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Everything Useful

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Quick Link to this page: tiny.cc/everythinguseful

Also see: Freshmen Handbook

Yale Wiki

We've migrated! Check out our newer, more extensive site:


(EverythingUseful (everythinguseful.wikinet.org) will not be updated again - the wiki will instead! :D)

How This Works

Casey Watts (BK 2012) collects all the useful information for Yale students, and puts it here!

  • I don’t put quite everything I know on here. But I do email the rest ;D
If you’re interested in more, you can sign up here:
http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/everythinguseful (email is the only required field)

<3 Casey! <casey.watts@yale.edu>


Also see: Past Updates


February 24
February 17
February 14
  1. Tips can now be emailed to everythingusefulstaff@mailman.yale.edu which consists of Casey Watts and a team of wiki-editors!
  2. We're starting a new initiative - the Freshmen Handbook! We really need help developing this. If you have any knowledge that freshmen would find useful, please share it with us! everythingusefulstaff@mailman.yale.edu
February 13
  • YaleMobile is a really cool iPod/iPhone app that makes all of the public Yale information super-accessible.
February 9
February 8
  • Yale pays for us to use the Qualtrics Survey/Quiz-making software (as of Jan 22).
  • New Haven Happy Hours
  • There are quite a few sites you can use to Study with Flashcards Online and share them with friends (not an all-inclusive list yet - what do you use?)
  • Zotero (PDF Management) is no longer tethered to Firefox, but now has a stand-alone application. Might it soon be better than Mendeley?
  • Google Cloud Connect allows you to sync all of your Microsoft Office documents with your Google Documents from within the Office programs
February 1
  • SciFinder (for Chemistry) lets you draw structures and reactions and it can predict what products they'll make by using the literature. It can really help with Orgo PSets.
January 27
January 25
  • Megavideo no longer works :<
  • Weekend Durfees-then-brunch swiping no longer works :<
January 18
January 15
January 14
January 13
January 11
January 9
January 8
  • YalePlus Bluebook added to Alternative Bluebooks
    • An excel spreadsheet with all of the course information in one place.
    • This spreadsheet is particularly useful because it includes color-coded review-scores and links to the online evaluations.
    • Evaluations by class AND professor are both listed.
January 5
January 4
  • Where to buy alcohol in New Haven - there are so many choices, and some are cheaper than others.
January 3
  • Transloc Bus-GPS app is also on Android of course~
  • Yale bought us access to Naxos Music, a website where you can listen to otherwise-hard-to-find classical, jazz, opera, instrumental music, etc.

Winter 2011 Update

The Website Moved!

I migrated to a MediaWiki! Link to this new site: tiny.cc/everythinguseful

This Wiki is much better than the published-googledoc this used to live on (at tinyurl.com/everythinguseful):

  • It's much prettier
  • It's much easier for me to format and update
  • It has cool internal links (like you'll see below) and an auto-generated table of contents
  • It's collaborative - if you want to add or change anything on here you could just make an account, nbd.
    • You could also email me to add something of course ;D ~ casey.watts@yale.edu

Mailing List

  • I don’t put quite everything I know on here. But I do email the rest ;D
If you’re interested in more, you can sign up here:
http://mailman.yale.edu/mailman/listinfo/everythinguseful (email is the only required field)

New Content

Dining Halls

Buying and Selling Books

  • Sell your books to other Yalies by posting them online - as soon as you can so someone will actually buy them~!
How to best buy and sell books.


Oop one more thing that's new

Yale Dining

Yale Dining Website Is So Useful

Getting Your Money's Worth

Free Food at Durfee’s and other stores

You can use your lunch swipe to buy food at the Yale Dining stores:

  • Durfee's and Uncommon: $7 value
  • KBT (Kline) Cafe: reported $8 (more than $7!) value for so much coffee before class!; if someone can confirm this, please edit the Wiki or email us

The trick is: you can go to commons for breakfast (before 11), then stay in commons to study/read all the way through until lunch is served after 11, and eat your lunch free of swiping. Then you can go and use your lunch swipe at one of the stores!

  1. Weekend Brunches (no longer works)
    For people on the 21-meal plan: On Saturday and Sunday you can both use your Durfee’s swipe and have brunch. Order matters though, you must use the Durfee’s swipe first [Durfee’s => Brunch in a Dining Hall]. Durfee’s opens at 12, so plan your brunch-dates accordingly ;D

You can eat two lunches every day!

  • Search "Double Swiping" to find it on this page: http://www.yale.edu/dining/options/mealplan.html
  • Even though it specifies an order [Residential => Commons], I think you may be able to eat in some different orders. Maybe [Commons => Residential], or maybe even [Commons => Commons]? It’s worked that way for some people.
  • This was more useful when Commons was open for lunch until 5:00, but it’s still handy.

Food you Make

Recipes you can make in the dining hall


Yale teabags steep freakishly fast.

  • People who complain about Yale teas tend to let it oversteep. Just seconds of steeping are enough for many people.
  • The hot water is often too hot to drink. Mix in a splash of cold water!

Quick Inspiration

  • coffee + ice cream
  • rice + milk + sugar + cinnamon = "porridge"
  • soda + different color soda (or soda-water) = forms delicious, beautiful layers

Group Dining

Meeting People


Finding a Place to Meet

Someone in the college must make the reservation for the group.

Have Annexes

  • Calhoun - Must walk far away to the Fellow's Lounge (in a different entryway). The Parlour next to the dining hall is not for food.
  • Branford has a nice annex. And it isn't usually that crowded anyway.
  • Davenport has two annex rooms above the servery, but they're smaller than average
  • Silliman
    • Lets some groups reserve tables
    • Has a great annex, but a Sillimander must be present and take the Master there to open it.
  • TD has a reservable annex
  • Slifka has a seminar room that seats ~20
  • Saybrook's Fellows Lounge is reservable at the swipe-desk, although many groups already have reservations; it's right at the back of the dining hall
  • Morse's Fellows Lounge is not easily accessible from the dining hall, as it's upstairs and requires a swipe


  • Berkeley - Nothing. Swiss Room is off-limits.
  • JE has a Junior Common Room and a Senior Common Room, but they don't usually let students use them.


  • Trumbull - Meet in the Buttery.
  • Pierson? (The buttery can be used as a place to meet)
  • Ezra Stiles?

Diet Restrictions

For anyone who is vegetarian / vegan / gluten-free / allergic / otherwise dietarily restricted

  1. Dining Hall staff is SUPER responsive to special diets. If there's a way for them to meet your needs (and there is!) they'll do it!
  2. The Slifka Center (80 Wall St.) restricts what they serve at each meal to keep kosher
    • Breakfast - no meat
    • Lunch - no meat
    • Dinner - no dairy
    • There’s always at least one meatless/dairyless dish at each meal.
    • (Slifka also has a Bagel Brunch every other Sunday, which is amazing!)
  3. Be careful, veggies are often cooked in dairy-butter :/

New Haven


Yale Buses

Yale's buses are neat because they're tracked by GPS. You can always find out where they are.

  • http://yale.transloc.com/
  • And there's an iPod/iPhone/Android app by “TransLoc” too!
  • For the smartphoneless, you can also text a number with a stop code to get times.
  • Note: GPS is usually, but not always completely accurate

New Haven Buses


Sometimes I need to park in New Haven, and I wanna compare prices and locations to choose the best one. This helps me:


School Supplies

  • Walgreens
    • Probably the cheapest for pens, notebooks, etc.
    • They don't have quite everything
  • Stop N Shop
    • Standard Northeast Grocery
  • Yale Bookstore
    • Overpriced
    • They probably do have whatever you need.
  • Hull's Art Supply and Framing is the most frequented (and only?) art supply store

Food & Suite/Party Supplies

Grocery Stores are much cheaper that Durfee’s, GHeav, or even Walgreens.

  • Edge of the Woods
    • Grocery store 3 blocks past Stop N Shop.
    • Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free foods.
    • Often has cheaper and better produce than Stop N Shop
  • Ferraro's
    • Just across the train-tracks east of the green.
    • In kind of a sketchy neighborhood, but it's only open until 6pm anyway.
    • Usually cheaper than Stop N Shop


  • Most things are overpriced, but some items are totally reasonable
  • Open 24/7 and sells everything you ever need
  • After midnight they serve cheap, delicious food. Try their late-night egg/cheese/avocado/bacon/etc sandwiches for $3.50-$5!

The Mall (Westfield CT Post Mall)

Bargain Shopping

Spring Salvage (Free Stuff!)

Happens after students move out in the Spring, and leave their stuff out for grabs.

  • First wave when underclassmen move out
  • Second (better!) wave when Seniors move out. If you’re around to collect these leftovers, you’re so lucky. I’ve furnished my entire room with free stuff from salvage!

Eli Exchange

  • You can leave unwanted clothes in the designated spot in the laundry room, and take what you want from this same spot.
  • Once in a while they put all of the donated clothes out on Old Campus and everyone rummages through.

Salvation Army (Salvo)

  • Always-cheap but still-good clothing, also used household equipment and belts and stuff
  • 1/2 off clothing sale every Wednesday
  • Many clothes organized by color. You can even find a long-sleeved orange shirt in your size here~

Discounts as a Yale Student

  • The YCC planner has a pretty good list of these.
  • They also claim it’s online but I haven’t found a complete list anywhere (anyone know where that would be?)


Cheapest Nearby

  • Liquor Shops: Broadway Liquor is the consensus favorite, but they're all about the same as far as price. College Wine, Zach's, and Odd Bin's have a few more specialty items. Most people choose based on convenience - just search googlemaps: Liquor in New Haven
  • Wine: The Wine Thief is definitely the best place for wine
    • The staff are always approachable and willing to talk to you about wine, as much or as little as you want.
    • The median price is higher than most places, but they still have a good selection of ~$10 bottles, and nobody looks down on you if you ask them to point out the cheaper wines.
    • Plus, free wine tasting every Friday from 5-8pm!
  • Beer
    • Stop N Shop has a pretty big selection of beers, many for a slightly lower price than liquor stores.
    • If craft beer is what you're after, The Wine Thief is again your best bet. Their prices on craft beer are about average for the region. Very nice selection of domestics, Belgians, Germans and other.

