Wednesday 13 April 2005 — This is 18 years old. Be careful.
A friend sent an email exhorting me to take advantage of ClearType on Windows XP. (Hmmm, he’s a newly-minted Microsoft employee... the beginnings of a subtle intra-friend marketing push?) I’ve tried it in the past, and been very impressed. I don’t use it because I switch back and forth from LCD to CRT a few times during the course of a day, and ClearType doesn’t look good on CRTs. I expect to be all LCD all the time in a week or so, so I’ll give it a real try then.
But I was reminded of Steve Gibson’s Sub-Pixel Font Rendering Technology page. It’s got a lot of good information about the technology. It also has Free & Clear, a demo of the concepts of sub-pixel rendering. Perhaps most surprising about the app is that it is Windows application but only 35Kb in size, complete. It’s that small not because there’s a 2Mb DLL alongside it, but because it is written in assembly language, just as all of Steve’s software is. I think he’s nuts, but I admire his dedication.
I use http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypePowerToy.mspx which gives me much more control over ClearType. Different laptops require different tweaking, and this little widget lets you modify how CT handles the fades. It also lets you turn it off and on relatively easily.
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