Thursday, July 26, 2007

Windows Vista, Wacom and Logitech Woes

**<rant>**I bought a Wacom Graphire4 4x5 tablet for my daughter this week. According to her, the driver and bundled Photoshop Elements3 and Corel Painter Essentials 2 installed with no problem on our Windows XP system.

I however wasted 2 hours attempting to install the bundled apps onto Windows Vista on my laptop this evening. In the end, after googling around a bit, I made an educated guess that Vista just hates the Microsoft Installer packages wrapping the vintage 2004 Photoshop and Corel apps. Also, it appears Adobe has no intention of supporting Vista, so I won't hold my breath waiting for Wacom to upgrade the bundle...

The Vista version of the tablet driver installer freshly downloaded from the Wacom site *also* seemed to hang up partway through the install process. In the end, it appears to have installed itself, however I now have *seven* annoying popup messages to dismiss when I logon to Windows, each popup informing me that it couldn't find a driver for this or that USB device - when in fact the drivers for the Wacom tablet and the Logitech wireless keyboard/mouse are installed *just fine*.

Speaking of the Logitech stuff, I still haven't received a satisfactory answer from them about the annoying popup messages, four months after I first complained about it on their support Web site. Well, at least Logitech attempts to listen to their customers - I found no such avenue for recourse on the Wacom site. Just fire off an email to them and hope for the best.**</rant>**

Monday, July 23, 2007

Andale Mono font for Windows Command Prompt

Andale Mono is one of the nicer monospaced fonts for the command prompt (DOS box) on Windows. Unlike the default Lucida Console, Andale Mono has a dot in the middle of the zero character to distinguish it from the capital O. It also has much nicer proportions than the default Windows raster fonts.

Microsoft dropped Andale Mono as a default font choice from the Windows 2000 and XP DOS prompt configuration. However, some years back, a helpful fellow named Aaron Toponce wrote up a blog page with the gory details on restoring Andale Mono to the DOS prompt font list.

I had the foresight (luck) to bookmark Aaron's instruction page using Yahoo!'s My Web social bookmarking thingy. Aaron's domain has long since reverted to a marketing link farm, but I had the foresight (luck) again to *save a copy* of Aaron's page along with the Yahoo! My Web bookmark. For this feature alone My Web is gold.

As I settled into my latest PC at work, I used Aaron's instructions to restore Andale Mono to my command window. Here for your elucidation is my slightly edited version of Aaron's instructions:

> The Windows command prompt supports monospace TrueType and OpenType fonts. By default, only Lucida Console and Raster Fonts are installed. You can add more monospace fonts using a simple registry hack:

> 1. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SOFTWARE/Microsoft/Windows NT/Current Version/Console/TrueTypeFont. As you will notice, the existing Lucida Console is named '0'.
> 2. Add a new string named '00' (I believe only '0' can be used, although I haven't tried anything else),
> 3. Modify the data to be the font name.
> 4. Add as many TrueType and OpenType monospace fonts as you like, just keep adding zeros to the string name.
> 5. Open a DOS Prompt, right-click the title bar then select Properties from the context menu.
> 6. Select the Font tab. Andale Mono should appear in the list of fonts. Select it, then set the size (I like 14).