eye problems and computers and what to do

Mon, 20 Jun 2016 23:32:32 +0200

> If you have any information to the benefits
> of light-on-dark (which I have always felt
> looks way cooler - your dark version of angry
> fruit salad being no exception) and
> brightness minimisation, I would be
> interested to read it.

OK, I'll tell this story one more time and then
put it on my home page and never tell it again.
I thought about doing that anyway for years so
this seems like a good time finally doing it.
You know how people say, "if it can help even
a single person, it is worth it" - that always
sounds pathetic, but... yeah, I suppose it
is true!

For the impatient, before I tell the story, to
sum it up:

    1. Bright on dark theme.

    2. Big text size.

    3. Bright (high contrast) text colors:
       "see, don't read".

    4. Heavy use of font lock/syntax highlight:
       "see, don't read".

    5. No visual noise (e.g., blinking cursor,
       popups) - reduce visual information to
       the essentials - civilized scrolling,
       one line at a time is another example.

    6. No mouse as it implies resetting eyes
       and arms and "aiming" at GUI elements.

    7. No reading huge parts of text.
       When writing, keep eyes very relaxed. (I
       don't really read what I write.
       The typing provides small vibrations
       which are pleasant. The eyes are just
       there for the ride. It is like a walk in
       the park.) For reading, printers and
       books are useful.

    8. Use of a projector. (This also gives
       good posture.)

    9. Master the software so it is all typing
       and being active and no "looking" and
       searching - thru endless menus only to
       set some option, browsing documentation
       not finding what you need - away with
       all that. Speed kills! And in a pleasant
       way...

To reduce eye pain when it happens:

    1. Everything that brings physical
       relaxation - sports, yoga - but not the
       sauna as it dehydrates you (as does
       alcohol, coffee, etc.) - "sports"
       doesn't have to be advanced, try twelve
       push-ups or the plank for one minute!

    2. Tiger balm around the nostrils to
       produce a tear reaction - pulling nose
       hairs or riding a bike without blinking
       can do this, too.

The story:

God willing, my eye problems are a thing of the
past. Back then, I thought I'd give up
computing altogether. Then I started to
configure everything from the software to the
physical setup to myself, mentally and
physically. The shell, Emacs, and Gnus made
configuration possible, pleasant, and not
extreamly difficult, so there was hope.

As for the physical setup I found huge,
available rooms at my university with
projectors. So I stopped having a computer at
home but instead went there every night, say
00.00-00.05. This isn't a lot of computer hours
compared to the typical programmer or computer
kid/bum. But do it with 100% discipline for 365
days a year half a decade, it it enough. So in
the days I read all the books and thought about
cool ideas which never happened because at
school in the nights I had hundreds of other
things to do!

This reduced the problem by say 75%, but it was
still so much pain only the iron will of
youthful enthusiasm would have any normal
person doing it for any stretch of time.

But several years later (!) I discovered the
reason for the eye pain was me being allergic to
shampoo! Since I did a lot of sports every day
I reproduced the problem not knowing it.
Ironically, the showering actually helped the
problem in the short run, because of the
relaxation. Not being i hippie, I didn't even
use a lot of shampoo! It was just insane.
None of the countless physicians I saw ever
thought about it until I myself found out by
intuition - it wasn't even an experiment, rather
one day I stopped using it not thinking about
it and in time the problems went away to some
95% at least.

Now, when I suddenly didn't have it, I was
surprised and impressed I didn't jump off
a cliff or something when it was at its worse!
To do CS at such a state is just mind-boggling
to me today. But from all the configuration and
problem solving I learned a lot. So it was
a blessing in disguise, tho it certainly didn't
feel like that for many years.

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