

If you go through a lot of sponges while washing the dishes, consider using the leftover packaging material from your groceries to make yourself dish washing scrubbies that will not only keep your dishes clean, but keep these items out of the landfill.

For this project you will need:

The leftover little mesh bags from small produce
A few plastic bags
Some dental floss (or thread)
Sewing needle (optional)

With these items, you will have a functional scrubbie that should last you at least until the next time you find yourself with a stockpile of plastic bags and small mesh produce bags.

DIY Homemade "Scrubbies"/Scouring Pads | Bonzai Aphrodite
DIY  Household  plastic_bags  Scrubbie  from google
july 2011 by knilob
Build a Light, Durable Carbon Fiber Case for Any Gadget [DIY]
If you're picky about how your phone's case looks and feels, you can build your own tough, lightweight case at home with carbon fiber.
Cases are a great way to protect your phone (and get a great resale value), but many are bulky, don't fit well, or just don't exist for certain more obscure gadgets. With a bit of carbon fiber, a wooden mold, and a resin to pull it all together, you can make your own strong, lightweight protector for just about any gadget in your backpack. You'll need a good selection of tools, like some C-Clamps, a drill, a dremel, and others, but with a well-stocked toolbox and a trip to the hardware store, it shouldn't be too difficult to do it yourself at home. Hit the link for the full how-to.

Technique: Carbon Fiber Primer | Make

You can contact Whitson Gordon, the author of this post, at whitson@lifehacker.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
 
DIY  Cases  Gadgets  Top  from google
july 2011 by knilob
How to Securely Tie Anything to Your Car [Video]
Last time you moved something in your car that was too large to fit in your trunk, you probably lamely cobbled together a few insecure knots. (Oh wait, that wasn't you—that was me.) The Trucker's hitch is a relatively simple knot you can tie with one rope that secures anything with the power of pulleys.

Watch the video above or walk through this step-by-step from DIY site Instructables. You've got a few different options for how you tie off the knot, but the basics are simple, and it's an indispensable knot worth adding to your DIY toolkit. While, you're at it, you may be interested in getting to know the versatile bowline knot.

Trucker's Hitch, THE most awesome knot on the planet! | Instructables via Reddit
Video_Demonstration  DIY  Knots  Survival  Survival_Skills  from google
july 2011 by knilob
How to Organize and Maintain Your Car to Save You Time, Money, and Effort [Cars]
Whether your car is in pristine condition or it's a disaster area, you can do a number of simple things to keep it organized, well-maintained, and working its best. Here's an easy approach to getting things in order and making your car do more for you.
I used to treat my car like a dumpster because I saw it as a means of getting from point A to point B when walking wasn't an option, but I changed. I changed for two reasons: 1) it got to a point where the mess was causing problems (as in, my friends didn't want to sit on a pile of garbage), and 2) I realized that you don't actually have to like cars or driving them to render a little organization beneficial. A more organized car saves you time and effort, and a well-maintained car is good for resale value.

First we're going to take a look at ways to take the pain and cost out of servicing your car, then how you can keep it organized to make your driving experience better and easier.

Service
I take no pleasure in keeping my belongings in pristine condition, but the same goes for making a mess. There's a reasonable middle-ground where you don't have to spend tons of time neurotically caring for your car and can still keep it in great condition. Here are some tricks to help you keep it running great and looking good while saving you time and money.

Get a Synthetic Oil Change
A regular oil change will let you drive 3,000 miles before you need another one. Pure synthetic or synthetic oil blends (meaning synthetics combined with petroleum) are not only better for your car (unless your car is pretty old or has a high-mileage engine) but you can get a lot more mileage before needing a change when using them. This means that if you pick the right one, you'll rarely have to change your oil and save yourself some money.

