From the Tips Box: Chrome Awesomebar, Flyaway Cables, and Food Defrosting [From The Tips Box]


Readers offer their best tips for adding missing Firefox features to Chrome, keeping cables from slipping behind your desk, and defrosting food faster in the fridge.

Don’t like the gallery layout? Click here to view everything on one page.

About the Tips Box: Every day we receive boatloads of great reader tips in our inbox, but for various reasons—maybe they’re a bit too niche, maybe we couldn’t find a good way to present it, or maybe we just couldn’t fit it in—the tip didn’t make the front page. From the Tips Box is where we round up some of our favorites for your buffet-style consumption. Got a tip of your own to share? Add it in the comments, share it here, or email it to tips at

Use I’m Feeling Lucky in Chrome’s Address Bar

Anthony Sarkees shows us how to get I’m Feeling Lucky into Google’s address bar, à la Firefox:

I love Chrome’s speed and stability, but one thing I sorely missed from firefox was being able to just type something into the awesomebar, and have it “just show up.” If the Google pagerank is high enough, it loads the first result, skipping the results pages. So, if you type Lifehacker, it doesn’t give you a google search for lifehacker, it just loads the page.

Chrome can replicate this functionality by changing its default search to I’m Feeling Lucky. You do that by adding this entry to your search engines, and then making it the default:

Use Binder Clips to Keep Unplugged Cables from Falling Away

Christian shows us a simple office hack that keeps cords organized and stable:

I keep a couple of these big paper clips attached to the back of my desk in order to hold cords and cables that I want to make sure don’t slide back behind my desk when they’re not attached to something. Since I’m frequently switching between laptops – disconnecting then reconnecting multiple cables – this technique has saved me a huge amount of time and frustration. No more grabbing at cables as they slip away behind the desk, then trying to fish them back up.

I use another one of these clips with my nightstand since I have several cables secured there, as well (phone charger, Kindle charger, and laptop cord).

Defrost Food in the Butter Compartment for Quicker Fridge Defrosting

SimonEyez shows us a quicker way to defrost food in the fridge:

Usually, when I freeze meat/vegetables, I freeze them in individual portions using ziplock bags.

To unfreeze them quickly(less than a night), I put them in the butter compartment in the refrigerator door with the setting on “Soft Butter”.

Use Your Phone to Keep Track of Credit Spending

vault14 tells us the quick and simple way that he keeps an eye on his spending:

To keep track of my credit card expenses every month, I enter how much I want to spend on credit into my phone’s calculator on the 1st of every month. Then whenever I use my credit card, I pull out my phone and subtract how much I just spent. It makes spending money on credit much more “real” and removes the abstraction inherit in credit cards.

Even if you use a service like Mint to keep track of your spending, this trick is nice because you have to actively subtract the spent funds and watch the money go away—good if, even with money-tracking services, you still have trouble reigning in spending.

482 total views, no views today

Black, White, and Down Lighting [Featured Workspace]


Once you get beyond the basics of a comfortable computer chair and a computer that runs the apps you need, a significant part of office design revolves around style. Today’s featured workspace is a small office with plent of style.

Lifehacker reader Kokonut Justin took what could have been boring office with plain white walls and regular old desk and added a ton of visual interest to the space with some cleverly positioned shelves and lighting. A lower shelf provides arm-reach accesible storage for desktop odds and ends and the higher shelf provides storage for books. Between the two is a large black and white print which is downlit by three LED puck lights, another set provides down lighitng for his work space. Check out the effect in the image above and the gallery below:

If you have a workspace of your own to show off, throw the pictures on your Flickr account and add it to the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool. Include some details about your setup and why it works for you, and you just might see it featured on the front page of Lifehacker.

496 total views, no views today

Earth Tones and iMacs: A Cozy Home Office [Featured Workspace]


Nothing in today’s featured office is extraordinarily expensive or custom built, but the office looks like it was designed by a professional thanks to a unified color scheme and use of accessories.

Lifehacker reader Veronica Domeier made over her home office and since then she has been steadily tweaking the layout since. She writes:

So this year I decided I needed some inspiration in my home office. The new book shelf was a great start but nothing pops like a new coat of paint.

Last weekend we went down to HomeDepot and picked up some paint. I had already decided I wanted red before we got there. Looking through the swatches we came across one called “red, red wine” Perfect! One it was a nice shade of red, dark but not to dark and two it had the word ‘wine’ in it – I love wine. Sold!

Here are the results…I must say I’m really enjoying the new look :)

The images here show her office immediately after the make over and with the addition of an nice spacious external monitor.

If you have a workspace of your own to show off, throw the pictures on your Flickr account and add it to the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool. Include some details about your setup and why it works for you, and you just might see it featured on the front page of Lifehacker.

2,321 total views, no views today

Custom Monitor Stands and Cable Wrangling [Featured Workspace]


The owner of today’s featured workspace had a peculiar cable-management problem. Where do you tuck the cables away if you desk doesn’t have a back to hide the cables behind?

Lifehacker reader Co.mons has a really cool desk with a bookshelf and glass display cases in the front. It’s a great design except it leaves you without many options for tucking your cables out of sight. None the less he’s done an admirable job hiding cables and keeping the workspace tidy. Read on for additional photos and his workspace notes.

My view from behind the desk ~_^ The monitors are slightly raised (1cm?) off the desktop with simple custom-built shelves.

The shelves are Aspen with a walnut stain and coated in oil-based polyurathane. They’re raised on little metal dowels I stole from my TV stand. The dowels have little rubber covers on them. They arent really for raising the monitors, but rather hiding the mess of cables under them.

The desk pad is a brown rhinolin I got at Staples for ~$20. It works really well to protect the wood from knicks and scratches, but the color is wearing away where I use my mouse.

Whenever I get the funds, I’m replacing that ugly CRT with an LCD, probably a Dell Studio or Samsung SyncMaster. If possible, I’ll replace the Acer too, even though there’s nothing wrong with it. Compared to the CRT, the text and details are super sharp on it.

Cables ties are your friends. Always. I want a tube to cover this junk up, but nobody sells them around here.
Darn you South Dakota!

The lights are two halogen puck lights I picked up from the local hardware store. They work well to light it up when I’m connecting cables inside the computer and junk like that.

Compared to what I used to have, this cable management thing is eons ahead. I used to have a mess of cables everywhere. I tried a cable divider made from an old credit card (idea from LifeHacker), but I just move the computer too much. The cables constantly came out or just looked messy despite.

I like this setup though. The top looks a lot better in actuality; I was on the ground in this picture, but you dont realy see those top cables that make the bundle look “frayed” in real life.

If you have a workspace of your own to show off, throw the pictures on your Flickr account and add it to the Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Pool. Include some details about your setup and why it works for you, and you just might see it featured on the front page of Lifehacker.

456 total views, no views today