Non-backlit, Monochrome LCD or other good displays for shell use

Benito Cachinero pencileraser at
Mon Feb 8 22:18:00 UTC 2010

Thanks for your feedback.  I'm delighted a few picked up this thread.
As for a tube terminal, I think it may be a little easier on the eyes 
based on my CRT experience (then again, I didn't have an eye condition 
back then).

But Brian's point is well taken.  I'm still jonesing for a true, non-lit 
solution if I am to use the computer much at all.  (And that seems 
inescapable.)  I've experimented with distance, but never to extreme 
lengths like 10'.  It seems wildly impractical though, I dunno...

Right now I'm using gray on black with diminished brightness.

To be honest, this is as much an eye thing as it is a 
psyhological/experiential thing.  What Walter Benjamin and Roland 
Barthes would refer to as aura/punctum, respectively.

Looking at a plain dot-matrix LCD or looking at a plain piece of printed matter is always going to be a more 
organic, natural-seeming experience; natural light is always better than 
synthetic.  I'm sure you're all familiar with the otherworldly 'brain-fog' 
induced by looking at a screen for too long.  So I want to stop exhausting 
my eyes, but I also want to feel less like I'm in another dimension when 
I'm using the computer, and engage more substantively with the world 
around me.

I do a lot of pen-and-paper work for this very reason.

The search continues...


On Mon, 8 Feb 2010, Brian McKee wrote:

> Having used VT320's and similar for some time, I don't think they are
> an answer for you.
> Quite honestly, if a modern LCD screen set to black with lighter
> coloured text is still too much backlighting, then an serial terminal
> isn't going to be any better.
> I wonder if a larger screen farther away isn't an idea?  e.g. a TV at
> 10' ?  If 80x25 is good enough, then that might be an answer.
> Brian

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