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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 4:30 am 
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Apple 1st High Res Retina Laptops/ Tablets, Others Follow?

Well.. this would make leave Thinkpads. I wish we could Petition the Thinkpad Design team to WAKE UP!

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57434 ... port-says/

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13579_3-57434 ... nd-pricey/

I have to thank Apple for the Retina display. Someone is making the market go towards real High Resolution displays, like how Thinkpads with SXGA+/ UXGA/ QXGA used to be.

Win8: High Resolution Retina Laptops, Thinkpad & Tablet PCs.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012 ... reens.aspx

I'd love to see these outlined resolutions & sizes in the future. Hopefully, they also touch the 13/14" segment with the High Resolution Slates with Add on USB+BlueTooth Keyboards that have Thinkpad like FEEL/ MECHANISM/ TOUGHNESS/ Roll cage.

loyukfai wrote:
There's a post on liliputing of some Intel slides that the company is expecting the arrival of "retina display" level LCD in laptop and desktop starting from 2013+.

According to the resolutions and assuming square pixel, the ratio varies between 16:10 to 16:9.

Cheers.

Ref: http://liliputing.com/2012/04/intel-ret ... -2013.html

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:30 am 
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Especially if you will have to readjust muscle memory due to change of keyboards in Thinkpads anyway - you might as well jump ship to Apple.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 6:47 am 
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Utwig wrote:
Especially if you will have to readjust muscle memory due to change of keyboards in Thinkpads anyway - you might as well jump ship to Apple.


+ 1

I'm seriously considering an EliteBook with DreamColor IPS LCD at this point in the game...

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 7:02 am 
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crashnburn, of all the members of this forum, you are probably the most obsessed with high pixel densities. Would you mind elaborating on how you would use the 2880x1800 pixels on a 15.4" screen?

I am addicted to high pixel counts, but not high pixel densities. Right now I am doing data analysis on four Lenovo L220X 1920x1200 monitors, so I am getting a total of 9,216,000 pixels but the pixel density is only 102.9 DPI and so it's not difficult on my eyes. Apple's rationale for cranking up DPIs is not to allow users to view many windows at once, but to improve text and image quality.

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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2012 11:43 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
crashnburn, of all the members of this forum, you are probably the most obsessed with high pixel densities. Would you mind elaborating on how you would use the 2880x1800 pixels on a 15.4" screen?

I am addicted to high pixel counts, but not high pixel densities. Right now I am doing data analysis on four Lenovo L220X 1920x1200 monitors, so I am getting a total of 9,216,000 pixels but the pixel density is only 102.9 DPI and so it's not difficult on my eyes. Apple's rationale for cranking up DPIs is not to allow users to view many windows at once, but to improve text and image quality.


I am not sure how those 2 are different as per your definition, but I think I like BOTH:

- Pixel Density - Sharper resolution to draw the images on screen. As with anything, the finer / thinner the "paint brush/ pen point" the finer is its ability.. Zoom ins and Outs are without lack of quality at any point - Same would apply EVEN for a High Resolution vs Low Resolution photograph. There's a bunch of more stuff I'm putting together on this subject.. Hopefully, it will be a blog post or article.

- Pixel Count - More working room/ space. But, largely I've wanted High Pixel Count, but am these days leaning towards "LIGHTER & More portable machines.. 12/13/14" "Lighter" machines. Hence, cramming that Pixel Count into smaller space increases the Density.

Again, I am not in favor of 15" ones and would gladly go for a 14" machine if / when they become slimmer an as lighter as 12" Thinkpads/13" X1s & MacBook Airs

Both combined, that's a great "image representation" canvas.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 11:33 am 
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crashnburn wrote:
I am not sure how those 2 are different as per your definition, but I think I like BOTH:


My definitions are just the same as everyone else's definitions: pixel density = pixels per inch, and pixel count = the number of pixels. If I want a high pixel count but a reasonably low pixel density, then I get a bunch of huge giant desktop monitors. For example, on my desk at work, I have seven 1920x1200 monitors and one 2560x1600 monitor, and every now and then I actually use all eight at once!

