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From the Tips Box: Wi-Fi Antenna Boosters, Extending Your Kindle Library Loans, and Keyword-Driven Wallpaper

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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 DIY Wi-Fi boosters, indefinitely extending your Kindle library loans, and easy keyword-based wallpaper updates.

Boost Your Wi-FI with a Reflector

Angie writes in with the following tip:

I saw the Ask HTG earlier this week about boosting Wi-Fi. I dunno if the guy has access to the router in question, but I built these simple foil parabolic boosters and it worked awesome. They take about 10-20 minutes to build.

Thanks Angie! If you access to the Wi-Fi router, using a booster to direct the signal towards where you are is a great fix.

Keep Your Kindle Library Loans Indefinitely

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Max writes in with a sneaky keep-the-books tips:

I started checking out books from my library using the tips you shared in your article on the subject. You know what I found out by accident? You can keep the books as long as you want! I have a habit of turning off my wireless when I’m not using it and it turns out that if the Kindle is offline, the books don’t expire. According to my Kindle account they expired, according to the library account I “checked them in”, but they’re still on my Kindle.

Obviously, I’ll have to turn my Kindle wireless on at some point, but if you’re reading a book and you really don’t want to “lose” it, you can just turn the wireless off and keep reading it!

We’re glad you checked to see that the book was “checked in”, because it would completely break the whole digital lending system if everyone perma-checked-out popular titles. With that cleared up, you stumbled on a rather clever trick!

Use Pulse For Free Keyword-Based Wallpaper

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Thad writes in with a wallpaper-centric tip:

I like fresh wallpapers but I don’t like spending forever finding them. I started using Pulse, it’s a free app that searches about a half dozen wallpaper sites via the keywords you specify. So you can plug in “flowers” or “blueprints” or “games” and it’ll serve up wallpaper based on those keywords. It’s not a perfect system but it works pretty well.

Thanks, Thad! We’re all about discovering new wallpaper and keeping things fresh.


Have a tip to share? Shoot us an email at tips@howtogeek.com and look for your tip on the front page.

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 04/26/12

Comments (1)

  1. E. W.

    Speaking about the ‘digital file’ of Library books…. they’re digital.. you download a ‘copy’ of that file right?
    If they expire, they are returned… even if they haven’t been. They are there for everyone to download.. or they limit how many can download them. they aren’t real, unless you print them out.

    There is something awfully funny about this e-book thing. Why they cost twice to 3 times as much as a paperback book?

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