Sunday, November 17, 2013

Windows Virtual PC Resolution

This specifically applies to Windows XP guest on Windows 7 host running Windows Virtual PC. It may also apply to other configurations.

When Windows XP is run as a guest without Integration Features, guest desktop resolution can be changed with Properties, but when Integration Features are enabled, that won't work -- the guest starts with a resolution of 896 x 600; resolution can be changed only by resizing the guest window; and when the guest is restarted any change is lost.

To start the Windows XP guest at a specific resolution (e.g., 1024 x 768) with Integration Features enabled, the settings file for the virtual machine must first be edited manually:
  1. Log off host and then back on to make sure virtual machines are shut down
  2. Click Start and enter "%localappdata%\Microsoft\Windows Virtual PC\Virtual Machines"
    (without quotes)
  3. Locate the settings file (.vmc) with the same name as the virtual machine
    (You may want to make a backup copy of this file for safety)
  4. Right-click the settings file, choose Open with, and select Notepad
    (If Notepad is not an option, use Choose default program to associate it)
  5. Find the tag <resolution_height type="integer">
    and change to the desired value (e.g., 768)
  6. Find the tag <resolution_width type="integer">
    and change to the desired value (e.g., 1024)
  7. Close Notepad, saving the settings file
  8. Start the virtual machine

Friday, November 1, 2013

iGoogle Alternative

iGoogle was an excellent tool for customizing your own Web landing (start) page with a wide variety of sources conveniently arranged in multiple tabs. I say "was" because Google shut it down on November 1, 2013, just as it has shut down other valuable and important services before it, including Reader. (See Google Reader Lessons)

If you were a user of iGoogle, or are simply looking for a good custom Web landing page, I recommend My Yahoo, which has an excellent mobile view in addition to its standard view. It has much of the functionality of iGoogle, although not as many Packaged Pages (widgets), but that can often be remedied with RSS feeds. (Yahoo Widget development was shut down in 2012, so the longer term outlook for My Yahoo is uncertain.)

Other alternatives: