Thursday, October 14, 2004

Windows Users LOVE 1024x768

It's true, in a blind taste test, more Windows users prefer 1024x768 over 1280x1024 (aka "why is it so small"), 800x600 (aka "something is weird"), or 1600x1200 (aka "man, are your eyes really that good?").

We just got these really nice 19" TFT LCD flat panel displays here at work. LCDs have one set resolution, that means that there ARE a certain number of pixels on the screen. This means that a display has a native resolution... in other words, it only has ONE resolution. In our case, that resolution is 1280x1024 (the number of horizontal pixels by the number of vertical pixels). Every other person in my group has their display set at 1024x768.

Imagine the side of a rubics cube. You could have one out of the 9 squares red. If I asked you to increase the size of that red square by 9, it would be easy, just make all 9 squares red. But what happens if I say make the red square 5 times bigger? You'd have to figure out the area of a square 5 times the size, get out your scissors, pick off the existing stickers, cut up a new 5x sticker, and put it on there, and that would screw up the other sections around it, what a nightmare. That nightmare is what the 1024x768 people are doing on their new display. It looks like garbage... all blurry and goofy. Yuk.

People like what they like I suppose. I think the problem should be solved inside windows. Based on the auto detection of the monitor, the DPI at the current resolution could be guessed, and the current profile could have a fixed physical size for the font. That way it wouldn't matter what resolution you were at - you wouldn't have the "how can you read that" problem. Oh well, nobody likes my ideas - I'll go back to not rocking the boat now.