Cheapest, but farther away

If you ever make a bus-trip to The Mall, it might be worth stopping at CostCo on the way (and if you're clever, you might be able to transfer buses to continue on your way for free). But otherwise, without a car it's not worth the trip to any of these.

  • Amity Wine & Spirit Co. - if you have access to a car
    • Five Guys is nearby too ;D
  • Costco - If you have a cost-co membership, it's along the O/55x bus line
    • Cost-co is the best for hard alcohol - they sell their booze at the state minimum.
  • Trader Joe's has some tasty, yet extraordinarily cheap wine. Unfortunately, Connecticut law does not allow them to sell their 2 buck Chuck in stores. I think they only have their fancy beers.

New Haven Happy Hours

See this googledoc spreadsheet (and contribute if you know any that are missing/have changed!):


New Haven Coffeeshop Hours are super-easy to see on this google-calendar: tiny.cc/newhavencoffee

Latest open coffeeshops
  • Sunday-Thursday midnight - Blue State York
  • Friday midnight - Blue State York OR Blue State Wall
  • Saturday 11pm - Blue State Wall OR Koffee?

Beginning of Semester

Alternative Bluebooks

  • Yale - both have the same clunky interface
    • OCI (Online Course Information) is always up, and you can find it at
    • OCS (Online Course Signup) is only available when signup becomes available
      • In its own menu on SIS
  • Alternatives!
    • YaleBlueBook.com BEST
      • Winner who takes all. Facebook integration, easy access to evaluations, gets your textbooks. Everything.
      • One trick: to search for evaluations by professor (regardless of class) you have to be in compare view and click on the name. The rest of the evaluations are in course details where you expect them.
      • If facebook won't log you in, try clearing your cache and trying again.
      • Bugginess: pretty solid :D
    • YalePlus Bluebook
      • An excel spreadsheet with all of the course information in one place.
      • This spreadsheet is particularly useful because it includes color-coded review-scores and links to the online evaluations.
      • Evaluations by class AND professor are both listed.
      • Bugginess: Not even a bug!
    • The Friendly Bluebook
      • Syncs with Facebook to show you what classes your friends are taking. Facilitates shopping with friends!
      • Bugginess: Kinda buggy, but certainly functional :)
    • Bluebooker.net
      • Helps you plan (up to) a four-year schedule, including your major/distributional requirements.
      • Bugginess: The most buggy :/

Finding Classes - The Yale Map

Can even recognize building codes!

Buying Books

Which ways are cheapest and easiest?

  1. Free: Borrowing from the Bookstore during shopping period, or 6 week loan + 6 week renewal from BorrowDirect.
  2. YHHAP Books are cheapest (1/2 amazon price!) but they may not have your book.
  3. From Yalies is next cheapest and easiest.
  4. Buying Books Online is cheap, but books sent to your PO box often arrive late. It might not be worth it if a PO Box is your only option.
  5. Renting Books online is cheap, but same problem.
  6. The Yale Bookstore certainly has your book! but it’s the most expensive option.

Free: Borrowing

  • You can borrow from a friend for the whole semester ;D
  • You can "borrow" from the Yale Bookstore for the first few weeks of class. That helps you keep up with readings while your book is coming in the mail.
  • You can borrow from another Ivy League for virtually the whole semester using BorrowDirect
    • http://www.library.yale.edu/ill/borrowdirect.html
    • Borrow initially for 6 weeks, then you can renew it for 6 more weeks, for a total of 12 weeks. The semester is 14 weeks of classes + 2 weeks of reading period and finals period, so that's most of the semester at least.
    • Students from these other schools can't recall the book, so you pretty much have it for this whole period. (can we confirm this on an official site?) - (I've had a book recalled from BorrowDirect.)

Campus Groups

  • YHHAP Book Exchange sells books for 50% of the Amazon price, and used course packets for $5 each.
    • Their book inventory is always up-to-date online here: [1] and when books are bought they're taken down.
    • Prices aren't posted, but they'll look up the Amazon price with you during the transaction.
    • They email us when they’re ready each semester.
  • Try any social mailing lists you’re on, if that’s appropriate.

From Yalies

It's the next cheapest option and faster than having it mailed.

  • YaleStation Books
    • The traditional site most Yalies use
  • Bookzingo
    • Is a new site which does the same as Yalestation books. Being developed more heavily, but still in Beta.

Buying Books Online

  • Here are some good search-aggregate sites:
  • Is it worth it?
    • You save 50% off the bookstore price in many cases. Online shopping is the way to go!
    • The graphs on http://booksatyale.com/ compare Amazon prices with Yale Bookstore prices. However, this site only searches Amazon so I recommend using another one.
  • Delivery can be dangerously slow, depending on how you ship it
    • Check out: Receiving Packages and Sending Packages
    • If you're buying any books new, try Amazon Student
      • You'll get Amazon Prime shipping. Not only is it fast, but it also uses UPS so you'll definitely get your book on time.
      • You have two emails you could sign up with (you colud have two 6-month trials!):
        1. <name>@yale.edu (your normal one)
        2. <yournetid>@pantheon.yale.edu (if you haven't migrated to EliApps)
        3. <yournetid>@bulldogs.yale.edu (if you have migrated to EliApps)

Renting Books

Yale Bookstore

The Bookstore is very expensive, but certainly has the books at least.