So, what do I do while on the road, when I only have an ultraportable laptop? Well, I just avoid doing any serious work that requires me to view many windows simultaneously or to view hundreds of Excel columns.

crashnburn wrote:
- Pixel Density - Sharper resolution to draw the images on screen.
- Pixel Count - More working room/ space.


For viewing photos, high pixel densities are better of course -- no argument there. But as long as we are stuck with Windows' current primitive scaling capabilities, high pixel densities would also make text and icons look annoyingly small. IMO, for 16:9 laptops running Windows, 145-155 DPI provides the best balance between real estate and viewing comfort. That means:

10.1" @ 1366x768 (155 DPI)
12.5" @ 1600X900 (147 DPI)
13.1" @ 1680x945 (147 DPI)
14.5" @ 1920x1080 (152 DPI)
15.6" @ 2048X1152 (151 DPI)

Unless Microsoft comes up with a better scaling method for Windows, I don't think it makes sense to introduce PC laptops with >155 DPI. I played with Windows 8 Beta briefly and I don't think its scaling is any better than 7's. As you probably remember, I used to own three Thinkpads with 15.0" QXGA. They were good for bragging but awful for actual use. When increasing pixel density above around 155 DPI, productivity actually declines because things become so uncomfortable to view. Have you tried the Sony P Series netbook, which has a "retina" display with 222 DPI? I tried one at Frys and had to put the screen less than a foot from my eyes.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 12:47 pm 
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Call me kooky and a lot of people do, but I actually like the HD resolution on my X220i. I can see it without getting eye strain and I find the stick so easy to scroll on, it somewhat mitigates the loss in resolution. Plus, the IPS looks fantastic.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 3:38 pm 
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pianowizard wrote:
crashnburn, of all the members of this forum, you are probably the most obsessed with high pixel densities. Would you mind elaborating on how you would use the 2880x1800 pixels on a 15.4" screen?
I can answer that. I would lower the resolution to 1440x900, especially while I run stuff in XP mode! Seriously, my eyes are quite bad and I have been looking forward to the point when screen resolutions double and I can get a high-end display with good contrast, unlike the 1366x768 crap of today, that downscales to a resolution that suits me without looking blurry. (X220 IPS is high quality, but small and already a bit too high DPI for me).

I'm disappointed to hear you say Windows 8 Beta scaling isn't much better than Windows 7. Laser printers started out with 300dpi. You wouldn't suggest that's too high, would you? The old screen fonts, like the XP Tahoma font, were heavily optimised for low DPI displays and I'm the first to agree with you as things stand today. I use a 14.1" XGA laptop, because it's the best match for my eyes with current scaling technology. I guess I'm hoping by the time Windows 8 comes out MS will have more work done on this.


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 7:56 pm 
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I understand the "scaling issues" factor you mentioned.

I also understand the "it becomes really small" thing you mentioned wrt your lovely QXGA's.

I am saying its the beginning of HUMAN EYE resolution level screens.
The screen paradigm our OSes were still using comes from an archaic old old old school MONITOR which had minimal lines of resolution. On these monitors the way you PROGRAMMATIC-ALLY RENDERED on the screen was with a "Limited" (Low Pixel Density, Low Count) paintbrush.

As the ability of the hardware has improved so have our ideas (induce software) on how to use it. e.g. Old TV vs now HDTV.. More Pixels.

Truely leveraging that stuff would come with the right OS/ Software that can ADDRESS & LEVERAGE that super fine CANVAS & BRUSH..

I can think instances of CAD / Drawing where Zoom ins and outs were never quite that good.. Of course, I did not have high res screens back then.

Point I am making is, once you have such a canvas to RENDER on, you are no more HARDWARE constrained for smooth RENDERING..

Be in Vector Images, Fix Pixel Icons (.ico) (might have to make them vector or Retina scalable.. super size them) etc.

On the subject of people finding stuff too small.. well then make it larger..
Again, my dad found the UI buttons & controls very hard to use on FHD / WUXGA 15" Laptop LCDs. But, when I increased the SIZE of the UI to larger and showed him how he could very SMOOTHLY see SHARP images on the screen for his side by side Word Docs, etc etc. Zoom in and out as he wanted.

