Oct 13, 2015
I have a very distinct memory of being in my 20s and going out to dinner with my mom in a dimly lit restaurant. She grabbed the weak candle at the table, held it to the menu, and complained about the lighting and how it was impossible to read a menu in these conditions. I (like a bratty, typical 20-year old), rolled my eyes and thought about how ridiculous she was. It was fine, anyone could see it.
Well, the wheel of karma appears to be rolling toward me. I just spent $1,000 (!) on a new Mac Thunderbolt retina display monitor. All the reviews pointed toward my improved graphic life with this superior quality, insanely highly dense pixeled monitor. I was excited as I removed it from its distinctly spare Mac packaging. It looked like a monitor of the future, so sleek!
Then I plugged it in. Why was everything so small? What was going on? I could barely see the desktop icons and I couldn’t read any of the interface text without squinting or putting my face right next to it. Something was clearly wrong. I went into the settings panels, but, huh, seemed right… My eyes hurt after looking at it for 5 minutes. It was so … glossy and reflective. What the heck? Obviously the thing was a lemon, and I needed to go to a message board to see how to fix it or return it for a better one.
But sadly, the answer was right there in my zoomed in browser. I am old. With newly acquired OLD PERSON EYES. Other people with names (really) like Betty Ann and Herman were having the same exact problems. And the solution was that they needed to increase the screen resolution to make everything bigger. And, of course, once you do that, you completely lose the point of the retina display. It no longer looks crisp and amazing. It just looks vaguely fuzzy but, sadly for me, readable. And the extra glossiness is a well known contributor to eye strain. So, mom I’m sorry I rolled my eyes at you those many years ago (very rude), and feel free to laugh at me and my $1,000 folly. I deserve it. Now where did I put those new reading glasses?