Archive for June 9, 2012

Monitor adjustments (in two senses)

It’s been a process of adjustment getting used to my new monitor — both literally adjusting its settings and adjusting to it psychologically.  I’m not crazy about the widescreen design.  I understand that’s become the default these days, but the screen has less height than my old one along with more width, so there are things I can’t do anymore, like fit a whole page of a word-processor document or nearly a whole page from my Star Trek: The Complete Comics Collection DVD.  Why not make it both taller and wider?  Where’s the harm in having blank space above and below a widescreen image?  Well, maybe it’s my own fault for getting the smallest monitor they had, but I’m not sure a bigger one would’ve fit either my workspace or my budget.  (I kinda wish I had one of those monitors that could rotate 90 degrees, so you could have it widescreen for watching videos or tall and narrow for reading documents.)

Once I discovered the controls, I tried turning down the brightness, to save power and to make it easier on my eyes, or so I thought.  A few days later, I realized the monitor was giving me migraines (not too bad, but frequent) — and I didn’t figure this out until the day after my 2-week return window at the store expired.  So I was worried about what I was going to do.  But I researched monitor-induced headaches online, and I learned that the problem is that LEDs, the source of this type of monitor’s backlighting, can’t be dimmed; they’re either on at full brightness or off completely.  So the only way to dim them is to make them flicker between on and off — the more they flicker, the dimmer the average light level gets.  And though I couldn’t consciously perceive the flicker, I must’ve been sensitive enough to it that it triggered the headaches.  Turning the brightness all the way up again has effectively resolved the headache problem, though it’s probably not great for my eyes to have it so bright.  Well, all the more reason to step away from the computer more often, I guess.

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