Save Your Eyes (and Sleep) When Using Your Computer at Night

Ever woken up early, gone to your computer, and switched on the monitor only to be blinded? I sure have. And recent research shows that too much blue light (LCD panels are very blue) in the evening can actually impact your sleep as well.

F.lux is a free utility that automatically changes the color temperature of your screen as the sun sets. You give it your latitude and longitude (if you don’t know, you can look it up by zip code), and as it begins to get dark the program will turn your screen redder. At first it looks really weird, but once you get used to it it’s significantly more comfortable to use your computer. If you ever use your computer after about seven o’clock or so, you should give f.lux a try.

Sound good? You can download f.lux here. Installation is super-simple: just run the setup file and then click the new icon in the system tray next to your clock to set your location and other settings.

YouTube Keyboard Shortcuts

You probably know that you can press Escape to exit full-screen mode (after all, YouTube does smash you over the head with an alert saying exactly that every time you make a video full-screen), but I bet you didn’t know you can control video playback with other letters.

You need to have focus on the Flash applet before you can use any of these shortcuts. (Just click on the video or any of the playback buttons to change the focus.)

  • f: Go full-screen. You can return to normal with Escape, as usual.
  • k: Pause or resume video playback.
  • j and l (or left/right arrow): Seek backwards/forwards 10 seconds.
  • Home and End: Seek to the beginning/end of the video. You can use Home to replay the video if you get to the end.
  • 0–9: Seek to 0–90% through the video.
  • Up and Down arrow keys: Change the volume.
  • m: (Un)mute audio.
Sources for this article:
I was inspired to write this article by accidentally typing ‘f’ in YouTube and noticing that it did something.

Reopening Tabs You Just Closed

Ever closed a browser tab, then immediately realized you still needed it open? Maybe you even waited a few minutes before you wanted to go back. Fortunately, you don’t need to go hunting around for it in your history or search for it again.

I’ve already partially mentioned this tip (buried in the middle of another), but here it is again: Just press Ctrl-Shift-T.

Here’s the new part: In Chrome, you can also middle-click the New Tab button to reopen the previous tab. I discovered this by accident the other day while trying to close the last tab I had open (I missed it and hit the new tab button instead).

While you’re at it, check out four other ways to use your middle mouse button when you’re browsing (and find out what a middle-click is, if you haven’t picked up on it from my tips yet!).