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Shouefref
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Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:29 am

Where does that idea come from to use grey and even light grey ink colour for letters on computer screens?
The readability is now worse than it was around the year 2000, and nobody dares to complain about it.
The setup screens of W10 are difficult to read. Titles: ok. Subtitles: smaller and greyed out. Text itself: even smaller and more greyed out.
Why do they come up with something like that?

Windows Explorer: first column, rather ok. Although not really. All the other columns (date, file type, size ...) light grey. Why? Because we shoulnd't read it?

Mind you: giving those columns a different letter had to be programmed. They wasted programming time on it.
It makes you think they want to get us somewhere, where we don't want to go.

But we see the same on this forum: look at the index page: titles of groups: ok. The word "moderators": ok.
But the explanatory texts beneath? Greyed out!
What's the use of that?

A long time ago I had noticed before that people on the internet combine colours which printers would never have combined because they know it's hard to read.

But it has become really bad since a few years. Without even downloading and trying to use new browers, I noticed on screen shots that they tended to use greyed out colours.
The same goes for the setup pages of WordPress. (I wanted to upload a picture to proof my point of view, but I couldn't in this forum.)

Those greyed out letters are such a bad idea that it's annoying to have to use your computer these days.
They make at a nuissance to use your computer.

It also looks dirty, as if you're typing with cheap ink, diluted with water. Or as if it has been laying in the sun to long. Like clothing you buy in a second hand shop and which nobody wants to wear, and which is only accepted it you're run out of money. Like hand-me-downs which have been washed too often.

It looks dirty and cheap.

It might be some stupid kind of fashion.
And although it does look cheap, it doesn't save a dime. You're not using less electricity because of it.

When will that fashion and when will they finally use readable print again to make computers useable again?

Moreover, nobody seems to dare to protest against it. Why is that? Do they all just accept such bad screen handling? Is it because they know they are powerless against huge companies like MS, who can do with use whatever they want? Have computer enthousiast realised they're nothing but slaves for the computer industry? Do they accept they are beaten and don't have anything anymore to make their protest work?

Do people accept MS doesn't care about the users and does whatever it pleases? Why doesn't MS care? If their screen handling would have been that bad in the 80's and 90's, they would never have gotten such a high market share.

I've recently bought a 3000 dollars computer, and it looks like crap and is no pleasure to use, and certainly not comfortable to use. And all because of that stupid idea of MS to use lighter coloured texts for subordinated texts. But text of a lower level are not the least important text. They are actually the most important text. Even my old W ME is more fun to use than this new thing.
 
meerkt
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:11 am

It's stupid trends, which unfortunately tend to spread and stick.

On the web you can use custom CSS to override colors.
In the forum here you can choose a blue theme in the settings, which is easier on the eyes.

In Windows, see if these help:
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/hel ... trast-mode
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/customize ... free-tool/

Or 3rd party customization software such as:
https://www.stardock.com/products/windowblinds/
 
Waco
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:35 am

There is a high contrast theme if you find the grayed-out options too hard to read. It might be worth ensuring that your monitor is properly calibrated, though, because the slight change in darkness is not meant to make them hard to read.
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meerkt
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:56 am

Waco wrote:
the slight change in darkness is not meant to make them hard to read.

I don't know about Win10, but there's a bad example of greys in Win8. The greys for scrollbar background and non-hilited thumb are 240 and 205.
Quite bad, especially on TN.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:32 am

meerkt wrote:
Waco wrote:
the slight change in darkness is not meant to make them hard to read.

I don't know about Win10, but there's a bad example of greys in Win8. The greys for scrollbar background and non-hilited thumb are 240 and 205.
Quite bad, especially on TN.


Don't mean to offend you but have you had your eyes examined? Color perception may degrade with age which an ophthalmologist may be able to diagnose with specially designed eye tests. You may be able to improve your eyes with the combination of pycnogenol and bilberry extract.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:42 am

Thank you for the help, but unfortunatelty the High Contrast function doesn't work very well.
I think it's better than back in the days of W95. (Yes, W95 had it too, if you activated it, you fled to the other side of the room, so to speak). It was bad then, and it looks as if you have more possibilities to adjust it nowadays then you had then. But it has always been bad, and to adjust it will take a lot of time. One of the problems is that you can never be quite sure about the effect of the changes.
So, High Contrast is out. I tried it, though, but it doesn't solve the problem.
As I said: one of the problems is that 1 column in Windows Explorer has a (rather, not really) good ink colour, but the others are greyed out. I don't find an option in High Contrast to change those greyed out letters.
Anyway, it would have been better if there was an option to change the greyed out letters, without having to resort to High Contrast.

