Viewsonic VX2835wm on an nVidia card under Windows 7 with a DVI to HDMI cable

After upgrading my desktop to Windows 7, my second head (a Viewsonic VX2835wm) was showing a horribly overscanned image (blurred text, edges cropped). After fiddling with the monitor settings and setting the aspect ratio to 1:1, I then ended up with letterboxed image, with missing information around the edges (eg, the Windows start menu was off screen).

According to nVidia, this should already be accounted for in their drivers (from the release notes for 191.07):

DVI Scaling for ATI Radeon under Windows 7 x64

I just upgraded my parent's media centre machine to Windows 7, however, the image through the DVI/HDMI cable was underscanned (text was blurry, and the image had black borders around it).

Normally, in the Radeon Catalyst drivers, you would go to the Desktop & Displays, then right click the display at the bottom of the screen (not the big one in the middle!) and select "Configure".

Unfortunately, in the latest Catalyst 9.9 drivers, which you select "Configure", it takes you back to the home page of the control centre. Downgrading to Catalyst 9.8 resolved this problem.

Time Running Slow for a FreeBSD x64 Guest under VirtualBox

As part of my efforts to reduce our power consumption, I have decomissioned my diskless VM host and move the virtual machines onto my fileserver. This involved migrating the machines from VMWare (on Linux) to Virtualbox (on Solaris).

One of my VMs is a FreeBSD x64 system, and while it came across fine, the time on this machine ran 3-4 times slower than normal (other x86 FreeBSD machines were fine).

To correct this, I added the following line to /boot/loader.conf:


Hacking the Efergy Wireless Power Meter

I just bought an Efergy wireless power meter on Ebay. It consists of a hall effect current meter clamp that clips around the mains line to your house, an RF transmitter module, and a receiver module with an LCD display that shows various bits of information that it gathers. The same meter was also sold at Aldi recently under the brand "Trade Power".

Vista Media Center (MCE) keeps waking up

Our Vista Media Center machine was continually waking up a few minutes after it was put to sleep. This lead to higher power bills, and higher greenhouse gas emissions. To find out the cause of the last wakeup request, you can execute the following command from a Command Prompt:

powercfg /lastwake

Unfortunately, this didn't give any useful information for me, so I took the following approach:

Cloning dual-boot Windows XP machines

A disk in a workmate's computer failed recently, and when restoring the backup, we had issues getting the second partition to boot. We were able to get the OS to load only as far as the second loading screen (the blue screen with the scrolling orange/blue animation at the bottom, not the black screen with the scrolling green animation at the bottom), at which point the scrolling animation would freeze (although the keyboard and mouse were responsive).

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