something to grip onto in turbulence
June 29, 2006 2:17 PM   Subscribe

This person says "I like white-on-black terminals, but after a while the plain black background gets to me. So years ago, I generated a tiled turbulence image using the GIMP, and darkened it down to nearly black. It's an extremely subtle effect, but it gives my eyes something to 'grip" onto." Has anyone tried this?

And could you give me a pointer to an appropriate image?
posted by Zed_Lopez to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
There are a lot of folks I've seen who have some kind of background image in their terminal. I can't stand it, personally, but I imagine he's referring to what Photoshop users would know as the clouds filter. The nice thing about PS clouds is that they're tileable when rendered. Just make sure you use two lower contrast colors than black and white, or, failing that, do lots of experimenting.
posted by hoborg at 2:40 PM on June 29, 2006

When I used a white-on-black terminal, it made me feel slightly anxious and gave me a bit of a headache, so I used a transparent terminal window with transparency set low and a black background color. My background (which I changed every now and then) showed through slightly, but it was still dark enough to read the text (even if the background image was fairly bright).
posted by JMOZ at 2:45 PM on June 29, 2006

I find the font used makes a hell of a difference in terminal use as well. The standard, ugly courier-ish Xterm font is OK for normal shell stuff, but anything that requires long-term text reading seems better with a bigger, better-looking font--I think the one I like with Xterm is called "Sony Fixed", it's a serif that looks kinda like Times Roman.
posted by arto at 2:52 PM on June 29, 2006

I think the clouds filter is only tileable at sizes of 128, 256 etc. But that sounds a lot like what the tiled turbulence image would be. Maybe look up the gimp filters?
posted by Brainy at 3:23 PM on June 29, 2006

Holy mud, you're right, Brainy! Why did I think it was any size that could be tiled?
posted by hoborg at 4:06 PM on June 29, 2006

Why did I think it was any size that could be tiled?

Because any (even) sized tile can be tiled. And it doesn't have to be a square, either.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:47 PM on June 29, 2006

Come to think of it, it doesn't even have to be even.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:24 PM on June 29, 2006

I have pretty serious astigmatism which can't totally be corrected with glasses. White characters on a black background are hard for me to read because of astigmatic blurring. Black letters on a white background are much easier. (It's the white that gets blurred, not the black.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 5:43 PM on June 29, 2006

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