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From the Tips Box: DIY Styluses, Recycling Old Discs Into a Game, and Searching Flickr for Kindle Screensavers

This week we’re taking a look at how to make your own stylus, turning your old CDs or DVDs into a game, and digging up Kindle screensavers on Flickr.

DIY Conductive Touch Screen Stylus

Jules writes in with the following DIY tip:

I’ve been messing around with creating my own DIY stylus for my tablet over the last couple weeks. While there are all kinds of specific builds you can find online, it was this video that got me started in terms of thinking about the capacitive abilities of items around my office. DIY-4-Life!

DIY-4-Life eh? Sounds like a t-shirt idea in the making. Thanks for sharing!

Recycling Your Old CDs for Fun

Bill writes in with a tip that’s, while admittedly short on utility, long on fun:

During an audit at work we discovered a veritable warehouse of old CDS and DVDS that, at some point in the dim technological past, my company had been archiving data on to have hard copies on hand. Don’t ask me why this was every a standard practice as oppose to off-site and disk-based backup. We’re in the process of finding a sane and economical way to dispose of our disc hoard, but in the mean time we’ve been having a lot of fun around the office coming up with ways to put all these discs to good use. So far the most fun came to us courtesy of an internet search that yielded this video showing two guys recycling a bunch of discs into an “air” hockey table. There’s no actual air pushing out or anything but the slick surface of the discs and the gaps in between them actually make for a pretty fast moving disc. We turned the entire table in the conference room into a big CD “air” hockey table. Even if we never find a data disposal specialist that will take all these discs we’ll slowly destroy them ourselves!

We’ve never been more disappointed to not have some aging spindles of old discs laying around—it looks like fun!

Finding Kindle Screensavers on Flickr

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Brian writes in with the following Kindle-centric tip:

I loved your tutorial on jailbreaking your Kindle to add screensavers. I’ve since been on the hunt for tons of new ones. In the course of searching I found that you could use third-party tools to effectively mine Flickr for backgrounds. It’s just one more technique to add to the ones listed in your guide!

Thanks Brian, we’re always on the lookout for new stuff!


Have a tip or trick 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 05/31/12

Comments (1)

  1. Citrus Rain

    I tried making my own touch screen stylus once.
    (Excuse me if I mention a different way, youtube is blocked by proxy in my current location.)

    I took a pen, shoved a sponge in the end and wiring though the middle that attached to it. It worked pretty nice… until the sponge dried out.

    Now if you want to do it a fancy way, there’s this one video I watched while looking into how to make my own, this guy took a sonic screwdriver flashlight and modified it the same way. Looks pretty cool.

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