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Monitor Brightness

Monitor Brightness

Monitor Brightness

I have noticed getting a lot of eye strain while spending time using my computers for long periods. I don’t remember having much of that issue in years past. So some thing or things have changed.

I spend a lot more time at the home computer in blog writing, CAD (Computer Assisted Drawing/Drafting), photography editing, and other screen intensive tasks. I did the same at my office before I retired. I had a desk job.

The first thought are my eyes. Definitely the number one suspect. I admit I am overdue for another exam. I wear glasses and at age 70 and above, the eye lens is less flexible and the tiny muscles have to work a lot harder. I really need another pair of glasses especially for the computer screen and desk work in general.

There is another big issue. It’s screen brightness. Monitors have significantly changed. All mine are now LED illuminated. Lighting is even over the entire surface and intensity levels can be set very high. What is happening is my iris muscles are struggling to dial down to tiny openings to compensate for over brightness.

I now usually sit in a darkened room. The screen is the brightest lighting in the room. That’s not real good for the eyes. My work office had a window wall behind me and constant overhead lighting. Lots of ambient light keeping my irises dialed down.

I know my ares are no longer very good at dialing down. Just walking outside on a sunny day is, for quite a long time, a blinding experience. They slowly compensate but sunglasses are a real need for comfort.

I checked my brightness setting on the screen I am currently using. The display was sharp , crisp and uh… very bright! The brightness setting was around 75 percent. Hmm… that seemed to be pushing it a lot for long term web browsing and text writing.

I dialed it down to 50 percent and immediately noticed an improvement in viewing comfort. Yes, it IS dimmer, but that is a very good thing. I have no problem viewing and the visual “pressure” instantly went away. A pressure to which I wasn’t paying adequate attention.

A suggestion I’ll share. Check your monitor settings. A brightness over 50 percent is probably too high. If you are like me and spend a lot of time at the screen, turn the intensities down on every control. Use more room lighting but avoid glare on the screen. The monitor shouldn’t be the brightest light in the room.

My eyes have thanked me.

On The Make

This is about making things. Not about aggressive social intercourse, There is a certain mental, not biological attraction for the things I build with my hands. It’s a thinking and doing in creating tangible items, not about assertive interpersonal relations. Sigmund Freud probably thought a lot about that… not about making tangible things. Ha!

I like being on the make. I have always made things. All my life I have spent considerable time assembling and making things.

I started with kits. The design and all the parts are provided. A set of instructions are provided. Assembly begins.

The first assembly kit I remember was a printed-on-metal model of a car garage/gas station. My brother and I both got one for Christmas. The metal walls had tabs that were inserted into slots and then bent over to secure them in place. The instructions said, “Insert tab “A” into slot “A” and bend over”

There were dozens of these “bend the tab” connections to be made. That assembly phrase has stuck with me my entire life. For me it is the epitome of simple kit assembly. My brother and I often referred to simplified, no tools required assembly, as simply, “Insert tab A into slot A.” We both needed to say no more to know what this means. First impressions last a lifetime. It meant a “no brainer”, even a kid can follow this process.

The toy garages had a flat metal roof for toy car parking and a metal ramp the cars could be pushed down to arrive at ground level. The real fun was the assembly of the toy. The same but not the same as the plastic “safe play” versions made today. Sharp metal edges are always more fun…

I have since built a lot of kits. It’s convenient to have all the parts and all the material at one time. Glue together plastic models were always a big time favorite. The decision was if to paint them before or after assembly.

There was a lot of knowledge gained in identifying the parts by name and number. I think it may be a learning experience lost on the current generation of young, no-kit, non-assemblers.

Pre and early teen years, I moved on to balsa wood model airplane kits. I like gas powered free flight and brother Jim preferred U-control (so they wouldn’t fly away). Then I discovered through the hobby magazines about building from plans and gathering my own needed materials. Eventually I built radio controlled model airplanes.

