Saving my precious pixels

I grew up in the computer world when hi-res meant 256 by 192 pixels. I think this is the main reason for my cult of screen space. I try always to use small fonts and arrange windows to avoid any waste.Windows (without MS prefix) are powerful way to present your application, but they come with a cost of wasted pixels around the border (and for the caption bar). Now Windows 7 (this this with the MS prefix) adds some more decorations with the only purpose of sacrificing some more pixels to the altar of uselessness.
Not happy with this move, the engineers from Redmond decided to hide deep in the configuration menus the option to get those space back.
If you want save those pixel, then you have to follow this procedure –

  • click on an empty area of the desktop,
  • select Customize (“Personalizza” in italian),
  • click on Window colors (“Colore finestre”),
  • then click on Advanced Settings (“Impostazioni avanzate per l’aspetto…”). At this point, if you are an old Windows aficionado, you are looking at a familiar sight.
  • Click on the Element (“Elemento”) drop down list and seek for Border Filling (“Riempimento bordo”);
  • on the Size (“Dimensioni”) spin field set the value 0 (or the value that best suites your taste).

Et voila. Your pixels are back, ready for some useful task.
(English terms in the UI I listed above are inferred from the Italian version of Windows 7).

New computer and Windows 7

I have just received my new computer – an Asus notebook. Despite all the glamour for the netbooks, I opted for a 17.3″ full keyboard laptop. After all, I no longer use it for recycling commuting time. My daily use is more on the sofa after dining. Better have some muchoflops more than lilliputian keyboard and eye sight test screen.Also I got Windows 7. Since this OS has been launched during the past week in Italy, I guess I am an early adopter. Until now it doesn’t feel so bad. I haven’t been exposed to Vista, but used XP as it was intended (not in Windows 2000 look-and-feel mode).
On the first run Windows 7 asked for 26 update packages for about half a giga of download. Not bad for one week old OS.

Never too late

It took a good deal of time, but at last, it made it and it’s not Java. Also it proves that Microsoft was right. Back in the 90s Microsoft was darn right to fear Netscape and the web browsers for they would have stolen users away from Windows.Maybe it is thanks to Microsoft efforts to take Netscape off the scene (or even thanks to Netscape mistakes in riding the browser wave) that it took so long, but eventually we are about to no longer be bound to a specific OS or even a specific computer, everything is going on-line, accessible from every Internet node around the world. gmail, writely and irows are the forerunners of the next frontier, the on-line application that looks exactly like your desktop application. But as long as new toolkits and frameworks are developed more are to come. Until now I had a look at a couple of framework that looked very promising yet quite clumsy in performance. But have a look at Bindows. It is pretty fast, slick and responsive, it also looks and behaves exactly like a desktop application.
Ironically, although Microsoft fought Netscape and Java, it was Microsoft itself that developed the base components for Ajax technology. Funny, isn’t it?