Twilight, fl.ux and Light Dims

It’s widely accepted that bright lights, especially blue-tinged lights from tablets, smartphones and PCs are contributing to sleep deprivation. Articles such as “Bright Screens Could Delay Bedtime” in Scientific American and “Screen reading before bed can ruin your sleep” on all describe how screen reading late at night can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to poor health.

Twilight and fl.ux

I’m a bit of a screen junkie and I decided that I’d try to improve my own sleep patterns. I installed Twilight onto my Android phone and fl.ux onto my PC and laptop. These applications keep track of the local sunset times and add a red hue to the screen after sunset. I’m not 100% sure whether this has improved my sleep patterns yet, but it does serve as a useful prompt to switch my screen off when my eyelids start to droop! 😉

Light Dims

The other thing that annoys me at home is my alarm clock radio. It casts a bright green light across the bedroom and I can even see the brightness through closed eyelids. I’ve tried sticking Post-it notes over the display, but this isn’t ideal. To reduce the problem of night-time glare I ordered some “Light Dims” online. Despite coming from America, delivery was only $0.99 (£0.65) and the stickers arrived within a few days. I fitted a sticker over my alarm clock display and one on the TV LED in the bedroom. I’m pleased to say that they do exactly what the website says.

Light Dims

Night-time glare is much reduced, I’m looking forward to better sleep patterns 🙂

Outlook’s brighter for Trust IV

Those of you with long memories may remember my Trust IV blog article unveiling the webcam this time last year.

Since then our windows have got dirtier and the picture quality has degraded. The good news is that spring is in the air and our building’s having a spring clean. Our webcam caught the cleaner’s in the act. I hope you like the new, improved view from the webcam.

“Unfortunately. Maps has stopped”

I’m a recent convert to an Android phone and so far I’m really pleased with it. It seems to offer me the flexibility that I want (and didn’t get from my old iPhone). Recently, however I’ve been getting this error message from Google’s Maps application.

Google Maps Stopped Error


This isn’t just a minor annoyance when I’m using the application, it pops up all the time. I presumed that this may be a problem that was only affecting me, but when I saw it on my wife’s Nexus 7, I realised that it must be more widespread.

I had a quick look on the PlayStore and saw that there were a number of comments/complaints about this same problem. I was not alone…..

I decided to try a reinstall, but this isn’t possible for built-in applications. You can uninstall and then reinstall the updates to the built-in application, but that didn’t work for me. The error came back.

The only way to stop the error from occurring is to downgrade Maps to the factory installed version. This is how you do it.

First open Application Manager.
Swipe down from the top of the screen and click the “cog” icon in the top right-hand corner. Then select the “More” tab and press “Application Manager”.

Scroll/swipe until you see the “Maps” application.(like the screen below).



Press “Uninstall Updates”



Press “OK” to confirm that you want to uninstall the updates.

At this point you’ll be warned that the upgraded application will be replaced with the factory version.


Press “OK” and you can revert to using the older version. The application will prompt you to upgrade it from time to time, but you can ignore those prompts to upgrade and restore your phone/tablet to working order.

My only worry is that when the KitKat 4.4 upgrade for Android comes along, it’ll bring with it the newer version of Maps, this could be a reason for holding back on that upgrade until you know that other users are happy with it and that this problem doesn’t reoccur for KitKat users.