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Make everything on screen red to preserve night vision


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Make everything on screen red to preserve night vision
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 17:35

Does anyone know of a way to make everything on the mac os screen red so as to preserve night vision? I remember seeing a windows computer like this at an astronomy open night visitation thing.

I was thinking making the screen red may also reduce the fact that staring at a source of light messes up our sleep schedules.

The fact is, reducing the brightness of the screen does not sufficiently dilate the pupils, which is what I think is crucial in the biological system of signalling.

Thanks, I really need this red screen.
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Taskiss
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2007-09-10, 17:42

I'm thinking a transparent red plastic sheet over the screen is the best way to go. Perhaps even more than one if necessary.
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Bryson
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2007-09-10, 17:44

I assume this is for using some kind of astronomy programme?

Anyway, one (imperfect, but effective) way to do it would be as follows:

Use a Mac with an external screen.

Get an external screen with a removable VGA cable.

Buy a new VGA cable, and modify it as follows:



Simply remove the two pins marked. It's easy to do by bending them back and forth with needlenose pliers. It happens all the time (by mistake, mind!) to the cables we use at work for connecting up video projectors.

Voila! Red screen.

EDIT: Red filter (aka: Gel) may also work, as Taskiss suggests. Available from theatrical suppliers - should be about $8-10 a sheet. Ask for Lee 106, Rosco 26, or GAM 245.

Last edited by Bryson : 2007-09-10 at 17:55.
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 18:20

Wow, that's creative, but i don't have an external screen, just my plain old MBP. Props though, what a cool way to do it.

I took some courses in college which spoke of circadian rhythms and worked in a biology lab where wake and sleep cycles of fruit flies were messed around with. I have a theory I want to test out on myself.

The red plastic is hard to come by, one that is well made and does not distort and has perfect transparency.

Isn't there some way to do this in the system?
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Taskiss
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2007-09-10, 18:24

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegong View Post
Isn't there some way to do this in the system?
If you could rewrite the video drivers, sure. If you wanted to create custom apps, again, sure. Otherwise, I'm thinking no.
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Bryson
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2007-09-10, 18:46

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegong View Post
Wow, that's creative, but i don't have an external screen, just my plain old MBP. Props though, what a cool way to do it.
Well, you can use it in closed-lid mode....


Quote:
The red plastic is hard to come by, one that is well made and does not distort and has perfect transparency.
It really isn't. Gel for theatre lighting is exactly what you need, and it isn't hard to get hold of at all. These guys in Roanoake will sell you some, for a start. there will probably be somewhere closer. Or you could call the Technical Director at your local theatre and see if he'll give you a piece. It's pretty cheap stuff, so he might well do. (I would, for example!)

Last edited by Bryson : 2007-09-10 at 18:56. Reason: fixed my plurals
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Ryan
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2007-09-10, 19:27

Is it possible to mess with the display profile to the point where it gets the result you need?
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 19:50

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan View Post
Is it possible to mess with the display profile to the point where it gets the result you need?
I tried, but at least with the calibration tools that apple ships their os with this is not possible.
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billybobsky
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2007-09-10, 19:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevegong View Post
The fact is, reducing the brightness of the screen does not sufficiently dilate the pupils, which is what I think is crucial in the biological system of signalling.
Does that make sense?

Put better, why would you a priori think that pupil dilation, which is itself a secondary response to a stimuli, is crucial for signaling (and what signaling?)?

Better yet, you should know enough to know that self-experimentation, particularly when you have a theory going into the experiment already, is doomed to produce nothing.

But if you want to continue down this path, I guess there is nothing I can do to stop you.

Change the color calibration settings on the screen such that the screen is centered on red and not green.
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 20:14

Quote:
Originally Posted by billybobsky View Post
Does that make sense?

Put better, why would you a priori think that pupil dilation, which is itself a secondary response to a stimuli, is crucial for signaling (and what signaling?)?

Better yet, you should know enough to know that self-experimentation, particularly when you have a theory going into the experiment already, is doomed to produce nothing.

But if you want to continue down this path, I guess there is nothing I can do to stop you.

Change the color calibration settings on the screen such that the screen is centered on red and not green.


Thanks for your post in the thread. Maybe you can help me figure this out.

Staring at a light source I've read inhibits the secretion of melatonin, thus leading to not getting tired or sleepy.

When it is dark, the pupils dilate.

I presume that the amount pupils dilate is a function of how much light the brain perceives there to be.

Having red light seems to maintain pupils dilated. Is this because having only the red wavelength still has light situation registered as dark? Could it be that the red wavelength does not suppress melatonin production?

In the lab I used to work at we had flies that were engineered to get a rush of dopamine when you shine specific wavelengths of light at them.

How do you know that melatonin secretion is inhibited by simply a presence of light and not specific wavelengths of light? The fact that red light still maintains pupil dilation may speak of evolutionary adaptations where red may not be strong enough cues to trigger certain circadian processes.

Any thoughts are welcome.
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tomoe
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2007-09-10, 20:29

But pupils also dilate when one is excited...

What exactly is it you're trying to achieve and for what end?

Like Taskiss and Bryson said, if you want a red screen then get a gel.

You could try PubMed if you want to learn more about melatonin regulation...

Seen a man standin' over a dead dog lyin' by the highway in a ditch
He's lookin' down kinda puzzled pokin' that dog with a stick
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doublem9876
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2007-09-10, 20:38

I remember there being some freeware app that could alter the whole color spectrum of your screen. Too bad I totally can't remember what it was called and that I don't have it anymore.
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ronmexico
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2007-09-10, 20:41

tomoe is dead on...the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and anticholenergics also dilate your pupils. This marker alone is not necessarily linked to sleep patterns.
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 20:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomoe View Post
But pupils also dilate when one is excited...

What exactly is it you're trying to achieve and for what end?

Like Taskiss and Bryson said, if you want a red screen then get a gel.

You could try PubMed if you want to learn more about melatonin regulation...

Dilating pupils is not the focus, but just something that got me thinking about the colour red.

Also during sunset, things usually look more red. It would be adaptive to increase melatonin secretion at the onset of sunset, or at least not have the last bit of light interfere with melatonin secretion. It takes a bit of time before one feels sleepy.

I'm trying to investigate whether filtering out other colours and only seeing red will result in no interference with melatonin secretion. If this is true, then I can use my computer (red screen) and not worry about not being able to fall asleep or feel tired. Currently, even if I've had quite an exhausting day, if I sit in front of the computer, I easily come to 3 or 4am with no feelings of sleepiness. I want to be able to use my computer until the normal time of sleepiness onset.
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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 20:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmexico View Post
tomoe is dead on...the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and anticholenergics also dilate your pupils. This marker alone is not necessarily linked to sleep patterns.
Yeah, but it sound to me like these are two different pathways.

Looking at something pleasant also dilates the pupils.

As does when one is sexually aroused.

But they seem like different pathways that act on the same part of the body.
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noleli2
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2007-09-10, 21:06

I used the Universal Access to set my display to Grayscale and made this profile. It's definitely tinted, though the whites are still a bit on the bright side. I'm getting tired just looking at it....
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atomicbartbeans
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2007-09-10, 21:19

http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...s/rggamma.html

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stevegong
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2007-09-10, 21:56

Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicbartbeans View Post
OMG, you have gotta be shitting me! I searched for quite a long time and couldn't find nada!

Brownie points for you, my friend!

And it's freeware too!!!!!

My day has been made. Thanks man!
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Koodari
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2007-09-10, 23:59

Use Nocturne. It's free and it's from the Quicksilver people. Works perfectly.

(Indirect link because Blacktree's site was down.)
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alcimedes
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2007-09-11, 00:13

Ok, nocturne seems to come up with a much better/less annoying red than rggamma, but your milage may vary.

Just be sure to cover the Apple loge in the back.

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PB PM
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2007-09-11, 00:18

Nocturne seems to be very good, nice and easy on the eyes in a dimly lit room.
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stevegong
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2007-09-11, 00:47

wow awesome stuff!!

I'm going to sleep now!
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julesstoop
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2007-09-11, 00:50

I've got a little app called Gamma Control.
With that I could get exactly the effect you are looking for after no more than 30 seconds of playing with it.

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http://settuno.com/
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scratt
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2007-09-11, 01:42

Another cheap / quick option would be to make a transparent red terminal window and maximise it over the entire screen. Just a thought.
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Wrao
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2007-09-11, 03:13

I am really enjoying using my computer with the red filter turned on.
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Koodari
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2007-09-11, 08:17

The pure red (remember to set saturation at max!) is best to conserve night vision, but on the other hand if you want to see with minimal light intensity, you want green. Try it and you'll find you can set brightness much lower with pure green.

I think you'll find the screen brightness has more to do with getting sleepy than does the red color. But have fun experimenting!

My favorite Nocturne setting for general dimming of the screen while retaining readability for tired eyes is a cool monochromatic turquoise.
A bit of trivia: turquoise used to be the brightest running LED at a given voltage, so if you only wanted power and didn't care about color accuracy that was the kind of pocket light to get.
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ronmexico
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2007-09-11, 18:40

Although you may be affecting your melitonin section with varying wavelengths of light, I bet other factors contribute to your sleepless patterns. It would make more sense to me that you are interested in the subject matter that you are reading on your computer. This causes a release of endorphins/adrenaline that keeps you up past 2. Sounds like a case for Mythbusters.
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Wrao
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2007-09-11, 19:11

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronmexico View Post
Although you may be affecting your melitonin section with varying wavelengths of light, I bet other factors contribute to your sleepless patterns. It would make more sense to me that you are interested in the subject matter that you are reading on your computer. This causes a release of endorphins/adrenaline that keeps you up past 2. Sounds like a case for Mythbusters.
You know what though. Sometimes I will find myself up at 2 in the morning reading about a secret exploit for a 20 year old video game I never played on a system that I didn't have, and I will suddenly 'snap out of it' as it were, and realize just wtf I am doing, immediately close my laptop and goto sleep.

There is something to be said about the "ooh shiny lights" attention grabbing qualities of a computer display. Something about how it can feel damn near impossible to look away, or otherwise sap up all your attention even if you are looking at something completely pointless, uninteresting and dumb.

Last night, I put the red filter on, and I found that, before long, I just wanted to naturally go to sleep, I also did not feel like my eyes were being strained at all. I think this is a good thing.
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ronmexico
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2007-09-11, 20:01

I'll give it a go and report back.
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Koodari
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2007-09-12, 04:03

I was just sitting on a lecture and used the turquoise monochrome filter (with no software dimming from Nocturne, but minimum brightness set on Macbook screen). I feel this combination is good for the lecture environment, doesn't distract others as much as a full-color display, and makes the screen harder to read from a couple of seats away so I get a little more privacy.
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