Past the retina point, no hardware or software could enhance the experience forward. Then our HUMAN EYE's limitations come into play.

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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2012 10:40 pm 
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OS X supports a HiDPI mode... perhaps Win8 can do something similar. But it's easier for Apple to do high-res scaling on mac as they have almost complete control over their hardware specification (except that you can always hook a monitor with weird resolution to your mac).

There is still time for Win 8 to improve before it ships. As they only announced today that they killed "Aero Glass" and some UI changes, which means that they potential still have time to do some big change...


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:01 am 
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crashnburn wrote:
On the subject of people finding stuff too small.. well then make it larger..
Again, my dad found the UI buttons & controls very hard to use on FHD / WUXGA 15" Laptop LCDs. But, when I increased the SIZE of the UI to larger and showed him how he could very SMOOTHLY see SHARP images on the screen for his side by side Word Docs, etc etc. Zoom in and out as he wanted.
I agree with everything else, but this is the point where our opinions diverge. If you ever have to use XP mode, you'll find the scaling options and general implementation quite lacking. Windows 7 is a lot better, but there are still some screens where scaling won't work and there are web-pages where some idiot designer has hard-coded the fonts in such a way that it just won't scale when you ask the browser to (Firefox). In any case, you don't get the same sharpness of fonts that you get on say, an old 19" 86dpi monitor. Yes the latter looks pixelated. But it's something I, for one, prefer over soft. slightly blurry, anti-aliased fonts. As you say, all of these problems will go away once we've reached retina displays and matching software, but for the next few years we're still stuck in this awkward neither here nor there phase, as far as DPI.


Last edited by FragrantHead on Sat May 19, 2012 8:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 5:57 am 
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Full ACK to crashnburn. And those new MBPs with Retina Display will be an option for me.

I am all in for high PPI for brilliant text display, even with bad old software.
In favour of UXGA 1600x1200 on 15.0 inch, classic 4:3, giving 133 DPI, and a nice vertical space.

133 DPI is the minimum pixel density for a closely viewed LCD screen, IMO.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:32 am 
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lophiomys wrote:
133 DPI is the minimum pixel density for a closely viewed LCD screen, IMO.
Here we go again. IMO? Fair enough, but please acknowledge that people have different eyesight and that scaling and anti-aliasing issues do exist. So what's a statement like "133 DPI is the minimum pixel density" worth exactly? Everything to you and those among your friends and family who agree. Absolutely nothing to the general public, unless you're a statistician working in the area of ergonomics and eyesight. Please take it from me that there are people out there for whom the experience is quite different. I'm one of them. There is no figure you can settle upon and make a blanket statement like that. Not until we've moved into the 300dpi range and when scaling and anti-aliasing issues are completely addressed by contemporary OSs.


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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 8:53 am 
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133 DPI and bigger gives you a very nice text display.
You can always increase the default font size with the OS of your choice.
Thats what I do here, when deploying 4:3 15.0inch UXGA machines to family members with weakening eye sight.

Increasing font / detail size by reducing pixel density in hardware is not the smart way to go.

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PostPosted: Sat May 19, 2012 2:17 pm 
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Completely ignoring what I said two posts up, but hey, if you say so.

As a programmer I could try and explain to you what dialog units are and how programs can screw up when Windows tries to scale what the 3rd party never bothered to test. Scaling fonts only works properly most of the time. And occasionally the 3rd party prevents scaling, because they know their software won't handle it properly. Or it's written in Java, which replaces so much of Windows native environment with it's own run-time that it just doesn't react to scaling. These are temporary issues while MS and everyone else moves from low DPI systems, where icons and some fonts were designed down to the pixel level, to high DPI systems, where scalability will be the norm. No one is arguing that high DPI isn't ultimately better. Certainly not once we reach "retina" level. All I have a problem with is with what's available today, where DPI can be too high for legacy software and too low to not look soft with scaled and anti-aliased fonts.

