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Quick Tip: Blurry Fonts and Windows 10 (Picasa, ArcGIS)

Quick Tip: Blurry Fonts and Windows 10 (Picasa, ArcGIS)

Windows 10 fuzzy text, yuck!

Another of those quick blog posts where I write something down so I don’t forget! 

I’ve recently ‘upgraded’ to Windows 10 and I’ve found I had an issue with some ‘older’ programs having fuzzy fonts.  


There are two fixes to this:

  1. Right-click the desktop
  2. Click ‘desktop settings’
  3. Click the word ‘display’ on the left and you should see something titled ‘Customise your display’
  4. Use the slider to ‘Change the size of text, apps and other items’, mine was at 125% you might try scaling it back to 100%.

However the above method changes everything, what if you’re generally happy with the resolution and screen sizes but only see those fuzzy fonts on some programs?

The followings programs (so far) I have encountered fuzzy text which I was bothered about :

  • Picasa 3 (yes I know I’m a dinosaur)
  • ArcGIS (10.2+)

So instead of use the first method to change all the text I have done it per-program.


Use explorer to navigate to the ‘offending’ programs executable.  You can easily do this by right-clicking on the program on the start menu and selecting ‘open file location’.


Once there select the ‘Compatibility’ tab and checking the ‘Disable display scaling on high DPI settings’,  click ‘apply then ‘ok’.

You should be good to go!


Vostro 3300 – Windows 8 upgrade & the Bluetooth (Broadcom 365 module) fixed

Vostro 3300 – Windows 8 upgrade & the Bluetooth (Broadcom 365 module) fixed

A little off my normal ramblings about CityEngine, GIS and planning.   However I’m sure I will have to come back to this again so here goes…

I have a Dell Vostro 3300 which had Windows 7 on it, I have recently upgraded to Windows 8 (I actually quite like it) and found that my fingerprint scanner software no longer works (but is detected, not found a solution to that yet) and the bluetooth module drivers had to be uninstalled as Windows 8 did not seem to recognise the hardware.  The wifi was fine though.

After extensive searching, I discovered there has been a bluetooth windows 8 driver released for this particular bluetooth 365 module.   But not by Dell…

Thanks goes to the people on this forum thread :

Two posts, one by T.Das777 and the other by jymclarke  jumped out at me, so here is how I have got the bluetooth working on my Vostro 3300.

  1. Download and install the bluetooth driver from Lenovo here
  2. After install go to device manager and expand the Bluetooth heading.
  3. Right click on the Bluetooth device and click properties
  4. Click on the Drivers tab and click on the Update Driver…
  5. Use Windows Update to find the correct driver and it will automatically download and install the correct one.
  6. You can now uninstall the stuff Lenovo installed.
Well the above process works for me and I now have a on/off slider in the Windows settings and the hardware switch seems to work too.  I’ve used the bluetooth device to connect to a wiimote (don’t ask) and this also works well.
I hope this helps people!

Windows 7 : “Other User” account on login – FlipHD problem? Solved!

Windows 7 : “Other User” account on login – FlipHD problem? Solved!

naughty flip software!

So today I booted up my Windows 7 laptop only to find that instead of the two login options (My account and Guest) there is now a “other user” account.   Now I’ve been here before with other issues and the obvious response is to think virus or malware.   But I’m pretty careful about the stuff I put on my PC and the websites I visit, so I logged in and raced to Google for a search for people with the same issue.

I couldn’t think of any recent software I’d installed plenty of Windows updates nothing else really…. anyway I found this very useful post

“Windows 7 login screen only showing last logged-on user and “Other user””

Now before you follow all the instructions here (beware you will be using registry edit!) just to let you know I only deleted the .DEFAULT directory in  “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList”.   Before you do this I recommend that you export the directory you’re about to delete in the registry just in case you need to reinstall it.

Reading the comments below this very useful post you can see the common thread seems to be the install of FlipHD software….ah now I understand I didn’t install any new software recently I just update flipshare…

Well thank you to Jon Gjengset on his Tech That! blog…. and thank you search engine for finding the solution for me so quickly.

Moral of this story? There isn’t one silly!  This is a technical Windows 7 problem not a moral dilemma.   I would say however not every problem is virus related…  in fact a lot of problems/issues are caused by updates or software you just installed.

Solution: Very slow printer dialog boxes in Windows (network printers)

Solution: Very slow printer dialog boxes in Windows (network printers)

UPDATED 13th July 2010: This works for Windows 7 as well..

For sometime now I’ve had a problem printing over our small network, every time I would bring up the printer dialog box it would take an eternity to load up.   It became so bad I had almost given up on printing!

So after some looking around I came across the following solution, I know this works in Windows Vista 64bit and 32bit as well as XP (UPDATED: This works for Windows 7 64bit as well).   Apparently Windows doesn’t like it if you setup your printer by connecting to the printer and installing the driver whilst browsing your network…. (I don’t know why).   Anyway the solution is to add the printer as a local printer.

  1. Load up your printer browser in the control panel, in Vista
  2. I recommend deleting all your network printers and restarting your PC, it seems that windows holds on to some information until you restart.
  3. Click “Add a Printer”.
  4. Now select add local printer.
  5. Create new port.
  6. When it asks for Enter a port name use the following format “\\networklocation\yourprinter”, essentially it’s address on the network.
  7. Follow the steps to install the printer driver again, if you have installed the printer before windows should still retain that printer driver you used.
  8. Now repeat for any of the other printers you have.

