Besides the start of a new year, long holiday weekends are the best time to tackle tasks you've put on hold for "one day". Make that one day, today. Ironically a holiday set aside as a day of rest from your professional life can be a most productive opportunity to reboot, reorganize, and rearrange your digital life...
1. Add Velcro To It!: It's such a simple idea, but just adding some velcro can be a most satisfying (and affordable) organization upgrade for nearly any corded appliance or device with a long cord.
2. It's Time to Take Shortcuts: Whether you're a Windows user or prefer OS X, keyboard shortcut proficiency is what separates the everyday user from the professional. Using shortcuts also save a lot of time in the long run, so get acquainted with Mac-only Command/⌘ key or the Control key for Windows. There's even a CheatSheet if you need one, so consider this a "must" upgrade to your mind's operating system.
3. So Simple, Yet So Darn Useful!: Sarah Rae was right, adding a second AC adaptor into the mix and adding an extension cord under the sofa can be time savers in the long run. I'm always going back and forth between docking my laptop to a monitor and traveling (or working from bed), so having an extra AC adaptor allows me to keep my docked setup intact, while a second unit is ready for mobile use, proving to both be convenient and preventing misplacing one of the most important accessories in the household.
4. Improve Your Home Theater System Sound In 5 Steps: There's a good chance you might be watching a movie, sporting event, or TV show today, so why not enjoy it with the best sound possible? It just takes 5 steps to calibrate your home theater setup for optimal sound and create your own "money seat". The problem could be solved with a simple tweak to your sound levels.
5. The Coolest Tech Accessory Might Be Inside Your Oven: It may officially be the end of summer, but heck, that sure doesn't mean it's really any cooler. Hot weather is the enemy of most every home electronic device, whether it be your laptop, the internet router, or a video console. Here's an affordable solution for keeping your hottest tech devices at safe operational temperatures with an item amusingly may be sitting inside your oven.
6. Learn How to Trim Coax Cable: How many of us call the cable guy to trim and connect cables? Too many. In reality, trimming your cable/internet coax cable is easier than lacing new shoes with just a few affordable tools. "Why should I learn how to do this?", you ask? Rearranging a home office or the perhaps changing the placement of your home theater often means rerouting coax cable for cable TV or internet access. You may need to shorten or lengthen the cable coming into your home and to their respective devices. Now you won't have to rely upon the reliably always-late cable guy!
7. Take 5 Minutes To Improve Your HDTV 100%: I'm not exaggerating when I promise that all it takes is 5 minutes and your HDTV's remote control to noticeably improve your set's picture like a pro. The secret isn't a calibration service or even a calibration disc...it's a website which lists pre-formulated/tested recommended settings according to the brand you watch. Worked for my HDTV set and also the one I purchased for my dear ole mom.
8. Upgrade Your Home Storage System to the 21st Century: I remember years ago Martha Stewart recommended sticking a photo printout of the contents of storage boxes on the outside. It's a great idea, but one that can be upgraded for the smartphone era. Snap a photo, upload the image to an image hosting site/Facebook/Dropbox, connect a QR code to the image's URL, and finally print out the QR code to affix to the appropriate boxes. This way you can point your smartphone's QR reader at any box and get the 411 of its contents, including multiple photos of the layers inside each box.
9. Maximize the Efficiency of Your Biggest Home Appliance: There are three simple tips for maximizing energy efficiency when it comes to the largest home appliance in the home, the refrigerator: 1. make sure there's at least 2" distance between the fridge and the wall, 2. regularly clean the coils in the back, and 3. if you're living the model lifestyle with only a bottle of Perrier and to-go leftovers inside your fridge, add a couple of gallon milk jugs filled with water, as recommended by one of our readers.
10. Declutter Your Tech Box Collection: You've got one...don't deny it. It's probably lurking in a storage closet. Or maybe it's hiding in your garage...a collection of empty boxes you've had for years all kept under the premise of "maybe I'll need it later". It's more likely than not you do not need the box for that 19" RCA CRT television or the 1999 microwave oven that last nuked a Hungry Man dinner back in college. Tech devices and home appliances are the biggest culprits of storage box bulge, so it's time for an audit to determine what to chuck out/recycle/donate and what to keep for the sake of resale value.