If you're happy with your experience today, great. I don't find that so clear cut. I find advantages to sticking with the default DPI and scaling that Windows uses out of the box. Thus, for me, it is indeed the smart move to stick with a low(ish) DPI screen until at least Windows 8, pending how that will turn out. For example the screens in my personal firewall simply won't scale, no matter what font size or DPI is selected in Windows.


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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 10:27 am 
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FragrantHead wrote:
Completely ignoring what I said two posts up


These guys ignored my posts above as well. I think part of the reason is that they haven't experienced REALLY high pixel densities. 133 DPI and even 147 DPI aren't high at all (for me anyway). Windows' scaling simply cannot satisfactorily deal with pixel densities exceeding 165 DPI or so. I had no idea 171 DPI would be too high until I had tried 15.0" QXGA for several months.

FragrantHead wrote:
As a programmer I could try and explain to you what dialog units are and how programs can screw up when Windows tries to scale...I find advantages to sticking with the default DPI and scaling that Windows uses out of the box. Thus, for me, it is indeed the smart move to stick with a low(ish) DPI screen until at least Windows 8, pending how that will turn out. For example the screens in my personal firewall simply won't scale, no matter what font size or DPI is selected in Windows.


Excellent post. I am not a programmer but I too much prefer sticking with Windows' default DPI, for which a laptop screen of 145 to 155 DPI is optimal. None of my current laptops are in this range, unfortunately...

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 1:18 pm 
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Quote:
I had no idea 171 DPI would be too high until I had tried 15.0" QXGA for several months.


This is an issue because the UI elements were programmed using PIXELs. I learnt C Win32 SDK programming way back in 1995/96 and remember that you had to define most things using PIXELS as the "unit of measure".

I know that older OSes & Apps may not scale & as well. But, I cant help but say that viewing a Document or Vector Diagram on a SHARP high res screen where my EYES cant discern the PIXELS and my eyes cant find the JAGGEDNESS of a DIAGONAL Line that I can find in a low res monitor (Due to pixels not being sharp enough) is what I'd love to have more.

Imagine if our FILM based Photography was LOW RES (Not digital.. but Photo Film Rolls). Our eyes & all our senses are HIGH RES..
Visual, Auditory (20 Hz - 20k Hz), Touch, Smell, Taste etc.

We can discern slight variations in touch/ feel, smells & tastes. We're finally getting the CANVAS of our computers screens to match up with the ABILITY of the Senses.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 2:22 pm 
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crashnburn wrote:
I know that older OSes & Apps may not scale & as well.


I disagree, because even the *latest* version (rather than "older" versions) of Windows and most common apps *do not* (rather than "may not") scale well.

crashnburn wrote:
But, I cant help but say that viewing a Document or Vector Diagram on a SHARP high res screen where my EYES cant discern the PIXELS and my eyes cant find the JAGGEDNESS of a DIAGONAL Line that I can find in a low res monitor (Due to pixels not being sharp enough) is what I'd love to have more....We're finally getting the CANVAS of our computers screens to match up with the ABILITY of the Senses.


We all understood that. What I was trying to convince you is that it's better to introduce these high-res screens only after Windows has come up with scaling technolgies that are suitable for such screens.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 6:57 pm 
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Quote:
So you pressed "Ctrl-F" looking for "1366 x 768" and turned up nothing. (Except that little bit there.) Now what are you going to complain about? Not the display, anyway. As it was, the 13-inch Zenbook UX31 was remarkable for offering 1600 x 900 resolution, but now ASUS is upping the ante, moving to a 1080p pixel count on both its 11- and 13-inch models. What's more, this isn't just your garden-variety TN panel, but an IPS display offering 350-nit brightness, 72 percent color gamut and 170-degree viewing angles (yours truly misspoke in that video up there and said 178 degrees; that's not correct).
(Emphasis mine)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/22/asus ... 1a-review/

Edit: Pics and reviews @ AnandTech...
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5843/asus ... a-review/3
http://www.anandtech.com/show/5843/asus ... a-review/4


Last edited by loyukfai on Wed May 23, 2012 6:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:26 am 
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pianowizard wrote:
... SNIP quote by crashburn ...
I disagree, because even the *latest* version (rather than "older" versions) of Windows and most common apps *do not* (rather than "may not") scale well.

