Have you ever seen the default wallpaper of a Windows 95 installation? That horrendous, disgusting, depressing shade of gray-green that, for years, went mocked and scorned by many? It turns out it may just be what the doctor ordered for long term computer use. Have we missed something all along?
For years, I have switched between the Apple sanctioned Mac OS X wallpaper, namely Aqua Graphite, and photos or pictures gleaned from the web. For years I have looked at my screen and lived like every Mac user, regretting my inability to somehow find the perfect picture, the one I never grew tired of.
One day, about a month ago, out of sheer amusement, I picked “Solid Kelp”, Apple’s version of the Windows 95 desktop background. Yes, it looked terrible, but with my 30″ display being mostly covered in windows all the time as of late, my desktop picture mattered little. Plus, it was the only color I had never tried.
A few weeks later, I can report this is the desktop picture that I have used for the longest period at a time. Yes, it is a depressing shade of green but, interestingly enough, it blends perfectly in the background: it does not kick contrasts up like a dark gray background does, it does not make the screen harsher like light grays, reds or yellows. It just sits there, creating a backdrop that is dark enough to make things pop but light enough to keep contrasts pleasing.
Interestingly enough, I have also noticed a great reduction in eye strain. Even more so than with the Apple provided blue or mid-gray drops, that are usually a good bet for prolonged screen use. Less flicker, fewer headaches and less blurriness.
Of course, any shade of green, even if it is called Kelp will not replace good computing practices: look away, stand up, drink lots of water and clean your glasses. Yet, this little discovery has greatly eased my computing life.
For those of you who have trashed Kelp, try using the following color (#497568):
What do you think?