  • They allow you to return a book for a full refund for a few weeks at the beginning of the semester. That helps you keep up with readings while your book is coming in the mail.
  • They will buy back the book as long as the book will be used in an upcoming semester (is that still true?), but not for much. Try selling the book in other ways.

Selling Books

How do you get the most money?

  1. Selling to Yalies
  2. Other Groups
  3. Selling Books Online
  4. Selling Back to Yale Bookstore

Selling to Yalies

  • Post on multiple sites!
    • I like to have the greatest chance of selling by posting my books on both YaleStation and Bookzingo.
    • If you do though, be polite when one gets sold, and quickly remove the other postings.
  • Post to a social mailing list you're on (only if that's appropriate)
  • What price should I set?

Other Groups

  • These groups usually email us when they're ready
    • Belltower Books
      • Belltower gives very competitive prices too, and they're much easier than selling online.
    • YHHAP Book Exchange
      • Donate your books in the boxes around campus

Selling Books Online

  • You get the most in exchange for store credit (Amazon, etc), but also a good bit for cash.
  • Online sales are usually better than Bookstore buyback prices.
  • Prices you can sell for fluctuate
    • A friend: "When I checked earlier this week, Amazon was going to give me $76, now they're giving me $50. :( "
  • Sites:

Selling Back to Yale Bookstore

  • Yale Bookstore
    • You get some money back, but not as much as from anywhere else.
    • Only if the textbook will be needed in the upcoming semester (is this still true?).


Receiving Packages

For most of the year, all mailing services are about the same, and your PO Box will be easiest. However, at the beginning of the semester, UPS/Fedex will be significantly faster.

Here's Yale's page on the matter: http://yalecollege.yale.edu/content/mail-and-shipping

Get Textbooks Fast

At the beginning of the semester, when most students buy most of their books:

  1. Speed-wise, UPS (and FedEx) are the fastest.
    • They can handle the large volume of deliveries gracefully, bringing in large trucks.
  2. USPS is much slower on shipments, and they get easily overwhelmed.
    • It often takes up to two or three days for the Post Office to process shipments and place them in your box/put a yellow tag in your box.
    • If you miss a certain window, your package may be sent back to their holding station until you request that it come back. More days of waiting :/

How do I choose how it's mailed?

Amazon is tricky. Depending on the type and speed of shipment, Amazon sends mail through all three carriers.

  • From Amazon itself
  • From Amazon Marketplace (used items)
    • If you buy something used, the merchant gets to choose. They most often choose USPS.
    • But if you chose a vendor which has "Amazon Fulfillment" you can still have Amazon Prime benefits ;D

What address should I give?

  1. Yale expects you to know how it gets sent - if you can, that's best! But unfortunately that's not always possible (like with Amazon).
  2. If you don't know how it's being shipped (like with Amazon) - one method is to include both addresses, but to omit the word "PO":
    1. <your name here>
    2. <Street address of your college here>
    3. Box <PO box #>
    4. New Haven, CT, 06520
    • (If you have fewer than four lines, you can include more on one line. Just make sure everything is separated by commas.)

Where do packages arrive?

  • USPS will usually (always) send things to your PO Box. Even if you send it to your Master's Office, they'll probably reroute it.
  • UPS only delivers to the UPS station at 143 College (near Hendrie Hall and the Public Library). And you'll get an email.
  • FedEx always ships directly to where you send it - they don't reroute any packages.

Sending Packages

For most packages, USPS is probably fine. For large packages or fast delivery, FedEx is probably the best. FedEx in general is cheaper and faster than UPS.

Yale Computers

Computer Stuff Yale Pays For

Hardware & Software Repair

  • Student Techs fix your computers for free! Visit them in the basement of Bass if you need help
  • Hours are usually 9am-midnight, but vary.

Borrow Videocameras, etc

Cameras, videocameras, tripods, microphones - so many things to borrow! 3-day limit. http://clc.yale.edu/media-equipment/


Yale's Antivirus Software

PC users, you really ought to have virus protection. Fortunately, Yale bought Symantec for you!

Windows 7

Yale also bought you your own copy of Windows 7! Yale gives you two keys actually - even though they're named "32-bit" and "64-bit", they're totally interchangeable.

Microsoft Office

Not for free, but Yale-discounted for only $25! And you get to keep it forever, it’s your own personal copy.

Note: If you are a grad student, you get unlimited free copies of Microsoft Office through the software library. (Undergrads, do you have any grad student friends?)


Naxos Music Streaming

For those interested in classical, jazz, instrumental music, etc (western art music!)

  • Yale has a subscription to the Naxos Music Library, which has literally tens of thousands of CDs for your streaming pleasure, and they add dozens more every day.
  • If you're off-campus, you have to be using a VPN to access it.
    Naxos Music Library


Qualtrics a great tool you can use to make surveys and quizzes. It's really nice survey software - much better than googledocs in many ways. I think Yale pays for all Yale affiliated people with NetIDs to use this service (as of Jan 22, 2012). You can sign up/in using your NetID:


About the Networks

Yale Secure is the best, you can get along perfectly fine just using that.