So how do you know you're getting the right stuff? Before you get your oil changed, call the place up and ask if their offer a pure synthetic option, a blend, or just the standard petroleum. There aren't many pure synthetics and they're generally pretty costly (because you can get up to 25,000 miles before a change in some cases), so there's nothing wrong with choosing a blend if it'll save you money. Not all blends are created equal, however, so make sure you ask how long it'll last you and what it will cost. You may also want to ask for the type of blend so you can look it up and verify any claims. If you call a few places and compare, you should be able to figure out the most cost-effective method in your area so you can get your oil changed less often and save yourself some cash.

Plan Your Car Washes Around Trips to the Gas Station and Service Visits
Larger gas stations offer car washes, and if you buy one you'll get a discount on your gas bill. Several service providers—especially dealerships—also offer a free car wash with things like an oil change or general tune-up. You probably have a decent idea of how much you drive, so estimating when you'll need gas or a service visit is pretty easy to estimate. How often you wash your car will depend on a lot of factors, like the weather or if you often park underneath a bird poop factory, but a good average is once a month. If you fill up on gas once a week, you can make every fourth fill-up also be the time you wash your car. You probably need to take your car in for service every three months, so you can save four of those yearly car washes for those times. Your schedule may vary, and you'll have to figure that out for yourself, but in general if you just schedule things together you can save yourself some time, money and effort.

Organization
I enjoy organizing my stuff because I enjoy problem-solving and I know it saves time in the long run, but I wouldn't call it fun. If you're reading this section it's probably because your car is a mess (or you're just curious). The good news is that this isn't very hard to do and will only take you a couple of hours or less. Once you're done, your car will not only be cleaned and organized but you'll have a system in place to make sure it stays that way.

Take Out the Trash
Before you can even start you need to get rid of the garbage in your car. If you don't have any, good for you—you can skip this part. If you do, get a garbage bag and start throwing things out. While you're doing this, however, make note of what you're throwing away and where it was in your car. Keeping your car cleaner in the future is going to depend on knowing your weak points. Do you throw soda cans in the back seat? Do you shove used tissues in the storage compartment on your door? Whatever it is that you do that you ought to avoid, you're going to need specific solutions. Let's take a look at some examples.

If your passengers leave stuff in the back seat, add a mobile trash bag. If you have the aforementioned tissue problem, keep a kit with tissues and a case for the used ones so they don't end up all over your car. While you shouldn't eat in the car, for—at the very least—safety reasons, keep a lunch box or bag around so you can isolate any food. Never take the box/bag out of the car—just remove the excess food/waste when you leave. This way, if you forget the bag it will keep the food inside and prevent the smell from soaking into your car's fabric.

Whatever your problem may be, there's generally a pretty simple solution. Figure out what you do that causes problems and why. Once you can identify the lazy tendency that's causing you to make a mess of your vehicle, you can think about solutions that cater to that laziness. A good solution is one that will still allow you to continue your slothfulness without causing its associated disorganization.

Add New Storage and Compartmentalize
There are a lot of handy storage tools you can use to keep your car nice and organized so you're not letting your stuff freely flow in the trunk, on the floor, or all over your extra seats (which may or may not contain other humans from time to time).

One of the most helpful things you can do is create compartments, which work best in the trunk. You can buy trunk organizers designed for any purpose, or for something more specific like holding groceries. These things are just topless fabric cubes with velcro on the bottom, however, so if you're concerned more about cost and less about appearance you can just add some adhesive velcro to the bottom of a few cardboard boxes and call it a day.

If you take papers and other items with you to work (or wherever) on a regular basis, you have a few options. The easiest is to just keep them in your bag rather than in your car, but if you actually did that you wouldn't have a problem. For those documents you just have to keep in your car, you can get a document organizer that hangs on the headrest of a seat. Again, if you don't want to cough up the cash and aren't particularly concerned with looks, you can make the same thing out of an old sweatshirt. Just sew up the bottom (the part where your torso ends and your legs begin), cut the neck hole a bit wider, and then tie the sleeves around the headrest. Put some folders in it and you've got the same thing, just uglier.

