When the cat eats fish…

June 22nd, 2011

Last week I had to buy a new PC (no, I didn’t come up with the excuse that mine was too old, too slow or decided I deserved one πŸ˜‰ ).
So I got a new minitower with a pretty nice hardware and a brand new LCD screen with double luminosity, faster response, etc.

Even after a lot of fine tuning monitor, resolution, gamma correction, etc, the look and feel was quite strange, so I decided to search for some optimizations and I discovered this Cleartype font switch.

Cleartype uses the way monitors are built to create a smoothing effect with sub-pixels calibration (the R, G and B of the RGB).

As one may read on the net, Cleartype is something you hate or love: since it uses single R, G or B pixels, you might end up with multicolor fonts (where the source is single color, typically black). This behaviour may be very annoying to sensitive people, so much that they have nightmares from Cleartype setups πŸ˜€

What I did was a very innocuous move: I run the Cleartype tuner of Windows 7 and turned the switch on.
After a few hours I started seeing red halos around characters, with a general effect of an unfocused screen.

I then decided I didn’t like at all this red-ish font corners and just turned off the switch.

“Oh my god! What’s this?!”
The fonts looked so grainy I couldn’t read!
After that, the rest is a nightmare…. I couldn’t possibly imagine a simple switch messed up all Windows settings…

Or it’s just me that got used to smooth chars and couldn’t ho back? πŸ˜‰


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  • David Orban says:

    I remember in 1998 when I met Microsoft at Comdex, when they just announced ClearType. It looked like magic: “subpixel addressing” whoah!

    They were aiming it squarely against Palm, which at the time was thinking of releasing a Palm Pilot with a color screen. Microsoft’s palmtop organizers were produced by Compaq…

    Yes, I am sure that our brains can be easily reprogrammed by apparently innocuous inputs. But we are also flexible enough, and you should be able to de-program yourself. πŸ™‚

  • MindSuburbian says:

    Mmmh… you’re probably right. But I must not be completely de-programmed (yet)! πŸ˜€

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