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cmder – Portable console emulator for Windows

Looks like there’s finally a decent replacement for the Windows command line tool! It’s called cmder and comes with Git (optionally) and a bunch of other great command line utilities such as curl, cat, ls, less and even ssh!

I did run into a couple of issues with the console not responding and also couldn’t use tmux during an ssh session. But that’s fine for now, I’m willing to give it a chance. You can get it at http://bliker.github.io/cmder/.

cmder

Reset Windows 8.1 screensize

I was happily running Windows 8 on my 17″ laptop with full HD screen and had no complaints when it came to the size of icons and texts. After I upgraded to Windows 8.1 I noticed that the icons on my desktop and taskbar were a lot smaller than before. After opening my text editor of choice (GVim) I noticed that the text was smaller as well.

Whilst I kinda liked the size of the icons I didn’t care much for the new font size so I started looking for a solution. Thankfully there is one.

Through system settings locate your display and check the checkbox numbered 1 in the picture. This picture is in Dutch but I suspect the location of these settings are the same in other languages. Next at number 2 select ‘normal 125%’ and save your changes.

Windows 8.1 screensize fixAfter these changes all should be normal again. It’s probably not required for bigger screens with a 1080p resolution such as a 24″ display. But on a 17″ laptop with a 1080p resolution it just gets a bit too small.

Other helpful resources on this topic:

 

Purple/pink screen with HDMI-out on ASUS1215B with AMD E-350 APU

Yesterday I decided to hook up my ASUS 1215B Eee PC to my LED TV through HDMI to watch some videos. I’ve used my netbook a lot for this task and thus far without any issues (aside from not being able to play 1080p video properly, even though the AMD E-350 APU shouldn’t have too much trouble with this…). But last night the screen had a purple/pink tint to it. I noticed this earlier this week as well but it didn’t seem to be as bad as it was this time.

To be sure it wasn’t my HDMI cable that was causing it I swapped it with another one, but it still gave me a purple picture. After some digging around I found the advice to download new video card drivers from the AMD website, instead of using those provided by ASUS. So after downloading these and installing them I was able to watch my videos in their normal colors.

Solution: download latest drivers from the AMD website.

Favorite programming font on Windows: Consolas 10pt bold

For years I’ve used Courier New in my programming editors and terminal (PuTTY). But there’s a much better font available for that kind of stuff. For the last couple of years I’ve been using Consolas, which is shipped with Windows. I’ve configured my editors and PuTTY to use Consolas 10pt bold as I find it by far the best readable font to use for programming. This font is just the right size at 10pt and setting it to bold gives it a very smooth look.

Here’s how Consolas 10pt bold looks in GVim on Windows 8:

consolas

Recently I’ve given some other fonts a try as well because in the showed examples it appears they make a nice programming font. Not too long ago the Adobe Source Code Pro font was released and looking at the screenshot at that page it looks really nice. So I decided to download and install it. But trying it in GVim didn’t gave a satisfying result. It doesn’t look too bad, but it isn’t as compact as Consolas is:

source code pro

When using Linux (Ubuntu) I always use Droid Sans Mono. But for some reason it looks really bad on Windows:

droid sans mono

As you can see Droid Sans Mono is even bigger and just doesn’t look right. I wonder why this is though I suspect it has to do with the font rendering on Windows. I’ve found font rendering on Linux a lot better and for what I’ve seen on Mac OSX as well, though I’ve recently heard a Mac user saying he found the font rendering on Linux even better.

And OK, the fonts don’t look that bad but imagine having to look at it all day when programming. All these examples have been set at 10pt bold and the extra space taken by both Adobe Source Code Pro and Droid Sans Mono is just bad in my opinion.

So far I haven’t found anything better than Consolas when it comes to a programming font on Windows. I’m not looking for a replacement of it but I’m always willing to try something new or different. My main disappointment I think comes with how bad Windows renders these fonts, because I know Droid Sans Mono looks good on Linux. If there’s any programming font that renders really well on Windows I’d really like to hear about it.

Why more people aren’t using Ubuntu

If you’ve ever wondered why you’re the only Ubuntu user in your office, or in your group of friends, then you’re not alone. The free, powerful operating system, built on the Linux framework, is not only available to everyone for the sum total of zero anything, but is also adaptable, fast, and capable of satisfying even the most demanding user.

However, there are a number of issues which may put people off, or are why they simply don’t even know about Linux, let alone Ubuntu.

1) Market visibility

The problem with open source is that not only are you not Microsoft, and therefore the default operating system for almost every pre-built computer in the world whether the user is a handset engineer for o2 or a novelist, but you’re also not able to put out advertising or push Ubuntu into people’s awareness.

2) Linux’s “complex” reputation

Linux is known for being the least simple and straight-forward operating system out of Windows, Mac OSX and itself. Whether or not this is actually true is highly debatable. However, its reputation isn’t being changed by the legions who use it, and as it is rarely introduced into office environments for use by staff who aren’t working in the IT department, it seems like it could do with a bit of a jumpstart in the “it’s actually quite easy” department, given that it is no more complex than any other OS.

3) Accessibility

PC companies, I’m sure, would love nothing more than to lose money by offering Linux installs instead of Windows. Sarcasm aside, Ubuntu is something you’d search for, but not something you’d be presented with. The tech press needs to do a better job of opening people’s eyes to the potential of open source platforms, and users helping out can never be a bad thing either. After all, it’s free, easier on your hardware, and extremely capable, scaling with your IT skill level. What’s not to like?