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» The Geek Culture Forums   » All about the comics!   » The Joy of Tech   » Curious Jill writes... laptops in the bright sun?

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Author Topic: Curious Jill writes... laptops in the bright sun?
Snaggy

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Icon 5 posted March 28, 2004 13:10      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I received this email from Jill, and thought I would put the question to the Forums...

When I bought my first laptop, original blue ibook, and gleefully headed outside to work, I was so disappointed... my screen didn't work in the sun. Outside i needed dense shade to see anything... I tired turning up the backscreen lighting, turning down the lighting, putting on sunglasses. It didn't work.

Yet, I have seen ads for people sitting in the sun with their laptops, for years now. And here, you too, are picturing this joyful activity.... laptop, sun, cool drink, beach....

Do you know of any macs that can do this? Can any computer truly do this? Or is this totally a dream wish fiction of people who do creative ads and drawings on their macs?

Curious,
Jill



When we first tried laptopping outside with Nitro's blueberry iBook, we too were disappointed. You needed to be in the shade to see the screen. My Pismo is perhaps a little brighter, but still not as bright as we'd like. [Frown]

I hear that the new iBooks and PowerBooks screens are much brighter than the old clamshells, but are they bright enough to compete with the sun? Anyone out there in ForumLand have any advice?

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Tut-an-Geek

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Icon 1 posted March 28, 2004 13:23      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Finding myself outside a lot with my ibook, i find that this works best:
1: Turn off backlight
2: Put back to sun,so that sun is forlight - don't make the two compete

Works well enough, though the colors are a bit off of course

Or, just go out as the sun is going down [Smile]

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MacGenius
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Icon 3 posted March 29, 2004 08:46      Profile for MacGenius   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There was this company who used to advertise in MacWorld, they made a laptop screen hood that could be folded. Looked like those La cie hoods.

I forgot their name, and I can't seem to find them now. ???

Those new buttons are cool, btw!

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Gibbonboy
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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2004 12:49      Profile for Gibbonboy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to use my laptop outdoors alot- I made a hood out of thin black plastic. Any large craft/hobby shop should have something suitable. You could probably use a different color, as long as it was sufficiently opaque, or paint on the black one. I have 3 pieces of velcro on the sides of the display, the hood folds up and fits into my backpack nicely.
Other than that, most displays are hard to read in direct sun, not sure what you could do to the display itself to make it easier to see.\
If someone were indeed handy with a sewing machine, you could make a hood out of some fabric-like material (nylon, vinyl) that would even be color-coordinated, and could wrap around the curves of the display. Several stiff plastic stays sewn into the material would keep it from drooping down over the screen, yet allow it to be folded for transport. Hmm, let me draw something, will post later.

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"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

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Tut-an-Geek

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Icon 1 posted March 29, 2004 13:17      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm actually curious if perhaps a plastic or glass cover would help..
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jill
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Icon 6 posted April 02, 2004 14:35      Profile for jill     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As creative a solution as these head drapes things are, the idea of basking in the sun with a black plastic hood on my head doesn't do it!

No, I want the Nirvana of the ads... the tropical blue sea, the white sand, the drink with fresh pineapple, airport, my laptop in my lap, the sun on my face, AND being able to see what is on the screen!!!

(or at least being able to use my laptop outside on my backsteps... withOut a plastic bag on my head!)

The advertising myth of this has been going on for years... setting me up for this experience.

Can Windows computers do this? And if so, why can't macs? Or is it truly a total myth?

Meanwhile I came across this new tech development. Maybe there is hope?

"Sony, Philips and digital paper pioneer E-Ink have announced an electronic book reader....
Called Libriť, the device will be the size of a paperback ....

Unlike more familiar LCD displays, the screen can be read at almost any angle and in bright sunlight as it uses tiny charged beads to form letters and images.
Each pixel point on the display is a tiny pit containing a small number of black and white beads each one of which is about as wide as a human hair.
The white beads are positively charged and the black beads negatively charged.
Each pit is topped with a transparent electrode and has two other electrodes at its base.
Changing the charge on the base electrodes makes either white or black beads leap to the top of the pit forming either a blank or black spot on the larger display.
Making one base electrode positive and the other negative creates a grey spot. "
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/3568505.stm

I want it All!

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Gibbonboy
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2004 07:27      Profile for Gibbonboy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't wear the hood on my head, it just wraps on the top and sides of the display and sticks out 6 inches. Just makes a little shade for the display.
I have a Dell M60, and the display is unreadable in direct sun. This is supposed to be Dell's top-of-the-line laptop, so I think they're all prone to glare.
I usually use mine on the hood of the truck, or any convenient rock.
I did some sketches of my proposed design for the iBook, my art skills are seriously underdeveloped. Should just take pictures of mine, then you'll see how it works.

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"It's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here."

Posts: 155 | From: A Very Small Hole in the Forest | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged
Bibo
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Icon 1 posted April 03, 2004 10:15      Profile for Bibo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by MacGenius:
There was this company who used to advertise in MacWorld, they made a laptop screen hood that could be folded. Looked like those La cie hoods.

I forgot their name, and I can't seem to find them now. ???

Those new buttons are cool, btw!

I think this is what you are looking for. www.hoodmanusa.com Not sure if they make them for the older iBooks anymore though.
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macmcseboy

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Icon 4 posted April 05, 2004 22:29      Profile for macmcseboy     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Sorry guys... this is not going to be solved by a hood. this actually caused by the polarizing filters in the LCD itself. This is going to be a perptual problem as a result. ALL LCDs suffer from this

--------------------
Live long and prosper.

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Spiderman

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Icon 1 posted April 09, 2004 16:39      Profile for Spiderman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I recall reading in a Popular Science issue about a year and a half ago about a laptop (x86 unfortunately) that had a screen that was actually enhanced by sunlight.

Unfortunately I don't have a clue who made it or where to find it (I don't fancy going through my archives of PopSci magazines [Wink] ) but at least good to know that there's something out there...though I wish it was in the form of an iBook/Powerbook [Smile]

--------------------
Math problems? Call 1-800-[(10x)(13i)^2]-[sin(xy)/2.362x]

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 25, 2004 13:32      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Jill, I just had the screen on my Pismo replaced (by http://www.xlr8.com/ ) and the new screen is fantastic. It is really bright!

I was just out in full noon sun and was able to surf the web, read the Forums, all that stuff without much difficulty at all. [thumbsup]

Tuts solution also works well, using the Sun to light up the screen.

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nekomatic
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Icon 5 posted April 26, 2004 02:49      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Snaggy:
Jill, I just had the screen on my Pismo replaced (by http://www.xlr8.com/ ) and the new screen is fantastic. It is really bright!

Hmm... How much did they charge?

Mine hasn't suffered the pink death yet, but I'm sure it won't go on for ever... and even if I am eventually bullied into the OS X 'upgrade' (noooo! nine is fine!!!) there's nowt wrong with the rest of the hardware on my Pismo [Smile]

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Tut-an-Geek

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Icon 1 posted April 26, 2004 03:48      Profile for Tut-an-Geek   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just wanted to but in.. but...ermm..
I've purchased a few LCDs from Wegener Media in North Carolina. The prices seem reasonable, and the LCD's are of excellent quality. They also install them for 50 dollars more if you don't want to/can't install it yourself.

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nekomatic
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Icon 14 posted April 26, 2004 05:42      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cheers DG, that looks like a good site.

There probably is someone in the UK who does them if I end up needing one, but it's good to have options!

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 26, 2004 22:26      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
XLR8 is : $199 screen, $75 labor for the Pismo.
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nekomatic
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Icon 1 posted April 27, 2004 02:57      Profile for nekomatic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Thanks!

That's a lot cheaper than I expected! [Smile]

Posts: 822 | From: Manchester, UK | Registered: Mar 2000  |  IP: Logged


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