Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

3 monitors

July 18th, 2016

To be more “productive”, I recently upgraded my work space. I used to have 2 monitors side by side. Both of them are View Sonic but they are of different size and one is old. So I purchased two monitors (Dell U2415). Together with one original View Sonic monitor, now I get 3 monitors on my desk.

3 monitors

3 monitors

The left one is the original view sonic one with resolution 1920 x 1080. I make it vertical because I write a lot of codes and a vertical placement allows me see more lines of codes at the same time. So this monitor is almost dedicated to writing codes.

The right two are Dell U2415 with resolution 1920 x 1200. According to some people, “Dell UltraSharp series is a gold standard in excellence which programmers have used and loved for years”. I myself do love it a lot. These monitors have a very thin bezel, which is ideal for side-by-side placement. I use the middle screen for the current job (Excel, browsing etc), and the right screen for supportive function (e.g. wechat, FileZilla, QQ, windows explorer etc).

Of course, to make the 3 monitor setup possible, I need a trip-monitor stand. The one I use is SIIG 13″-27″ Articulated Freestanding Triple Monitor Desk Stand. It does an OK job. One of the reason I chose it because it does not need a grommet. I am using varidesk and there is not much space under the table.

Overall, I like the 3 monitors a lot. I do feel I am more “productive” :)

Author: Xu Cui Categories: life, technology Tags:

How much money did I make from an app?

July 6th, 2015

Undoubtedly some people are very successful in making money by developing a smartphone app. Back in 2012 I developed an app called “Handbook of Brain” which is a collected resources of brain anatomy, function and diseases. I put the app in Google’s app store (Google Play) and priced it as $1.99. I also tried to put it in Apple’s app store but they rejected because the app references wiki a lot.

Here is the app’s page in Google Play:

handbook of brain

handbook of brain

3 years passed, how much money did I make? In total there are 10 purchases and the total revenue is $20.01 according to Google. So on average I made $6.7/year, or $0.5/month.

handbook of brain financial

handbook of brain financial

Author: Xu Cui Categories: adobe air, brain, life, programming, technology Tags:

Recommending a free reference manager, PaperBox

October 4th, 2012

Reference managing is pretty annoying. But you can’t do research without reading papers, and can’t write manuscript without citing papers. Here I recommend a program which will effectively solve this problem.

PaperBox ( is like EndNote, but with the following features:

  1. Access my library from any computer. For example, I have a Mac at lab, a PC at home, I also have an iPad and android smartphone.  I found an interesting paper at lab and added to my library and when I return home and log in PaperBox I can find that paper.
  2. Easy collaboration. I am managing a project on studying the social effect on human brain. Quite a few people are in this project, including 3 students and 2 postdocs. We need to constantly share papers and do journal clubs. We used to use email attachments; but it’s painful. Now with paperbox, I simply create a tag called “cog_social” and shared it with my colleagues. Whenever I add papers into this tag, they instantly get notified and see the paper. They can also add new papers to the tag. On top of it, we can cite the papers we collected together in Word - previously we have to email our endnote library back and forth.
  3. Realtime reference hinting. I found I need a “writing mood” to write papers. But my writing mood was always interrupted when I had to switch between Word and Endnote, and switch between keyboard and mouse. Now with the “realtime reference hinting” feature, I can cite in MS Word without breaking my flow. I simply type {{ and all my papers are listed. If I want to cite a paper authored by “David”, then I simply type {{david and only David’s papers are listed. Then I hit return and insert the citation. After the paper is done, I select a journal (e.g. Nature) and the citation is formatted accordingly.
  4. Import from EndNote. I have 60 papers in my EndNote library. First I saved my EndNote library as xml format, then imported that xml file in Peaya Paper. All my papers (and PDFs) are imported.

Other features include new paper alert, tagging, and discussion, etc. I’m sure your productivity will be improved a lot.

Where to download:

Disclosure: I am the founder of PaperBox.

Author: Xu Cui Categories: paperbox, peaya, programming, technology Tags:

Learning PaperBox in 2 minutes

September 13th, 2012

PaperBox is a cloud reference manager ideal for labs and teams to collaborate. Get it here:

Author: Xu Cui Categories: technology, web Tags:


March 14th, 2012

Author: Xu Cui Categories: technology Tags: