Your Laptop LCD vs the Sun

If you’re like me and quite enjoy cafÈ-style computing, you’ve no doubt tried to use your laptop sometimes in some pretty harsh sunlight. LCD backlights just aren’t powerful enough to compete with our lovely life-giving star, so usually I have a lot of trouble reading stuff on the screen in bright sunlight.

The solution? Try inverting your screen colours, so that black comes out white, and white comes out black. You’ll be amazed just how much more readable white-on-black is in bright lighting than black-on-white, and also how little you’ll have to set your screen brightness to properly read stuff:

I don’t know if there’s a way to invert colours on UNIX systems (XFree86/X11): if somebody’s keen enough to find out and drop me an email, I’ll add the information in here. (Of course, all you hardcore UNIX geeks who run white-on-black terminals will now get black-on-white terminals instead. Ahh well, just screen invert back when you’re in a terminal I suppose!)

As an added benefit, some laptop LCDs also seem to get longer battery life when they do this. Kudos to this Mac OS X hint for the heads-up on this!

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