Oh yeah, this is the legacy computer from heck: ancient generic whitebox with ancient nVidia GeForce2 MX 400, CentOS, KDE, and the above 1920x1080 pixel which is kind of pushing the MX400 as far as it was designed to go. (I do have the current nVidia legacy driver installed, which they graciously still support.)
Now the fun starts: There are three different places where display gamma gets set in CentOS + KDE. First, on X startup, /etc/X11/Xorg.conf gets read. This sets up the settings for the login screen only, so just leave this alone unless the gamma is intolerably bad.
That in turn will be overridden by KDE, which appears to run the "xgamma" command to source in gammas it finds in ~/.kde/share/config/kgammarc. This file is updated by the Monitor Gamma tab in the KDE Display Setting widget.
This is turn is overridden only when you happen to run the utility nVidia provides with the driver, /usr/bin/nvidia-settings, which is invoked by the nVidia driver settings widget that gets installed in the KDE System menu. This utility stores its gamma settings in ~/.nvidia-settings-rc.
So to keep these three stooges of apps from messing up your settings:
- Remove the nVidia driver utility from the KDE menu so you are never tempted to run it, and delete the .nvidia-settings-rc file. The settings aren't used unless you run the nvidia-setting utility.
- Use only the the Monitor Gamma tab in the KDE Display Setting widget to set gammas / color correction.
- If you want to make the login screen look nice, edit /etc/X11/xorg.conf.
- You could "lock in" the values by running either xgamma or nvidia-settings from your .bashrc file. Or both, if you are not easilty confused.
And don't forget - with LCDs, "brightness" is really "contrast" and vice versa. http://www.poynton.com/notes/brightness_and_contrast/ has a pretty good sum-up of that.
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- "Classic" X fonts, those which would use XFS if I was running XFS. These are ancient X apps like xterm, etc.
- KDE, which uses Xft.
- Mozilla / Firefox
All these use four different DPI and antialiasing settings:
- No antialiasing at all in the case of classic bitmapped X fonts
- KDE allows you to control the Xft antialiasing setting via Control Center abd DPI via /etc/X11/Xresources
- Mozilla does its own thing, which looks like crap.
- Openoffice does its own thing, which looks even crappier.
Setting "Xft.dpi: 100" in Xresources helped the most. At 96 (the old default DPI) and 101 (as the video driver calculatea the DPI) some kind of rounding error caused all kinds of problem with kerning, 0's looking like O's, etc. I think I've just about straightened it out.
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The increase from 95 to 100 dpi makes quite a difference (I probably should have bought the 23-inch model; same price). Either:
- Linux fonts still suck
- My eyes are getting old
I vote for a combination theory - Linux fonts are developed by young whippersnappers with perfect vision. We need more geezers designing fonts.
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"What the hell do you call an OS like that?"
"I'll call it 'The Aristocrats'"
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I'm still trying to figure out how to load only lines N through M of a data file.....
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