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Fri, 11 Mar 2005
It's Official - I am Color Impaired

Tonight was our biweekly meeting of the Bainbridge Island Geeks, a local gathering of software types on the island. We've been working our way through Josh Kerievsky's "Refactoring to Patterns", but we didn't quite get to it tonight, in part because turnout was a little bit light, and in part because we got sidetracked onto other things.

One of the other things that I got sidetracked into was a long discussion and exploration of color settings on the Mac. Sarah was complaining about the differences between colors on Macs versus Windows and Linux, so Rick sat down to give her (and me, inadvertently) a lesson on computers and colors. During the course of the lesson, we ended up creating several color profiles for Sarah's Powerbook. Sarah was switching back and forth between profiles, and she and Rick were commenting on the differences that they saw under the various profiles. I was watching along, but at a certain point, I just could not see a difference between the two profiles under consideration. I moved so that I was looking at the LCD straight on, and then I stuck my face quite close to the screen while Sarah toggled back and forth between the profiles. I just could not see any difference whatsoever.

Early on when we got married, Julie used to tease me about being color-blind. While I'm not color-blind (I can see colors), the whole experience has left me feeling "color-impaired". My eyes seem to be lacking a certain amount of color resolution, because I just could not see what Sarah (and Rick) were talking about.

[00:26] | [misc] | # | TB | F | G | 6 Comments | Other blogs commenting on this post

Ishihara Test for Color Blindness:


There wikipedia link above has another set.
Posted by Andrew at Sat Mar 12 13:40:04 2005

I discovered that I had a color vision deficiency (deuteranopia, to be exact) when I was designing a sonar system for a submarine. The system displayed a 3D image of the sea floor using sonar data, and a band of colors was used to emphasize the topographical levels of the sea floor.

Red was the obvious choice for the points highest in altitude. I used green way down near the bottom of the legend, not because I was trying to create a "green grass in the ocean valley" image, but because the standard green color on the display was one of the dimmest colors to me. I put blue next after red, since it was the next brightest color to me.

As soon as one of my colleagues saw me demo the system and explain the color scale that I had chosen, he had me take the Ishihara test. I was 25  years old then, and this was the first time I was aware that I had any degree of color vision deficiency whatsoever.

After discovering that I had deuteranopia, I took a look in my closet. I had a very large number of blue shirts, and only one green shirt. I still have disagreements with my wife over whether something is green or brown, though I know I'm always wrong. Before I buy any clothes that I think are brown, though, I always check with her. No point in looking like I'm trying to dress up for St. Patrick's Day all the time.

The test for deuteranopia on the Wikipedia color_blindness page is pretty good. While I can barely make out what appears to be some faint wisps of green in that image, I don't see anything in it that looks even remotely like a number. I can quite easily see the digits in all the other images.
Posted by
Robert Stewart at Sun Mar 13 00:40:17 2005

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