Keep Your Coins Handy
Obviously. If you need to feed a meter, pay a toll, or have quarters ready for when you go to the laundromat, it's useful to keep some in your car where they're easily accessible. You know this, but you're probably keeping your coins conveniently in one of your cup holders or more safely in the glove compartment. If this is the case, there's a better way. Instead, get a velcro pouch for your coins that you can adhere to the underside of any place in your car that you find convenient. This way they're out of view but you can still access them just as quickly. If you're concerned about adding velcro to part of your car, you don't need to. Velcro should stick all on its own to most car mats and surfaces on the floor, and you can hide your coins there.

Alternatively, you can always pick up one of these motorized coin sorters and dispensers that fit in your cup holder. That still means using your cup holder for coins, but since it kind of looks like a cup it's unlikely going to draw anyone's eye.

Manage Your Gadgets Better
Cars are slowly learning to accommodate your gadgets but many aren't all that good at it yet. That said, there are a few things you can do to keep everything in its place and coexist harmoniously with your vehicle.

Our favorite DIY project for the car is this smartphone car dock made out of office supplies. We all made one and use it regularly, think it works better than what you'd actually buy, and it costs you absolutely nothing if you can slip out of the office with a binder clip and some string.

You've probably seen these non-slip grip pads that let you toss your phone, sunglasses, or whatever on top of them without the need to worry about them falling on the ground while you drive. These work and they're great, but when you buy one you're basically paying for a small piece of standard grip drawer liner and you can get an entire roll for the same price. That roll is enough to last you through every car you own, plus you can cut it into exactly the shape you need.

Lastly, you're going to need some USB ports to charge things from time to time. This USB car converter goes for as little as $0.45 on Amazon and gives you two USB ports. When you can buy these things for so little, there's really no excuse to not charge your gadgets in your car. (Just be sure to unplug them when the car is off if your car provides constant battery power.)

Got any other great tricks for maintaining and organizing your car? Share ‘em in the comments.

You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook. Twitter's the best way to contact him, too.
Cars  Car  Car_Maintenance  Cleaning  DIY  Driving  Feature  How_To  Maintenance  Organization  Saving_Money  Top  from google
july 2011 by knilob
The DIY Foghorn that Never Dies [Video]
Those pressurized airhorns in a can will forever be instant fun in the palm of your hand. But the annoying part is that that fun eventually runs out. This air-powered PVC foghorn? Not so much.

Created by Instructables user rog8811 The 1950s-inspired foghorn consists of little more than some PVC piping, a rubber glove and a bike pump. And by configuring and adding pipe length to various degrees, you can change the magnitude and depth of the sound. Why yes, I think I will go and make my own. Thanks. [Instructables via Make]
DIY  Air-Powered_Foghorn  Diy_foghorn  Foghorn  Foghorns  Horns  from google
july 2011 by knilob
Create a Safe, Motion-Sensing LED Lighting System for Your Closet or Pantry [DIY]
Closets are often dark, and the higher up you get the harder it is to see inside. Adding a lightbulb isn't always the simplest, safest, or even cheapest option, but you can solve all of those problems with a few LEDs.
Kelly couldn't put an incandescent light in her dark pantry because the space is too small for it to be safe, and even if it didn't burn down the house her dad is an inspector and would give her grief. So, for safety and sanity's sake she decided to get creative. Kelly found some cheap Christmas LED lights for $2.50 and wired them along the wall and plugged them into a motion-sensing outlet so the pantry would light up when the door opened. The Christmas lights could be attached to the inside of the door frame, so installation was significantly easier than planting a regular light bulb in the ceiling.

If you've got a dark closet and want a good solution, this is it. Be sure to check out Kelly's post for the full run-down.

Four Dollar Pantry Lighting Solution | View Along the Way

You can follow Adam Dachis, the author of this post, on Twitter and Facebook.  Twitter's the best way to contact him, too.
DIY  closet  DIY_Creations  Home  Home_Automation  Household  Kitchen  Lighting  Lights  Motion_Sensor  from google
july 2011 by knilob
Organize Spray Bottles Under Sink With A Tension Rod
Sick of all those spray bottles under your sink getting cluttered? Hate having to basically knock over all the bottles just to get to one bottle? One quick and cheap fix blogger Jen Grant came up with is to simply toss a tension rod up under there.

