17 November 2005

A better Windows than MS-Windows

The sole point of contention in our household over the exclusive use of Linux has been a small collection of MS-Windows-based games and educational software. Now with the WINE folks getting all hot under the collar about installer support I decided to have another whack at installing some of these.

In related news, a steadily increasing number of MS-Windows video card drivers no longer support screen depths below 16 bits.


One of the games refused to install unless it could have an 8-bit-deep visual (in fact, it wanted a 640x480x8 visual, but would settle for the “x8” part).

A steadily increasing number of video cards, including (I was surprised to discover) crappy ones like NeoMagic and Savage, have Xorg/XFree86 support for 8-bit PseudoColour overlays on a 24-bit or 32-bit screen... so... out with Xnest, and now we have a Windows game running (well... mostly running) “full-screen” on its own private 8-bit-deep X server in a window.

My next project will be getting Xnest or the window it’s in to scale (or finding an X component which does scaling) so you can actually see the game. On this screen, 640x480 is not much bigger than a business card.

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