I don't know about the other suggestions given.

There are also other frustrations, like this one:
In the older Windows, if you right clicked on the clock in the bottom right corner, you got a context menu, and could chose to change the date settings. In those date settings, you got a view of a numbered month, which was very handy to see how much days you had left for a deadline.
That doesn't exist anymore.
"Use Outlook," they then say. But that's much more cumbersome.

Actually, I have also lost my patience with the brutality of IT people who behave as if your complaints aren't worth being a complaint, and as if they know everything better and can do everything better. It's a horrible sort of people.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:45 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
meerkt wrote:
Waco wrote:
the slight change in darkness is not meant to make them hard to read.

I don't know about Win10, but there's a bad example of greys in Win8. The greys for scrollbar background and non-hilited thumb are 240 and 205.
Quite bad, especially on TN.


Don't mean to offend you but have you had your eyes examined? Color perception may degrade with age which an ophthalmologist may be able to diagnose with specially designed eye tests. You may be able to improve your eyes with the combination of pycnogenol and bilberry extract.


Well, that's certainly not my problem, because I strill runh WMe, WXP and W7 side-by-side with W10, so I can easily compare them.
And, indeed, WMe and WXP are pleasant and comfy to use, but W10 is disastrous. I don't have that much experience with W7, though, but I don't have good memories of it either.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am

Anyway, I also think it should work well right out of the box. Damnit, we're 2019, not 1999. Computers should be better, not worse. I have the feeling MS became bad starting with W Vista. They never recovered from it. They don't have good ideas anymore. They don't improve the OS. They just meddle, like an annoying mother-in-law.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:52 am

Shouefref wrote:
And, indeed, WMe and WXP are pleasant and comfy to use, but W10 is disastrous. I don't have that much experience with W7, though, but I don't have good memories of it either.


Have you tried fiddling with W10's cleartype settings?

https://www.top-password.com/blog/turn- ... indows-10/
 
meerkt
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:12 pm

Shouefref wrote:
I don't know about the other suggestions given.

An extra option besides the above is to find a Windows skin/theme editor.
VistaStyleBuilder was one option. Not the most user-friendly, and I'm not sure about Win10 compatibility (though the forums include a dedicated sub-forum).

you got a view of a numbered month

There's a still a month view in the date/time area, no? But if you need something reliable and with handy features get a 3rd party software (I'm sure there are small ones, and not Outlook). It's better than to rely on Microsoft's ever-changing UI ideas, and their periodic feature removals.

Shouefref wrote:
They don't improve the OS

They do, but the GUI aspects follow many of the bad trends of recent years. Other companies are just as guilty.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
have you had your eyes examined?

The difference between 205 and 240 is less than 14% of the brightness range. Add TN, and diagonal viewing angles.
The following isn't completely true-to-life, especially the bottom edge, but it's semi-representative of some viewing angles.
Image
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:02 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Have you tried fiddling with W10's cleartype settings?

https://www.top-password.com/blog/turn- ... indows-10/


Yes, I did, but that doesn't make much difference.

This evening the computer person came along, and he said I used the wrong settings of the screen.
Now, that's true. However, originally I had the correct settings, but I changed them because I ended up with only 7 rows of icons instead of 9 like on my W XP, althoçugh I use the same screen in both situations.
Now the computer person put back the original settings, and the letters look a bit better (but there's still that stupid idea of greyed out lettters), but the icons are bigger again. Which means less room for icons on my desktop. And, yes, I have choosen small icons.
 
Waco
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:09 pm

Your gamma/brightness settings appear to be off, though. That scroll bar should be much easier to see.
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:12 pm

meerkt wrote:
Add TN, and diagonal viewing angles.


I honestly don't understand the fuss over TN panels. They aren't that bad. I simply tilt the screen till it looks better. I use IPS on my main laptop but I noticed that my Thinkpad with TN panel isn't half as bad. In fact, I was taken aback when I tried viewing Avengers Endgame on it. The intensity of lasers in the final battle looked pretty "intense" on it. :P It actually seemed like it had local dimming, which sounds absurd but that's how i found it to be.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:31 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
meerkt wrote:
Add TN, and diagonal viewing angles.


