Forum change and use of white backgrounds on webs and mobile - what's going on here?


I know what this can cost. At one time I checked out a forum software from a German company - a forum platform I really liked - and the cost was too much for me for just a private family forum. I did find an open-source forum software that was very close to that and was free. :grinning: I think any complaining - if anyone has done so on the Discourse forum - was done as an individual and didn’t ID Tomnod. One thing that wouldn’t hurt would be if the developers did take into consideration comments, likes and dislikes of the users themselves and not limit their “improvements” to the forum software to strictly their own ideas. The more input from other sources can greatly improve the overall product. :wink: Of course, from the coding aspect of it, some users likes/desires can be coding nightmares. :hushed: :laughing:


Yeah, it would be nice if they were more receptive to us ordinary folk. :smiley:


Eek :grimacing: I just posted an image of our cramed forum with the TN logo up in the corner…thanks for the warning Cagey, I’ve just gone and edited it :sweat_smile:
Could you just check I’ve not done anything else wrong…please :blush: Probably too late anyway :roll_eyes:


It depends on what level of grey they’re using - the lighter the grey, the darker the background needs to be to contrast it. I too struggle with the lighter greys against a white background.

I’m having similar issues at work with Microsoft Office - I run a dark background with lighter text, as I’ve found over the years it’s easier on my eyes, and causes me fewer headaches. In the latest versions of the software, they’ve taken away the ability to change the background colour, you get stark white and have to put up with it.
It seems that MS have taken the view that everyone is using a tablet or smaller screen, and it probably looks better on that. It also drains the battery less, so batteries on mobile devices will last longer using the white.
I don’t mind so much if they set that as a default, but give users the option to change it if they want to.

Definitely, and it’s the easiest way to push me away as a customer/user.

Definitely not blaming Tn, it’s most likely a software update that has just happened as part of the subscription. I can imagine websites all over the internet with similar threads to this, from users who suddenly got it pushed on them.


I agree Helen.
The newest upgrade for Macbook - Mojave - gives you the option of the white or black background.
I notice when you look at your TN Activity page - the topics are all in blue - at least on my page.


Of course it depends on your definitions of black… and grey… in RGB context black is 0,0,0 and even a single one in any of the columns makes it grey… most people not be able to tell even if something is very dark yellow or anything else… from violet to red…

But it has been a problem a long time… I remember when HTML started… lots of people just selected colours from their chart… saying "I can clearly see that this is bright blue with yellow text… not realizing that they were using old monitors and that device selected what they were capable of… not what the viewing public were capable of… and that caused a lot of similar hassles for much the same reason… when things got a bit better people were using the 256 colour HTML safe colours for a reason… then computers got capable of many more colours (say millions) and it started over… however now it is the cellphones trying to lose the complications that people created… themselves… and taken away our hard earned corrections to suit themselves…

Someone wrote about not using a cell phone any more… I suspect it was @Jim7… I don’t have time to look it up… I’ve done without any phone with little regrets since 2005… aside from the odd call on Lynne’s phone…
When I get back to hiking I might get a cell for remote communications or not… my ham stuff still works but not many to talk with these days… in this area…


It’s definitely a step in the right direction! A totally black background is almost as headache-inducing as bright white, but slightly more tolerable.
Windows 7 was the last version to have reasonable customisation. Windows 10 is starting to catch up, it now has a “Dark Mode”, but it does have its limitations. It doesn’t touch Office applications or web browsers. Fortunately, Chrome has various “Dark Modes” available, and I’ve found the registry hack for changing the background in Excel (the one I spend most of my working life using when I’m not using the CAD software).

I think that’s probably what has driven the change (I hesitate to call it an “upgrade”) in the Discourse software.

I do use a mobile/cell phone fairly regularly, but it has its place, it definitely doesn’t get the use to the extent that I see some people “glued” to their phones. What DO they do on them all day? I’ve never worked it out…


They use their phones the same way people use desktops, laptops and iPads - for everything! I shake my head when I see someone pushing their bicycle up the hill with one hand while staring at their phone in the other. At night I see people walk up and down the hill with that bluish white light shining in their faces. Ridiculous! Apparently they don’t realize that cellphones (of all types) are low-level microwave transmitters and they’re “slow-cooking” their bodies with them, especially whatever part of the body they’re closest to. Same goes for routers - microwave transmitters (technically transceivers… transmitters and receivers). I cringe when I see my granddaughters sit in a parlor chairs with iPads on their laps. I tell them to sit at the table and get those things off their laps.
I think the only time I’ve used a cellphone since 2000 was to answer my wife’s phone. I don’t miss it and have managed for 18 years without it pretty well.


