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Messages - Clairvaux [ switch to compact view ]

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Find And Run Robot / Re: FARR updates ?
« on: February 21, 2017, 01:33 AM »
I shall join the choir regarding the desirability of adaptation of FARR to high DPI scaling (after having said the same for Mouser's screenshot application).

FARR seems to work very well, however I can't possibly use it because of this. It's a very widespread problem right now and many programs are faulty in that respect, whether by individual developers or big publishers.

It's important to realise the issue is by no means limited to users with genuinely high DPI screens (often small laptops with very high resolutions).

I use Windows 7 and a 24" desktop monitor with a 1920 x 1200 resolution (so, pretty run-of-the mill and not actually high DPI), but I have set Windows to display at 150 %. Because, otherwise, everything is much too small on the screen. (I could use something like 140 %, but it's not one of Windows 7 pre-sets (100 %, 125 % and 150 %), and according to my experience, anything else than those three settings is liable to break things.

With display at 150 %, many programs, FARR including, basically offer the choice between an exceedingly tiny, unreadable interface (it stays at 100 %), and a correctly-sized interface (it scales to 150 %), but completely blurry.

Theoretically, this blurry effect is liable to happen only at DPI settings higher than 150 %, according to Microsoft. That's not my experience, however. Badly behaved programs get blurry before that. Added effect, in some cases and at some settings, is that the interface text is partly masked, and that fonts are of a very degraded quality.

There are two official mitigating techniques for that : either checking a particular box in Windows 7, which has a system-wide effect, or checking a box in the program's executable properties, which obviously affects only this specific program.

Combining these techniques, we get four different settings for one piece of software.

To change the display behaviour system-wide, you would check this box : Control Panel / Display / Set custom Text Size / Use Windows XP-style DPI scaling.

And to change the program's behaviour, you would check this box : Properties / Compatibility / Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.

I tried all four with FARR, and have attached the results. Yes and No means : checking and unchecking the boxes I mentioned.

There's one combination giving an adequately-sized interface, but with a blurry effect and prehistoric fonts : using the system in its default state, and leaving both boxes unchecked.

This is what I get with Windows = no and program = no :

Windows = no, program = no.png

The three other combinations give out the same crispy interface, but exceedingly tiny to the point of being unreadable. Plus, the same prehistoric rendering for fonts (less visible, since they are so small). An added defect is that the lower half of the entered keywords is cropped out of the search field.

This is what I get with Windows = no and program = yes, Windows = yes and program = yes, and Windows = yes and program = no :

Windows = no, program = yes.png

At some point during my testing, I got the same tiny interface, but with the search field not masking the keywords. This I might have considered barely usable. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to reproduce the situation.

[Edit : I realise the two screenshots don't reproduce the size difference. The second one is much smaller on screen.]

He just did.

No, he did not. This is not helpful at all, and neither is your answer.

Do you guys have some sort of financial link with Shareware on Sale ? Is berating new members, bossing them around and being passive-agressive your idea of a forum ? It's certainly not mine.

Have a nice day.

Assume less and test more.

Certainly not. I'm not willing to be a guinea pig for webmasters with shady tactics, just because there's some free stuff hanging around.

To clarify : are you saying that you managed to download software from them, while being offered their malware/nagware, and that you managed not to install the latter ? Would you care to share the method, if you remember it ? Thanks.

I learned about Shareware on Sale through the last newsletter. They have some attractive offers, including free deals. However, they also drop a toaster-style daily nagware on your PC in a quite underhanded way.

I haven't experimented it myself, because I aborted the installation of the software I wanted just short of that.

My question is : did anyone experiment this nagware ? First and foremost : is there any way to avoid it ?

When you ask for a download after submitting your details, the following things happen :

You get a licence code, and a link which you think is the software download, but it isn't : it's a stub. The filename ends with hub.exe.

It will open a Shareware on Sale installer, with this devious warning popping up at some point : Shareware on Sale Daily Giveaway Notifier provides you with an instant notification whenever there is a new giveaway available. Never miss a giveaway again with Shareware on Sale Daily Giveaway Notifier !

And it asks : Download and install ? Yes / No. Download and install what ? Of course, if you click Yes, you will get both the coveted software... and the nagware. And if you click No... you will get neither. Talk about an opt-out...

The Swiss computing site has a workaround for this (in French), but it's not clear whether it avoids the nagware altogether (I think not), or it just allows you to download and save the full software package from the publisher for future use.