I honestly don't understand the fuss over TN panels. They aren't that bad. I simply tilt the screen till it looks better. I use IPS on my main laptop but I noticed that my Thinkpad with TN panel isn't half as bad. In fact, I was taken aback when I tried viewing Avengers Endgame on it. The intensity of lasers in the final battle looked pretty "intense" on it. :P It actually seemed like it had local dimming, which sounds absurd but that's how i found it to be.


Well, good ones aren't bad at least. I'm on a fast tn panel now. Really bad ones can be extremely unpleasant to use though.
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:53 am

Shouefref wrote:
In the older Windows, if you right clicked on the clock in the bottom right corner, you got a context menu, and could chose to change the date settings. In those date settings, you got a view of a numbered month, which was very handy to see how much days you had left for a deadline.
That doesn't exist anymore.

Do you mean this view?
https://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/BC/win7/ ... lock_2.gif
On 7, you just left click on the tray clock and you see that.

Win10 is also like that, with the calendar even larger.
https://zdnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/201 ... a-view.jpg
(If anything, I feel the clock has been given the shaft.)

Shouefref wrote:
"Use Outlook," they then say. But that's much more cumbersome.
You need better friends, seriously.

If you really like old classic Windows, sorry you may have to use those old ones, or switch to Linux with older style themes that can give you all sorts of nostalgia.
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Oct 30, 2019 10:45 am

Waco wrote:
Your gamma/brightness settings appear to be off, though. That scroll bar should be much easier to see.

It's not Apple hardware, I can't be using it wrong. :) Also, Win8, not 10. Don't know if they changed the colors.

It's a laptop screen, no gamma settings, and I wouldn't touch the software based ones. Brightness is adjusted to taste and doesn't make much of a difference.
There's also camera exposure playing a part, but still the top of the bar in the photo is a decent approximation for some common viewing angles.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I honestly don't understand the fuss over TN panels. They aren't that bad. I simply tilt the screen till it looks better.

Not all TNs are/were created equal.

And there are other factors to consider, like screen size and viewing distance. You can tilt your screen, but at best you're going to get the dead center aligned toward you. The edges are always going to have some angle. The larger the screen and the shorter the sitting distance, the larger these angles are going to be.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:41 pm

There is a way to solve the problem of the icons which are too big or too smal on the desktop:
pusch CTRL, and at the same time move the mouse wheel.
Moving in one direction, will make the icons smaller, and the other direction, will make them bigger.
Increasing or decreasing size of things works like this in almost all screens.
My computer sales person tolld me so yesterday, and that worked.

So, part of the problem is solved.
Except, of course, for those impossible greyed out type font in Windows Explorer and almost everywhere else. If they would change that with a new update, that would be an improvement.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Oct 30, 2019 12:43 pm

Flying Fox wrote:
Shouefref wrote:
In the older Windows, if you right clicked on the clock in the bottom right corner, you got a context menu, and could chose to change the date settings. In those date settings, you got a view of a numbered month, which was very handy to see how much days you had left for a deadline.
That doesn't exist anymore.

Do you mean this view?
https://www.homeandlearn.co.uk/BC/win7/ ... lock_2.gif
On 7, you just left click on the tray clock and you see that.

Win10 is also like that, with the calendar even larger.
https://zdnet4.cbsistatic.com/hub/i/201 ... a-view.jpg
(If anything, I feel the clock has been given the shaft.).


I'll give it a try.
So: left click, and not right click.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Oct 30, 2019 1:22 pm

Shouefref wrote:
greyed out type font in Windows Explorer and almost everywhere else.

Can you show a screenshot or two?
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:19 am

I've noticed this weekend that the problem with the different shades of grey in the columns of Windows Explorer also exists in W7, which probably explains why I don't like to use my W7 notebook. I thought it was the notebook. But no, it's the screen handling by W7.
By the way: I'm typing my answer on a grey field! So, the Tech Report forums have the same problem.
It's a worthless fad, and nothing but a waste of programming time.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 9:53 am

I actually prefer a grey background to a white one, as long as there is still sufficient contrast with the (black) letters. I don't find the default TR forum theme problematic from a contrast standpoint at all.

For dark themes (lighter text on dark background), yes I agree grey can be problematic.
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 10:07 am

Maximal contrast is bad for your eyes in the long term - it's a balance of readability with eye fatigue.
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Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:52 pm

Brightness doesn't have anything to do with grey backgrounds.
Brightness is about the intensity of light from the screen. That can be adjusted on the physical screen itself.
There is no reason software developpers have to try to meddle with it by offering grey backgrounds.

