Ambient Light Sensor



  • I was at a customer site last week and I had to install and test some software on a Dell Latitude laptop.  As I was working away on it I noticed that the screen would perioically dim and then brighten.  I figured it must be some power save thing so I plugged in the power supply and checked the power save settings.  This made no difference (which is not surprising given the title of the post).

    What was actually happening was that as I leaned forward or placed my hand near the ambient light sensor, thus blocking some of the light to it, it would kick in and dim the screen.  I'm not against this technology as such but the positioning of the sensor (on the bottom of the monitor bezel in line with the F3/F4 keys) is such that using the laptop normally causes the dim/brighten functionality to kick in unwantedly. 



  • Thye probably tested that feature with non-developers.  Those people never use the function keys.



  • @frits said:

    Thye probably tested that feature with non-developers.  Those people never use the function keys.

     

    Well I certainly did wonder what conditions they did test it under.  I noticed the problem after about 10 minutes use in a normally lit office.



  •  My macbook has the same problem, I turned it off. It uses it to decide when to bring the lights under the keys up, but each time you move your hand over the sensor the lights come on as well.

     Are you lefthanded by any chance?



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    the positioning of the sensor

    I had a laptop with a fingerprint sensor that was positioned just about where I would place my hands when typing on the laptop. Very annoying, as every time I'd place my hands over it, a popup would appear (with a sound, but I have sound usually off anyway).



  • My last cell phone (a flip-style model) used the camera to decide whether the outer screen should light up or not. If the phone was out but closed, the outer sreen was not lit but you could read it under ambient light since it was a simple LCD like you see on wristwatches. If it was dark the screen would be backlit.

    Since the phone lived in my pocket it was always dark and the backlight would stay on. There was no way to disable the feature and it reduced my battery life by quite a bit.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    the positioning of the sensor
     

    The microphone of my laptop is located right above the CPU fan.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @frits said:

    Thye probably tested that feature with non-developers.  Those people never use the function keys.

     

    Well I certainly did wonder what conditions they did test it under.  I noticed the problem after about 10 minutes use in a normally lit office.

    The light sensor on my Dell laptop is fine, although it sometimes changes brightness too quickly. It would be nice if it did it slower, so it's less noticeable.



  • @RogerWilco said:

     Are you lefthanded by any chance?
     

    I am generally right handed but do certain things left handed (open jars/bottles, put watch on) so I'm not sure if I use a keyboard left handedly*.  The mouse was on the right hand side though.

    *Aside: Is there a left or right handed way to use a keyboard?


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    *Aside: Is there a left or right handed way to use a keyboard?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard#One-handed_versions



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @frits said:

    Thye probably tested that feature with non-developers.  Those people never use the function keys.

     

    Well I certainly did wonder what conditions they did test it under.  I noticed the problem after about 10 minutes use in a normally lit office.

    The light sensor on my Dell laptop is fine, although it sometimes changes brightness too quickly. It would be nice if it did it slower, so it's less noticeable.

     

    I only used the laptop at one desk so it hardly counts as a thorough test.  Perhaps the light fell in such a way that my shadow fell across the sensor.



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @RogerWilco said:

     Are you lefthanded by any chance?
     

    I am generally right handed but do certain things left handed (open jars/bottles, put watch on) so I'm not sure if I use a keyboard left handedly*.  The mouse was on the right hand side though.

    *Aside: Is there a left or right handed way to use a keyboard?

     

    There can be if you type improperly. I can use a keyboard fairly well using only my left hand, but I'm much slower using only my right hand. Probably because a lot of the time I'm too lazy to take my hand off the mouse to type.



  • @mott555 said:

    @RTapeLoadingError said:

    @RogerWilco said:

     Are you lefthanded by any chance?
     

    I am generally right handed but do certain things left handed (open jars/bottles, put watch on) so I'm not sure if I use a keyboard left handedly*.  The mouse was on the right hand side though.

    *Aside: Is there a left or right handed way to use a keyboard?

     

    There can be if you type improperly. I can use a keyboard fairly well using only my left hand, but I'm much slower using only my right hand. Probably because a lot of the time I'm too lazy to take my hand off the mouse to type.

     I'm impressed that you have experience typing one-handed with both hands.  Switch-hitter.



  • @HighlyPaidContractor said:

     I'm impressed that you have experience typing one-handed with both hands.  Switch-hitter.
     

    I taught myself to use the mouse left handed so that I could click and write more easily.  (I was testing a product and had to write observations etc. while testing and I found that combination, once I learned to do it, the most efficient.)



  • @RTapeLoadingError said:

    Aside: Is there a left or right handed way to use a keyboard?

    The Keyboard Company in the UK sell a left-handed keyboard. (Linear Cherry MX black keyswitches, so surely it must have doubly diminished appeal, although the retro styling is very attractive to those familiar with 80s British micros. If the Cherries are properly mounted then swapping them out with blues or browns with someone who wants a black keyboard that only ships with browns or blues, should be relatively straightforward if you're good at that sort of thing. Personally I'm really looking forward to the UK Tactile Pro 3 arriving -- finally get to lay my hands on Fukkas.)

    I don't understand what a "left-handed keyboard" is supposed to be. Tenkeyless keyboards—keyboards with no number pad—exist to save space and move the mouse closer to your hand. As such, the left-handed keyboard above is the ultimate arrangement for a right-hander, as the mouse is right next to your hand, and you get to keep the arrows and the number pad.

    Consequently, a normal keyboard is the ideal arrangement for a lefty.

    Sadly I couldn't buy one even I had desk room, because I can't bear the thought of returning to linear keyswitches. Cherry MX reds maybe, but 80s micros are welcome to Cherry linears and they can keep them.

    [Edit: Wow. I know I'm a CS noob, but forums don't normally forget to put your post on the forum page after you post it…]


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