Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

September 25th, 2009:

SX270 Windows XP Widescreen Driver Fail

I’ve been using a Samsung 2033sw 20″ widescreen monitor on a Dell Optiplex SX270 machine since February, running Ubuntu 8.10 and later 9.04. I bought another SX270 machine for our church with the intention of putting a Samsung 2033sw on it, and discovered this afternoon that Ubuntu can do something Windows can’t: coax the SX270’s Intel Extreme Graphics 2 subsystem into 1600 X 900 mode.

A 1600 X 900 mode does not appear to exist under Windows, even with the latest version of the Intel 865G graphics drivers. Windows identifies the Samsung monitor and knows that its native mode is 1600 X 900, but it can’t match the monitor. And so Windows uses a different mode and looks smeary, as LCDs do if you don’t hand them pixels at their native resolution.

At this point I’m stuck, and will have to fall back to an older 17″ 4:3 monitor. These are readily available and fairly cheap on eBay, but I already have a brand-new Samsung 2033sw over at the church, and now have nothing to hook it to.

I guess it’s always been true that Linux works better on older PCs than the current version of Windows does, but I’ve never had my nose rubbed in this fact more thoroughly than I did today. I’m open to suggestions, but anything that involves a lot of work and time will be politely declined. For another $50 I can get a used Dell 17″ flat panel to hang on the SX270, and will consider the lesson well-learned.

Assembly Language Step By Step, Third Edition

ASMSBS3ECoverSmall.jpgA few minutes ago, UPS left my author’s carton of Assembly Language Step By Step, Third Edition on the front porch. So after ten months of work (and another month of anxious waiting around), it’s really and truly real.

100% Linux. Certified DOS-free. It turned out pretty well, all things considered. And having (finally) held it in my own hands, I think I won’t ask anything more from today.