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1   / PowerStrip for Windows / broken redirect on: September 05, 2016, 01:08:31 PM
Rik, old friend:
(Registered PowerStrip user here.)
I know the forums are [mostly] closed. (Thankfully still present because of ongoing usefulness.)
I reconnected today to update my profile, see old posts, and look around.

I noticed some URL difficulty today.
No need to reply. If you fix it, you can just delete this message.

http://www.entechtaiwan.com/*  works.
http://www.entechtaiwan.net/*  redirects to above.

http://forums.entechtaiwan.com/*  works.
http://forums.entechtaiwan.net/*  jams and eventually displays a mysql error  (my old Internet shortcuts here.  also I THINK the link from change-your e-mail address sent me there.)

To fix something best, fix it twice:
(1) fix the link to NOT send people to forums.entechtaiwan.net
(2) fix the forums.entechtaiwan.net server to redirect to forums.entechtaiwan.com/*

Some old links I had went to http://www.entechtaiwan.com/forums/*
This appears to be a synonym for http://forums.entechtaiwan.com/*
The bad link might have sent me to http://www.entechtaiwan.NET/forums/ (sorry i did not notice.)
2   / Graphics cards / ATI Rage 128 Pro Ultra (AGP 4X/2X) on: August 28, 2008, 10:18:22 PM
I'm an old fan of PowerStrip. (It helped me with an esoteric problem unrelated to this thread.)

I had a similar experience. A friend connected an Envision G218a1 LCD monitor (22inch widescreen, 1680x1050 resolution) to a Dell Optiplex GX340 (low-profile AGP+PCI machine) with an ATI Rage 128 Ultra (AGP; VGA output only).

Windows XP lists many well-known resolutions, but not 1680x1050.
Windows Update got me a "newer" driver that had the same limitations.
The ATI website offers the latest updated driver -- dated 2001.
PowerStrip couldn't activate the new resolution.
(I didn't re-read PowerStrip's "Custom resolution primer":  "..., ..., and ATI Rage and Rage128 users should go no further -- you are limited to the resolutions that you find in Display Properties."

So we're out of luck.
I'd need to swap in a newer low-profile AGP card.
(Or just settle for 1152x864 as the best compromise for this monitor.)
(Or just swap the widescreen monitor with a 4:3 monitor.)

There might be more hacks to try:
1) If the resolutions are stored in the Registry, then maybe i could edit them.  (Unlikely.)
2) Maybe i could find the resolutions inside the driver and patch it.  (Unlikely.)
3) Maybe some third party made an updated Windows NT/2K/XP driver for this card.  (Unlikely.)
4) Maybe Windows XP's default VGA driver will support 1680x1050. All i have to do is uninstall the ATI driver, and then Windows XP's default VGA driver will take over. If it picks up 1680x1050, then i'll have the resolution and "32-bit" or 24-bit colors, but i'll lose all hardware acceleration. Certain operations such as dragging windows will update very slowly. (Might not work, if Windows has a generic way to ask the card for VESA modes. The card might not list 1680x1050, or might refuse it if it is requested.)

The punchline is this:
For amusement, while doing something else, i booted an Ubuntu GNU/Linux CD on this computer. When it came up, the display seemed remarkably clear. So i checked what resolution it was running in. Yup, 1680x1050. The old hardware can display the new resolution; only the decrepit Windows driver prevents it. There are new drivers for these old ATI Rage 128 cards -- but only for Linux.
3   / PowerStrip for Windows / SO CLOSE! 1728x2304 on eVGA e-GeForce FX 5700 Ultra on: December 02, 2003, 11:31:51 PM
I can tune the resolution with correct timing counts and times.
It looks like PowerStrip + (nVidia 5700) is an economical solution for 4 Megapixel analog portrait monitors.  I'll be exercising it the next few days.

