Windows 7 lag when using dual monitors with different refresh rates

I have recently installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64 with Service Pack 1, coming from Vista (in which I had no problems). After the installation, the first thing I did was install the graphics card driver for my AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB card. I then noticed that when I drag windows around the desktop, scroll through windows, and especially drag windows from the secondary monitor to the primary, there was very noticeable lag. However, there was no lag in games – just the Windows desktop and its windows. This was a completely fresh install. I have dual monitors – the primary is a 19″ widescreen Acer X191W, and the secondary is a 15″ Sony LCD. I am using them in extended desktop mode.

What happened at first was Windows locked the primary monitor to 75Hz, and would not let me change it to 60Hz.  For some reason the first time I installed the video drivers, I think there was a conflict with the default Windows display drivers, causing my main monitor to be stuck at 75Hz. I had to uninstall and wipe the display driver to reinstall it, after which the option to set it to 60Hz appeared. I used ATIMAN Uninstaller to wipe the driver. After setting the display to 60Hz, the lag disappeared completely.

So it seemed there was a conflict somewhere with my specific hardware configuration that caused lag when two monitors were set to different refresh rates. However, then I tried to recreate the problem on a different system. This system has a Radeon HD 4870 and different dual displays. It had the same problem when one of the monitors was set to refresh at 60Hz and the other at 75Hz. And again, putting them both to 60Hz resolved the lag issue.

I could not find any information about this issue online. It can’t be the monitors as between the two systems there were four different monitors that had the same problem. It can’t be the hardware, because my computer has a 6870 and the other has a 4870. It can’t be interfering software, as this was a clean install of Windows. It has to be either the AMD driver, or an issue with Windows.

The point of this post is to let people know how to fix this issue, as well as ask if anyone else has experienced this, especially with a different graphics card. It took me two weeks to find the cause of this. I haven’t found anyone online with this issue. Both the video cards I tested should handle different refresh rates without a problem. Although I have fixed the issue, I still want to know what caused it.

What headphones should you get if you wear glasses?

If you have prescription eyeglasses and have ever tried wearing over the ear headphones for extended periods of time, you probably know how painful it can get after an hour or more. The headphones will put pressure on your glasses frame, which will dig into your head and create pressure points. This might prevent you from trying over the ear headphones again. However, there is a solution that doesn’t involve switching to in ear headphones.

Let’s assume the standard budget for most people for decent headphones is $50. So which headphones should you get specifically for wearing over your eyeglasses? Koss PortaPro.

As you can see in the photo, they are pretty much designed for people who wear glasses. The top foam rests above your glasses frame, while the headphone part itself goes over your ear. The headphones don’t touch your glasses at all (although that might depend on the glasses).

The headphones easily adjust in size to accommodate any head size, and there is a very cool switch on each side that adjusts pressure of the upper part of the foam. There are three pressure levels, and there is a noticeable difference between each pressure. You can distribute the pressure between your head and your ear however you want. This is seriously not a gimmick, it really does make a difference.

The Koss PortaPro headphones have a retro look to them. The style might not be for everyone, but you might grow to like it. The headphones do look better in person than they do in the photos found online. The band that goes over your head has a very nice brushed metallic finish. The headphones fold up very nicely and lock up with a small hook that’s built into the bottom of the head band, right under the top foam part.

Sound quality is awesome on the Koss PortaPro as well. You can find the specs on their website, linked above. The whole sound range sounds really nice. The bass is very good for this type of headphone. Compared to the Sennheiser HD 202 headphones, the Koss PortaPro sound better in pretty much every way. The bass on the Sennheisers might have been a bit louder, but it sounds better on the PortaPros, almost as if less muffled and more clear.

Overall, the Koss PortaPro headphones are an amazing buy for their price. They can be had for around $35 online if you know where to look, such as on Amazon. For this price, if you need headphones that don’t cause pain or discomfort while wearing prescription eyeglasses, look no further. The Koss PortaPro headphones will give you great sound quality, amazing comfort, great price, and a cool retro look. I have had these headphones for about two or three years now, and they have held up great. I have yet to find a better pair of headphones, comfort wise, for wearing with glasses.

How to upgrade memory on an Acer Aspire One

My Acer Aspire One came with 1GB of memory, and after installing Windows 7 on it, that 1GB has become inadequate. I bought 2GB of 800MHz DDR2 memory on Newegg for just over $20. This is great value for the money, and improved the overall performance of the netbook significantly. This quick guide will show you how to upgrade the RAM on an Acer Aspire One AO751h, but it might apply to many other laptops as well.

NOTE: Follow this guide at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damages or injuries caused by following these instructions. Your laptop may differ from mine.

1. Buy the correct RAM for your laptop. For my Acer, I bought one 2GB stick of Corsair 800MHz DDR2. Make sure you’re buying laptop memory, not desktop memory. The laptop RAM is obviously a lot smaller.

2. Shut down the laptop. Disconnect your power supply and remove the battery. Ground yourself by touching something metal. I touched my steel computer case. This should dissipate any static electricity that is on you.

3. Get a small phillips screwdriver and unscrew the two screws holding the memory bay on. Then gently pry it off – it is still held in by plastic clips.

4. Remove your RAM by pulling the two tabs on the sides apart, and pulling the RAM up and out. Be gentle.

5. Install the new RAM by pulling the two tabs on the sides apart, and gently inserting the RAM into the slot. Once it starts going in, release the tabs, and when fully inserted the memory module should snap into place.

6. Screw the cover back on and push down on it a bit to get it to clip in. Reinstall your battery and power on the laptop. Right click on “Computer” on your desktop or in your start menu, and click “Properties”. If you see 2GB of memory indicated, the install was a success!

How to make text on a laptop screen easier to read

If you have a small laptop screen or are using a netbook, the text on your screen is probably difficult to read. There is an easy way to make the text more visible, and it’s called ClearType. I have covered how to use ClearType text on Windows XP, so here is the updated version for Windows 7.

ClearType is very easy to use in Windows 7 because it comes built into the operating system. Just follow these steps to turn it on:

1. Open Control Panel by clicking Start > Control Panel

2. Click on Appearance and Personalization

3. Click on Adjust ClearType text

4. Check the box for Turn on ClearType, and then click Next as you follow the instructions to pick the best looking text for your screen

And that’s all there is to it. I recommend picking the darkest setting during the last step, especially if you are on a netbook.

Here is a standard size Reddit button for your website

If you have social media buttons on your website, and have ever tried adding a reddit button, you may have noticed that reddit doesn’t provide a standard sized button. Most other websites, such as Digg, Facebook, and Twitter, have 20px tall buttons as an option. Reddit didn’t have one 20px tall, so I made one by modifying an existing button, and here it is:

To use it, save this button to your own server and replace the image URL in the button code with your own URL (wherever you uploaded the button). Also, note that I say button, not widget. This won’t work with the interactive widgets because they are a javascript code. Use the “reddit this!” button under “commonly used buttons” to get the right code.

10 Free Useful Android Apps

Wifi File Explorer

This app lets you browse files on your phone without plugging it in or removing the SD card. It works through wifi, letting you connect directly to your phone through your router. It’s as easy as opening the app, opening the web browser on your computer, and typing in the local IP address of your phone. There is an option to set a password, and your phone is only accessible when the app is open, so the security is good as well.

Amazon Appstore

It’s an app store from Amazon. There is an app of the day, which is always an app that costs money, but on that day, it’s free. So you get free apps that you would otherwise have to pay for. Not much more to say.

Advanced Ruler

Just as the name of the app suggests, this is a ruler for your phone. Ever need to measure something but didn’t have a ruler around? This app makes measuring small items as simple as putting them next to your phone’s screen. The ruler can be adjusted for any resolution so it should work with all phones.

ConvertPad

While not very polished in terms of visuals, this app is the best free converter I have seen. There are options for almost anything that you can possibly convert, and it lists multiple results at once so you don’t need to switch back and forth between units.

Andie Graph

This amazing app lets you have a graphing calculator right on your phone. It is an emulator, so you must get your own ROM, but that isn’t a problem. Now if I forget my actual TI calculator at home, I don’t have to worry because it is right on my phone. It’s really a perfect emulator and you’ll feel as if your phone is a real TI calculator.

TeslaLED

This little app lets you do many things with your phone’s built-in camera flash. There is the option of using it as a normal flashlight, as a strobe light, as a morse code beacon, as a timed light that turns off after a set amount of time, and as a hold-to-light flashlight. Plus it can use your screen to display hazard lights and police lights, which is just a cool bonus. It also comes with a widget so you can activate your LED without even opening the app. Very convenient.

SiMi Folder

This is the best folder organizer I have found. You can create many different types of folder widgets and customize them in many ways. It’s the best way to organize all your apps, rather than having them in one giant list where it’s hard to find anything. Just make some folders for a few different categories of apps and games, and suddenly your phone becomes much more useful because you can actually find the app you’re looking for.

Alarm Clock Xtreme

This is a very cool alarm clock. There are many features, such as having to solve a math problem to turn the alarm off, for those of us who tend to hit snooze while still being completely asleep. You can also customize the vibration and ringing, making it gradual, you can make a large snooze button, and so on. You can even set it so it turns off only when the GPS senses that you are moving. It also comes with a cool clock widget.

Embiggen

This simple and very polished app lets you enlarge text on your screen. You type a message, and it displays the words as big as possible. This can have many uses, such as communicating with people in cars without having to open your window, talking to someone next to you when you can’t actually speak, such as at a lecture or at school, and I’m sure people will find even better uses for this app. It might not seem useful, but it has potential to create funny situations, and might even come in useful sometimes for something important.

Parcels

If you buy a lot of stuff online, which you should because 99% of the time it’s way cheaper, then this app will keep track of all your shipments. You can customize which carriers show on the add list, and you can point your phone at a QR code so you don’t have to actually type in the tracking number. Very good way to stay organized and to know when to expect your packages.

How to download Youtube videos

Youtube has always been considered to be one of the most popular web resources for people who like to watch different videos online. Moreover you are given an opportunity to upload your own video file which could be seen by a great variety of people who visit this web resource. But you were not allowed to download youtube videos. But not so long ago this problem was solved by different software developers which offer different solutions for their customers. Such tools make it possible to download such videos and afterwards convert the video files to different formats which are easy to use. This kind of software is extremely popular today because it makes it possible to watch youtube videos offline on your computer.