Your Monitor is Too Bright!
Why Should You Care?:
Bright monitors are harder on your eyes, and in the case of CRTs, probably use more energy. Consider; when you read black text on a white page, you're looking at light that's been reflected from your room's light source, which isn't so bad. However, reading black text on a white background on a computer is like trying to read shadows in a light bulb. Instead of easy-to-look-at diffuse lighting, you're staring directly into a light source. Darker colors and a monitor that's adjusted darker may ease eye strain and produce richer, less washed-out colors.
Why Should You REALLY Care?:
I like dark monitors. I also like being very picky when it comes to what colors I set for my characters. Since almost everyone has their monitors set to spew many more photons than I ever appreciate, I have provided this short document that will assist you in changing your monitor settings to match mine. This will allow you the best possible recreation of the colors I use, allowing to see something closer to what I see, both in my mind, and on my screen.
How to Adjust Your Monitor:
In order to aid you in adjusting your monitor settings, I have provided this 'calibration chart'. You should adjust your settings until you cannot distinguish the portion of each color gradient at the first marking above it from the black background. Ideally, you should find it hard at this point to distinguish the brighter shades near the second marking. If your monitor's tint is off, you may use the lower swatches to attempt to correct it. The middle color swatches should each look very vibrant and 'pure', while the outside swatches should show a faint shift to either side of the color.