You won’t catch me doing that! There are things that I just couldn’t do on a small screen. Work, for one - I need a large screen for CAD work. Photo editing - I’d miss too many details on a smaller screen.
And that’s without mentioning the greater control you have with a mouse and 3D mouse over trying to do everything with a fingertip.
Or, the neck and back problems they are creating for themselves by constantly looking down at the phone they are cradling. :unamused:

It does make me wonder how they think they work then? :roll_eyes::thinking:


From local experience with users in malls, restaurants and other public spaces… I’d say that they probably think it’s the talking as loud as they can that gets things done… same for two way radios of the non cell type… and sometimes for landline phones.

If you like to have fun… when I need one, I just ask if I can borrow their two way radio ( cellular radio telephone). for a call…


Or the other phenomenon we seem to experience (certainly in the UK, and I’m sure we’re not unique!) is that the louder you talk into your phone, the better the recipient will hear you.

Sometimes I wish I could get away at work with a smaller device, the laptop/workstation is 2.6kg/5.6lbs, and that’s without all of the other gear I have to go with it!


@Helen, You reminded me of how some people hold the microphone of a radio away from their mouth and shout, or practically swallow it and still shout. Like Doug said, they think if they shout the other person can hear them better (especially if they know the other person is far away). :laughing: And then you have those who use the headsets where the microphone is next to their cheek - and speak so softly you can barely understand what they are saying. If they could only hear themselves, then they would hear how they sound and make the necessary adjustments to their voices… maybe.

My son asked me why I don’t get an iPad so I would have to lug all the “extras” around with me. I asked him, “Can you play/burn a DVD on an iPad? Can you use a multiple port hub for thumb drives on an iPad?” And I went through all the other things I use my laptop for and every time his answer was a repetitive “No.” “That’s why,” I told him, “I lug all these around from my house to yours and back.” :wink: Besides, my fingers don’t work very well, if not at all, on touch screens. I don’t even use the touch pad that comes on laptops. I usually turn them off as soon as I turn on the laptops for the first time. On this particular laptop I haven’t done this yet, and every once in a while all I do is inadvertently brush my wrist across the touch pad and whatever I’m working on gets screwed up - and I have to undo or fix whatever got changed. Sometimes it’s just a pop-up menu for selecting text, copying, etc… :unamused:

When I was growing up my mother used to nag all of us children about holding our heads up straight, sitting properly (for good posture), etc… I’ve seen so many people - those who’ve used smartphones as soon as they came out - with bent over necks… even when they’re not using their phones. Serious medical issues are in their futures. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Magic! :rofl:


Your comment actually seems to be identical phenomena… and as @Jim7 said next, it’s bad with radio of the analog type… FM radios have limiters that cut off anything over a certain volume input… due to the nature of the device… it’s the radio channel width that is the limit… and the radio has to fit or else.
It is counter intuitive to some that to get better signal range, that you can speak clearly but quieter and that will apply all of the signal into a narrower width… thus effectively a stronger transmitted signal… again the nature of an FM signal… think like it’s a light… your choice, same amount of light projected, but a spotlight will be brighter further than a flood light of the same strength, or an omni directional bulb… As for hearing better… well I fear a lot of people have already simply gone dear at least partly over their lives… or should pick quieter locations to chat… they seem to believe that I really don’t believe that anyone would actually talk (or shout) to them… so speakerphone it is and volume loud adding to the noise level… of everyone else doing the same.
As I said before… I don’t have any phone at all… radio or twisted pair… just borrow occasionally… I am considering a simper 'not so smart phone though… just getting to the end of a bad Cable contract… then I might do that… simply not much programming for the price… but will consider keeping the Internet service…

As for the portable device… I use an ASUS eeebook I got a few years ago… that only weighs 1 kg and works fine… cost is good, but the downside is no built in optical and limited storage for software… both fixable with small plug in auxiliary drives… I have one TB external drive and of course thumb sticks…

As it has a foldover screen and a touch pad I find it more convenient than a touch screen. and cleaner… also a fairly decent keyboard. They make touch screen though… mine was a clearout… for a large screen I plug into my 40 inch TV (HD)… fine for TN work…

@Jim7 should note that W10 allows you to plug in a usb mouse, or wireless receiver to a USB port…
and will cut off the touchpad (after setting that option) whenever a mouse is plugged into the USB… handy and less nuisance.


