Fix Hinge on Ikea Friheten Couch

If there is one piece of furniture I regret buying from IKEA, it is the FRIHETEN sofa bed for €400. I wonder if this is where they make their margin, after selling €5 coffee tables as loss leaders to get you into the store. The FRIHETEN has two mechanical components that are prone to failure: a section which pulls out and “pops up” to form the sofa bed, and a chaise section which opens up to provide storage within.

USB 3.0 causing WiFi interference on a Macbook Air

I have spent enough time troubleshooting my family’s WiFi to pickup a decent understanding of wireless networking. At least decent enough to get to the bottom of any issue eventually using a structured troubleshooting approach. So it’s been a while since I’ve been as dumbfounded as I was last week trying to figure out whether my connection quality dropped when I plugged in my keyboard, or if I was just going crazy.

Keep Track of your TV Watching with Followshows

Keeping track of where you are in a given tv series is a relatively new problem that didn’t exist back when most people consumed media via cable television or dvd box sets. Even today it is not an issue if you follow a small number of shows religiously and watch episodes as they are released. But if you find yourself following 10+ shows, some of which you aren’t fully caught up on – it becomes important to track your progress and keep tabs on which shows are in or out of season.

Using Spaced Repetition with Memrise and Anki

What is spaced repetition? Everyone is always on the lookout for a method or tricks to help them learn more effectively, and one of the most powerful “hacks” that I have come across is the learning method of spaced repetition. For the uninitiated, spaced repetition is similar to the flashcards you may have used to learn back in high school. The big difference is that instead of blindly cycling through an entire deck of flashcards repeatedly, spaced repetition uses an algorithm to optimize the learning process by showing you cards only when it thinks you are on the verge of forgetting their content.

Using Music to Improve Concentration

For the past year I’ve been using a service called Focus@Will, which plays special music to help you concentrate for longer periods of time. They claim that the music they output is superior to a regular study playlist. While they are not too transparent about the exact mechanics behind the service, they explain that the service was developed in connection with doctors and neuroscience researchers. I’m normally quite skeptical of opaque claims like these, but I have been very impressed with how well the service works.

Beyond Ramen: Saving on Meats & Protein on a Student Budget

Whole animal protein is an important part of many students’ diets, but unfortunately it’s also one of the most expensive parts. Here are a couple ways you can save a few bucks on the weekly grocery bill without resorting to only eating ramen noodles. Be flexible – eat what is on sale This probably goes unsaid, but you should always check the flyer to see what the weekly specials on meats are.

Build a DIY Philips Wake-up Light for under $20

Wake-up lights are a great way to wake up more gently by tricking your body into thinking it is sunrise. Philips makes a number of different models of wake-up lights, but they can be pretty expensive, costing up to $180 and requiring you to replace your alarm clock. So I decided to build my own wake-up light system instead. The Basic Setup You can build your own DIY system using a simple outlet timer and a full spectrum light bulb, spending no more than $25 (less if you own some of the parts already)

How to Manage Your Recurring Tasks

Most people use some combination of a calendar and todo list to organize their lives, whether it be a paper organizer or one of the myriad task list apps that pop up every day in the App Store. Personally I use a combination of Google Calendar and Todoist. Working together, these two do a pretty good job of keeping me organized. That said, the one type of task I have found awkward to manage are those tasks that you’d like to complete on a regular basis, but aren’t particularly time sensitive.

The Complete Student’s Guide to Extraordinary Coffee

Every morning, hundreds of half-awake students drudgingly line up at Tim Horton’s or Starbucks locations all across campus to get their caffeine fix. When you’re struggling to keep your eyes open for an 8:30 class it is easy to justify waiting in line to pay money for a cup of mediocre drip coffee. However, with a little planning you can brew your own coffee that is cheaper, tastier, and quicker than anything you’ll find on campus.