Hardware

I know it's an E, but I can't really see it

It's hell

getting old. Being part of the baby boomer generation used to mean I was in

every marketer's crosshairs, now the only marketers excited about people my age

come from pharmaceutical, life insurance, and medical device companies. I watch

the Grammy and Country Music Awards and realize I don't know who most of those

artists are, much less listen to their music. More importantly, most of the

music that I hear, usually by accident, is bland, uninspired, over produced

throw-away garbage, which is exactly what my father said about the Beatles. I

find myself agreeing with Andy Rooney way too often. Like I said – hell!

Why the

rant? Well, there is a pretty good reason – eyesight. Or, to be more specific,

eyesight as it relates to computer monitors. CNET Networks has just installed

some very nice Sony 19-inch LCD monitors at our workstations here at

TechRepublic. I generally like LCD monitors – I like the extra screen real

estate that comes with the increased native resolutions (1280 X 1024). However,

the increased resolutions and changes to screen refresh rates means I have to

make some adjustments to the default configuration to accommodate my eyesight,

or lack thereof.

You see, I

have old eyes and have to wear eyeglasses to see the text on the screen or anything

else for that matter. And because I spend nearly eight hours a day looking at

that screen, being able to see it without giving myself a migraine headache is

very important. On the possibility that at least a few TechRepublic members are

in the same "aging geek" group as me, (I know there are least a few

out there), I thought I'd mention a little utility I used to adjust my new

monitor.

There are

few of these little programs floating around on the Web, but the one I used is

called CheckeMon.

I downloaded it from the BenchmarkHQ Web site I found using a Google search for

"monitor adjustment utility." Of course, it is also available from

the programmer's site.

This little program is a terrific example of the gems you can find on the Web

when you employ a targeted search. Amateur and part-time programmers often make

the most useful tools.

The

application is very straight-forward and intuitive. Just start it up and make

adjustments to your monitor as necessary. The most common adjustments I make

for new monitors are:
  • Vertical

    alignment
  • Horizontal

    alignment
  • Geometric

    alignment (trapezoid, skewing, etc)
  • Color
  • Brightness
  • Contrast,

    and
  • Gamma

I created a

TechRepublic

image gallery to show what some of the various screens look like, which

should go along way to explaining what each adjustment does and why it will

help an "old" man like me see his computer screen better.

Do you have

a little-known, non-professionally produced, but still useful utility or

application that makes your life easier? Share it and give those coders their

props – as IT pros we should strive to recognize their contribution toward the

quality of our lives.

About Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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