Tag Archives: tips

Plugging the USB half-way

USB connector

As you can see from the above image, the power and ground pins of a USB connector are situated on its either side and the two data pins are placed in between. Also notice that the data pins are situated a bit inward compared to the power pins. As a result of this, when you plug in a USB, power is supplied to the device first before it can begin transferring data.

“Okay, that’s fine, but what am I to do with this?” you ask.

Plug USB half way

Well, my friend, you can exploit this subtle feature by plugging a USB port only half way into the device. This enables the device to power up without making a data connection. In case of a mobile phone, you can connect the data cable half way to charge the phone without mounting the SD card. This can be pretty useful when working with MP3 players too.

“This is pretty cool!” you say. “Thanks!”

Anytime. 🙂

3 ways I use Instapaper

Instapaper is a popular service similar to Read-It-Later. We are constantly flooded with links to new information some of which we’ll need to save and make sure we read them later. The solution is to add the pages to Instapaper.

Here are 3 ways I use Instapaper:

  1. Instachrome Google Chrome extension – When you stumble upon an interesting article click the extension’s icon and click Read Later
  2. Instapaper bookmarklet for Google Reader – When you’re on an interesting feed in Google Reader, click on the bookmarklet and it’ll automagically send the link to Instapaper
  3. Add To Instapaper option in Gravity – In this Nokia twitter client, each link in your timeline gives an option to add the URL to Instapaper, which is super cool, since you don’t get to read the articles most of the time from the phone

Whenever you feel like going over the saved links, just head to http://www.instapaper.com/u.