Tag Archives: windows

Anything related to Microsoft Windows

Speaker settings in Windows XP reverting to default

I had issues with my Windows XP system from time to time resetting/reverting the speaker settings back from surround (4.1) to desktop speakers.

I finally found a newsgroup posting that put it in connection with my Creative Audigy 2:

Some games and other programs can change the Windows speaker-settings though, so you might want to try the second solution: stop the Audigy from using the Windows settings. Make sure you have the newest drivers installed, go to the Audigy 2 speaker settings program and uncheck ‘Synchronize with Control Panel’. That’s all – the Audigy 2 should now remember it’s own speaker settings, insteaf of resetting them to those of Windows.

Downloading the latest drivers from the soundblaster.com site also included the Creative Audio Console, which can do what the posting above points out. And sure enough, I suddenly have my surround sound in World of Warcraft again.

Hard disk woes

If you have a hard disk and after a few reinstalls of Windows XP you keep getting:

Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Check your hard disk with your manufacturer’s test software (like PowerMax in Maxtor’s case), the hard disk might just be dying. It seems to be in my case. Best part, it is already a RMA replacement drive for my previously dying hard disk. Got to love that. Was a refurbished one they sent me. *sigh*

Might as well go Seagate by now.

And another typical Microsoft move: killing OpenGL

From an OpenGL forum post:

Microsoft’s current plan for OpenGL on Windows Vista is to layer OpenGL over Direct3D in order to use OpenGL with a composited desktop to obtain the Aeroglass experience. If an OpenGL ICD is run – the desktop compositor will switch off – significantly degrading the user experience.

In practice this means for OpenGL under Aeroglass:

  • OpenGL performance will be significantly reduced – perhaps as much as 50%
  • OpenGL on Windows will be fixed at a vanilla version of OpenGL 1.4
  • No extensions will be possible to expose future hardware innovations

It would be technically straightforward to provide an OpenGL ICD within the full Aeroglass experience without compromising the stability or the security of the operating system. Layering OpenGL over Direct3D is a policy more than a technical decision.

What can you do?

  1. Write to your preferred ISV, hardware developer or OEM and tell them to bring this up with Microsoft (e.g. 3Dlabs, ATI, Intel, Matrox, NVIDIA, HP, Dell)
  2. Bring this issue up on other developer and tech-related web sites. If you have a personal blog or podcast, talk about the issue there. Windows Vista might end up being a great product, but not if OpenGL is crippled
  3. Post your comments to this message board (please no Microsoft bashing – Just make it clear that Windows needs to stay a great platform for the OpenGL API and offer any suggestions)

Adware/spyware, Windows, blegh

After having spent about 3-4 hours last night fixing up my sweetie’s PC through a VNC session I must say that Windows by itself must be one of the least desirable operating systems to keep developing for.

Aside from its braindead APIs (I am even doing driver writing, so hush) it is basically inviting malicious people to abuse a given PC. Install with terminal services on by default, refusing to allow the user to throw away files the OS designates as ‘important to the operating system’. Sure, and which files do you think a trojan or virus will target first? Not to mention having old style (on Windows 95/98/ME installs) win.ini and such files parsed for LOAD= lines. How on earth are users even supposed to know what to look for in the registry?

Furthermore, I am getting SO pissed off by software developers that think bundling ad-ware with their software is their ticket to revenue. We should, collectively, boycot such developers. I mean, if I can develop open source software and not get ANY revenue from it, why are they being so focused on putting ad stuff in? Heck, it’s a prime attack vector for machine hijacking (and we all as the world collectively wondering why the Internet might melt down).

Basically from a operating system developer as well as an application developer I can only conclude more and more how Windows and most of its software are flawed by design. And unless this attitude changes, and I am not talking about DRM or anything, I foresee Windows killing itself.