Category Archives: Stories

Random Color Scheme Syndrome

Did you ever hear of the random color scheme syndrome? Saucygrrl tries to explain what this is all about at Stop the madness.

She says, it’s something like color blindness, only that you are not colorblind but have a real bad taste when it comes to color matching. Free under the motto, everything fits well.

I would says, I definitely suffer under the random color scheme syndrome—at least when other people look at my color matching experiments.

But aren’t all you colorblind fellows suffering from it, are you?

Do You Have to Order Your Markers to Know Their Colors?

How can you remember the color of your markers or crayons if you are colorblind? You can not, if you don’t use any trick which helps you to remember the colors they have.

The following reader question reached me a few days ago and points out this well known problem. Everybody suffering from color blindness will remember the time, when he had to use some kind of a system, when the marker box was to large to tell the different colors apart from each other.

My friend claims he is red-green and blue-yellow colorblind and said that as a kid had to put all of his markers back in the box in order so that he would know which color was which in school. I know the receptors in the eye are red, blue, green, and yellow? So can he see any color at all?

I would like to split this question into three different parts, each one covering a one part of the above statements.

He is red-green and blue-yellow colorblind. To chance to suffer from both types of color blindness at the same time is very very very low. If you really suffer from blue-yellow and red-green color blindness, you will definitely mix up a lot of colors. But on the other side, even if you are red-green colorblind this doesn’t mean you only have problems distinguishing red and green but many different colors like: orange/green, blue-green/gray/purple, red/dark-green/brown, and more.

The receptors in the eye are red, blue, green, and yellow. Well, that’s not quite right. With normal color vision you’ll have three different color receptors which are most sensitive to blue, red, and green respectively. If you are colorblind, at least one type of color receptors is either missing at all (dichromatism) or the peak of sensitivity is displaced (anomalous trichromatism).

So can he see any color at all? Yes, he can see colors and does not only precept shades of gray. There is only one exception to this, when you are suffering from achromatopsia (monochromatism). But as he can use markers he must be able to see some colors. When you are colorblind you still can enjoy a very colorful world, which is just less colorful compared to somebody with normal color vision.

So each one who is colorblind needs a trick to handle the problem of an oversized marker box. I also remember the time at school where I just knew by heart which crayon had which color. When I had to use the box of a friend of mine, I was lost. And unfortunately this doesn’t stop with marker boxes but accompanies you through your whole life.

You have to learn colors and remember them, again and again, and of course you get better when growing older. Don’t you?

Is it a Wonderful World of Color?

A Great Big Nerd opens the curtain and tells us some stories about his life with color blindness. Very typical stories, which every colorblind among us knows by heart.

If you are colorblind, you know it, the same old question when someone learns about your color vision deficiency.

If you know a colorblind, it’s the first question you ask him (or in some uncommon cases her).

“What color is this?”

Do we really need to know? Our Nerd puts it this way:

Me: “There is our car, between those two blue cars.”
Em: “Where?”
Me: “Right there! Between the blue ones!”
Em: “Um, those cars are both green.”
Me: “Oh.”

So don’t be to pedantic. We are all living on the same Wonderful World of Color but just experience it differently.

The perfect Wall Color

It was a very quick decision and the job was done in a couple of hours — our colored bedroom wall.

First we wanted many colored walls, then we stepped back and stayed with white walls and sometimes we move forward again and paint a wall in a fresh color.

The question is always, “which color is the right color”. For me as a colorblind this is a valuable question and also for my not colorblind wife. But we both look at it from a different perspective.

I definitely choose colors based on other visual impressions than somebody with normal color vision. So every time the same question arises: Does the chosen color fit for both.

Often this isn’t that easy and I have to agree to a compromise. Yes, most often it is me because I’m the one which can’t see the true colors and I know about it.

Now, which is the perfect wall color? I don’t know. But I have to feel ok with it and in the case of our bedroom wall it has to be a chosen color of my wife.

And which color did we choose? That’s the best part of the story: I don’t know either. It’s something between blue, violet, aubergine and pink. Blue with a touch of red. I can’t tell you and even our visitors are arguing about it which makes me feel a bit better, because I’m not the only one which has problems with matching colors and color names.