In order to do this, you must react in a completely counter-intuitive way to this screen, clicking the box next to Save installer to my computer in Downloads folder, but also clicking the Do Not Install button ! also says that you can download the software you want directly from the publisher's site (provided it is offered there at all), then install it in a regular way, inserting the licence code given out by Shareware on Sale.

Shareware on Sale has backtracked somewhat on its previous policy, which was even worse than that. They say that you can uninstall the nagware, which appears in Windows' Control Panel, but I'm not willing to trust them. Even if uninstall is possible, how can you be sure that nothing untowards would have been left behind, if they engage in such shady tactics ?

I'm all the more furious, since I created an RSS alert for myself on their site, as soon as I found that their deals were, indeed, interesting. Message to Shareware on Sale : I'm perfectly willing to receive news from you, provided I chose to do this, and it's not forced on me !

Anyone has experimented this ?

Just checking in to get an update on this thread, after having received your newsletter. Thanks to mouser for agreeing to look into the issue !

My personal path, though the years, was IE > Maxthon > Opera (former generation) > Firefox.

The browser I preferred was Maxthon. It's the only one which gave me this feeling, which is the nirvana of software :

  • You never ask yourself how to do things, because it's obvious.
  • When you try to do something extra, you discover that the developers had thought about it before, and they implemented it exactly the way you had imagined it.
  • When you explore new features, you discover that you had actually wanted them all the time, but did not know about it.
  • Oh, and your screen looks nice. Beauty is important. Men work and play better when doing it in a beautiful environment.

Currently, I use Firefox, but I don't like it. So I installed Vivaldi and had a quick tour. Honestly, I can't see the point. It hints at being a power user browser, it's supposed to consider people as adults instead of toddlers that can't be trusted with too many options, but where's the beef ? What's different from other browsers ?

OK, its slightly better (but less pretty) than current-generation Opera, which is for babies anyway. But how is it more powerful than Firefox ? Maxthon was much more impressive 10 years ago.


Thanks for your detailed point of view. I'm not sure I get it completely, though. I understand your "philosophical" argument about the changing OS aesthetics. However, it seems to me that's a separate issue from the one I raised, which is much more basic.

To put things bluntly, as they appear on my screen, SC (Screenshot Captor) and CHS  (Clipboard Help & Spell) are downright unusable. Windows 7 GUI is perfectly all right for me, and the combination of OS + OS settings works perfectly for me with practically all software I come across.

I recently checked on an old piece of software I used to like very much, it's a project manager called Twiddlebit Plan, which was created for... Psion PDAs, and Nokia phones with a screen, before smartphones were invented. It also had a Windows version. Now that was perfectly usable with Windows ME, and whatever low-res CRT I had at the time, but with modern resolutions, some parts of the UI are too small to read by now (although not all of them).

But this is legacy software. It can't be expected to work nowadays. SC and CHS are current.

So I'm curious to know : do all other users see SC's main window the way I see it ? (Attachment in my former post.) Do they see, as I do, a regular-sized menu line, with File, Edit, Capture, Scan... and below, two checkboxes marked Thumbnail Panel and AutoFit in a much, much smaller font ?

And if yes, is that the expected behaviour of the software, or is it me, i.e. I need to change something in my Windows 7 settings, for instance ?

The File, Edit, Capture... line is perfectly OK. The Thumbnail Panel and AutoFit line (again, as they appear on my screen) kills the software for me.

And I would love to find a workaround, because I was desperate to find something like SC, the guys at Daves Computer Tips pointed it to me, and I can't believe what it can do  :-* ! It seems too good to be true !

Screenshot Captor / Me too...
« on: July 11, 2016, 05:40 PM »

This is just to say "me too". I have just installed Screenshot Captor and Clipboard Help + Spell, and they are unusable for me because a part of the UI is just too tiny to read.

In Screenshot Captor, for instance, the top menu is OK, but the icons are way too small, just as the lower part of the UI (where it says File Name Quick Field, for instance).

My PC :
  • Windows 7
  • Screen resolution = 1920  x 1200
  • DPI setting = 150 %
  • Use Windows XP style DPI scaling = Yes

The effect is reminiscent of very old programs developed when screen resolutions were lower, but I see your work is in current development.

I have checked Use Windows XP style DPI scaling precisely to avoid this sort of problem, and this allows me to use some outdated software that would be unreadable otherwise. I did not find any settings in your programs to adjust this. Did I miss something ?


Congrats for the site, I hadn't heard of it up to now, it looks very interesting and I'll certainly come back  :) !

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