Hang the bottles by their grip handles to the rod and voila! The bottles stay in place. By moving them up in the air - the number one rule of space-saving organizing is to go vertical, even if it's just a few inches - you create room below for your other cleaning supplies. Neat!

Under my sink [jengrantmorris.blogspot.com]
Other_How_To  diy  home  howto  organization  from google
june 2011 by knilob
Organize Cleaning Bottles Under the Sink with a Tension Rod [Clever Uses]
That space under your kitchen or bathroom sink is premium real estate. One way to organize your cleaning supplies without having to buy under-cabinet organizers is by installing a tension rod in the cabinet.
These cheap and adjustable rods are a great way to hang spray bottles (you probably have more than one) or, perhaps, s-hooks for other tools. It's a quick fix for spaces that are usually cramped.

Under Sink Solution: Hang Spray Bottles from Tension Rod | Apartment Therapy

You can follow or contact Melanie Pinola, the author of this post, on Twitter.
Clever_Uses  Cleaning  DIY  Household  Kitchen  Organization  Sink  space_saving  Top  from google
june 2011 by knilob
How to Build a Hackintosh Mini for a Less Expensive, Faster Mac [Video]
We've shown you how to build a Hackintosh with enough power to rival a Mac Pro, but for those of you who want a still powerful Mac on a budget you can build a Hack Mini. We'll show you what you need to build it and walk you through the entire OS X installation.
Hackintoshing used to be a complicated process, but since Hackintosh expert tonymacx86 came around it's gotten a lot easier. While I've been hackintoshing netbooks for awhile, I always shied away from building a machine because I was concerned about stability issues. After seeing how well Pash's and Whitson's Hackintoshes ran, and seeing how slow my less-than-a-year-old iMac had become, I decided it was time to do it. I've had one week with the Hack Mini and so far it's actually more stable than my iMac. It's also twice as fast (according to benchmarks) and cost half as much (if you already have an extra monitor). The whole process was very easy and produced a better machine. While I had Whitson around to help me out, if you have some knowledge of how to build a computer this is likely something you can do. I am still surprised that the process was so easy and that the machine is so fast for so little money. Now it seems silly to ever buy a Mac desktop again.

What You'll Need
At the time of this writing, the parts necessary for this build came to a total of $599.65. There are certainly other, potentially cheaper components you could use to make your Hack Mini but we know this build works. It's heavily based upon TonyMac's CustoMac Mini build, using only a few parts that are a little different (but work all the same). We built this one ourselves, adding a few extras like an SSD (which is optional, to keep the build under $600), and it runs beautifully. Here's what you'll need:

Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 Motherboard $104.99
Intel Core i3 Processor i3-540 3.06GHz 4MB LGA1156 CPU $110.00
ZOTAC nVidia GeForce GT240 512 MB DDR3 DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Video Card $84.99
2x2GB Corsair PC3-10666 1333Mhz Dual Chanel 240-pin DDR3 Desktop RAM $43.99
Western Digital 1TB SATA III 7200 RPM 32MB Cache Desktop Hard Drive $59.99
SilverStone SG05BB-450 ALL Black Plastic/SECC Mini-ITX Computer Case with SFX 450W 80+ Bronze Certified/Single +12V rail Power Supply $119.99
Sony Optiarc 8X SATA DVD+/-RW Slim Drive $34.99
StarTech.com MCSATAADAP Micro SATA to SATA Adapter Cable with Power $11.71
Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard $29.00
OPTIONAL: OCZ Agility 120GB SSD $199.99 (note: this is optional and not included in the total cost of the machine)

Note: If you're like me and don't need an optical drive, don't try to build this machine without one. You need an internal optical drive or you will not be able to complete the entire process.

