Use F.lux to Prevent Hurting Your Eyes From Computer Glare

Prolonged use of computers can sometimes lead to irritation in the eyes, particularly when the display is bright and the usage continues till late at night. Symptoms may include difficulty in reading, headache and sleeplessness.

The reason behind this is very simple. During the daytime, computer screens look good as they are designed to look like the Sun. But during the evening and night our eyes get tired by looking at the bright (sun-like) computer screen giving which leads to eyestrain.

F.lux is a simple, yet very effective software that handles this problem very well. It adjusts the colour temperature of your computer’s display according to what time of the day it is.

Color temperature is a term that describes how much red or blue, the light is. Natural light is more blue, whereas artificial light is warmer, i.e. more red.

During the evening and at night, F.lux automatically changes the colour temperature of computer screen to warm. This makes the computer screen look like indoor lights i.e. a fluorescent or halogen like warm color. As a result, our eyes don’t stress even if we are using the computer till the late dark hours.

Using the software is very easy. All you need to do is download the setup file from the  f.lux website and install it. Then fill in your location and F.lux will do the rest. It will automatically change the colour temperature of your display to warm depending on the local sunset time and revert it back to normal the next morning.

Users of F.lux might take some time to adjust to the new colour settings. If you find your screen too pink or orange you can set the color manually by clicking the ‘Change Settings’ button after clicking on the F.lux icon in the taskbar. For colour intensive work such as using Photoshop it might not be a good idea to keep F.lux running all the time. For this, there is also an option to disable F.lux for an hour after which it starts functioning automatically.

F.lux is available for Windows XP/Vista/7, Mac OS X, Linux and iOS. Android users will need to wait to get the benefits of F.lux. Also if you are an iPhone or iPad user, keep in mind that you will have to jailbreak your device before you can start using F.lux.

All in all, F.lux is an amazing software that does it’s job and its makers have rightly called it as a software that will make your life better. Having used it for a few days now, I can strongly recommend it as a must have for your computer.

Please share with us your experiences using the software and if it helped you work longer hours on the computer without the eyestrain.

5 Ways to Use Your iPhone As A Diet Assistant

This is a guest post by Matthew Denos.

Weight Loss AppsNeed to drop some pounds? Have an iPhone? If so, you have an entire weight loss
program at your fingertips !

There are 500—and counting—weight loss applications available for download, many of which are free. There are apps that will help you determine how much you need to lose, how many calories you should be consuming, how many calories are in different foods, or how many calories are burned with various activities, and apps to help you track it all. No, this doesn’t mean you should skip your workout today—and maybe even for the rest of the week—in order to browse through them. Instead, you can start with the list provided here, which will get you started towards your goal.

1. BMI Calculator

Weight Loss Apps

The first app you might want to use is one that offers a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. Your BMI provides a rough approximation of the percentage of body fat you are carrying around, based on your weight relative to your height. BMI Calculator is a free app for the iPhone that will estimate your BMI for you and determine whether you are underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. It is a very basic application wherein you enter your height and weight, and your BMI is calculated. This is a little piece of information, yet very valuable when starting a weight loss progam. It shows you how far away you are from your ideal weight. You also have the option of entering your age and your gender. The newest version of BMI Calculator allows you to save each of your BMI measures and provides a graphic display of the trend; Apple/iTunes.

2. 2Fat

Weight Loss Apps

Another, similar application, is 2Fat. In addition to providing you with an estimate of your BMI, this app translates this number into a percentage of body fat. Instead of having to type in your height and weight, you use scroll wheels to enter the data. 2Fat is a free app, but the developer of the app—two Enterprises—offers an upgraded version, 2Fat +, which costs $0.99 to download. The upgraded version allows the user to enter the data in metric units (a feature that is not available on the free version) and automatically stores the user data when you exit the app; Apple/iTunes.

3. Calorie Counter

Weight Loss Apps

Calorie Counter is another great free weight loss application. This application is an extension of the online diet website, CalorieCount.com. It not only provides nutritional data for more than 100,000 foods, but also offers a library of over 150 low-calorie recipes. Users can browse through the recipe file by course, food group, and/or dietary elements. They can access information for some of their favorite exercises as well and record both their daily caloric intake and expenditure. Both U.S. and metric units are supported by this app, and you can enter your weight and view recent logs even when no Internet connection is available; Apple/iTunes.

4. Lose It!

Weight Loss Apps

Lose It! is a free app that has received national acclaim in the U.S. It enables you to record your daily food intake and exercise to help you in your weight loss efforts. The application provides an extensive database of food—including restaurant items– and activities and allows you to add additional foods and activities with ease. You are also able to track nutritional information, such as fat grams, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and fiber. The “log” screen displays calories consumed and calories expended for the day, along with your daily caloric budget, and calculates how much over or under budget you are. No internet connection is needed, and there are no annoying advertisements, either; Apple/iTunes.

5. Absolute Fitness

Weight Loss Apps

The Absolute Fitness app has an extensive exercise database, in addition to a comprehensive nutritional database. It provides information on calories expended for more than 180 different physical activities and calories, fat grams and other nutritional information—including vitamin content—for over 10,000 foods. It also gives users the ability to create “custom” foods (meals) that consist of more than one food item. This application automatically calculates daily nutrient intake limits and sets a goal for you, based on the information you entered into your profile. You can elect to customize these figures, however. A daily snapshot allows you to see how much you have already consumed and how much you can still consume of a specific nutrient. Absolute Fitness also has a feature that allows you to track your body fat percentage, blood pressure, hours of sleep, and amount of water consumption. All this can be had for a $4.99 download fee; Apple/iTunes.

