Friday, September 18, 2009

Windows 7 RTM Annoyances Part #1- Matrox TH2G

Spent the summer in Gytheion - that was both a blessing and a curse in disguise, as the summer house is about 50m from the beach, but it's also fully equipped with a beefy PC and a (slow, but steady) ADSL connection. This meant I had a 'holiday' in reach, but I could also work in the same manner as I could in our home. Guess what ended up happening.

Yes - I worked. Every day, all day. I went to the beach maybe 3 times all summer long. Meh - it's OK - after all, I don't like swimming that much (not in the sea, anyway - too much salt, sand and mess to clean up afterwards).

Why this prologue? Well- I wanted to artfully mention my beefy PC there of course :). And what best to install on a beefy PC over the summer, than the all-new RTM of Windows 7 x64. The PC had previously been running Windows 2008 Server (made to look like Vista), but boys love toys, so Win7 was installed. Without a hitch. And ran beautifully. Just like it has been running on the laptop - but that couldn't have been a comparison, so I had to know.

One note here though: The PC at Gytheion runs on a dual-monitor configuration, using both DVI outputs of a semi-recent NVidia card. Thus, it runs well, really just as expected.

The summer ended, so we returned back to Athens - our son had to go to school, etc.

My beefier PC at home patiently waited its turn. I had been running Vista x64 before, and with all the software that one tends to install over time and since Win7 showed no problems whatsoever on the other, less beefy PC, I was really itching to install here.

And I did.

And after a week, I am reinstalling.


Because no matter how much I've tried since, I simply cannot convince it that I am not SERIOUSLY myopic and entirely disabled, so I want my system fonts to look NORMAL, not HUGE. Because, you see, when Win7 was installing, it discovered that I was using a Matrox Triplehead2Go device, so it thought my monitor was really 3x1280x1024 - i.e. 3840x1024. And what does that mean? Well, it thought that it's a SUPER-wide screen resolution, which merits MEDIUM size fonts by default. Not Small, as per the normal configuration, on 1280x1024.

Guess what. It's HORRIBLE. You can't see ANYTHING. Even though I resized, told it to use Tahoma, set it to 8pt, went into the registry - nothing I could do would help.

So now I am reinstalling. This time, I've unplugged the TH2G. And now Windows7 thinks I have regular monitors. So my fonts look the right size.

Please, Redmond, next time you think you know what's best for the user - by all means, keep thinking it, but OFFER A CHOICE. Or, at least, allow that choice to be changed later...

I'll report back with more annoyances if/when I find any. Right now, I am simply reinstalling everything on the PC.


Bill said...

Windows had probably changed the "DPI" setting. You can adjust the DPI via the "Advanced" button of the Display Properties->Settings tab (at least, that's where it is in Windows XP).

Bill said...

BTW... would you be willing to rent out your summer place to a Canadian couple if/when they make it over to Greece?? =)

Lefteris said...


I wish it were that simple as a DPI setting change. The DPI was the FIRST thing I changed back to 96. However, that did NOT fix the internal corruption of the 'old-style' fonts, thus my frustration.

Matrox drivers are so far unworthy of Windows7 - I will most likely be going back to a two-screen choice with two 24 inch 1920x1200 screens, which are more than the 3 1280x1024 ones in total resolution.

I'll ask my inlaws about the summer place :D

Anonymous said...

Had a sea once. Pitch-black little bastard