Another note: The VGA port on your video card isn't going to work. DVI and HDMI will work just fine, but don't plug anything in to the VGA port or you will be disappointed.

Total cost: $599.65

Once you've got all the hardware in hand, you'll need to assemble your computer. Building a Hackintosh isn't any different than building a regular PC. You'll need to mount the motherboard to your case, install all the components listed above, and plug in all the necessary cables. If you're not sure of anything, read the manual for the motherboard. It's worth noting that the GA-H55N (the motherboard used in this build) uses some less-than-usual names when labeling everything, but you won't have any trouble figuring out what's what. If you're new(-ish) to the computer building process, have a look at our guide to building a computer from scratch.

Once you've finished putting it all together, turn on the machine and make sure you see your BIOS screen, which will include its firmware version (3, 4, or 5). Write down the firmware version now. You will need it later. If everything looks good, it's time to start hackintoshing.

Installing Mac OS X 10.6
Now we need to install OS X, which is where things get a little trickier and much more specific. Read these instructions carefully and follow them in the exact order they are written. If you do something out of order you may have to start again from scratch. With that in mind, here's what you're going to need for a successful installation:

A Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard Install DVD (the same one you'd buy from Apple for a real Mac)
iBoot (which you get from tonymacx86, but you'll need to register for the forums in order to download it)
MultiBeast 3.1.0 or later (also from tonymacx86, and also requires forum registration for download)
Mac OS X 10.6.8 Combo Update (direct download from Apple)
Lnx2Mac's Realtek 81XX Installer (so your Ethernet card will work)
The relevant DSDT file for the GA-H55N motherboard

To get the DSDT file you need, go here and choose the following from the "Choose your Motherboard" drop-down menu:

Gigabyte
Socket 1156
H55
GA-H55N-USB3

From there you'll see options for F3, F4, and F5. These numbers correspond to the firmware versions on your motherboard. Assuming you did, indeed, write down the firmware version in your BIOS when you test-booted the machine earlier, you'll know which one of these options to pick. If not, test boot again and look for the firmware version on the BIOS boot screen. It's most likely F5, but don't guess. Guessing wrong means your Hackintosh will not work properly.

Prep Your Tools
First, take the iBoot.iso image you downloaded and burn it to a CD. It has to run on a CD. It will not work from a thumb drive. You can also burn a CD with MultiBeast, Lnx2Mac's Realtek driver installer, and the DSDT file you just downloaded, but I prefer to just toss all of these files on a Mac-friendly thumb drive.

Once all of that's ready, insert your iBoot CD and plug in your USB thumb drive (or external optical drive with the Snow Leopard install DVD inside). Also plug a USB keyboard into one of the frontside USB ports on your Hack Mini. (While the ports in the back should work during boot time they didn't for me, but there were no issues with the ones up front.) Next, turn on your Hack Mini and hold the delete key while it boots. This will let you edit your BIOS settings and select a boot order. Once the edit screen loads, follow these steps:

Choose "Advanced BIOS Settings."
If "Quick Boot" is enabled, disable it.
Set the "First Boot Device" to CDROM.
Set the "Second Boot Device" to Hard Disk. (The third can be set to whatever you want.)
If you have more than one hard drive installed, go up to "Hard Disk Boot Priority" and hit enter. Make certain that the hard disk you're going to use for Mac OS X is up at the top. If not, move it to the top by selecting it with the arrow keys and pressing the Page Up key until it gets there. Note: this is just for hard disks—your optical drive is still first on the list from the change you made earlier.
Press the escape key until you get to the main BIOS settings page (where you started).
Press F10 to save your changes. You'll be asked if you're sure you want to do this. Type Y if there isn't already a Y typed for you and press enter.

If you haven't already inserted your iBoot disc into your optical drive, now's that time to do it. Your Hack Mini should now (slowly) boot using iBoot and provide you with any startup discs it sees. What you'll need to do now is eject the iBoot disc, insert your Snow Leopard DVD, and boot from it (by selecting it, if necessary, and pressing enter). You should now see the grey Apple boot screen and, soon, the OS X installer.

