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Emulating high resolution on monitor

Posted on 2000-04-30
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Last Modified: 2012-05-04
In a paragraph here:

"Also, LCDs have only one "natural" resolution, limited by
the number of pixels physically built into the display. If you want to move
up to, say, 1024 by 768 on an 800-by-600 LCD, you have to emulate it with software, which will work only at certain resolutions." (found at PC-World.com http://www.pcworld.com/heres_how/article/0,1400,15112,00.html )

PC World refers to emulating higher resolutions on monitors than are possible.

I was wondering if anybody knew of a program that does this.  I have a CRT display capable of 1024x728 and I would like to do one of the following:

Have software that will emulate a resolution equal to or greater than 1600x800 resolution on my monitor (preferably 2048x1456)

Have software that splits my monitor up into quarters and emulates a screen on each of them, so I can display a resolution of at least 800x600 on each of these quarter-screens.

Colour depth would have to be at least 256 colours, preferably at least 65k colours, though 32bit colour would be nice :-)

My monitor is a Mitsubishi Merlin attached to S3 Savage 3D w/ 8mb video ram if that matters. (which it shouldn't...)
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Question by:DannoNZ
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17 Comments
 
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Author Comment

by:DannoNZ
ID: 2763481
BTW please be a good sport for other people and leave a comment before you answer!  I don't like people who answer straight away, especially when they get it wrong.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2763687
Actually, it does matter which video card you have. Some cards have the capability of setting up a "virtual desktop" which is much higher than the displayed resolution--when you move the mouse to the edge of the screen it scrolls to show more of the desktop. If your graphics card doesn't include support for this in its drivers you're unlikely to be able to do it directly, although I believe there are shareware applications which allow you to have multiple desktops which you can switch between at will.
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Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2764171
Linux has something along those lines, the 1/4 desktop at a time.

I'd be weary of "tricking" the system into a higher resolution.  Making the system think that it's doing something that's it's not really capable of is never a good idea.

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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2764367
You have to bare in mind that your monitor is physically limited in resolution by its bandwidth (the amount of information it can draw per refresh), this is why you get higher refresh rates at lower resolutions. (Apologies if you knew this already ;-).
The only way that I can see this a being possible, would be to draw the desktop(s) on a much larger bitmap (probably in system ram), say 2000x1500 or whatever and then resampling this to your screen res, say 1024x768.
With a 3d card you could get the hardware on-board to do this (bi-linear filtering would apply (I think))
But theory aside, this is going to look awful and run extremely slowly.
You will not be getting any higher res out of the monitor, simply the same 1024x768 pixels showing a resized 2000x1500 image.
It will be running slowly, as you need to first draw the initial large viewport then scale this and copy it to your video ram - every refresh...
OK, you might have enough vram to do this on the card, but even so, if you are drawing 4 times the amount of info it will take 4 times as long.
Overall if you cannot live with virtual desktops as suggested by pjknibbs, you need a bigger/better monitor.
2048x1456 it a lot of info to draw at 32bits, assuming 75hz refresh, you are talking about shifting 853 megs of data per second (hope this sum is correct)

Oh, also I think you might need to rewrite the windows kernel as well...

Now I guess someone will show you a util that does this and fast as well ;-)

Just my 2cents,
cyder

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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2764370
Actually, you probably wouldn't need to rewrite the kernel, random thought there got away before I could stop it, soz...

cyder
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by:kannabis
ID: 2764393
rewrite the windows kernel????

I have NEVER heard of anyone doing this
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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2764462
sorry, been playing with Linux for the last week....different mind-set, + beer kicking in...;-)
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Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2764515
hehehe....so have I (:

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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2764530
kannabis, but apart from the kernel bollocks, you agree?
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Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2764548
yes I do.
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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2764552
good, now pass the joint!!!
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Author Comment

by:DannoNZ
ID: 2765244
*note to self:

Don't post questions straight before going to bed, they get answered quicker than that.*



OK pjknibbs one thing I recall now that you mention that is during my little trial of BeOS that did both of what you're mentioning now :-)

Either or both of those would be perfectly fine :-)

BTW I didn't expect it to write all those pixels, just ignore say 3 out of every 4 and chop it down to size, cyderpunk :-)  Might look ugly, but hey I'm willing to try it out.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:pjknibbs
ID: 2765295
DannoNZ: If it literally just chopped out every 3rd pixel all the text onscreen would be unreadable--try taking a screenshot and shrinking it down in a paint package without anti-aliasing to see what I mean.

As for the multiple desktops thing--I know it was mentioned by somebody on another question here on EE, but I can't remember the details! I'll have to have a hunt and get back to you, assuming I haven't just had a complete brain meltdown and made the whole thing up.
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LVL 2

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by:DannoNZ
ID: 2765317
oh - whoops :-)  Hey that's why I'm asking this question, not answering it...  And that's what you're here for :-)


It's not urgent, so go ahead and search if you want :-)
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
deltree earned 800 total points
ID: 2767800
At work, we use Reflection from WRQ. It has a nice little virtual desktop thingy in it that I like very much. Not sure what it costs, though.
I'm sure there are shareware/freeware progs out there, too.
http://download.cnet.com/downloads/0-1461990-100-1549852.html?tag=st.dl.10001_103_1.lst.td
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:DannoNZ
ID: 2768227
License:
Free

Sure if this works I'll use it :-)  From the developer's description it sounds preddy good :-)
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Expert Comment

by:cyderpunk
ID: 2790675
Question not closed so...

1) er don't bother
2) ...

OK, you don't want to write all those pixels and chop it down to size...
This now requires a routine to skip every 3 out of 4 pixels(*1) in order to draw the screen -  again, going to slow you down a bit...

BTW Full-Screen-Antialiasing - as mention on tomshardware, is what you appear to be looking at - it will nicely render a large image to a smaller desktop/screen due to resampling of the image causing smoothing...

*1 this value is dependant on your virtual/actual desktop size.

Erm,
cyder
(proposed answer!!!)
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