  • Yale Guest
    • Cannot use Yale Resources (eg Orbis)
    • You get an annoying “I accept” screen every time you log on
    • Anyone can connect
  • Yale Wireless / Wired (Ethernet) Connection
    • First you must register your computer at yale.edu/netreg
  • Yale Secure
    • Best network! It even encrypts your connection between the computer and the "router".
    • To connect:
      1. ​When prompted, sign in with your netID/password.
      2. Accept the security certificate.


If all else fails, ask an ST!

For PCs

  1. Restart the wireless card (switch on front of laptop, or in Device Manager).
  2. Remove network from the network list, then reconnect.
    • Search "Manage Wireless Networks"

For Macs

  1. Restart the airport card
  2. Remove network from the network list
    • System Preferences => Networks, click "Advanced"
    • Remove entries from both tabs 1) Airport and 2) 802.1X
    • While you're in this menu, make sure that "Yale Secure" is their top priority network.
  3. Remove entries from Keychain Access
    • Use Spotlight [the magnifying glass in the top right corner] to search for it)
    • Search for "yale" and remove all instances of YaleSecure and Yale Wireless
  4. If the above don't work, you might need to delete certain .plist files and restart the computer.
    • Navigate to /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration.
    • Copy all of the files to the desktop to have as backup (dragging and dropping to the desktop will do).
    • Delete all of the .plist files that contain words like "airport" or "network." The student will need to supply an administrative password for the computer.
    • Restart the computer. The .plist files should regenerate upon startup, and wireless should work again.


How to Print in a cluster

  1. If you haven't printed on Yale Printers before, you'll need to put money on your account first.
  2. "Print" like normal from a cluster computer (or follow instructions below to setup your laptop to do this).
  3. Go to the Print Station computer associated with the printer you sent it to, log in, pay for the pages you want.

Print from your laptop

Directly to a cluster printer!

Mailing Lists

Remove yourself from a Mailing List

Public Computers

Where to find public clusters

What’s on a public computer?

In general you have to physically examine the computer to find out.

  • All computers have Office.
  • All Macs have Adobe Creative Suite and iLife suite for movie editing.
  • Usually all similar computers in an area will have the same software, and ones with scanners attached have a few more programs.

Specialized Software

  • For fancy statistical packages try going to Statlab (at SoM on the left side of prospect)
  • For fancy music/video editing, try the Bass Media Room (next to the ST office) or the Stoeckl music lab.


Scheduling Events

  • Let you "paint" over times by dragging the mouse
  • You must click every check box, but more options
  • Google Calendar Rescheduler (Labs) seems pretty cool too.

Inviting People to Facebook Events

  1. Copy the fol­low­ing code by select­ing it then press­ing CTRL-C
    • javascript:var x=document.getElementsByTagName("input");for(var i=0;i<x.length;i++) {if (x[i].type == 'checkbox') {x[i].click();}}; alert('Done: please scroll and repeat until all your friends have been selected');
  2. Click that you are Attend­ing and Select Guests To Invite.
  3. Scroll all the way down to the end of your friends list. This may take a long time if you have a lot of friends.
  4. Depending on your browser:
    • If you have Firefox:
      1. Open up the console by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-K or CMD-SHIFT-K (on Macs)
      2. Paste the code into the box with the cursor by pressing CTRL-V, and press enter; this will probably take a while since Firefox is a little slow
    • If you have any other browser:
      1. Clear your address bar and paste the code by press­ing CTRL-V.
      2. Impor­tant: If you are using Chrome, after you paste the code, go to the front of it and type in “javascript:” with­out the quotes. So it will look like this “javascript:var x=document.get.…..” Then press Enter.
  5. Be patient and all your friends will even­tu­ally get check marked! That should do it!

Tools & Tricks

Classwork Tools


I think everyone has heard of this by now ;) Awesome for collaboration~


For collaborative presentations, Prezi wins the prize. It’s easy, and super-flashy! Just don’t go overboard.

PDF Tools

PDF Management

If you have >10 PDFs for one class, I think you'd benefit so much from one of these. The most popular PDF-management-programs might be EndNote (PC) and Papers (Mac) but both cost money.

PDF Escape

Lets you save those PDFs that say "you can't save". (Alternatively, you can also use the "Print to PDF" function to do the same thing)

Print to PDF

Especially useful for printing online receipts/etc when you’re far from an actual printer. {C (I know there are many others as well, this is just the one I’ve always used.)

File Transfer

Yale File Transfer

More versatile than email-attachments. 2GB filesize limit. WinRAR can help you shrink and split big files if you really need to.

Scratch Space

For transferring huge files (of legal not-stolen stuff) you can use Scratch Space

Alternatives to EliApps

EliApps (GMail) is great! But if you wanted to, there are two other ways you could use your YaleMail:

  1. Forward to your own non-university GMail account
  2. Or use Thunderbird or Applemail

How to Remember to Send Emails

There are some emails shouldn't be sent the moment you write them (like event-reminders) How do you ensure that you send that email on time? I have two tricks:

  1. Have your calendar email-remind you to send the email "23 hours before the event" (or whenever you want to receive the email). gMail certainly does this, and I imagine other calendar apps have the same ability. However, this requires you see the email, and act on that email. You might or might not~
  2. Or you could have an application do it for you - http://www.boomeranggmail.com/
    • Boomerang is amazing. Even though you only get 10 future-sends a month, that's enough for most people probably - certainly enough for me. You can send email at 8am while you're still asleep, or even when you're far away from computers.