Well that 11th bit was on its way for some time.  As soon as vertical resolution gets close to 2048, the vertical total will exceed 2048.
Like most computer numbers, they mostly only go UP.
Most graphics cards advertise 2048x1536 as the maximum as does the nVidia 5700 even though it goes happily to 1728x2304 and probably beyond.
Some graphics cards advertise 2048x2048.  (What monitor accepts 2048x2048, I have no idea.)
4   / PowerStrip for Windows / SO CLOSE! 1728x2304 on eVGA e-GeForce FX 5700 Ultra on: December 01, 2003, 12:43:39 PM
WOOHOO!  (psbeta.exe (3.48;428))
The clock frequency is now agreeing with the card; it runs at 300-400MHz settings.
Also, the Horizontal timing display agrees.  400MHz / 2720 [htotal] = 147KHz.

There is still a problem in the Vertical.
This could be general to the program with any display with over 2048 lines, or specific again to the 5700.
I created a customized 1728x2304, but it didn't take effect until i customized again.  The adjustment screen screen shows not 1728x2304 but 1728x256.  It works fully as 1728x2304 with all parameters, but the vertical display frequency reads as 147 kHz / 320 = 460Hz, even though it is actually 147kHz / 2368 = 62.1Hz.

Also it still likes to hide the Custom Resolutions button from me, possibly because of the mismatch or the 460Hz thing.
5   / Announcements / newer version is posted on: November 26, 2003, 08:16:06 PM
PowerStrip 3.47 build 425 was released 2003.11.02.

The link for the beta file still works, http://www.entechtaiwan.com/files/psbeta.exe .

It retrieves the current beta, PowerStrip 3.48 build 427 dated 2003.11.08.
6   / PowerStrip for Windows / SO CLOSE! 1728x2304 on eVGA e-GeForce FX 5700 Ultra on: November 26, 2003, 07:59:30 PM
It must be difficult making updates for new cards that change without documentation.

OK, I tried PowerStrip v3.48 (beta).  Everything behaves about the same.

I was worried I did not look around enough.
I can't find mention of supported or unsupported cards in the readme or the FAQ.
Only this from Readme.txt:
The following are NOT supported:
- graphics cards not explicitly listed below
GeForceFX   Yes       Yes      Yes       None

I'd like to try another card.
How can I get a list, in detail, of supported cards?

Is the functioning comparable for all supported nVidia and Radeon cards?
7   / PowerStrip for Windows / SO CLOSE! 1728x2304 on eVGA e-GeForce FX 5700 Ultra on: November 25, 2003, 05:51:57 PM
This begins with some ImageSystems M21P2KMAX monitors.
They are analog, monochrome, 21" portrait monitors.
We have been running them at 1728x2304 (4MegaPixels) for years.
(They can handle up to 2048x2536 (5MegaPixels), but the video amplifier is only fast enough to show 2 to 3MegaPixels.  Newer monitors have faster amplifiers and render the full 5MP.)
We need to replace the computers while continuing to use these monitors.
We can't use the old EISA graphics cards because they only have Windows 3.1 drivers.

There are several specialized cards that support hi-res monochrome monitors.  Some have excellent features.  Most come with drivers that eliminate references to color.  Some support booting in fixed high-resolution output with the standard VGA screen space "letterboxed" in the middle.  They are also very expensive.  We don't need the fancy calibration; we are only doing industrial imaging.

I suspected that the newer high-end consumer graphics cards can support these high-resolution monitors.  They have plenty of memory and fast pixel clocks.

I bought a new eVGA e-GeForce FX 5700 Ultra graphics card because it has dual 400MHz RAMDACs, just enough to show 1728x2304 at 60Hz.
It has one VGA output and one DVI output.  I added a DVI-to-VGA adapter (not included with the card).
I use a VGA-to-BNC cable to connect HSync, VSync and Green to the high-resolution monitor.  I get a better signal from the direct VGA connector.
I downloaded and installed the current nVidia Forceware driver v52.16 dated 2003.10.23.
A very interesting driver, full of amazing features.  (Rotation, gamma, sharpening, custom resolutions ...)
One great feature is Clone -- I can run custom 1728x2304 on one monitor and still get a 1280x1024 panning viewport on a generic monitor.  Having a hi-res monochrome display and a medium-res color (panning) display of the same screen is the best of both.
1728x2304 (4MP) is well beyond the advertised 2048x1536 (3MP) maximum resolution of the card.  But the nVidia driver accepted the custom resolution immediately.  It even made a display on the monitor, but none of the 4 selectable standard timing formulas made a clean display on the monitor.  It flickered, retrace lines were visible, and I couldn't adjust the monitor’s Hsize, Hpos, Vsize and Vpos knobs enough to even center the display.