... SNIP quote by crashburn ...

We all understood that. What I was trying to convince you is that it's better to introduce these high-res screens only after Windows has come up with scaling technolgies that are suitable for such screens.


I can not agree to the notion, to wait for the crap Windows OS to become better. M$ is a monopoly and they do not have a record of innovation, to express it without expletives.
I am all for introducing high res screens, then software would be adapted quickly, and it would give a wide range of developers the opportunity to experiment with vector graphics and high res canvas.
Finally it does not need rocket science nowadays to adapt current poorly designed OS's, to have at least a "compatibility mode" for non-scaling applications, as there are currently modes for 32bit programs running in 64bit environments.

I guess Apple OS will push the market again, as they are well prepared with their vector graphics tool kit together with their high res screens.
(UPDATE 1: It seems that starting with OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple is not really pushing hard towards resolution independence any more, cf. HiDPI mode.)

This is long overdue.

:idea: Some infos:
SVG in KDE: Freedom of Beauty
Resolution Independence (Wikipedia)
Vector-based graphical user interface (Wikipedia)
Vector Graphics (Wikipedia)

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 7:47 am 
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Here's Anandtech reviewing the 189dpi Asus Zenbook:

http://www.anandtech.com/show/5843/asus ... a-review/4

In their words: "ASUS' solution is to ship the UX21 with Windows set to 125% DPI scaling by default, unfortunately most applications (including many of Microsoft's own) don't deal with non-integer DPI scaling very well."

They also have some screenshots to back this up.

@lophiomys, I don't know what to say to you anymore. I think all of us, crashnburn, pianowizard, yourself and myself are basically on the same page and only splitting hairs. The difference is that pianowizard and I will either hold off buying a new machine or will buy a lower DPI machine, for now, while it seems you and crashnburn would, all else being equal, buy the highest DPI you can get today. Meanwhile hardware manufacturers will plow ahead and produce ever higher-DPI screens regardless of our little discussion. Intel wants it and Microsoft surely wants it too. Why? Because it gives them something worthwhile to sell while other areas are stagnant. For Intel CPU development is stymied by what you can fit within the power envelope of a portable device. For Microsoft, their traditional desktop product is mature and there are few compelling things they can add. Proper high DPI support is one. For both, high DPI screens will give users a reason to upgrade to their latest and greatest in the process.

If there was one person who realised there was something fundamentally compelling about pushing in this direction, and who could actually do something about it, it was Steve Jobs. I, on the other hand, am under no illusion that what I do will make one bit of difference one way or the other. Buying a high DPI machine today is a vote for that technology? I say postponing the upgrade is a vote for MS to sort out the problems first.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:32 am 
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By the way, "Microsoft don't do innovation" and, to paraphrase, they therefore need a kick up the a***, well, I guess that's a popular view and I don't wish to debate it. They are a virtual monopoly, that's for sure. What you've got to ask yourself is, how did they get there? Questionable business practices aside, there are two reasons I can think of:

(1) MS support 3rd party harware. A plethora of it. Software developers too. Apple are much more controlling, for example they will bar you from the App Store if you use certain technologies they don't approve of.

(2) MS have historically placed a high premium on backwards compatibility. Can you run Mac applications from the Mororola days on a current Intel Mac? Not anymore, I believe. Can I run Windows or DOS applications from 20 years ago on a current Wintel platform? Most of them, yes.

These are two things that many people value. We want the hardware choice. And businesses, I dare say, want to keep running their custom software. I work for a company that develops such software. Clients pay us around €800 a day to do so. When you've got no mass market to spread the costs, software is extremely expensive and you want a stable platform to keep running it.

While it's not rocket science, I wouldn't underestimate the problems Microsoft has because of the above. Dealing with legacy, dealing with a greater base of 3rd parties and dealing with the relative freedom those 3rd parties have, that's why it's taking them longer to get on top of scaling issues.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:35 am 
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So you are an M$ insider?

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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:53 am 
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Not at all. I've merely been developing DOS and then Windows software all my life.

If you're questioning my competence, I guess you have a point. All I'm offering is educated guesses. I don't have any inside information from Microsoft.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 10:36 am 
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lophiomys wrote:
and it would give a wide range of developers the opportunity to experiment with vector graphics and high res canvas.
I could have used a vector graphics API a long time ago. That would have been good. Instead, what typically happens is that only fonts and non-graphical dialogs are scalable, though not without issues, whereas most other stuff got designed in a 3rd party drawing package and then used as bitmaps. If you make the bitmaps large enough, you should be able to downscale them to various sizes, but the look doesn't always come out right and the anti-aliasing can cause technical issues. In truth, there was never enough impetus to do anything about this while DPI was hovering in the 90 - 120 range and while native Microsoft APIs were comparatively limited. My experience is probably representative of many, many developers in this regard.

When you say "developers [get] the opportunity to experiment with vector graphics on a high res canvas", it makes me laugh. Who's going to pay for that? The company I work for is sales driven and the sales department have no appreciation for experiments, even if the engineering department would love to do them. It'll look like total overhead to them and, in this recession, they have a point. Just to give you an idea of the dynamics within our company.

Quote:
...to have at least a "compatibility mode" for non-scaling applications, as there are currently modes for 32bit programs running in 64bit environments.
I actually agree with this. Rather than just scaling the menus and relying too much on third parties, they could probably force scaling, albeit most likely blurry, anti-aliased scaling, by building that into their APIs at the lowest level. I'm not sure how much software bypasses those APIs, however, and takes direct access to the screen. Like I said, it might not be that easy. Neither is virtualisation, but I'm not sure how far MS would want, need or should go along this route.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:16 pm 
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The problem of scaling legacy applications (i.e. Under Windows 8, they mean non-Metro) is likely to be an issue for years to come unless Redmond cook up innovative solutions (I hope they will!).

Anyone who had tried using non-default scaling knows that it still very much gives a subpar experience compared to default (100%) scaling. If the certain bunch of apps one uses scale well, then great. But many apps and websites have problem scaling, and the more apps one uses, the more problematic it becomes.

I doubt Windows 8 is geared for that, besides the Metro space, scaling for the legacy apps seems to be still the old-school stuff...? (the AnandTech reviewer said he'd post an update later, hope I will be proved wrong!) And until then, high-res displays on PC will remain a niche. Geeks may love super high-res (and could be over-represented here), but I'm displaying this forum at 125% to ease my eye strain.

That being said, 1366x768 for a 15" screen should be outlawed already... OTOH, I remember, not many years ago, the standard resolution for 15" screens was 1024x768.

Or PC makers can just double the resolution like what Apple did with the iPad 3 and probably the new MacBooks. But again, probably not likely to happen anytime (in a year) soon.

Cheers.


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PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 8:31 pm 
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1280x1024 on a 19" 5:4 monitor is the best thing you can do for your eyes, if you do a lot of forum-style browsing.
Who needs widescreen? Or higher densities?

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:15 pm 
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My interest on vector scaling & fine resolution is not for UI dialogs but for Diagrams, Fonts, Drawings, Pictures.. I like the High Resolution screens for that reason.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 2:38 pm 
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RealBlackStuff wrote:
1280x1024 on a 19" 5:4 monitor is the best thing you can do for your eyes, if you do a lot of forum-style browsing.
Who needs widescreen? Or higher densities?


And the fact that the ThinkVision L19xp monitors are dirt cheap and incredibly common in the used markets now means that it's also the best thing you can do for your wallet. ;)

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:39 pm 
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ThinkRob wrote:
And the fact that the ThinkVision L19xp monitors are dirt cheap and incredibly common in the used markets now means that it's also the best thing you can do for your wallet. ;)
Just make sure not to buy accidentally the TN-based L193p, and go for the MVA-based L191p/L192p instead! :D

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