Archive for the ‘ How-To ’ Category

A trick for buying swimming goggles

If you’re at the store, looking for goggles, here’s a trick to tell whether they’ll actually keep water out:  put them on without the strap.  Make sure there’s no hair under them.  If they’re a good shape for your face, they’ll stick at least for five seconds without the strap.  The ones that I have stay on, even without the strap, until I pull them off.  They’ve never failed.


How to ensure good form in push-ups

This is a trick I recently learned to ensure good form while doing pushups.

You’ll need:
– A broom handle or other long, straight object
– A baseball cap
– A friend

– Put on the hat
– Get into the push-up position
– Have the friend place the broom handle between your heels so it passes over your buttocks, between your shoulder blades, and onto your head. All four (heels, buttocks, back, head) should be touching the pole.
– Do a push-up. As you go down, your heels, buttocks, back, and head should still be touching the pole. Go down far enough that the brim of the hat lightly touches the ground, then go back up, still keeping your heels, buttocks, back, and head touching the pole. Repeat.

You’ll probably be able to do less pushups, but those that you do do will be more effective then more pushups done incorrectly. Enjoy your pushup-ing fun.

Disk Cleanup & Defragmentation

Upon asking friends how often they defragmented their computer, I was amazed at how many people didn’t even know what that was.  Defragmentation is necessary to keep your computer running fast and smooth.  It’s easy to get to on Windows, just go Start Menu > Programs > Accessories and see if it’s there. If there’s no icon that says ‘Disk Defragmenter, so to Start Menu > Programs > Accessories > System Tools and it should be in there.

Also, use Disk Cleanup (found in the same folder as Disk Defragmenter) regularly.  It gets rid of old, useless files; ones that have no purpose.  It also compresses old files, deletes some cookies… Using it once on one of my friends computer, I cleared up nearly 500 thousand KB of disk space.

I tend to use Disk Cleanup three or four times a week, and Defragmenter once or twice a week.  If you haven’t used either in a month or more, or even if you have, head into your Start Menu and use them.

*Note:  Use Disk Cleanup before you use Disk Defragmenter for best results.

The Icons-Only Bookmarks Bar

Well technically, I have two folders with words, just to be picky.  But 2 with words versus 31 without is pretty good, I think.

Here’s my Firefox home page.  Note the bookmarks bar:
Full window

Here’s a close-up of the first half of my Bookmarks Bar:
1st half of icons close-up

Here’s how you do it.  I’ll show you how as I add Wolfram|Alpha to my Bookmarks bar, something I’ve been meaning to do for a while.

Step 1:  Go to the home page of the site you want
Wolfram Alpha
Step 2:  Double-click the little star on the right side of the address bar
Edit This Bookmark

Step 3:  Delete the name
Delete Name
Step 4:  Change ‘Unsorted Bookmarks’ to ‘Bookmarks Toolbar’
Bookmarks Toolbar

Step 5:  Click Done.
Et voila!  Have fun with your new icons-only bookmarks toolbar

Also:  If you want to change current bookmarks, press Ctrl+Shift+N, double-click ‘Bookmarks Toolbar’, then delete the names of all your bookmarks in the subsequent menu

Hide the Recycle Bin

I’ve got RocketDock (previously reviewed), and it comes with a Recycle Bin icon.  So I didn’t need the on my desktop anymore, but it won’t let me get rid of it – so I figured out how to hide it.

1.  Right click on the desktop and choose properties
2.  Go to the ‘Desktop’ tab
3.  Click the button that says ‘Customize Desktop’
4.  Click on ‘Recycle Bin (full)
5.  Click on ‘Change Icon’
6.  Pick one that’s clear, or blank
7.  Click OK to close the Change Icon dialog box
8.  Repeat steps 4-7 on ‘Recycle Bin (empty)’
9.  Click OK to close the Customize Desktop dialog box
10.  Click OK to close the Display Properties dialog box
11.  Click and hold just above the words ‘Recycle Bin’ that remain on your desktop.  Drag down until the words are under the Start Menu bar.
12.  Enjoy your Recycle Bin free desktop!

For instructions with screenshots to help guide you along, check out my Instructable here.

Cord Control

If you’re like me, your laptop connects with a power cord, a speaker cord, an external disk drive… some of these I don’t use all the time but want easy access to.  What I did was got a bunch of binder clips and took off one of the silver things that you push on to open the binder clip.  I stuck the cord into aforementioned silver thing and then put the silver thing back into the binder clip and then hooked the binder clip onto the edge of my desk.  Et voila! Best of all, the cord can still slide through the binder clip and so I just grab the end that goes into my computer and slide it out ‘till it’s long enough.  So there you have it.


There are TONS of chairs out there.  Office chairs, swivel chairs, backless chairs, normal chairs, bizarre-looking chairs…

The most comfortable, most fun chair I have found is an exercise ball.  I’m sure you’ve seen them in the exercise section of your local store – they look like giant bouncy balls, usually the box has a picture of someone draped over the ball.  It turns out they’re nice to sit on.  So there you have it.