When I add PowerStrip 3.47 to the mix, I can adjust the timings to make the nVidia card emit the same timings as the original card.  I get a great picture without even adjusting the monitor’s Hsize, Hpos, Vsize and Vpos knobs when switching computers!  I was also able to tune 1536x2048 (3MP), 1440x1920 (2.8MP) and 1200x1600 (1.9MP).

Here the problems begin.

When I customize the 1728x2304 timings using PowerStrip, all of the integer timing parameters display correctly, except for height.  The real height is 2304 lines and it is working, but the PowerStrip display says there are 256 lines.  Like it is thinking modulo-2048.  I even ended up with two custom resolutions saved, 1728x2304 and 1728x256.  If I delete one, something goes wrong.

However, all of the time values display incorrectly in the custom resolutions screen because the pixel clock is incorrect.  I have to just ignore them.
I Know I am making a 60Hz frame rate because I tuned the pixel clock until I saw a period of 16.6ms coming from Vsync on an oscilloscope.  These are the values I should be seeing on the PowerStrip display, because that is what is happening:  60Hz x 2368 [vtotal] = 142,080 Hz horizontal.  x2720 [htotal] = 386,457,600 Hz pixel clock.
But the screen in PowerStrip says I have a pixel clock of  86.711 MHz [way low].  Divide by 2512 [htotal] for 34.519 KHz horizontal (way low).  Divide by 320 [vtotal, incorrect] yielding 107.872 Hz refresh [way high].  That's what it
displays, but nothing like that is happening.
Something must be wrong with the clock calculation.  I even tried setting the pixel clock to values around 386 MHz, but it never made an image on the monitor.  Maybe with the 400MHz RAMDACs, nVidia added extra dividers or multipliers?  Or could it be a math error provoked by the lines count?

For 1536x2048 the situation gets worse.  2048 lines displays as 0 lines.  Most of the timing adjustments cannot be changed because PowerStrip seems even more unhappy with the lines count and vertical total that both exceed 2048.

I get other unusual behavior from PowerStrip.  The problems are difficult to characterize because they come and go seemingly provoked by unrelated actions.

Many times when I go into [PowerStrip]:Display Profiles:Configure, the Advanced Timing Options button is grayed out.  Sometimes I get it back by exiting PowerStrip and restarting.  Sometimes the button is visible and then becomes grayed out as soon as I change resolution once in the Display Profiles configuration screen.  Uninstalling and re-installing PowerStrip and even the display driver didn't fix it.  After a while it seemed like I never got it back.
It is difficult not having the Advanced Timing Options button -- how can I customize a resolution if I can't get in there to add a resolution?
I found that I could add a new resolution through the nVidia driver and then tune it in PowerStrip.

It doesn’t always show “Custom Timing” in the pick-list, usually it only shows “Windows Default” and “Standard Discrete Timing”.  On the 1728x2304, it never shows the Custom Timing, but somehow it puts in the right tunings even if I select “Windows Default”.

Timings don’t seem to “stick”.  I can customize a timing for 1200x1600 but when I change to a different resolution and back, it seems to revert to a standard timing.  Then I can’t get back into “Custom Timing” until I shut down and restart PowerStrip.

Then I started getting hiccups in the nVidia driver as well.
I found I could not delete the 1536x2048 resolution.  Around that time I uninstalled and re-installed the nVidia driver.  After that I found that I could only raise the resolution of the secondary monitor to 1152x864, even though it had previously functioned at 2048x1536.  (Maybe I spooked it with one test in which I swapped the two VGA connections.)  Hard to tune when there’s no button to press…

It is SO CLOSE.  It seemed a little shaky at first but close to acceptable.  Then as I fiddled with it, trying to make it behave better, it gradually became more and more unpredictable until it virtually disintegrated in my hands.  I don’t understand where these snags could be happening.

How do I get PowerStrip to settle down and work the way I want it to?  It is a powerful utility.

additional details:
Windows 2000 SP3
mainboard ASUS P3B-F  (a little dated.)
Pentium 3 650MHz
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