About the Author:

As a medical scientist with a specific interest in obesity treatement, Matthew loves anything mobile that can get people on the road to improved health and well-being. He writes for a number of different tech and health sites and offers coupons for the Medifast meal replacement diet plan.

Plinky: A Web App To Jumpstart Your Creativity

Plinky is a web application that gives you that spark of inspiration when you need it the most, by prompting you with a question each day. It also makes it easy to share your answers to other social networks or post it directly to your blog.

Every writer has certain exercises for writer’s block. I often find myself powering up the computer, checking my task list in OmniFocus, reading my email and then skimming the headlines for important news in Google Reader.  Twitterrific almost always has something important popping up, so I dedicate about 10 minutes every day looking at today’s tweets. Coffee cup in hand, some free time available and the morning routine completed, it’s time to cross something off the task list.

Screenshot20090829at08.54.521

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How to install *.rpm files in Ubuntu

UbuntuUbuntu (and all Debian based) distributions use the .deb format for application packages and these days most developers writing applications for Linux provide a .deb package.

But, even then there might be times when you want to install an application which is available only in the .rpm format. If you use Ubuntu or any other Debian distribution, Alien might be able to help you.

Alien is a program that converts between the rpm, dep, stampede slp, and slackware tgz file formats. If you want to use a package from another distribution than the one you have installed on your system, you can use alien to convert it to your preferred package format and install it.

Alien is available in the Ubuntu repository so you can install it by using the following command

$ sudo apt-get install alien

To convert an rpm file to deb, use the following command

$ alien -d -k package.rpm

Where package.rpm is the rpm package that you want to convert. The ‘-k’ option is to tell alien to keep the same version number on the resulting .deb as the rpm file.

Alien can also convert .deb packages to .rpm and the command to do that is

$ alien -r package.deb

Where package.deb is the deb package that you want to convert.

Use freepdfcard to make business cards online

FreePDFCardsFreePDFCards is a nice web application that can help you design your business card online for free. If you’ve been dying to have your very own business card with your own blog’s logo on it, but were afraid of the costs involved, now is the time to give this site a try.

To get started, just type in your contact information, upload your company/blog logo and customize the text size and style. Click Preview and you have your business card ready. Wasn’t that neat ?

Business Card Info

You won’t get any of the cool designs, nice graphics that a professional designer would offer you, but for those looking for a cheap way out, this might just be the solution.

Geeky Ninja Business Card

This is how a business card would look like. Customize the card to your heart’s content and when you’re satisfied take a printout using any printer.

What do you think of FreePDFCards.com ? Let us know in the comments.

Clone an Ubuntu system using Synaptic Markings

synaptic logoHow many times have you had to reinstall the OS on your computer and then had to install all your favorite pieces of software by hand. I’m sure it’s quite painful. And even more so when you forget to install a couple of software and then have to install them in a crunch when you need them the most.

The Synaptic Package Manager bundled with Ubuntu (and available for Debian and most other debian based distributions) has a very cool solution. Synaptic is a graphical package manager for debian based distributions and is the default package manager installed for Ubuntu and is quite popular on that platform.

Synaptic lets the user export (and import) a file which contains details of all the software that is installed on the system.

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Zim – Desktop based wiki for Linux

Zim - Desktop WikiApplications to help you take and organize notes on your computer are available dime-a-dozen. Linux purists will, ofcourse, give their vote to text editors such as Vim or Emacs but there are also applications such as Tomboy and BasKet available for the non-geeky users that make taking and organizing notes on Linux a breeze.

Ofcourse, taking things a bit further, using a wiki as a note taking tool sounds like a great idea and depending on your usage, might even prove to be a better solution than the general purpose note taking applications that we’ve mentioned above.

Zim - Desktop wiki

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Kallow aims to simplify electronic shopping for the non-geeks

kallow

Kallow is a new web service designed to make it easier for the non-geeks to purchase electronic online.

Purchasing electronics online is a mess ! And Kallow aims to solve that problem by doing all the heavy lifting itself and presenting the user with just a single choice. So, all the user has to do is visit Kallow select the product he/she wants and buy it.

It is a very neat idea and something I can see a lot of use for. Just think about it, how many times have you wanted to purchase something and came back overwhelmed with the amount of choice available in the market, or disappointed with the lack of knowledge that the sales people have about the products they’re trying to sell. Go to any store and you’ll have the same problem.

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Create short URLs for Google searches using Gog.is

GoogleEver tried sharing the URL of a google search query over email or IM ? Isn’t it irritating when the URL breaks of from the middle and you’re blamed for not searching enough :-)

Fret not, my friend, Gog.is is your friend.

The next time you want to share a google query with a friend just prepend gog.is to the query. For example, suppose you want to share the query for searching for the best operating system around, just use http://gog.is/debian,linux.

Similarly, if you’re looking to share some info on the best way to stay clear of computer viruses, share http://gog.is/install+linux with all your buddies.

Sure, you can use tinyurl for the same purpose, but the good thing with gog.is is that the service is specifically made for sharing google search query URLs and … well .. it’s fun to use :-)

Create PDF files from any windows application for free

CutePDFPDF is a file format created by Adobe for exchanging documents. The good thing about PDF is that the files retain the formatting and fonts even when viewed on a system different than the one they’ve been created on. That is the reason, PDF has become the de-facto format for sharing documents over the Internet.

For a long time, however, the only way to create PDF files was to buy and install Adobe’s Acrobat suite. The Acrobat suite, while very functional and nice, costs money and is expensive.

Since, Adobe has made the PDF standard open, a lot of third party tools have come which claim to be able to create and manipulate PDF files. CutePDF is one such tool.

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