llemarie’s weblog

Programming, tinkering – Lionel LemariĆ©

Archive for November 1st, 2007

Tip: Scaling your Remote Desktop session

Posted by llemarie on November 1, 2007

No matter whether you’re a Windows lover or hater, there’s no denying that Remote Desktop is one of the greatest features of the system. It beats VNC and many other remote control solutions by far for its sheer speed and picture quality (although of course VNC is genius for the fact that it works on Linux and Mac).

One gripe I have had with Remote Destop for years though is that I want to be able to connect to my desktop machine at its native high resolution from my laptop which has a lower resolution. Scaling isn’t that hard! Don’t give me those scrollbars, they are just useless. Both TightVNC and MaxiVista (and many others) support scaling the remote screen and it looks very good, so it’s been frustrating not to have the feature in RDP.

This morning I found that RDP does indeed support nice and efficient scaling, just not from the GUI settings. Here’s how:

  • Configure your remote connection from the GUI as usual.
  • In “Local Resources, make sure that “Apply Windows key combinations” is set to “On the remote computer”.
  • Save the connections settings to a file in a sensible directory. Call it for example “Remote.rdp”.
  • Open Notepad and edit that file “Remote.rdp”, it’s just a text file that looks like this (short version):
screen mode id:i:1
desktopwidth:i:1280
desktopheight:i:800
session bpp:i:16
winposstr:s:0,3,0,0,800,600
compression:i:1
keyboardhook:i:1
  • Add a new line with this text: “smart sizing:i:1″
  • Change the desktop width and height to what you want (for example 1600 and 960 to keep the aspect ratio).
  • You’re done! Save and quit Notepad. Double click on Remote.rdp, you’re connected at high resolution!

Using this extremely simple tip (hacking with notepad! where have the hex editor days gone ?) you can crank up your resolution to 4096×2048, if you don’t mind not being able not to read anything. I find that a factor of roughly 1.25 is sensible.

Posted in Blogroll, Remote Desktop, Tips | Tagged: , , | 29 Comments »

Software: LeDimmer – Unclutter your screen

Posted by llemarie on November 1, 2007

LeDimmer is a small Windows application (<200KB) that sits in the system tray and simply dims the screen around the foreground window. The numerous advantages include being able to focus on the task at hand, finding the window in focus at first glance even on multi-monitors, and it even looks nice. General Windows usage is not changed at all: click or alt-tab into a dimmed window and it brightens into focus.

You can specify a bitmap as the dimming picture to get a nice glossy effect on your screen, embed your company logo, admire your dulcine, etc…

It couldn’t be simpler to use: start it, it sits in the system tray, quit it with the tray menu or the shortcut ctrl-shift-q. That’s it…

LeDimmer works on Windows 2000, XP and Vista. Grab it free from the home page.

Comments, feature requests and bug reports are appreciated.

Posted in Blogroll, LeDimmer, Programming, Projects | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

 
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