Run the OS X installation just like you would on any other Mac. In order to do this, you may need to format your internal hard drive first. If you do, just open the Utilities menu and choose Disk Utility. You'll be able to format your hard drive (or SSD) from there.

Once the installer finishes it may say it failed to install OS X. This did not happen with me but it's a common quirk with Hackintosh installations. If it happens to you, don't panic—everything is just fine. Go ahead and restart your machine and leave your iBoot CD in the optical drive. When you boot this time, you'll have a new option: your hard drive. Boot from it and you'll be on your new OS X desktop in minutes.

Configure Your New Hack Mini
You've installed OS X just fine, but your machine still needs drivers to work properly and a bootloader to boot without the aid of a CD. To do that, you're going to need to install a few things and it needs to be done in a very specific order. If you stray from this order there's a good chance you'll run into problems, so follow these instructions carefully.

Note: It may look like things are missing here, as we're not checking any boxes to install bootloaders or graphics drives, but don't worry—MultiBeast will take care of it all for you.

Copy the DSDT file you downloaded to the desktop.
Open up MultiBeast and Lnx2Mac's Realtek driver installer but do not install anything
Open the Mac OS X 10.6.8 Combo Installer and run it. When it finishes, do not restart.
With MultiBeast open, choose check the following boxes:

UserDSDT Install
System Utilities
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Audio -> Realtek ALC8xx -> ALC8xxHDA
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Audio -> Realtek ALC8xx -> AppleHDA Rollback
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Disk -> JMicron36x (AKA GSATA) -> JMicron36x SATA
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Miscellaneous -> FakeSMC Plugins
Drivers & Bootloaders -> Kexts & Enablers -> Miscellaneous -> USB 3.0 - NEC/Renesas
Anything in the OSx86 Software category you want to install (but none of it is required)

Click the Install button on MultiBeast and wait for the installer to finish.
Install Lnx2Mac's Realtek 81XX driver (make sure you check the release version and not the debug version during installation).
Eject the iBoot CD and click the Restart button on your Mac OS X 10.6.8 Combo Update's installer window.
Make sure your sound and Ethernet are working. If not, you may have done something wrong and will need to run MultiBeast again to install those drivers. Once you've got all of that working, there's one last thing to do.
Re… [more]
How_To  Clips  Computers  DIY  Evil  Feature  Hackintosh  Hardware  Lifehacker_Video  little_brother  Mac_OS_X  Step_by_Step  Top  Video  Video_Walkthrough  from google
june 2011 by knilob
DIY Battery Reconditioner Lets You Keep Your Rechargables Longer [DIY]
Battery recyclers use reconditioners to restore old rechargeable batteries once they no longer hold a charge. This DIY reconditioner can squeeze more life out of dead rechargeables and save them from the landfill.
To recondition a rechargeable battery, you have to discharge it rapidly, then slowly squeeze every bit out of it before attempting to recharge it. Msuzuki777's battery reconditioner uses an Arduino, some spare parts, and basic electrical theory to automate that process.

This particular reconditioner only works with AA and AAA rechargeables, but the design could be modified for cellphone batteries or any others you may have lying around. It may not save time, but it's a DIY project that will definitely save money.

Battery Reconditioner | Instructables via Hack a Day

You can reach Alan Henry, the author of this post, at alan@lifehacker.com, or better yet, follow him on Twitter.
DIY  arduino  Batteries  Projects  Rechargeables  Saving_Money  from google
june 2011 by knilob
Make a Better Shower Mat Out of Wine Corks [Clever Uses]
If you're tired of regular bath mats soaking through to the floor (and feeling nasty all day), you can always make your own out of wine corks—not only are they cheap (or free), but their entire purpose in life is to get splashed with liquid and dry off again.

Danny Seo built one by collecting the corks and standing them upright in a shadow box, which can be built with wood or bought at just about any major crafts store. The corks themselves come super cheap in large bags, but they're much more fun to collect the old-fashioned way. Check out the link below for more details, and more clever uses for old corks.

