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From the Tips Box: Telescope Laser Sights, Dropbox Desktops, and Kindle Clipping Conversions

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Once a week we round up some great reader tips and share them with everyone; this week we’re looking at telescope laser sights, syncing your desktop with Dropbox, and converting your Kindle Clippings file.

Mount a Laser On Your Telescope for Easy Alignment

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Carl shares a hack for sighting in a large telescope:

I saw your entry about the camera lens red-dot scope. Last summer I made a telescope mount for a green laser pointer in order to make it easier to align my telescope. If you think the field of view is small on a 500mm camera lens, you should see it on a sizable backyard ‘scope! I followed this tutorial with a few modifications to fit the particular laser pointer I had. As always, be safe when using lasers and (because of the risk to planes) use it as briefly as possible and in clear air space.

We have a green laser pointer… now we just need a telescope cool enough to mount it on. Thanks for sharing!

Sync Your Desktop with Dropbox

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Travis wrote in to share a guide he created to help others sync their desktops via Dropbox. While not everyone works off their desktop in such a fashion that syncing is critical, for those that use their desktops as a work space it’s a handy trick. He writes:

Similar to the suggestion above to use Dropbox as your “My Documents” location, I use a “Desktop” folder in my Dropbox as the desktop display, synced across all my computers.

All the time, my friends and family tell me my computer’s desktop is “so messy.” That’s not true. It is organized, but usually has a lot of stuff on it. When working, I use my computer desktop, as an actual desktop… The things I am currently using and/or working on are right there and easy for me to use. That is actually the point of the desktop, right?

I don’t always work from one physical location, so it is a bit of a chore to make sure I have transferred files to a location (such as USB drive or FTP site) so I can access them later. As well, should I really need to pull out my laptop to grab a single .php file or .psd? I don’t think so.

Using Dropbox as my desktop allows everything I am working on to be available everywhere I work, without even thinking about it.

Check out his full guide to get started with desktop syncing.

Convert Your Kindle Clippings to Other Formats

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Alejandro, in response to our post about The Secret Weapon, a tool for using Evernote to manage your to-do lists, shared an Evernote-related tool:

Great piece! Evernote is indeed a very nice tool and can be very useful in many situations.

Also just want to share something I discovered recently. There is a free online tool which you can use to upload your Kindle “my clippings” directly to Evernote. You can also convert your clippings to others like Word or PDF, just in case you prefer those format more. Hope you can find this tip useful.

If you have clippings in your Kindle that you’d like to incorporate into your Evernote archive/workflow this is a very handle tool. Thanks Alejandro!


Have a clever tip to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com!

Jason Fitzpatrick is warranty-voiding DIYer and all around geek. When he's not documenting mods and hacks he's doing his best to make sure a generation of college students graduate knowing they should put their pants on one leg at a time and go on to greatness, just like Bruce Dickinson. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 03/22/12

Comments (2)

  1. Grant

    Many years ago, I had a rubber band gun that was able to do 6 shots. Lots of fun. I attached a red laser pointer to it (via more rubber bands) and found that it was pretty close. Loving my new invention (laser sights on a multi-shot rubber band gun) I took it to a friend’s house to show it off. After pulling it out and blasting a small Cartman figure, I discovered something else, cats love lasers too. The cat knocked over far more action figures than I ever could have with my measly 6 rubber bands.

  2. r

    …you know who else likes lasers, members of the Jedi and Sith order.

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