What is a pixel and what can it do for you?

Pixels should not be confused with the imaginary, elf-or fairy-like creature in children’s stories, such as Peter Pan. Pixies can only get you into trouble.

On the other hand, to paraphrase an old song, pixels can light up your life --and in fact they already do if you use a computer. The word is a combination of “picture” and “element.” Pixels are the smallest picture elements on your computer screen. They are the thousands of dots that, combined, bring you the image of a spreadsheet, the text of your report, or the message that you have caused the machine to make a fatal error.

On laptop screens a defective pixel may cause a permanently off-color spot. If you experience this, either return the computer or make that misbehaving pixel stand in the corner. Dot’s all I have to say about dot.

Source: The Handy Science Answer Book by Science and Technology Department of the Carnegie Library

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