I’ve Seen The Light

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Somewhere at Philips and Microsoft, there are a couple of programmers that need to be shown the door for showing me the light.

I just came home from the visitation for a late ham friend, and woke my computer up, only to find the lower-right corner of the CRT screen to be brighter than the rest. It’s so bright, in fact, that the entire square is blurry. Now obviously, this is due to the “SuperBright” feature (or whatever it’s called) that is supposed to brighten any window with motion video in it. Well, it’s mis-fired, and thinks the lower-right corner of my screen is showing a video. But it’s not, and there is no way for me to remove the highlighted rectangle.

Philips blew it, because there seems to be link to let me start, stop, or configure the application that is making this happen, and Microsoft blew it because the useless Task Manager refuses to provide identifying information about each process running. My monitor bezel shows simply “107T” as the model number yet there is no exact match for that model number, the Philips support page is also unfriendly. Windows’ control panel hinted that the model number might be 107T2, but no such product exists in the Philips support page. There is a model “107T21”, but that’s not quite my unit, either.

OK, so now I know the feature is called LightFrame, but am no closer to finding the culprit. There is no such application installed, at least according to the Control Panel, and I can’t fathom what application triggered the LightFrame feature. Since I had run into a similar problem during the last monitor test I did at CADENCE magazine, though, I knew what the culprit was, and what a workaround was likely to be. I simply had to launch an application that had video in it and then shut it down, so that this application would be fooled into thinking that the application it thought had started had now been closed, and it could restore normal brightness. This trick worked like a charm, but why in Hell should I have to go to all this trouble‽

Author: Peter Sheerin

Peter Sheerin is best known for the decade he spent as the Technical Editor of CADENCE magazine, where he was the acknowledged expert in Computer-Aided Design hardware and software. He has a long-standing passion for improving usability of software, hardware, and everyday objects that is always interwoven in his articles. Peter is available for freelance technical writing and product reviews, and is exploring career opportunities in interaction design. His pet personal project is exploring the best ways to harmonize visual, tactile, and audible symbols for improving the effectiveness of alerting systems.

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