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SoCoder -> Blogs Home -> Blogs

Created : 04 June 2014
System : Android

New Laptop!?

Last night I took the time to upgrade Monkey from 76c to 78f. (or something like that)
Seems it's going to be a little more work than expected, as they've significantly changed the template .html file, and I'm going to have to faff about making it nicely rescalable again, like I'm used to. Grrr..
I've also taken the time to add controller buttons to my template, and it switches nicely between controller icons and keyboard buttons, depending on how the player starts their game. Lovely stuff..

So, I figured, then, that this week is probably a "break" week, as I'll be messing about with the innards of my framework, and everything a bit broken.

"Hey, Jay.. Why not buy yourself a lovely new laptop while you're buggering about with this stuff.."

Who said that!?!?

And so, off I went to the Very site, and picked out a nice new laptop. I've previously seen complaints about "touchpad-only" laptops, in that if the little trackpad doesn't have any mousebuttons, then it's a pain in the arse to get used to.
I also didn't want to overspend, since... honestly, I really don't bloody well need a new laptop!!

Lenovo z50-70


i5 processor (*shrugs*)
8Gig ram (Current laptop is 6Gb)
1Tb HD (Although I barely use much of my HD anymore. Everything's on the NAS drive)
2Gb Dedicated GFX (GT7820m) (*shrugs*)
Full HD display (1920x1080, no more crazy 1388xwhatever the fuck it is)


720p HD webcam (Arrrgh!!! Webcam!!! Face!!! AArrrgh!!!)
Stereo speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio v2 (Any product that has to list "Stereo Speakers"... you just know they ran out of good features!!!)


DVD Super-Multi drive (Honestly, it's NEVER going to get used!!! Start making smaller laptops, people!!)
Up to 5 hours battery life (Meh.. Could be worse I suppose.. To be fair, I never bloody go anywhere, so the battery life's completely redundant!)


Windows 8.1 ...... Nnnnnnghh....

So, yeah, I expect it's going to take me most of next week to prod and poke Windows 8.1 into submission.
New laptop should be here "by Saturday", so that still gives me a couple of days to maybe get a game done before it gets here. No idea what happens after that, though. This could all go horribly wrong!!!!



Wednesday, 04 June 2014, 09:06
I love my Lenovo. Hopefully you will love yours, too.
Friday, 06 June 2014, 02:45
Logged in to say Windows 8.1 is really good.

Been using it for months.

the useless metro (or what ever they call it these days) is a bit useless but just taping the start key and typing the app you want is fast and easy.

not used it on a laptop or touchscreen though.

Its fast too, boots in seconds (with an ssd)

as for your specs the discrete graphics on a laptop is a good thing to have
Friday, 06 June 2014, 03:07
Surprisingly, mere moments after sending out this morning's newsletter, the blinkin' thing actually arrived!!!
Far from being later than scheduled, it was, in fact, a day early.
.. Can't grumble, I suppose!!

... I'm currently waiting for it to do it's initial setup gubbins, and will no doubt be whinging and complaining for much of the rest of the day!
Friday, 06 June 2014, 06:22


This one's a little odd.
When the laptop was first turned on, my initial thought was to double check the resolution. Sure enough, the thing said 1920x1080, and I was quite content with that..
.. Then I ran one of my games, and ... Things didn't quite add up.

My game is suggesting the screen's only 1536 pixels wide, not 1920.
Furthermore, if you try switching the game to fullscreen, it does indeed fill a 1920x1080 area.
... except most of that is sliced off, apparently giving the same 1536xwhatever resolution.
Curiously, however, when I printscreen it, the resulting image is both cropped like on the screen, but also at 1920x1080 resolution.

I haven't a fucking clue what's going on with this bloody thing...

Test Games

My games still work! Hurray!
Platdude Blitz (Blitz 2D) Worked fine in Windowed, but "Unable to set resolution" in Fullscreen
Alien Deathmatch 2 (Blitz3D) Great in Windowed, but slow in Fullscreen
NeonPlat Adventures (BlitzMax) Worked fine in both Windowed and Fullscreen.
Alien Spindome (Monkey) Works fine, but for the resolution oddity.

Two Gfx Cards

The system primarily uses it's onboard Intel bag-o-shite graphics to do things, but when you rightclick an .exe, you can alternatively run it using the NVidia gfx. Never had a 2-graphics-card/1-monitor setup before.. Really rather odd!
Am yet to properly stress test the graphics, but if I'm honest, I doubt I'll be using it much...

In addition, I also ran FR-025 : The Popular Demo, because I like watching that.
On Intel, it can just about manage 1024x768 with everything turned off..
On the NVidia, anything up to 1366x768 seemed to run just fine (Even with full antialiasing on!). Anything over that started to do screen tearing, which I'm guessing must've been the "render down to screen size" stuff going on in the background..


