Snow Leopard Fuzzy Fonts and Dell ST2410

I recently bought a 24" LCD Dell Monitor(ST2410).  I know what you are thinking....its a Dell.  Well I heard they had good monitors and it turns out they do.  I bought the monitor to be used with my 15" MacBook Pro.  I stumbled across this model, and after reading several positive reviews(great color, etc) bought it on sale directly from Dell for $189 plus tax, free shipping.

Upon receiving it, and after a quick calibration, I was pleased with how it looked, save for one thing: fonts.  The fonts appeared fuzzy.  Those who know me know that I am a bit compulsive when it comes to HD and quality of audio and video so this won't fly.  When coding, I love how the fonts look within TextMate(my editor of choice).  It actually compells me to code.  The fonts looked skinny and blurry and not right.  I figured I'd deal with it, after all, not a bad price for a 1080p monitor.

The next day I plug it in the the fonts look great!!  Now I am very pleased and happy.  The happiness faded quickly though when the fonts were ugly looking and fuzzy again the next day.  What gives?

After much fooling around I was able to get the fonts looking great again.  It took multiple restarts unplugging and replugging the monitor in.  I started searching around and find that Snow Leopard handles anti-aliasing differently than previous OS X versions.  It looks like it handles it correctly.  Snow waits for the monitor to tell it that it is an LCD.  Since older CRTs and such don't have anti-aliasing it won't bother turning it on.  Some brands of monitors don't bother sending the signal over *ahem* Dell *ahem*.  So what to do?  Enable it!  Open up Terminal and type this:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

Voila!  Beautiful fonts are back.  Thanks to Joe Mullins for this information.  Check out his blog for the original source.

As for the monitor...  I'd definitely recommend it, especially if you can catch it on sale.  Feel free to send questions my way!