5 Tech Life Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed
Culture

5 Tech Life Hacks You Didn’t Know You Needed

Including one video that will change your life forever.

Life can be tough, we all know this. But, when you know some good workarounds to life’s irritating problems, it can get a little easier. Check out 5 ways our own techies at Axosoft make life just a little happier and a tad easier to navigate.

1. VPN Like a Boss

Jay Pearlman, IT

My wife and I traveled to New Zealand in the middle of the most recent season of HBO’s Game of Thrones; we just couldn’t miss it and risk falling behind. Unfortunately, you cannot get HBO Go in New Zealand—it’s blocked for some reason. So after doing some research to try to figure out how we could legally watch the episode in some way, my wife said jokingly, “too bad we can’t dig a tunnel to our house from New Zealand to watch the show.” That triggered an idea.

Because I’m an IT guy, I know how to set up VPNs (Virtual Private Networks). I make tunnels through the internet all the time to securely connect servers across the country. So, I set up a VPN tunnel directly to our house. We were able to log in, and load up HBO just like we were sitting in our living room. We ended up watching Game of Thrones on our laptop in a New Zealand hotel room as it aired. There was no worrying about spoilers on Facebook that night. We slept pretty well knowing how the King of the North was handling everything.” 

Jay Perlman
Jay Pearlman: setting up VPNs and traveling the world.

2.  Just Google It

Jose Garcia, Developer

“I still don’t think my mom completely understands what Netflix is, so I end up troubleshooting a lot of technical or computer issues at the house. When I do this, I look like a genius. Because of my background, I feel comfortable troubleshooting any device, and I never have to ask someone or pay money to have it fixed unless I need to purchase a new part. Honestly, I think that most people just don’t even know where to start if something technical goes wrong, and they don’t want to break it. I’ve found that if there’s an issue I don’t know how to fix right away, I just Google it. Typically using very specific terms about the issue can take you to a site where someone has figured out how to fix it.”

Jose Garcia
Jose Garcia: finding information and taking charge.

3. Use the Inspect Element

Ashley Mayberry, Developer

“If I wasn’t a programmer, I wouldn’t know about this. Simply right click on any web page and choose ‘inspect element’ in any browser. You can do math equations on the fly when you are browsing websites. You can also hack games or view your password and change it to show the text. If there is a button broken and you can’t click on it for some reason, the inspect element enables you to fix a javascript issue or error. In addition, you can change the font size or style if you can’t read it. You can also quickly mock up how sites would look if you changed something.”

ashley01
Ashley Mayberry: Examining code like a detective.

4. Gift Hacks

Brett Goldman, Head of Partners and Integrations

“My favorite isn’t really a tech hack, but a gift hack for my wife. I wanted to make a really nice music box that could play any song and be reprogrammable. I also wanted to have a choice of which box to use because music boxes are often too small and impractical. So, I decided to get a handmade jewelry box from Etsy, modify it and turn it into a music box which plays MP3. I started looking online for a tutorial, but I couldn’t find any instances of someone doing this without destroying the box in any way.

So, I got a battery operated MP3 player with a speaker. I then just replaced the switch with a self-action switch so it’s triggered to turn on when the box is opened. In order to do this, I took a plastic knife that matched the color of the player and put a rubber band around it so when I closed the box it was the height that was needed. I then super glued it into place.

I soldered the MP3 player and the snap-action lever together, then took the plastic knife and hot glued those 2 together. It became this self-contained piece so that if the novelty wears off, you can change it up. And you can switch the songs up too! I only put one song on it, but you can add more. The song I chose? Marry Me by Train.” Awww…

Brett01
Brett Goldman: charming his wife and making things.

5. Never Tangled EarBuds

Shane Rymer, Creative Director

Shane gives credit for this hack to The Verge, but adds his own “twist.”

 

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