Spacebar seems very "middley", in that if you hit it right on the edge (like I'm used to doing) you tend to miss the occasional space..
Mousey Touchy Doohickey doesn't have a righthand "scrollbar" area, like I'm used to. It does scrolling via two-finger gestures instead, so I suppose I'm just going to have to learn how to use that... hmmm....
Friday, 06 June 2014, 06:23
How is the experience so far?

|edit| didn't see the above post!!! |edit|
Friday, 06 June 2014, 06:31
Currently installing Steam, 'cos that's super-important!!
Then I'll try getting all my Devkit stuff up and running.

Whether or not I enjoy the whole "Windows 8" experience will be decided upon whether or not, after a few days, the swooshy-swoopy-swooping of the Start Menu continues to leave me feeling as nauseous as it currently is....
Friday, 06 June 2014, 07:18
Portal 2 seems to run smoothly. Will have a proper game, later, but it seems happy enough.
Again, I had to set it to a lower-than-monitor resolution before it ran smoothly, but the quality settings were all nice and high, so that's good.
Friday, 06 June 2014, 07:52
Turned off pretty much every possible animation I could find in the settings, and am now feeling much less nauseous!!
Friday, 06 June 2014, 08:45

Compiling Tests

Monkey upgraded from 76c to 78something..

HTML5, Compiles, but they've completely rejigged the taraget .html file, so I'm going to have to reconstruct my lovely multi-res template from scratch. Grrr...

Android-OUYA, Compiles and tests nicely!

Desktop, Compiles and tests fine on the Win8 laptop, but will have to double-check that the resulting .exe still works elsewhere.

Android, Compiles, but my sister's nabbed my Nexus 7. I gave it to her after she lost her iPhone.. .. I've not seen it since. Hope she's still got the smegging thing, and hasn't gone and flogged it somewhere.. Grrr...
Will ask her later, but will probably be resorting to the old "send out test versions to people" method.

Fairly happy that the important stuff is compiling, anyway. That was my major concern with upgrading to Win8, but it turns out it wasn't as scary as I'd imagined.
Good stuff!!
Friday, 06 June 2014, 16:12
Starting to get used to two-finger scrolling, but had to turn off "Pinch to zoom" functionality.. Mostly because, at rest, my left thumb just touches the top left corner of the touchpad, and whilst using my right thumb to shift around, I was inadvertently zooming in and out of every bloody thing on my screen!!!

So, that's gone. Annoyingly it means I've lost pretty much every zoom method I normally use, since there's no "scrollwheel" function, either. That's a bit annoying..
Guess I'll be going back to the good old Numpad +/- buttons, then!!
Friday, 06 June 2014, 16:50
Seem to be having an awful lot of Mouse-Slippage, whereby holding the Touchpad's LMB and dragging quickly, occasionally (frequently) slips and lets go of the thing you're trying to drag. Windows, icons, everything seems to be effected by this, and the more I'm using it, the more I'm noticing it.
.. and I'm definitely still holding onto the mouse button!! (I think!)
Saturday, 07 June 2014, 04:33
Backups and file-copying and more..
Having to get this new laptop setup, at the same time as formatting, and cleaning out the old Laptop so it can be handed down to my sister, I seriously overdid it yesterday!!

11:30 woke up, and am practically sitting here exhausted.. Dear god, that took it out of me!
One laptop's bad enough, but having to setup two at the same time!?!?

Right then, what's today's plan....?
..Haven't got one. I might nap a lot, instead!!
Saturday, 07 June 2014, 14:02
Finally figured out what it was about Explorer that was bugging me..
Everything's fucking white!

So, I printscreened it, opened it into PSP, and spend all of about 2 seconds making bits darker. Very very simple process, and my GOD does it look better!!

I'm now going to scour the net to see if I can actually get the damned thing to actually do that..
Friday, 20 June 2014, 14:26
Finally figured out the weird resolution crap. Apparently the new Windows Default is that the font (and everything else) size is inexplicably set to 125%....!!
Setting it to 100% gives me a proper 1920x1080 desktop, runs my games at full resolution, and pretty much fixes any issues I was having with that weird resolution freakout.

Only took me 2 weeks to sort that out.. :\

Now I need to decide if I'm going to reduce the resolution a bit, or whether my eyes are going to get used to this high a resolution...
Friday, 20 June 2014, 15:52
Apparently the new Windows Default is that the font (and everything else) size is inexplicably set to 125%....!!

My Lenovo was the same way. This is part of why MS is really pushing developers to make all Windows software High DPI Aware. With the increase of monitor resolutions people are having to increase the default size of everything on Windows so they can more easily see it. Unfortunately, legacy programs are not written to be DPI aware and will not automatically scale themselves to match the settings being used.