Thursday, August 07, 2008

Custom Resolution by Application in Vista/XP

First I just wanted to apologize for not posting much lately. I've been pretty good at keeping my promise of at least one new post a week up until a few months ago. I've had some vacation time and then got sick for a week. That and surprisingly I haven't had anything that interesting to blog about. Anyways, enough excuses.

Sometimes you have an application or say some very old edutainment (for my kids) titles that don't behave well with modern high resolution settings and just don't scale or look right. Instead, they required you to change your desktop setting to something incredibly low (640X480 or 800X600) before launching the application. Here is a way to sort of automate it using freeware.

Sometimes switching resolutions can scramble your desktop icon positions.
Save and Restore Desktop Icon Layout in Windows Vista (xp too)
http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/save-and-restore-desktop-icon-layout-in-windows-vista/

Use this to switch resolutions.
multires supports command line:
http://www.entechtaiwan.com/util/multires.shtm

Sometimes the application requires the cd to be in the drive. First rip the cd to an iso using
http://www.imgburn.com

Then use daemon tools to mount it which also supports command line:
http://www.daemon-tools.cc

Now create a batch file (.cmd) to automate it all. Here is a sample:

"C:\Program Files\MultiRes\MultiRes.exe" /640,480,32
"C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools Lite\daemon.exe" -mount 0,"mycdimage.iso"
timeout 2
E:\myprogram.EXE
"C:\Program Files\DAEMON Tools Lite\daemon.exe" -unmount 0
"C:\Program Files\MultiRes\MultiRes.exe" /restore

640,480,32 is your resolution and bit depth.
E:\myprogram.EXE is whatever your shortcut usually launches to start your app. Timeout is there to make sure the image is mounted before you start the app. Create a shortcut that points to the .cmd file that you created above, and you can even change the icon in the shortcut properties so it looks the same as the old shortcut.

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