A way to increase your desktop resolution?

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A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  C14ru5 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:11 am

Back in the mid-90's, I tried an application from one of these MacWorld shareware CD-ROMs. This application ate memory and had poor performance (I think it was a 68k application), but it allowed me to increase my desktop resolution from 640x480 to say 1024x768. You could then navigate your extended monitor space by moving the mouse around and your view followed in either CloseView- or Zelda-style. The application had a very straight-forward name, something like "Screen Expander".

There are tons of virtual desktop solutions out there for the Mac, including Leopard's 'Spaces', but none of them seem to have a way to actually increase the total available space that a single window can occupy. There's an old application for Windows 2000 called WinSpace 3.0 that I found has the ability to let a window overlap from one virtual desktop onto another - such a feature would be good enough for me.

The reason I'm looking for this, is to be able to trace a track layout from a high-resolution image, without first having to trace a low-resolution sketch and then zoom in and try to re-align the trace image and my track. Back when I was making my track frameworks, I used to borrow a 30" monitor at work that I could use, but the last company "upgrade" to those silly 24-inch LED displays has killed that option.

So, does anyone know of a way to fool my Mac Pro into thinking that it has a desktop resolution of a 30-inch display?
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Re: A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  NoNameBrand on Thu Feb 05, 2009 12:34 pm

Are you tracing in Blender or Illustrator? when I do high-res tracing in Illustrator, I use my Wacom tablet and the space bar to drag the work space around without losing my path.

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Re: A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  C14ru5 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 1:51 pm

ehm... Embarassed I use Track Editor and Google Earth, Cmd-Tab between the tracing image and the drawing area. Dragging is out of the question. I suppose I could use Blender instead, but then I would need to stitch a large grid of Google Earth images into a single image. It would be easier if I could just make the Track Editor and Google Earth windows larger, which I could have done if I had dual 30" monitors... Also, this is a problem that I've wondered about for a while, in a non-development setting.

Multiple monitors could be a way to go, if I had them. I have access to another iMac 24" which I can hook up using Screen Recycler and thus get twice the desktop area, so I'm not so much after a solution to the development problem. It's more just a question out of curiosity.
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Re: A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  C14ru5 on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:33 pm

I went through my CD-ROM archives, and I found the application I was thinking of!


Virtual Desktop 1.9 from 1996, system requirements: System 7.0 or later. It was slightly different than what I remembered - what it did was simply to put scroll bars on your screen, no known size limits. The developer's website doesn't exist anymore, unfortunately. That's no surprise, after 12 years.

I could run this in SheepShaver just for fun, but that doesn't answer the question if something similar exists for Mac OS X.

EDIT: This doesn't seem to be the same as CodeTek's VirtualDesktop, as it was developed by someone else (AWOL Utilities)
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Re: A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  alphonse on Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:56 pm

I once saw an article about VNC'ing to a local machine (as Remote Desktop does about what you are trying to do by resizing higher resolutions). But i never had any success in this.

Maybe SwitchResX can help you out - just take care you dont harm to your monitor.

Currently no more ideas here...

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Re: A way to increase your desktop resolution?

Post  C14ru5 on Sat Feb 07, 2009 2:29 pm

Thanks, I'll explore the VNC possibility a bit further. SwitchResX looks a bit too spooky, so I'll keep away from it. Anyway, those answers are good enough for me.
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