Remove YouTube Video Ads

Youtube video ads are getting horrrible. There are so many, and they're getting longer. But you can block them! At least, in Chrome/Firefox/Opera.


Adblock will also remove banner ads like the one at the top of this wiki ;D

Asking Questions

  1. You could email casey.watts@yale.edu :)
  2. Also try looking/asking here, it’s a pretty good resource:
  3. When you find the answer, put it this wiki? ;D

Q&A and Collaborative Commenting

I'm in a lab (class) where we never actually know what we're doing. There are two ways I'm trying to fix it:

  1. Started a Piazza Q&A site for the class. Now students can ask questions before we get there. Students/professors/TA's all collaborate to answer each other's questions wiki-style until one perfect answer is attained.
    • Sooo many classes would benefit from this; professors just don't know it exists. Let them know ^_~
    • Biochem lecture uses it and everyone loves it!
  2. Half-Blood Prince's Annotated Lab Manual. That is, collaborative commenting on the lab manual. I put the lab manual onto GoogleDocs and shared it with the class, restricting everyone to "comments only". This way we can comment to ask/answer questions in the context of the manual. Also, we can all update our paper copies with all the secret tricks before we get to lab! Alsoalso, the professor would love to have this for revising the notes for next semester.

If you'd like to soup-up your lab experience and you want help, there some tricky details I didn't write out in full here - if you ask me (casey.watts@yale.edu) I'll dish them out. In particular, GoogleDocs can be soo tricky :P

How to Wake Up Vivaciously Every Day

I actually never wake up groggy, sleep or no sleep. Sleep science is real! Try it sometime ;D

(Okay, so once in a while I don't wake up beautifully - but it's almost always from an alarm-setting mistake!)

The Science:

  • The clearest source online: http://helpguide.org/life/sleeping.htm#cycle
  • Your body goes many sleep cycles every night, usually about 1.5h.
    • You should only attempt to wake up during shallowest part of the cycle.
  • You just need to know what your baseline is (where the shallowest part is).
    • Assuming you fall asleep when you lay down, your baseline is probably something like (7.5h +/- 1.5h)
    • Assuming it takes you 14 minutes to fall asleep, this website will do the math for you: http://www.sleepyti.me/
    • This baseline changes depending on how well/un-rested you are, and that's the hard part to keep track of.
  • An example: you snooze 30 min before waking up
    • That shows you where the "baseline" is!
    • You could change your bedtime or your alarm to prevent this the next day.
      • Go to bed 30 min earlier if you can (obvious right?)
      • OR try setting your alarm back 60 minutes the next day. It's magic!
      • Or download the SleepCycle app for the iPhone. You put it on your bed when you're sleeping and it monitors which stage of the sleep cycle you're in, based on how much you are moving in your sleep. You set the alarm for the latest possible time you need to get up, and starting 30 minutes before that time, it will decide when it is smart for you to wake up (it's better to wake up during certain parts of your sleep cycle than others i.e. don't wake up during REM).

Keyboard Shortcuts for Google Apps

Press "?" on any google app page, or see:

SciFinder (for Chemistry)

Yale bought us all subscriptions to SciFinder! It is the coolest thing for people taking chemistry/orgo. You can DRAW STRUCTURES AND REACTIONS to look them up in the literature. And it'll tell you what products form according to the literature. Or what reagents are necessary to form a product. Thus, how to do your chemistry homework.

Registration instructions are deep within the Yale Internet: http://www.library.yale.edu/science/help/scifinder/sfsdownload.html

Google Cloud Connect

Using Microsoft Office and Google Docs

Google came out with this awesome thing called Google Cloud Connect that allows you to sync all of your Microsoft Office documents with your Google Documents, creating instant back-ups and documents that are available anywhere you go. Download it here and it easily adds a toolbar to your Office Suite (which you can hide). Get it here: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/cloudconnect


  1. Backups = protection
    • If you don’t use Dropbox, this is a great way to back up files without having to deal with the (while somewhat improved) clunky GDocs interface.
    • If you use Dropbox, you now are doubly-protected should anything go wrong!
  2. It integrates right in with Microsoft Office, easily. You can set it to sync manually or all the time.
  3. The website itself also has a lot of information and videos about how awesome it is: http://tools.google.com/dlpage/cloudconnect#

A couple problems

  1. If you’re editing a document using track changes, when it syncs, everything disappears! You’ve been warned!
  2. The plugin takes a long time to load. You may want to disable it from loading when you open Microsoft Word, and only enable it when you're working on an important document that you need to sync.

Studying with Flashcards Online

Not an all-inclusive list yet, nor a full review. These are the ones Yalies have used - what's your favorite?

  • http://www.quizlet.com/
    • Make flashcards, play games with them, and keep them all sorted electronically!
    • Keeps records of your errors.
    • Especially good for foreign (European) languages, because it will say the foreign language words back to you and test your spelling.
  • http://www.gflashcards.com/
    • Create, Study and Share Online Flash Card
    • gFlashcards is a lightning fast way to memorize vocabulary lists, paragraph text and more. It's flashcards app, design for web, iPhone, iPad and Mac.
  • http://www.studyblue.com/
    • Make flashcards with text or images and keep them sorted electronically. Test yourself, record your successes and failures manually.
    • Generates fancy statistics about your errors and successes.
    • Probably good for art history, since you can upload images.
  • Flashonary (iPod Touch/iPhone App)
    • For Chinese - great because it comes with its own dictionary - making cards is fast!


In this iOS app (iPod Touch / iPhone), all of the public Yale information is in one place! Danqing the developer is amazing and hard at work making this better all of the time.


Please email him any feedback you come up with so this app will grow to suit your needs. If you emailed him directly that'd be fine, but he prefers you email feedback to "yale.mobile.app@gmail.com" so he can find it all easily. :)

Includes these functions (2/13/2012)
  • Bluebook information (just public stuff, no reviews yet)
  • Yale Dining crowdedness (although Yale Dining app is better for this still - YaleMobile doesn't include menus or feedback)
  • Map - a googlemap which can read codes like HGS and WLH. Better than any alternative map:
    • Better than Google Maps, which can't read codes like HGS
    • Better than business.yale.edu/map which is ugly and hard to navigate
  • Directory (info from yale.edu/phonebook) - to look up email addresses, etc
  • Calendar - has all of the info from that calendar page we always have to look up (http://yalecollege.yale.edu/content/2011%E2%80%932012-academic-calendar)
  • Phonebook - includes all useful Yale numbers like Facilities and the Psychology Department. Clicking on one even calls if you're on a phone!
  • Laundry - tells you how many machines are free according to laundryview.com

Data Storage & Backup

Your Computer Will Die Before You Graduate.

The average life of a hard drive belonging to a Yale student is less than 4 years. If you back up your data regularly (especially automatically~) then not only will you never lose data, but repairs will also be much faster.

There are two kinds of backup, and you probably want both of them:

  • External hard drive - one which can hold everything, but only syncs when you plug it in.
  • Online storage - one which syncs constantly, but may be smaller.

External Hard Drive

Copy-pasting works of course.

For automated backup (when you plug in the external HD):

  • Mac - TimeMachine is definitely best
  • PC - SyncBack

Online Storage

There are so many choices, but the most popular ones are Dropbox, Spideroak, and Sugarsync. These three are all awesome!

  • For a free account (<5GB) I’d choose the encrypted SugarSync or Spideroak.
  • For a paid account (>20GB) I’d probably go with Dropbox.


  • SugarSync and Spideroak let you choose which folders you want to have sync’d.
  • Dropbox creates one folder on your computer which gets sync’d.
    • You can get around this using symbolic links.
    • You could also make your My Documents this folder and that's pretty useful.

Uploading Security

To most people without sensitive date like health information, this doesn't matter.

  • Sugarsync and Spideroak encrypt data client-side, so they’re more secure.
  • Dropbox isn't encrypted, but it is smart at only uploading modified files when it syncs, which is much more efficient. The speed difference is particularly noticeable with large amounts of data.

How To Signup

https://www.sugarsync.com/ starts out with 5GB.
https://spideroak.com/ starts out with 2GB.
https://www.dropbox.com/ starts out with 2GB. Try to be referred by a friend so they can have more space~

Other Online Storage

  • EliApps GoogleDocs can store any type of file.
  • Windows Skydrive - is it the same as Dropbox/Spideroak but 25GB? Not sure what limitations there are here, I don’t know anyone who uses it.
  • Mount Yale Pantheon- http://www.yale.edu/its/stc/pantheon/mount.html. Great for dropping files into your laptop and accessing them instantly from any cluster.
    • This option is being phased out by Yale, and it could disappear as soon as next July.
    • It will sorta be replaced in function by GoogleDocs (on EliApps we get so much space!).



Downloading Music from Youtube

This isn't usually legal, just so you know. Use at your own discretion.

Music Online


Movies Online

It's actually legal to watch movies on some sites, like hulu

  • http://www.mediahound.com/ Shows you every way you can (legally) view the movie or TV show you want including digital (hulu, Netflix, Vudu, Youtube etc) and on DVD (rent or buy from Amazon, Best Buy and Redbox). Users discover films by browsing using filters (genre, cast and crew, source or rating) and can make lists of movies to share or browse lists from Tribeca Film, Miramax, American Film Institute and other users.
  • http://gowatchit.com/ will search nearly every possible way you can (legally) view the movie you want -- in theaters, on DVD (rent or buy), or online (rent, buy, or stream). You can even keep a queue of movies and be notified when one becomes available in a new form.
  • http://www.sidereel.com/
  • http://www.hulu.com/
  • http://http://www.crackle.com/ has a small selection of legal movies
  • http://www.tvduck.com/
  • http://www.surfthechannel.com/
  • Fanhattan is an ipad app that shows you how you can watch (legal) movies and TV shows on your iPad and lets you share those with your friends

Others, not as much - use at your own discretion.

Megavideo’s 53/72 minute limit

  1. By turning on (or off) Yale VPN (see below). This works by changing your IP address.
  2. Let it fully buffer, disconnect the internet (does this still work?)

VPN (Virtual Private Network)

Lets you access Yale resources (library, databases, etc) while away from Yale Secure. And to access the uncensored internet while in China.