Wine Corks Upcycling | Daily Danny via Curbly
Clever_Uses  DIY  Home  Recycling  upcycling  Water  from google
june 2011 by knilob
Upgrade Ordinary Pots to be Self-Watering and Worry-Free [DIY]
If you don't like sticking shiny bits of glass and plastic in your potting soil, you can upgrade the pot itself to get some self-watering freedom. Just wrap a sponge in some wicking fabric (like a shredded t-shirt) and place it on a bed of rocks at the bottom of your pot. Refill the pot and go about your gardening as you normally would—except you won't have to worry about the soil drying out nearly as quickly as it did before.

Even if you're not planning on shunning your plants for days at a time, this could help out in extreme Summer dry heat, too.

Converting Pots into Self-Watering Pots | Instructables
DIY  Clever_Uses  Gardening  Home  Plants  from google
june 2011 by knilob
The Strokes Music Video of the Day
Kids React To The Darndest Viral Videos of the Day: It’s been said that a viral video isn’t truly viral until a kid has reacted to it. Luckily, The Fine Bros happen to have a bunch of kids on hand and lack the decency to avoid exposing their developing brains to the growth-stunting scourge of “Double Dream Hands.”

[tfb.]

Earlier: Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4.
Uncategorized  Angles  Music_Video  The_Strokes  UCoD  Kids_React_To_The_Darndest_Viral_Videos  In_Case_You_Missed_It  New_Music  DIY  Movie_Montage  Another_Phallic_Freudian_Slip  Cranberry_Awesomesauce  Lights_Out  Second_Supercut  Egyptian_Unrest_News_Round-Up  Words_To_Live_By  Meanwhile_In_St._Petersburg  This_Is_Epic_You_Should_Listen  Lego_Thing  Movie_Trailer  Hacked_Sign_Of_The_Times  Succinct_State_Of_The_Union_Address  Retrailer  PSA  Spoiler_Alert  Time_Saver  Stop_What_You're_Doing_And_Watch_The_Hell_Out_Of_This  8_Hour_Challenge  Kickass_Cupcakes  Pokémeme  She_&_Him_Music_Video  This_Is_Hardcore_You_Should_Listen_To_It  Music_Festivbrol  Music_Festival  Early_Bird_Special  Laughing_To_Keep_From_Crying  Creepy_Creepiness_Creepified  Meshugganah_Music_Video  Spectacular_Snowperson  OMG!_Adorbz  Hot_Joint  Dinnertable_Talk  Google_Goggles_Demo  Infographic  After_Hours  Damn_Nature_U_Scary  This_Looks_After_Effect'ed  Supercut  Internet_Superstar  Time_Lapse_Thing  Obligatory  Great_Dane  Donkey_Kong_Fan_Art  Athletic_Prowess  Purple_Monkey_Dishwa  from google
march 2011 by knilob
Avoid Dropping Screws by Wrapping Your Screwdriver in Plastic Wrap [MacGyver Tip]
Magnetic screwdrivers are one of the best tools a DIYer could have, but if you're stuck with a non-magnetic version (or you're working with non-magnetic screws), a little plastic wrap can actually serve the same function. More »
MacGyver_Tip  Clever_Uses  DIY  Home  Household  screwdrivers  Tools  from google
february 2011 by knilob
Keep Your Kitchen Sponges Dry and Grime-Free with Binder Clips [MacGyver Tip]
You didn't think we could resist another great binder clip hack, did you? Reddit user churnopol shows us how to keep those sponges from getting mildewy in the kitchen. More »
MacGyver_Tip  binder_clips  DIY  Household  Kitchen  from google
february 2011 by knilob
Build a Stone Bath Mat [Household]
If you're looking for an easy project to add a little class to your bathroom while being friendly on your wallet, check out this simple DIY stone bath mat. More »
Household  Bathroom  DIY  Weekend_project  from google
february 2011 by knilob
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