As I mentioned, I have always disabled the touch pads on my laptops. I just haven’t done so for this one yet. On the last laptop I had, all I had to do was to press and hold the upper(?) left hand corner for a couple of seconds and the touch pad was disabled. Pressing and holding the same corner again would re-enable it. I just tried it on this laptop - nope… doesn’t work. Guess I’ll have to look through the help files to find out how to do it on this one. That’s another thing that bugs me - all “help” files seem to be online now. To me, that is kind of stupid. What happens if you can’t get onto the Internet or have no Internet connection? You’re not going to get help. I will admit there is some limited help on the laptop itself, but to delve into anything specific they only give links to online help. Yeah… that’s a real help. :unamused:


If that is your new HP (similar to the one I got…) you can download a manual .PDF file… I use that… it might already be in your drive… I think there is an HP folder… the one I downloaded went on my other eee book…
Nice thing about what I mentioned is that it cuts the pad off whenever there is a mouse installed in USB automatically.


I do have a mouse in a USB port… touch pad is still working. My other HP laptop had a very tiny orange LED - more like a pinhole - in the top(?) left corner that would light up when the touch pad was disengaged. This one apparently does not. Thanks for the suggestion about looking in the HP folder for the PDF help file. I’ll let you know if it’s there on this machine.


Just so no one wonders what is going on between the exchanges @Doug4 and I had going regarding touch pads and mice, Doug and I have been conversing in Private Message so as to not “contaminate” this topic any longer with our thread (which would definitely qualify as being “off-topic”). :wink:


Neither do I. Can’t get on with them either.

I got a new laptop recently and it was a while before I realised that I was doing exactly the same. Took me a while to work out what was going on, as I’d already disabled it on the other one and 5 years passing made me forget what I’d done.

I had one of those a while back (earlier version than yours by the sound of it, mine didn’t have the foldover screen) - it was useful to me for portable computing (text documents, email, storage, etc) but I couldn’t get on with it for any photo editing, the 10" screen was just too small.

Win7 also had that option. I disabled that on my works laptop, and we’ve not all gone over to Win10 yet… I found that option very handy! The touchpad only works when there’s no mouse plugged in.

I can just about cope with a touchscreen for basic stuff, but nothing fancy. I don’t think my fingers are mobile enough to do some of the screen-motions that are needed for some operations…


There’s a setting under the Mouse options in Windows.
I can’t screengrab it from this machine, as it’s a desktop with no touchpad…(and yes I did just look in the settings before I realised… :roll_eyes::thinking:) but if I remember rightly, in the Mouse options, there’s a Touchpad tab, it’s a checkbox in there somewhere.


At the moment I’ve been searching Win10 for the mouse properties and looking for the touch screen as well. So far, nothing - even under devices! I remember in Win7 it was so easy to make these changes. Guess MS doesn’t want people to mess with “their” (MS) system. Each time they do give a link for something (to find on the Internet), it wants to open MS Edge… which I do not use! I guess the easiest way is just to go to MS’s help forum look there. Sigh… This damn jumping through hoops to make a simple change is absolutely ridiculous! I think I’ll be popping Linux onto my old laptop that MS’s update killed… and throw it onto this one as well. I prefer to have control over what my computer does, not the other way around. :rage:

I went into my Control Panel (jump through hoops to get that also), and this is how it went:

  1. In “Search” entered “pointing devices”
    Result: “No results found”
  2. In “Search” entered “mouse”
    Result: Mouse
  3. Clicked “Properties”, then ELAN (ELAN touch pad (which is only ID’d as ELAN on the tab).
    Result: brought up the box where I clicked, “Disable when external USB pointing device plug in”
    (Talk about bad English - especially for MS! Also, why did they use the term “pointing device” when using that term in the search ends up with “No results”? Huh?) :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
  4. Clicked “Apply” and the touch pad is no longer active. Yeah! :laughing:
  5. Made a wish I still had my old DOS machines. :wink: