I got the idea to write this article when I was recently playing Club Penguin and three people told me they thought Club Penguin was shut down. It was, but some geniuses remade it and it’s running at https://play.cprewritten.net/ just the way it was when you were a kid. After being yelled at for not telling anyone this, I realized that there’s probably a lot of stuff online that people don’t know about. Some of the things on this list I’ve been using for years, but some I found just to share with you. Here are some fun and helpful internet tricks, hacks, and tips you might not have heard of.
Honey is a free chrome extension that gives you coupons when you shop online, and you don’t have to do anything! No credit card info, no personal information. When you shop online, honey automatically searches through coupons for the website, and it works on pretty much every website, including Grubhub, PizzaHut, Amazon, and Sephora. If you allow notifications for certain websites, Honey will also let you know when items in your cart drop in price, so you can order it at the most optimum moment. I’ve used Honey for a while now, and I have no complaints.
Free games on Google
Google has a lot of easter eggs. My favorite are googling “do a barrel roll” for the browser to rotate 360 degrees, searching “askew” to make the site crooked, and my favorite is searching “google in 1998” to see exactly how the search engine looked the year I was born. I recently found out that Google also lets you play games online, and not just the dinosaur game when your internet is down. Google “pacman” to get the game, which was Google’s homepage for a day in 2010 that they kept accessible to play over and over again. You can also play “zerg rush” right on the search results by typing the game name, and lastly search “atari breakout” in Google Images to play the game using the image results, which is awesome.
Sites to end your procrastination
I had never actually heard of these before, but there are actually tons of versions of them. I first found the focus booster app, which uses a technique called the “pomodoro technique” which sets time brackets for you to work and take breaks of different time durations to maximize your working ability. It’s only $3 a month, but I wanted to find a free version. I then found the strict workflow chrome extension, which blocks certain distracting sites for a set amount of time. I also found cold turkey, which not only blocks websites, but also apps, extensions, or the entire internet if you need to. It also utilizes the pomodoro technique, but can be used without its inclusion. The most extreme version of these anti-procrastination hacks is called https://writeordie.com/, which will play an alarm when you stop typing, so you’re pretty much forced into finally writing that essay due tomorrow. You just have to enter how fast you type, how much you need to write, and how much time you’re allowed in between stopping and starting typing to think. It might put you in cardiac arrest, but it sounds like it would definitely work.
I hate bringing huge textbooks everywhere, so I like to just take pictures of what I’ll need in class and use those photos instead of the whole book, but sometimes they’re not easy to make out if the font is small and the pages are big. Or if you see a poster in the BSC and want to save it, but a picture is hard to read when you send it to others. This app lets you scan documents into PDF form, and it’s absolutely legible. You can save papers, edit them, and share them so much easier with this app.
Also for your phone, Fast Customer is such a helpful app to have when you need to call businesses. Whether it’s to make an appointment, talk to customer service, or anything, this app calls the business for you and stays on the call while you’re on hold, and only connects you to the call when the other end finally takes you off hold. You can find business numbers, and department numbers for the businesses, all on the app, and see the call’s progress whether it’s still on hold, dialing, or connecting.
I was aware that extensions existed that could customize your browser when you open a new tab, like this one that shows you a picture of puppies when you open a new tab (or this one for cats). But I recently found Momentum, which is a super cool extension that asks you to identify a personal goal when you open your web browser, and reminds you of that goal every time you open a new tab. You can choose your favorite background pictures, and enter your name to make it personalized.
I’m not a lawyer, so I can’t say the legal-ness of this extension, but I can say it’s super helpful and easy to use. If you want to have an mp3 downloaded copy of your favorite songs for offline listening or editing, this extension allows you to download the audio of Spotify and YouTube videos, and even gives you audio to listen to on their website. And yes, it’s all free.
Turn your tab into a notepad
This trick I’ve used for years now because I’m addicted to lists. My OCD has me making lists for my homework, things to do, shopping lists, poem topics, and login information. If you don’t have your phone nearby with your notepad app, you can make a list on your browser. Copy and paste data:text/html, <html contenteditable> into your URL bar to turn your browser into a notepad, and for the lights-off version, copy and paste this:
Random website easter egg at https://www.daskeyboard.com/
Another one that isn’t really helpful as much as it is fun, I’ve known this hidden gem for years. Scroll to the bottom of the website where it says “connect” and click on “destroy this website” as if you were playing Space Invaders. That’s it. That’s all it does. Kind of cool, kind of worthless. A good time.