20 October 2013

Prevent eye strain with a software that reminds you to blink and exercise

UPDATE 2018: The "look up and down, look outside the window" etc. are exercises that do not work. See this: http://nrecursions.blogspot.in/2018/03/eye-strain-is-not-caused-by-digital.html


It is only when I was affected with severe eye strain that I realized how important it is to get enough of sleep everyday and to take breaks while working on the computer.

Even if you're not having back pain or eye strain, I'd still recommend that you install a software like Eye Leo or Work Rave (works on Linux too) to remind you to take breaks.

I found Eye Leo to be good.
It has short-breaks like in the image above, and long breaks where the entire screen is dimmed. You can change the settings (mine are short breaks every 3 minutes and long breaks every 30 minutes for 5 minutes at a time). The application sits quietly in the system tray and starts when the system starts.

The best part is, that the animation of the cheetah blinking, sub-consciously makes you blink too. The "close your eyes tightly" part actually brings more tears into your eyes, and ensures that your eyes stay lubricated. You won't need eye-drops anymore.
The "look up and down", "look outside the window" give your eye lots of essential exercise during the day. Just make sure you roll your eyeballs to the extreme edges.

I would highly recommend this software even to people who don't wear spectacles and even to people who say they have no strain while working on the computer.

04 August 2013

An equivalent for MS Paint in Linux

Well honestly, there's no equivalent that I found good enough in Linux. MS Paint has an ease of use and functionality that's just about good enough for drawing and image editing, but not as complex as something like Gimp or Photoshop. I like using MS Paint for simple editing tasks.

There is one program which comes close to MS Paint. It's called mtpaint.
Install it with :
sudo yum install mtpaint
It's able to perform the necessary basic image editing tasks and drawing tasks required.

Linux also has CinePaint (comes with even a smudge tool, import capability for xcf, splines, but can't import even a png file and crashed when I did a colour sampling), xpaint (with a UI that's rather primitive and it crashed when I tried to select-all and move the graphics).

For children, there's a nice application called Tuxpaint. You can install it with sudo yum install tuxpaint. It's got simple features and accompanying sounds which will make it a joy for little kids to use.

Some others exist too for Ubuntu.