Windows Vista Upgrade List

Windows Vista Upgrade List
Windows Vista Upgrade List

Yesterday I bought a new laptop. What I definitely wanted to have included in the package I bought was the new operating system form Microsoft: Windows Vista.

And just after I made the deal I found this upgrade list for Windows Vista in a newsjournal of a local book and software seller. Not that I want to buy an upgrade. But out of actuality reasons I had a look at it — and was very much confused.

The scanning of the image and also each individual computer display doesn’t show the exact same colors as they are printed in the journal. But when I looked at the journal I couldn’t make a difference at all. Even when I looked really really close, my color blindness forbid me to distinguish the two different colored circles.

Don’t they have one person working at this magazine who is also colorblind? This can’t be true that they choose a shade of green and a shade of red which are so close together. I thought the term red-green color blindness made it’s way around…

I will write them a short notice and see what they think about it. Luky me, I already ordered the windows vista of my choice.

Colorblind at the Traffic Light

Traffic Light
Traffic Light by Rivertay

I have a drivers license for more than ten years now. When I applied for it I didn’t had to take a color blindness test. This is maybe the reason why I have one…

The question most people think about when they hear, that someone who is colorblind and does have a drivers license is: “How do you know when to stop at the traffic light?” And they don’t stop thinking here but start to find a reason themselves.

People conclude that if you are colorblind you know, red is on top, green at the bottom and that’s the way colorblind people find their way through the traffic jungle. But that’s wrong.

Why is it wrong?

  • The association between top and stop, bottom and go is to weak.
  • The connection for deciding what to do is not fast enough.
  • The thought needs to many steps. Light – top – stop is one step to much.

So what do you do if you are colorblind?

Colorblind doesn’t mean you can’t see colors at all. You can see colors, differences in hue, saturation and lightness. Maybe not as good as with normal vision, but you definitely have a broader vision than just black, white and gray. And because of that, people suffering from color blindness do see different colors at the traffic light. Some more differences, some less and maybe not the same difference in color as people with normal vision. But all you have to learn is which color you see relates to which reaction.

If you are colorblind you know this color means stop and that color means go. You don’t know the name of the color. You maybe can’t relate the colors you see at the traffic light with other colors in the nature. You even may give them other names. But you will always know the difference because you can see a difference.

Traffic Light
Traffic Light by i_yudai

If you are not affected by color blindness I suppose all this is hard to imagine. Have a look at some pics and help your imagination. Some pics are about Walk – Don’t Walk pedestrian lights, modulated to show different color vision deficiencies.

By the way, there are many traffic lights not only from top (red) to bottom (green) but from left (red) to right (green). If you would just remember the sides, you definitely would mix them up all the time.

T+T83 Telphone Socket Wiring

We are in the midst of renovating our new home. It’s great and exhausting work. But if you can see what you achieved at the end of the day it is just a good feeling.

Just today I finished (momentarily) our office. Some wallpaper work, new painting, new carpet, renovation of the baseboards and some electric work. It took me quite some time to finish all those things but already when I started I had a tough nut to crack.

T+T83 Telephone Socket
T+T83 Telephone Socket

I elongated the telephone wire and at the same time I substituted the old telephone socket through a new T+T83 socket. When I started this task I new I’ll get some problems because wires are always color coded. With my color blindness I have problems when something is color coded. I usually need some help which is more often than not my wifes task.

But this time it weren’t only the colors which made me struggle but also the fact that I couldn’t find out how to connect the wires to the telephone socket! It took me more than two hours searching the web until I found a newsgroup entry which could answer my question. So here I want to share my new knowledge about the T+T83 telephone socket.

Code Color
a white
b blue
c turquoise
d violet

In Switzerland a ordinary telephone cable includes four wires a-b-c-d. They can have a whole lot of different colors but the standard and most used are shown in the table on the left. Isn’t this a great choice of colors? Besides the white I couldn’t tell a difference between the others. Next time a telephone standards committee decides on colors a colorblind should be in there too.

T+T83 Socket Schema
T+T83 Socket Schema

The telephone socket T+T83 looks like the diagram on the side. It has six different connecting points numbered 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a and 3b.

