[techtalk] Monitor Size

Emily Cartier ecartier at crosswinds.net
Fri Jan 14 00:14:02 EST 2000

On Fri, 14 Jan 2000 06:29:40 +1100
"Jenn V." <jenn at simegen.com> wrote:
> J B wrote:
> > 
> > If you are going to buy a new monitor, go ahead and shell out the small
> > extra amount to go up to a 21"...you can find good ones at good
> > prices...look through the archives, we had a discussion on prices and
> > quality early on in the life of techtalk...
> (add that I have three significant vision problems in one eye, and none in
> the other, and I really expect that noone sees the world the way I do!)

You're right... I'm kind of blind (take glasses off, I'm legally
blind... put glasses on, legally I've got perfect vision). The boyfriend
has rather weird vision too, not quite as easily defined. We have very
different tastes in monitors. What follows is mostly my taste.

1. 21" monitors are very big. If you like 'em you really like 'em, if
you don't, you hate 'em. I'm of the hate 'em school. They weigh too
much, and I have to sit 5 feet away to be able to use the thing *and*
have use of something aproximating peripheral vision.
2. Sometimes a good glare filter can make drastic improvements in your
visual experience with a monitor. The bf prefers glass ones, I just like
having one.
3. Most unix/X programs seem to default to fonts best described as
"tiny". Play around with options, and things like 13-16 point type.
Personally, I need to find out if I have a true type font server running
so I can have my lovely calligraphic yet usable at small sizes fonts
back. *They* don't hurt my eyes. That godawful 12 pt courier *does*.
4. Don't buy a monitor without having sat down to use it (or one of a
similar size) for several hours. You might find that while a 14" monitor
is too small, and a 17" one is as well, a 19" one is just right. (I'm
really weird... 14" is a lovely size, and 19" is a lovely size, but 
15", 17" and 21" are terrible)
5. I cannot emphasize this enough... Run your monitor at the highest
possible refresh rate. Trade display size and color depth for better
refresh rates. 1024*782 @80Hz is very very nice, but so is 640*480 @80Hz.
Pay for the best refresh rate, not the biggest screen. Your eyes will
thank you.
6. Get a color scheme that works for you, and stick with it. I like
black text on a light yellowy background for major reading of computer
text, purply or blue-green title bars, matching widgets, light yellowish
text in the titlebars, menubars in a grey or purply shade with text in a
deeper shade of the same color etc (mental note: create a windowmaker
theme like this using decent fonts so my eyeballs stop trying to kill me
after extended GIMP sessions). You might find that different colors work
better for you. Just remember that while your favorite color in real
life might be red, on a computer screen it probably is something
different. The boyfriend finds my kind of color scheme unreadable.

Emily (my motto ought to be "find something that gets out of your way
and lets you work, and stick with it")

techtalk at linuxchix.org   http://www.linuxchix.org

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