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Old 02-01-2010, 02:32 AM   #16
Terisa de morgan
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Sorry, I'm old enough to remember the VGA screens and VT, so black screen for reading is a no-no-no for me.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:35 AM   #17
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White on black hurt my eyes actually.
I prefer grey on black
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:00 AM   #18
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I find it bothers my eyes more to have a dark background in all circumstances except when there is no other light source than the reading device.

In reality, I find the best route is to use the brightest white background and the blackest black text, find the font size I prefer to read, lower the backlight as far as I can stand, then, after all that, increase the font size by one because I am always picking a font size that is just too small. In fact, I would guess that the font size is the most meaningful setting in terms of eye strain for many people.

To understand why, you need to understand how modern devices render fonts that look so smooth. Fonts, like any other vector graphics, are rendered using shapes that when displayed raw will have jagged edges and look poorly on most display devices. To combat this we use a technology called antialiasing. It's a big fancy word for bluring the edges of letters. When you antialias a font that is small, however, the antialiasing blur becomes noticeable and will actually subconsciously trigger your eyes to attempt refocusing constantly. This leads to eye strain. So finding a comfortable font size then upping it one seems to do the trick for me, to help get over that "hazy hump" for smaller screens with smaller fonts.

Incidentally this is exactly the reason many systems have a lower threshold for font sizes where antialiasing will not occur. It seems that this has not been implemented in most handheld devices that do antialiasing.

So, turn down the light, turn up the font size, and even consider trying a different type of font. If you are using a Serif font, use a Sans Serif font (in other words, if your letters have the little decorative flourishes coming off of them, it's a serif font.)

Also, if your experience with LCD-caused eyestrain is based on computer screens, you simply cannot use that experience to predict what a handheld device will do. You will naturally move the handheld device closer or further away from your face to help find the most comfortable reading situation, which is something you can't practically do so easily with even a laptop. It's simply not the same.
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:01 AM   #19
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Old 02-01-2010, 06:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DD1509 View Post
I agree! I went to the link in a previous post and a web opened with black background and white letters. I couldn't even focus!

I tried for 30 secs or so but it really bothered my eyes so much that I closed the site.

Maybe if I gave it more time my eyes might relax and enjoy it?

DD
When I finally decided to transition from nearly always using text interfaces, and basically, got a newer computer around the Windows 95 era, it took so much effort to look at a screen like notepad with so much bright white. It hurt my eyes to use the computer at all in most any Windows application because of how much bright white or gray there was everywhere. I eventually tried using inverted color schemes but that broke the usability of too many applications.

Basically over time I got used to black on white. We all have to spend time to adjust to differences in presentations. It's easy to forget but the eye and every function it performs is operated by the brain, and it's not an entirely automatic process. A drug or brain injury, or even certain states of fear or similar emotional states can cause the eyes to stop working properly, to stop focusing or for the iris to stop reacting to bright lights.

So it's not much of a stretch to think it might take some time to get used to looking at an inverted screen when you haven't done so on a daily basis for years and years
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