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I recently installed Lion (Mac OS X 10.7.3) on my early 2008 MacBook. I know many of the color changing options in Mail and iCal have been taken away (probably due to app syncing or Cocoa issues). I can live with this as long as the result is legible.

In Mail, the list of Mailboxes is listed in a light blue color, with black letters which turn a transparent white or silver when selected - difficult to read. My work-around has been to list my more frequently used Mailboxes in the toolbar, but I have too many Mailboxes to put them all up there. Any suggestions?

In iCal, I can live with all of the ugly artificial leather stuff, but my main issue is the definition between dates and days in each view (Day, Week, or Month) is so light it is almost invisible. Only when an entry is made is the data legible but the times and dates above and below are not. Again, any suggestions? Do I need to upgrade my laptop to get a higher resolution?

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It seems like the contrast on your display is too low for you. If you can adjust the contrast on your monitor, try increasing it. If you cannot change the contrast (such as the internal laptop displays), fuss around in the color calibration utility (go to System Preferences > Displays > choose the window on the monitor you want to change > Color tab > Calibrate… and follow the instructions). Make sure Mail and iCal are visible behind the calibration window so you can see if your changes are sufficient. I'd suggest using Expert Mode and paying especial attention to the vertical sliders on the left.

To answer your final question regarding resolution, upgrading to a higher-res machine would not help. Apple's machines are usually fairly standardly calibrated from the factory, so a higher resolution would simply make the pixels smaller, not easier to distinguish, and might even make things worse.

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