Places to Watch Movies

  • Classrooms in WLH and LC have big projectors and nice speakers that can hook up to your laptop.
  • Each college has a TV or two.
    • SY and BR even have special super-comfy TV rooms.

Academic Resources

Dean's Excuses

The below content is taken from an FAQ in a Berkeley newsletter. The most important thing to know about Dean's excuses is that they are completely up to the Dean's discretion, despite the stated guidelines. Different Deans have different standards, and it's best to ask people in your college to learn about those standards.

Officially acceptable reasons for Dean's excuses

Q: When can I expect to be granted a Dean’s Excuse?

A: The Dean’s Excuse is meant to provide relief during times of hardship. These include

  • The death of a loved one: If you must hand in an assignment late or miss an exam or quiz because of a death of a near relative or other loved one, see me.
  • An incapacitating illness or sudden accident: If you are too ill to work, your first priority is to get immediate medical attention. The same holds true should you be injured or be in acute mental or physical pain. Your health should be your main concern. Please inform me about your condition as soon as you are able (an email is fine). Please let me know if you have been in touch with your professors or not. After you have seen your doctor or been released from the hospital, see me, and we will work on rescheduling the work you missed.
  • A comparable emergency: Use your judgment, and if you have any questions, please ask. In the dean’s office, compassion, common sense, and fairness take the lead in decision-making.
  • Off-campus varsity competition: If you are a varsity athlete who must represent Yale at a competition and you have to miss a test or deadline because of it, see me.
  • Observance of religious holy days: If you have to take a test or hand in work on a religious holy day, see me to reschedule.

FAQ and explanations

Q: What does the Dean’s Excuse cover?

A: The Dean’s Excuse is designed to cover work such as essays, problem sets, quizzes, and tests during the regular term time. It does not cover attendance or in-class work (such as discussions). That is to say, I cannot provide an excuse for absence alone, but I can step in when you are unable to turn in any assignment or be in class to take a quiz or test.

Q: When is a Dean’s Excuse not possible?

A: If you have a stubborn little cold, or if you are exhausted after staying up all night for a Dr. Who Marathon, or if you are distressed about the Red Sox, your circumstances won’t fall under the five categories listed above. Likewise, if you have chosen a schedule in which you have one particularly horrific work week of essays, midterms, and p-sets, I can sympathize with you, but cannot provide a Dean’s Excuse. That said, if you have any questions about your situation, please discuss it with me. Even when I can’t provide a Dean’s Excuse, I can listen and advise you. De

Q: What do I do when I can’t get a Dean’s Excuse?

A: You can talk to your instructor. Sometimes when life weighs heavily upon us we forget that everyone here wants us to succeed. All of your instructors, by definition, went to college themselves, and thus have experienced the many curveballs that life is fond of throwing at us. Generally speaking, if you communicate your problems with your instructors in a timely and polite fashion, they will communicate with you in the same way. Considerate actions lead to consideration. While not all absences can be excused, good communication with your instructors is always the place to start.

One final thought: Instructors can grant extensions any time during the term on their own authority, but everything changes at the end of the term. Extensions that go beyond Monday, 30 April, for any outstanding work or for make-up examinations can be issued ONLY by me. This is to protect the final exam period and to allow you to focus on your exams. Please be aware, and come talk to me the second you spot any problems on the horizon. For a reminder of these rules, you may consult the Blue Book: http://yalecollege.yale.edu/content/completion-course-work

Writing Tutors

Yale’s Digital Library - OverDrive

We have access to a digital library. We can put Yale’s EBooks or Audiobooks on kindles, laptops, ipads, phones, or anywhere!

Other University Resources


See how many/which laundry machines are in use right now. Also see trends from the last week (nobody washes clothes at 3am!). Any laundry machine on campus.


  • Pretty much: “Yale pays for one summer abroad!”
  • If you’re on financial aid, Yale will pay an amount proportional to your normal aid for a semester abroad. Usually for a supplemental semester like the summer.
  • I used mine two summers ago to go to Quito, Ecuador, where I got 4 credits: Spanish L3, L4, and a culture Hu ;D
  • http://www.yale.edu/yalecol/international/funding/isa/index.html

Yale Classroom Reservations Online

Most undergrads can’t reserve rooms, but you can check to see if other people have reserved them here:

I’ve heard that one undergraduate from a registered Yale organization can go through a process to make room reservations. (Do you know any details?)

Karen Ramos is your go-to person for all things related to rooms. To get in touch, email classrooms@yale.edu. If you're involved with a student organization for which you need to book rooms, schedule a meeting and she'll make you sign a document about rules re. room reservations. Once you're in her system, you'll be able to reserve rooms online: http://yalestation.yale.edu/portal/partner/yalestation/schedule.

Yale Font

Yale has a special font that you can use for free! It's used for the word "Yale" in pretty much all official documents, and now you can put it in your files too.



(Summer) Subletting

Craigslist is always a good place, but for Yalies-only sites you can try:




Within this Wiki

Here is a list of links to sections in the other EverythingUseful-articles that refer to services. All of the "Alternative Bluebook" websites, for example, are in an appropriate section of the wiki.


To so many people who contributed (in no particular order, and certainly missing a bunch of people :x) ;D

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