This technique worked for me and my computer is now a dream to print from!  If you have any trouble with these instructions just let me know.

Installing Adobe CS2 on Windows 7 64bit

Installing Adobe CS2 on Windows 7 64bit

Well we’ve had a bit of trouble at the office when one of PCs decided to pack up a leave this earthly plain.   Naturally we had to buy a new PC which came with Windows 7 64bit.    Now I like Windows 7 it’s a lot less chatty than Vista and seems to ‘just work’, basically it seems people don’t notice that they’re using a new operating system which is very good for me as I also provide IT support for our small office!

Anyway the task to reinstall everything we had on the old machine falls to me, which has gone quite smoothly really, except for the installation of Adobe CS2 which is not supported for Windows 7.  Apparently we should keep on the upgrade treadmill, but it’s difficult and expensive so we hold out for ‘must have’ features in new releases rather than upgrading for the sake of it… How many in our line of work for instance are still runnnig AutoCAD R14?!

Anyway back to Adobe CS2, when you install it with the default settings inWindows 7 64bit the software won’t accept for some reason your Serial number.   I did some searching and found this thread that gave us the solution we were looking for:

Please read the forum as well for additional information (not everyone’s problems are the same), and I shall also quote directly from the forum user Cinti, the only thing I would say about this solution is that for us the “/” should have been “\”: (this post was dated 13th February 2010)

Are you using Windows 7 64 (probably will have the same problem in any Windows 64 OS)?

If so, you must uninstall CS2 completely (not just PhotoShop) and specify that the preferences are to be removed as well. When you re-install, the installer will give the default install location as something like “C:/Program File (x86)/Adobe” but, when you click “OK” install will respond that the location is not valid.  DO NOT RESPECIFY AS  “C:/Program File/Adobe”, that’s the location for 64-bit apps and CS2 is 32-bit and needs to be in the (x86) folder to work properly.  Replace “C:/Program File (x86)/Adobe” with “C:/Program~2/Adobe”.  The installer may not “light” the OK button.  If so, click the browse button then the cancel button and “OK” should activate.  That’s it, CS2 will install.  If, after the install completes, you get the message that the app may not have installed properly, you probably did something wrong (i.e., when it’s in the 32-bit program folder you won’t get this message).

Remember, this fix ONLY APPLIES TO Windows 64-BIT OSs. There are other causes for the message “Your adobe photoshop user name, organization, or serial number is missing or invalid.  The application cannot continue and must now exit.”. 

I spent an hour and fifteen minutes waiting on hold for a Adobe technician for help only to be advised that CS2 is no longer supported by Adobe.  Don’t waste your time trying to get help from Adobe or getting upset with them for not being helpful (what’s the point, they’re holding all the cards and want you to drop another bundle for their latest release).

So what’s the lesson from this?  Always check the internet for solutions to your software problems!

HP DesignJet 500 and Windows 7: Yes it does work even without the HPGL2 card!

HP DesignJet 500 and Windows 7: Yes it does work even without the HPGL2 card!

Updated (04/12/2012): To include information about how to get the 450c to work with Windows 8 after a conversation with @AlbanyDriver on twitter.   I also think this technqiue will probably work for Windows 8 as well.

Updated (22/June/2012):
Updated (08/May/2010): this post was partially rewritten to clarify which file you should download.

Unbelievably this is the most popular post on my blog, I honestly get 1000+ hits a month just on this page.   If you like it and have more to add please send me a message or add a comment below.   Thank you for reading!


Okay this is a quick one, if you have a HP DesignJet 500 without that HPGL2 card and want to upgrade to Windows 7 (or 8) or have done so and can’t seem to get it to work, try the following.

We use our HP DesignJet for all things GIS and AutoCAD so it’s important we have this working!

You may have noticed that HP only has Windows 7 drivers for the DJ500 with the HPGL2 card in the driver package called either:

  • HP Designjet 500, 510, and 800 HP-GL/2 and HP RTL 32-bit Driver or
  • HP Designjet 500, 510, and 800 HP-GL/2 and HP RTL 64-bit Driver

So don’t download those drivers, make sure you download the drivers from Vista equivalent (in my case Vista 32bit).  This file is called either:

  • HP DesignJet 500 PCL3GUI 32-bit Driver  or
  • DesignJet 500 PCL3GUI 64-bit Driver

Click here to go direct to the HP DJ 500 driver download site.

Add your printer in the usual way in Windows 7, (if you are adding it over the network you may want to look at my previous post).

After the install it will ask if you want to Print a Test Page, it was here that I was getting an error message (about the HP driver not being able to connect to the printer) and just assumed it wasn’t working. If you get an error message and no test page try this:

  • Select the printer in the printer browser, and view the printer properties.
  • On the page with the print test page button there is another button next to it called printing preferences, click on this and it should bring up a dialog box stating that the printer is now connected.
  • Now try to print that test page.

Okay so I don’t know why I couldn’t print the test page straight off but accessing the designjets plotter preferences did help.

Again if this post is not clear, or you require any help, just let me know.

Have you got an HP 450C and want it to work with Windows 8 (32bit)? @AlbanyDriver got in contact and asked me if I could help, after some searching on forums about making it work on Windows 7, I suggested he used the Windows XP 32bit drivers which seemed to work!

Updated Link Added for my previous post adding printers over a network: