I Spy with My Green Eye

The two monitors on my desk give me a combined desktop area of 6,400,000 pixels.

“Wow,” I hear you say, “that is indeed a metric assload of pixels.” So it would be no surprise, statistically speaking, if at least one or two of those pixels were broken. Dead, as it were. Le petit pixel mort, as they say in Spain.

But no. I’ve been lucky to have two awesome Apple cinema displays that are pixel-perfect. “A rarity!” you cry out. And you would be right.

Until this morning.

The first thing I noticed when I started working was an irritant in my left eye, like a tiny ache. I turned my head to the left, and it was gone. Looking forward again, it was back. It took me a few minutes to figure out that the irritant wasn’t in my eye, but was in fact on the far side of my left monitor. A stuck pixel.

A stuck pixel is, in my opinion, an order of magnitude worse than a dead one. A dead pixel emits no light, so if you have a dark desktop area (like I do), it simply blends into the background, and you don’t notice it unless you’re looking at a window directly over it.

But this pixel on my left side, it is stuck. On green. Not a light green, but a glowing neon green. It has been irritating my peripheral vision all morning long. It stares at me, like an evil green Lovecraftian eye. Watching me. Tormenting me. Judging me. When I look directly at it, it looks away1, feigning innocence. But I know it’s there, casting its green gaze upon me all through the day.

I hope it goes away on its own. Perhaps one day it will tire of watching me, and return to the inky blackness from whence it came. I can only hope.

  1. The human eye covers roughly a 120º arc of vision, but it’s mostly in the 6º of your central vision (in the macula) containing the largest concentration of cones. The outside area of the retina is mostly rods, which is why your peripheral vision is more sensitive to tiny changes in light and motion, and which explains why that pixel doesn’t irritate me when I’m looking right at it, BUT DRIVES ME CRAZY WHEN I’M LOOKING STRAIGHT AHEAD.
posted 2/27/09 at 10:05am to Mac nerdery, Slightly Too Long For Twitter, Snark · 2 replies · permalink