Moreover: they tend to use grey letters on grey background, only with different shades of grey.
What's wrong with black letters?

For a while there was a tendency to use lighter shades in printwork too. That was done mostly for ... poetry.
But apparently the stuff didn't sell, because nowadays books have clear black letters again.

Software developpers are doing something wrong, and they're too stubborn to admit it.

There is a reason IT people are called autistic.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 4:54 pm

It still doesn't explain why different columns in Windows Explorer have different shades of grey.
It only makes it more difficult to adjust the screen: if one group of columns is confortably readable, they other isn't, and vice versa.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 07, 2019 11:34 pm

Shouefref wrote:
Moreover: they tend to use grey letters on grey background, only with different shades of grey.
What's wrong with black letters?

TBH I'm not seeing this much. Mostly it's either black letters on grey background, or grey letters on black background.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:33 am

Shouefref wrote:
It still doesn't explain why different columns in Windows Explorer have different shades of grey.
It only makes it more difficult to adjust the screen: if one group of columns is confortably readable, they other isn't, and vice versa.


Your eyes are too sensitive to these things. Check this out: https://iristech.co/vision/
You might find it useful.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Sat Nov 09, 2019 11:46 am

Thank you for your help, but it's also a bit typical of the fact that IT very often doesn't want to admit they've made a mistake.
Fact is: it's easier to use Windows on my Windows XP, then it is to use on my W10, and that is because of bad decisions like using grey shades for letters and so forth. Why put black letters on grey backgrounds? Because of a theory, without actually checking wheteher it's usefulol.
If you have strained eyes because of the screen, you can always use the settings of your physical screen.
But nooo, IT knows whats best for you!

And the Tech Report forum, I see light grey buttons with a bit darker grey text on it. Why? It's just trying to be fancy.

And, anyway, having different shades of grey for columns in the Explorer is nothing but a useless idea which costed programming time.
I don't think the programmers took that decision, but the boys of marketing.
 
Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Tue Nov 12, 2019 12:40 pm

The mistake they made is that they drew the top-bottom hierarchical information structure too far.
It's clear that titles should be easier to find than subtitles, then paragraph titles, and so on.
But the MOST IMPORTANT information is the information at the lowest layer. The rest is nothing but a path to find the information at the lowest level, and that's the first thing they forgot.

The second they forgot is that any information has to be found a first time, to easily find it afterwards. An exemple of the second mistake are the buttons below the window in which I'm typing: the shade difference between the button name and the button field is too small. A first-comer always has to look for it.

To make mistake 1 more clear:
I mean this structure:

1. Title
1.1. Subtitle
1.1.1 Higher paragraph
1.1.1.1 Lower paragraph
text text text ...

The programmers seem to have drawn the 'text text text ...' in the hierarchical order of 1 tot 1.1.1.1, but the part 'text text text ...' is the informaiton you actually need. The rest is only a direction to that information.
It's that kind of mistake they have made in the Windows Explorer by giving so called 'secondary' columns a lighter shade of ink than the 'primary' column. Or rather: what THEY consider the primary column.

It's typically IT: they think they know what you want.
But they don't.

It's funny that when I opened this site, I saw '16 Motivational Quotes from Tech Leaders That Will Inspire You', which IT very often ignores:

1. “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.” – Steve Jobs
-> they obviously haven't done that

2. “You want to have a future where you’re expecting things to be better, not one where you’re expecting things to be worse.” – Elon Musk
-> Exactly, and that's why I'm so hugely disappointed in W10

3. “Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can’t lose.” – Bill Gates
-> Well, Bill, I think you said exactly what's the trouble with MS at this moment.

It seems that MS has reduced it QA staff enormously.
 
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:17 pm

I think we've beaten this to death. Ultra high contrast is bad for your eyes in the long term. There are high contrast themes you can use if it bothers you. If it continues to bother you, even with those themes, you can tweak your display contrast/brightness/gamma curves to match whatever you'd like.

It's not an "IT is stupid" thing, no matter how many times you repeat it.
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Shouefref
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Re: Sick screens and sick screen handling

Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:49 am

I agree.
It's an 'IT is stubborn' thing.
It doesn't matter: they don't listen to the users, and some users swallow anything from IT.

I found a picture to show part one the problems: the greyed out area's because they haven't been selected.
It's just a fad. It's not selected, isn't it? So what does it help? Nothing. But it does make it difficult to see what you ddin't select.

Image

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