This makes it only one part missing – the connection table. And if you can distinguish the four different wires (!) with the right tools handy the wiring can be done in a few minutes. A nice step by step tutorial how to do the whole job can also be found here.

Socket Wire Color
1a a white
1b b blue
2a c turquoise
2b d violet

Next time it definitely won’t take that long…

Colorblind Gaming

It is quite a while ago I played my last computer game. But I also had times where I played together with my friends all night through. Back in those days it never came to my mind that my color blindness could be some kind of handicap while trying to beat my friends.

Colorblind Gaming - Rockstars Table Tennis
Colorblind Gaming with Rockstar’s Table Tennis

Conrad Quality-Harper a member of the Joystiq blog group describes in Colorblind gaming or: Table Tennis is impossibly hard! his experiences with gaming and color blindness. In this special case he has a closer look at Rockstar’s Table Tennis where the spin of the ball is reflected in its color. He describes how the training mode is almost impossible to master as being colorblind and therefore not able to distinguish the colors of the ball in the given time.

I think the gaming industry made a lot of improvements and learned how to achieve simple controlling in complex games. They often are working with pictograms adjoined to the colored information. Or with some other kind of visual effects witch are also closer to nature where things are often not color coded too.

Do you have any experiences with games and color blindness? Or do you know of a game which could be hard to play for somebody being colorblind? Let me know about it.

Parquet Flooring

Rustic Red Oak - Wide Planks
Rustic Red Oak

We just bought a house and we are very happy about it. Only ten days to go and we can start with our renovation.

On the upper floor we will lay new parquet flooring, which took as quite some time to decide about.

First we thought to use some carpets. But during the last months and weeks we came to the decision to use wood. A great decision, I thought, because you can omit the color discussion as it would be when using carpets. Wood is just wood and this is not about colors. – This was before we consulted the first parquet flooring companies!

Now I am a few weeks older, which feels like years, and a lot smarter concerning wood. There are so many different kinds of parquet flooring to choose from, it’s incredible.

  • Many different wood types. For example White Oak, Red Oak and Silver Maple.
  • The wood quality like premium, select, character or rustic.
  • Different plank sices. You can choose from 3-strip or 2-strip, wide or extra wide, just to number a few.
  • And last but not least the finishing. Either sealed or oiled. And if you choose oiled it is white, normal or dark oiled. And if you choose oak you can even choose from many many different color oils….
Rustic Ash - Wide Planks
Rustic Ash

There are many decisions to take and this are decisions which will last long. And if you are colorblind it isn’t easier at all. You can’t talk with the others who can see colors because they talk about the reddish one which you just had a look at a few minutes ago. Huh?

You have to go and look at all the example planks. And omit talking about colors. Because there are only slight color differences which you will never ever be able to see as a colorblind.

We decided not to talk about colors but just have a look at them and choose the most beautiful one. It is a rustic white oak extra wide plank white oiled – as I can tell you know as an expert in parquet flooring.

Green Bananas

Two days ago it happend again. It wasn’t the first time and it definitely won’t be the last this happened to me.

Can you spot the Green Banana?

I like bananas. Not as much as my son does like or better love them, but I like them. If they are not too ripe with brown dots all over, that’s how I like them most. But of course they shouldn’t be green anymore. Yellow is the color, the color of a tasty bananas.

If you read the above sentences I suppose you can already spot the problem which arises when you are affected by color blindness and would like to eat a tasty banana.

Already when I am shopping I don’t see the difference between green and yellow ones. They all look ok to me. And at home the same problem arises again: When are they ripening from green to yellow?

And that’s why from time to time I start eating a green banana. Only one bite and even I recognize the mistake. You just can’t eat a green banana, they taste horrid.

Sometimes that really bothers me. They just look the same. I can’t see any difference at all. Everybody else has no problem to see the banana isn’t ripe yet. But through my colorblind eyes they aren’t distinguishable. And that’s why I have to swallow the bitter pill or better said the bitter bite of green banana sometimes.

Related articles:
Bread Wrapped Up in Colors
Shopping for my Boy