My electronics interest started with a kit when I was probably 10 or less years old. It was another Christmas present, a breadboard electronics experimenter kit. A real bread board with screw down (Fahnestock clips) terminals. This would lead to me later in life building just about everything Heathkit offered in electronics kits, including all my amateur radio equipment. Then came computers, which I still build from parts today,

Along the way of all this kit building, I also discovered a real joy in scratch building without kits. The kits provided a real background and education on proper building and assembly. Very complete instructions and some times not so complete instruction was a great learning process.

But I got to where I could build from just a drawing, a set of plans (no supplied material) or an electronic schematic. I had a wonderful time growing up making all kinds of wonderful functional things.

My grandfathers both made things. One was a wood worker with a complete wood work shop and the other is a skilled painter artist and also a builder of things from wood. My dad built racing stock cars and so we always had access every type of mechanical hand tool imaginable. At least for the time… My development years were highly charged with making real things, with and without adult supervision. I and my brother were very much a self starters.

Working in the HVAC industry, I always had access ot all kinds of sheet metal tools and worked along side many skilled sheet metal workers. As a journeyman pipe-fitter, I became a skilled weldor (sic) among many other skills. I also developed a high ability in designing and building electrical control systems and custom panels.

As a young adult I moved into building and flying full sized experimental aircraft. I was an active aircraft parts maker for about 20 years until work related travel had me moving around the country and far away from a stable workshop environment.

As I began to look at retirement coming at me from over the horizon, I decided I needed to build a real (but moderate) machine workshop, so I could continue to make things until the end of my time. I have done that and I can now make almost anything from wood or metal. Also plastic, with 3D printing newly added.

Large full size aircraft construction remains a fond but now remote memory.

I am saving the very best experience for last. The ultimate in making, is to start with just an idea. No plans, no materials. Just something tangible that has come to mind as needing to be made.

For me it is a form of invention. See a need, figure out a solution to fill the need, then start from scratch with design, perhaps some prototyping, and finish with a tangible working product.

The process is the enjoyment. The result will have it’s own reward, but the fun is getting there. It’s the journey of making things that is enjoyable. Reaching the destination means it’s just time to start another journey.

The same as real life. Religion teaches it is the end that is important. Heaven or Hell or… maybe rebirth. I believe it is the journey that is the most important. I want to “make” the most from it.

So yes, I am on the make. The opposite gender has nothing to fear. In fact, most of what I make is for them, in my silver and other heirloom type work. For me it is still the best of times, making things. Doing what I love for those who love what I do.


Network Boost

I purchased a bit of WiFi Tech for my home computer network. It’s called a WiFi range extender, model WN2500RP, made by Netgear. A.K.A N600. Cost is in the $50.00 range.

It is not the same brand as my WiFi router (Cisco) but works well with it. It provides a number of services and benefits to my home network. I will explain why and how.

I have three machine control computers in my workshop which is also my garage. My office where the Main WiFi Router is located is on the West side if the house. The router is located at the west wall […] Continue reading » Network Boost

No Fault, Just Inconvenient

It certainly looks and reads here, like I am a Microsoft basher. Yes, I do point out the weaknesses that cause me to seek alternatives. What I do is pick the best tool for the requirements I need.

I can easily tolerate a Windows 10 system and its invasive habits as part of my office network. I need Windows 10 for all of my Microsoft OS design software I use every day. Windows 10 isn’t about to go away in my world.

I know my special needs make me a minority user, Microsoft (and all other) PC computers were never designed to be a primary machine control system. They are […] Continue reading » No Fault, Just Inconvenient

The Surrender of Electronic Privacy

I now have six operational computers in regular use. Three of them for CNC machine control and one of them is a netbook (small laptop). Four of them run a Linux operating system. That will change to five in the near future. All my workshop computers will be Linux as I sort out and learn all the details of LinuxCNC for machine control.

I am currently building a network for the workshop computers. When that is operational, I will convert the third shop computer to LinuxCNC.

So far, I trust the Linux OS to not spy on my activities and report what I do to the […] Continue reading » The Surrender of Electronic Privacy