Our Newly Ill Face Their First Holiday Season with ME/CFS
Don't look now! The holiday season is on its way. I've lived through decades of them with ME/CFS. So have many of you in our chronically ill community. That's beyond sad for all of us. But at least we have some idea what we're contending with, and have learned our ways of handling...
Discuss the article on the Forums.

looking for computer recommendations

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS Discussion' started by wabi-sabi, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. wabi-sabi


    small town midwest
    Hi Everybody,

    It seems I need to get a new computer. My Lenovo is a couple years old now and starting to have screen problems. I tried a Dell, and to my surprise after 10-15 minutes of using it I had painful eyes, nauseousness, and trembling. Something really weird about the new screen. Also, the touchpad burned my fingers. Does anyone else have this?

    What computers can you use that don't trigger the sensory overload for you?

    Thanks for any recommendations.
  2. Richard7

    Richard7 Senior Member

    you may find this useful https://ledstrain.org/

    I use a desktop, so for me it is a matter of choosing monitors rather than computers and I bought a rather expensive Eizo monitor last year which is not good but manageable. I cannot use the Dell monitors I have seen at all.

    I understand from the ledstrain forums that it is a combination of hardware and software that can be at issue, but I do not really have the technical knowledge.
    PatJ and hinterland like this.
  3. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

    Most laptops use Similar type screens with either a fluorescent or an LED backlight. The florescence are run at a high frequency so they don’t Flickr like old fluorescent tubes. (speech to text is making quite a hash of this!).

    The touchpad issue, alas, is not going to change a whole lot from one machine to the other. Some have a glass touchpad surface which might irritate you less. But if you’re hypersensitive, rubbing against anything may cause the same effect.

    Have you looked into getting a little desk designed to be used while reclined or while lying down? These contraptions are placed on the bed, it’s more like a glorified tea tray than a desk. I don’t have one, it is on my list of things to go about getting.
    Sitting up by itself makes this worse, so if you can avoid sitting up at the computer that may help.
    PatJ likes this.
  4. Carl

    Carl Senior Member

    United Kingdom
    Maybe use a USB mouse? I do not use touchpads, I stick to a mouse.

    I did read a couple of years or so back when I was looking for a new monitor about some screens having flickering backlights and some being flicker free. Pulse Width Modulation is often used to control the backlight when it is not at 100% brightness. This can cause some people big problems.
    An in depth article about PWM
    A little easier article about PWM on notebooks

    Avoid white screens which are littered all over the internet because people think white screens are the same as white paper. Use browser extensions which replace the background with more eye friendly colours. Opera, Firefox and Chrome have these extensions but one for Firefox is best IMO. Dark Background and Light Text v0.5.14 is best of all in my experience because it also replaces Mozilla website backgrounds and also the Firefox Addons page background too. Yeah no white backgrounds!

    Could you not get the screen fixed? Would that work out cheaper? Is it a laptop? You have not indicated what type of computer you are looking for.

    I use a combination of browser extensions (Dark Background and Light Text) and f.lux (freeware) to lower my display brightness. This might not work well on displays that use PWM but it works well on my display with no issues for me. Alt and Page-Down lowers the screen brightness. It is meant to adjust the brightness throughout the day 6500K during the day and reducing to a low level at night. This is meant to help reduce disruption of the body clock.

    Ideally you would avoid buying a new computer ATM because Intel and AMD are attempting to fix the security flaws that have been found in their CPU's. All current CPU's are affected and the software fixes slow down computers.

    Does you computer/laptop etc have a monitor output? Could you buy a new monitor and use that? If you could see one before purchase that would be best, otherwise use Amazon, ask questions and read reviews.

    Look at monitor review sites to find flicker free and eye friendly monitors:
    Some of the screens look on the large size
    Be aware of the maximum output frequency of you computer because it might not be able to match the speed of some monitors. My Intel graphics cannot match my monitors maximum refresh rate 144Hz, it can only get to 120Hz. You might have to use it at a lower frequency, maybe 60Hz. Check your computers output connections too and make sure that they match the display.

    There are some different aspect ratios too. Many are 16:9 but some use 16:10, others are extra wide screen.
    There are IPS, VA and TN panels and each has it's positive and negative points. IPS better colours but with IPS glow, VA great contrast but poor transitions on some colours. TN has poorer colours but fast refresh rates and pixel responses ie less blurring which is something I dislike. I did try a VA panel and really disliked it because it had terrible blurring when scrolling webpages. White backgrounds are less of a problem but I dislike using white backgrounds.
    PatJ likes this.
  5. Lucky luke

    Lucky luke

    I bought a ipad 2017 for downstairs. I have a desktop upstairs.
    Within a halfyear i started to get painfull eyes.
    I bought the apple lightning av adaptar. Now i can lay in bed in my livingroom and use the
    Internet on my television with a hdmi cable.
    Or sit on the side of my bed. Very handy. Now i don’t have eye problems anymore because my
    Tv is pretty far.
    I can read websites from 3 meters away by zooming the screen bigger with my finger on the ipad.
    Very fast the ipad. Better then my desktop.
    No harmfull bluelight anymore. Just a little eyestarin if i read too much.
  6. BlahBlahBlah


    It was really expensive but I have the tiny MacBook which is the first laptop ever made without a fan. It’s completely silent and lighter than my old iPad Air! There’s been more MacBooks out since which are more fancy but have fans in so even if I was offered a free swap I would stick with mine! I put my okdmicrosoft one on the other day and it instantly made me feel so ill
  7. wabi-sabi


    small town midwest
    I am looking for a laptop- something nice and light that I can carry around the apartment. Most of my time I am curled on the couch with the computer in my lap, although I sit up at the table with it for shorter periods. It also goes to my bed at night to sing me to sleep.

    I don't think I could get the screen on the new one fixed (already returned to store) since it was working fine according to specs, just not fine according to my body. I am afraid the issue is something about new screen technology. The computers I use at work don't bother my eyes ( back maybe since the work laptop is so, so heavy, but that's another story!) so I was quite taken aback when this new laptop made me ill. My laptop now is so old it predates my ME/CFS!

    @Lucky luke and @BlahBlahBlah I have always used a PC, but I may have to learn a Mac if that's better.

    @Richard7 I don't have any technical knowledge either, but I'll take a look at the link.

    Thanks everybody.
  8. Moof

    Moof Senior Member

    I've always used Macs. MacBook Pros have used flash memory for quite a while now (my current one was made in 2012) – so no spinning disks, no fans, no hot laptop burning your knees!

    They're also very long-lived. My last one, bought in 2004, still works well, although ever-increasing processor speeds and RAM demands now make it impractical as a main computer. The one before that was bought in 1995, and was still working when I upgraded. So three computers have lasted me 23 years so far!

See more popular forum discussions.

Share This Page