Screen resolution

l hate pixels(PSPO). I always did. Fortunately, my printer, my scanner, and my digital camera no longer have any. The small cameras of mobile phones still have -so I chose a mobile without camera. And, finally, my computer screen has pixels. I hate it.

Actually, it became a little better recently. I’ve obtained a notepad with 1400×1050 pixels at 12.1″. This gives 145 pixels per inch – and, with ClearType switched on, this corresponds to about 300 dpi horizontally. I have to look at the screen from closer than ten inches to see the pixels (You will have recognized already that I care only about pixels which I can see. For displays of visual information – books, printouts, photographs, and computer displays – this is appropriate, isn’t it?) Actually, A think displays should have some 500×500 dpi. I had professional prints from photographs, and there was an improvement visible up to about that resolution. For a 22″ screen, this would mean 48 Megapixels.

High screen resolution brings about, however, a rat’s tail of problems: one has to select more dpi (to keep the fonts the same size). This is supported by Vista (and was already by XP), but several programs, and even more web sites, cause difficulties. Still, I give already now my answer to all comments which ask me to change the dpi setting of my Vista back to 56 dpi: I will not do so; text would be small below legible on my notebook, and I think the programmers should get their programs and web pages working instead of forcing me to see pixels again.

2009-01-03

More than a six month have passed since this thread was started. Still no higher resolution monitors available.

It’s funny that so few people recognize that it’s insufficient screen resolution why people prefer to read printouts rather than directly from the screen. I suffer if I have to read nonsens like: “a 9 point font is too small to read on a 200 dpi display…”. A 9 point font should be (roughly spoken) 9/72 inch high. So it has the same size on a 3200 dpi printer as on a 72 dpi 1984 Macintosh. Everybody will agree that the 3200 dpi version is better to read than the 72 dpi version. It’s just OSes unable to scale images that hampered the progress.

I have Vista on my 1400×1040 12.1″ display at 120 dpi setting, and essentially all programs and web pages work now. So, one obstacle is gone.

Concerning screen size: for reading, I guess 30″ – 50″ distance is optimum. A column of text should not be wider than about 5 inch, and the font should be something like 7 to 10 points (open a book or a newspaper, if you do not believe that). The resolution should be at least 300 dpi, but 3200 is not too much. There is not much sense in a single document wider than 8″. For sure we want to be able to place several documents on the desktop, but if I have 2000 pixels available I’d rather save my eyes by concentrating them on 10 inch and do without documents in parallel.

By the way: progress is even slower than assumed in the article http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/archives/000886.html?r=30361. I had almost forgotten that: as a student, I encountered an (at that time already old) Tek 4014 display (see http://www.science.uva.nl/museum/tek4014.html). 4096×4096 pixels, on ~12″x12″. Technical drawings looked as clear as on a pen plotter (anybody around who remembers what a plotter is?).

What do we learn from this? Uumph, also the Concorde commenced service in 1976, and since then we are going down, because we spend to much time with computer games.

By the way: I like this page:

http://www.blaha.net/Main%20Visual%20Acuity.php

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