Computer Related Health

If you're going to be working through this course, competing in a Capture the Flag (CTF), or just binging Netflix because you deserve it, these are a few changes you can put into your life that will make you a happier and healthier person.

Ergonomics

We spend too much time in front of our computers, and over a long enough period of time, this can have negative effects on our bodies. We will summarize this quick guide to get you set up right.

  • Monitor
    • We want our monitors to be at an arms distance away, right at eye level
    • This forces our necks to be up and our backs to not hunch
    • Your monitor likely needs to be raised up on books to get to the right height
  • Chair:
    • Set your chair at a height where your feet are flat on the ground
    • Adjust armrests so that your elbows and forearms are parallel to the ground
    • This will require your keyboard to be at the same level as your chair, which often requires and under desk tray
  • Mouse Use

    • When using a mouse, keep on the same level as your keyboard and keep forearms straight
    • Overall you want to minimize use and learn to use the keyboard, mostly so you look cool
  • Laptops

    • Laptops are terrible for ergonomics because of the monitor and keyboard being so close together
    • The cheapest answer is to buy a USB keyboard/mouse so you can raise the monitor on a stack of books or similar items and have the keyboard at the appropriate level
      • This is what I work off of the majority of the time.
    • Sitting on a couch or in bed with a laptop is about the worst thing you can do for your back. If you are doing serious work, get to a desk with an appropriate setup

Now fix your setup so that everything aligns properly. This is an investment in yourself.

Hardware Required

While we are on the subject of investments YOU DO NOT NEED TO BUY A NEW COMPUTER. My daily driver is a 8 year old Dell brick. There are students who have done this course on a Raspberry Pi. A significant number of students do it on an Android phone. While we all want a tower of hardware with six monitors and a light up keyboard, knowledge doesn't care what you are on, it just cares that you are putting in the work.

Blue Light and Brightness

  • Drop the brightness on your computer as far as you can. Just trust me.

  • Are you used to your eyes hurting after too long on the computer? This is mostly from the blue light. There's a ton of research you can read to prove it, or you can turn it on.

    • Windows 10 Blue Light Filter
    • Mac Night Shift
    • If you are on Linux use this link to find a method you're comfortable with.
    • If you are on an old version of Windows that doesn't have it yet, just update to Windows 10 please.
    • If you are a crazy person like me, go into the monitor settings and change the Red/Blue/Green distribution of the display. That way you can really take care of your eyes, but all the colors will be wacky.
  • It is also an option to get blue light filtering glasses if you have money to blow. You should buy a pair from Blenders. I'm not sponsored, but I used to live next to them and they're a chill team so they deserve money.

    • If we're really being honest, you can get cheap pairs from Amazon and they'll be like 1/5 the price and do basically the same thing.

Dark Mode

I'm sorry, but I'm not a good web developer. HTML and CSS are as hard (or harder) as anything out there. Despite everyone asking for a dark mode (so they can feel like a cool hacker), I don't plan on implementing one with my current skillset. My solution is to tell you to install a dark mode extension for your browser if you want dark modes. I use https://mybrowseraddon.com/dark-mode.html. It doesn't work perfectly, but it is easier on the eyes, and you can use it for all websites, not just Roppers. I recommend you use option "blue dark", 10 down on class A of general dark styles. Hopefully y'all aren't here for my web design skills.

Last modified: Tuesday, 30 March 2021, 12:45 PM