No we’re not talking about medicine for pain, here. Morphine is a web blocker that gives you more options to view blocked pages. It works as a Chrome extension, and while it works in some of the same ways as a standard web blocker, it has some twisty differences that make it worth a look.
What is a web blocker? That was my first question when I saw this extension for Chrome. As it turns out, a web blocker is almost just what it sounds like: a program or other package that will literally block sites from being viewed on whatever system it is installed on.
Most commonly these programs are used in business environments where the employers have given internet access to their employees but they don’t want it abused. Between email and other sites providing distractions all day long, I can say from experience that it can be tough to stay on task when the net is calling. There’s so much to do and see on the net these days a blocker seems like a good idea for anyone who has to do any kind of work on their computer.
So, when I saw Morphine, and read more about it, I was intrigued. The Morphine extension acts in a similar way to other web blocker systems in that it will give you the power to create two basic lists of blocked and unblocked sites. Now, there are ways to work with subdomains and sublists as well but those are for the more advanced user and not terribly important to get the basic idea of what Morphine might be able to do for you. The biggest difference between Morphine and other web blocking programs is that Morphine gives you a ‘time allotment’ or ‘balance’ for lack of a better term, that will allow you to view blocked sites. Most of the basic blockers I looked at didn’t have an option to view blocked sites at all, and the ones that did usually worked by offering a specific time when it’s ok to view blocked sites. For example, if you work at home, and you have a standard blocker set up, you might not be able to view your blocked sites until after 5pm (when the work day is supposed to be done). Morphine, however works a bit differently. It gives you a balance or bank of time that is always slowly filling up. This balance can be used any time you want to view blocked sites.
So essentially, what this means is that if you want to look at a blocked site using Morphine, you will have to wait until your balance accrues enough time to do so. This is more ideal for people who work at home, I think, than the standard blocker, and I am using it myself just because it makes so much more sense. If you’re in an office building, of course the boss wants to block sites that will waste your time, but if you’re working in your own home you want to be able to be distracted now and then. It’s all part of the advantage and attraction of working at home (on the net). Morphine will let you look at the blocked sites, but only if enough time has passed to fill your balance. This means that you’re basically forced to do some work for lack of anything better to do while you are waiting for the balance to fill up again. Personally, I can see this particular extension being useful for kids too, parents can set it up so the kids (teens especially) won’t be able to waste their entire day looking at anime while telling their parents they are ‘studying’ on the computer.
Overall, I think Morphine is a really cool idea and so far it has worked quite nicely for me. I will continue to use it and post any new info or opinions if I happen to form them but for now I would easily recommend Morphine for anyone using Chrome that wants to manage their time on the net better. While it works best (in my opinion) for those working from home or for teens doing homework, I am sure others would find it useful too. Give it a try and tell me what you think about it! Until next time, my friends.
Get Morphine at the Chrome Web Store here.