Keep essential meds, tabs and capsules handy in an Altoids tin

I work in an office with a busted aircon. And I have a high stress job. And I love spicy food.

All of this means that at any point in my day I may need either some flu meds, some painkillers for my headache or an Alka seltzer to counter the Tabasco sauce I had with my chili.

I’ve found that an easy for me to keep these items handy, is to use an Altoids tin. The small size and the ability to snap nicely shut and stay out of way, make it perfect for me.  And if I’m honest, I love little Altoids tin projects in any way shape or form.

Store Your Meds in an Altoids Tin

Use an Altoids tin to keep meds handy

Here’s what I have inside my little tin:

  • 2 x Alka Seltzer
  • 2 x Tabcin cold and flu caps
  • 2 x Panadol painkillers
  • 1 x Panadol PM (useful when travelling)
  • 2 x Hydroxycut caps (in case of gym)
  • 1 x Centrum

It’s hand to stick a post-it on the inside of the tin with a list of what you keep inside. This makes it easy to refill your little kit, since you’ll always know what to put in your Altoids tin project.

Trigger Torrent Downloads by email in Mac OSX with Dropbox and IFTTT

This is a nifty little recipe for triggering a torrent download using Dropbox, Transmission and IFTTT on Mac OSX.

It’s useful if you find a torrent you want to download but you’re not at your computer. Combined with the new Power Nap feature which can keep one eye open on your apps in the background even when your Mac is asleep, this formula for Transmission Remote downloads is a great little Mac trick.

1.Set Up Transmission to Watch A Dropbox Folder

Enable Transmission Watch Folders

This will allow Transmission to keep an eye on a folder that you specify. When a new torrent file is added to the folder you choose, Transmission will automatically start downloading the torrent.

  • Open Transmission Preferences
  • Click ‘Transfers’ and select ‘Adding’
  • Enable ‘Start transfers when added’

This means that the transfer will download as soon as you add the torrent file, without the need to confirm the location or any other settings.

Tip: It’s useful to set up some filters for different file types. e.g. I have a rule that automatically stores any file with an avi extension in the Movies directly on my secondary drive. I also have my torrent files set to delete after completion, so the Torrents folder stays nice and clean.

If you need a Dropbox account, you can create a free account here:

Enable ‘Auto Add’

This will allow Transmission monitor a folder that you specify. If a torrent file is added to this folder, Transmission will automatically start downloading the file (assuming the computer is a) powered on and b) connected to the internet).

I created a folder called ‘Torrents’ in my Dropbox folder and set Transmission to watch it. Now, no matter where I am I can upload a torrent file to Dropbox and my computer at home will start the transfer.

Tip: You might want to set a threshold for seeding if bandwidth is an issue. I have mine set to 1:1. Sharing is caring after all.


2. Email files to Dropbox using IFTTT

  • For this to work, you will need an account with IFTTT. You can create one here –

Once your account is open, you will need to enable Dropbox as a ‘Channel.’ Click on Channels, then select Dropbox and complete the authentication process.

Once authentication is done, select this recipe  – – and add it to your Recipes.

Now, whenever you send an email to with the tag #dropbox in the subject line, it will add whatever file you have attached to the Torrents directory in your Dropbox account (or any other directory you choose for that matter).

And since Transmission is watching this folder, it will start the download for you.


Email files to Dropbox IFTTT recipe



I know that if you’re attaching a file to your dropbox, you may as well just log in to Dropbox and upload it that way, but I like doing it this way for two reasons

  1. It’s cool, and it got me thinking of other ways I can use this (e.g. I have a nifty recipe which allows me to email in any audio file and Dropbox will convert it to an MP3. Way cool)
  2. You might not always want to log in to my Dropbox account, e.g. if you are at work. But you could, for argument’s sake have a rule that forwards any mail from your work with the tag #dropbox to So that way you can DL a torrent file at the office, mail it to yourself and kick off the torrent back home, without even having to open your personal email account.

Use a business card holder as a phone cradle for your desk – today’s #lifehack

I’ve been having a really hard time finding a dock for my phone in Costa Rica. The Samsung Galaxy was never officially sold here, so accessories are understandably hard to come by.

A few months ago I also got a new desk, which meant it was time for new stationery. I went out and got myself one of those “I’m a productive person” all in one sets, and one of the included times was a business card holder.


As soon. I saw it I realized that this was the phone cradle I had been looking for. Now my phone rest comfortably on my desk either in portrait or landscape, I had to bend the metal a little bit to get the angle just right, but now it’s perfect.



Create a strong exoskeleton for your laptop backpack with a cheap in tray

I’m paranoid when it comes to my gadgets, especially my Macbook. I spend a fair amount of time lugging it around in my backpack, and from time to time I put the backpack down a little too hard or bump against something.

Now I use a cheap in metal in tray to protect my Macbook.

1. Buy a cheap metal ‘in’ tray.

Make sure that it’s just a little larger than your laptop so that you get good coverage. I found one with a curved lip at the end, which is better for easily sliding your laptop in and out of your backpack.


2.Check that your laptop fits in the tay

My laptop lives in a pouch, so I measured it while in the pouch, it fit just fine.laptop-exoskeleton-2


3. Insert the tray in to your backpack’s laptop compartment

With my Targus backpack, the tray slid right in with no issues, I’m showing it peeking out here, but the tray is fully concealed in side the compartment. Make sure that the back of the tray is facing the back of the pack.


4.Slide your laptop in to your new exoskeleton


Now that I have this in my backpack, the bottom of my laptop is protect by the bottom of the tray, so if I do put the back down too hard, the tray will take the hit. The back is also protected. This isn’t an issue when you’re wearing your pack, but it can be a lifesaver when your pack tips over or someone accidentally kicks your pack when it’s on the floor (it’s happened, it was ugly).

Overall, the in tray hack doesn’t add much weight to my backpack, and what little weight is does add, I’m more than happy to live with when I consider the added peace of mind this little lifehack affords me.