?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Laptop screens, and sun. - I know it's wonky and I don't care [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kake

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Links
[Links:| Randomness Guide to London | Open Guide to Cambridge | Snake Soup | KakeFlickr ]

Laptop screens, and sun. [Sep. 28th, 2006|01:15 pm]
Kake
[Tags|]

Has anyone got any idea how I can make my laptop screen more readable when I'm sitting in the sun? I've got the brightness turned up to maximum, but it's still a bit of a strain; I can just about cope with Word (dark text on light background), but IRC and mail are pretty much impossible (light on dark). It's an iBook G4 running OS X 10.4.4.

Edited to add: I don't want to switch the colours of IRC and mail (although mr_tom's insta-goth key will do the trick nicely). They're not as important as Word, since I can just pop inside if I need to look at them. Word is the important thing, since I'd like to be able to work on the balcony without straining my eyes. I only mentioned colours in case it helped define the problem a bit better.

Edited again to add: I seem to be making a complete mess of explaining what I want to do. I can work in Word for a bit, but it hurts my eyes because the white bits of the screen look so dark. I've just found the contrast slider, so will try that next time we get some sun.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: mstevens
2006-09-28 12:20 pm (UTC)
Reverse the colours in Terminal? (dark on light)

Sit under a tree :)
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion; I've edited the post to explain why that doesn't solve the problem. No trees on my balcony (yet).
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mstevens
2006-09-28 12:43 pm (UTC)
Aah, thought you meant word was ok and everything else was the problem.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:50 pm (UTC)
Word's manageable for a bit, but then it hurts my eyes. I'll edit the post again to try and be a bit more clear.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: reddragdiva
2006-10-02 09:24 pm (UTC)
Does Word for Mac do the blue screen-white text thing?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-10-02 10:27 pm (UTC)
I don't know! What is it? :)
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: reddragdiva
2006-10-03 12:05 am (UTC)
Um. It's a feature where Word displays white text on blue instead of black text on white. I assume it's still in current versions and still in the Mac version. Go looking ;-p
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-10-03 12:54 pm (UTC)
Found it! Six million web pages telling me how great it is, and none telling me how to find it. Word Help was no help either, unsurprisingly. But I found it. (It's in the Preferences. I keep forgetting they exist.)

Unfortunately, testing shows that this option seems to make it less readable in sunlight. But thank you for the idea. If I ever find out where my sunglasses got tidied away to, I'll try it out with them on, as per bazzalisk's suggestion below.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: reddragdiva
2006-10-03 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yuh. The other option for sunlight is to turn the brightness as low as possible and try to use reflection instead.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: angoel
2006-09-28 12:22 pm (UTC)
Surely it wouldn't be that hard to switch IRC and mail to be dark on light, or to increase the font size?
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:36 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it wouldn't; the problem is really that it's hard to work in Word for a long period of time. I only mentioned the colours in case it made it easier for people to understand the problem. I've edited the post to make this more clear, thanks for pointing out the confusion.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rjw1
2006-09-28 12:27 pm (UTC)
the daystar it burns.
hide inside.
anyway it becomes a moot point as of now anyway.
forecast is for rain
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:36 pm (UTC)
Oh, you just hate fun :) Besides, there will be other summers.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: rjw1
2006-09-28 01:41 pm (UTC)
indeed. fun is bad and wrong.
you hope whose to say we dont have a nuclear winter soon.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mr_tom
2006-09-28 12:28 pm (UTC)
Does Cmd-ctrl-alt-F8 work? Or some combination of modifiers and F8, anyway.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mr_tom
2006-09-28 12:32 pm (UTC)
I lie: Cmd-Opt-ctrl-8 should do it.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:38 pm (UTC)
Dude, that is SPOOKY. It's like some kind of insta-goth key. Thank you.

Still stuck on the problem of making Word usable though.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: julietk
2006-09-28 01:19 pm (UTC)
Dude! That is rather fab.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 04:19 pm (UTC)
And it makes doop's livejournal readable!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: blech
2006-09-28 12:51 pm (UTC)

Hardware fix

This isn't much use to you, really, but the "glossy" screens that Apple use on MacBooks (and optionally, for now, on MacBook Pros) are apparently better in daylight than the "matte" screens that used to be standard.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 12:55 pm (UTC)

Re: Hardware fix

It isn't, no, but it's interesting to know, thank you!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: j4
2006-09-28 01:04 pm (UTC)
Lo-tech solution: clip some sort of sun-shade to the top of the screen?

Ooh, the interweb has already invented this: crazy cyberhoods, look!
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 02:31 pm (UTC)
What an excellent idea! I bet I could make one of those out of cardboard and sellotape. Wouldn't look very pretty, but I don't care. Thank you!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: j4
2006-09-28 03:13 pm (UTC)
I think you should knit your computer a hoodie. :-D
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: bazzalisk
2006-09-28 01:16 pm (UTC)
Might try wearing sunglasses - it sometimes helps me with looking at screens in bright light.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 02:31 pm (UTC)
I'll give it a go, thank you.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: brrm
2006-09-28 03:02 pm (UTC)
But not polaroid sunglasses, they do odd things to TFT screens.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: 2shortplanks
2006-09-28 03:10 pm (UTC)
I have no idea if this will work or not, but how about a "Privacy Screen Filter? I suspect that these are really just some form of polarisation filter, and hence this might stop light that's not coming from directly behind you being reflected.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 04:23 pm (UTC)
Heh, that URL is a bit broken. Or rather, the site behind it is. But I get your drift. I suppose I should see if I can borrow one from someone to see if it does help, before I go and buy one.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: hatter
2006-10-04 03:01 pm (UTC)
Privacy filters are mostly a (slightly) newer twist on antiglare filters for monitors, they should work pretty well - if the sunlight is directly behind, you'll still have most of the same problem, but you'll only have to move the machine slightly to block the glare. I was remarking only the other day that someone was marketting decades-old technology as new and (anti)shiny. For an LCD you probably want to ensure it's a non-polarising one, but the idea is the same, it's like having lots of little slats sticking out of your screen, shading a little stripe of your screen from receiving light from an angle (anti glare) and from reflecting it back (privacy). Changing the height of the slats vs their distance apart changes the balance between the two properties. A cheaper option than the proper thick ones is the film options - ebay has them for well under a tenner, just cut to size and it easily sticks (and unsticks) from your screen.


the hatter
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-10-04 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I searched on eBay but got very confused. Do you happen to have a URL handy for the kind of thing you mean?
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
From: hatter
2006-10-04 06:28 pm (UTC)
Something like this for the proper ones, or this for the film ones.


the hatter
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-10-04 09:26 pm (UTC)
Thanks again. Bob's ordered me something! Most exciting.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: imc
2006-09-28 03:15 pm (UTC)
Why do laptop screens have backlights anyway? Surely it's not beyond the wit of man to invent a screen with a white background that's visible under ambient light? Then sunlight would make it easier to see.
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: nou
2006-09-28 04:23 pm (UTC)
Why do laptop screens have backlights anyway?

To give them more parts to break!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)