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I am not from Laminar Research; just a flight simmer from downunder.
I know it is some time since you asked your question. Have you solved the problem.
Here is a mathematical approach solution. Have a look at the following link from Russ Barlow found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjdgOBJ5xkQ
Having a five year old 24" flat screen, I think a 17" screen is rather small. Also, 17" says nothing about the pixel dimensions (i.e.: resolution). My screen has more than Full-HD resolution.
I think there are two distances, and you should pick your viewing distance in between:
Obviously a larger screen dimension doesn't help you for 1., but it would help you for 2. Higher resolution can help you if you can get close to the screen without eye-stress.
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