I Still Know Software – ClearType and SmartTags

This entry is more technical then before since above all, I am still a technical guy in the IT industry. I cannot help mentioning something about the software, so that you still treat me as a person who knows computer. :-)

I have a laptop. Wow. Yes. I have a big, heavy, old-fashioned, less-powerful Dell Latitude CPx H500GT laptop.

To keep the system as quick as possible and as fresh as possible, I reinstall the system every two months. That gives me flexibility to install software without worrying its compatabilty issue. Yes. There are some “bad” software just want to break the system or other application by leaving a lot of things in the system, ovewriting other application’s compontent. Even worst, some spyware keep poping up advertisement and record my activity….

I always keeps a list of software I will install after my fresh installation.

Operating System – Windows XP SR-1

I have been using Windows XP for some time. I especially love the ClearType technology which is one of the top three reasons I install Windows XP. Bad news is, it is not turned on by default. I will always following the below instructions to turn it on.

  • Right click on blank area of the desktop.
  • Switch to appearance tab.
  • Click Effects…
  • Check “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts”
  • Choose ClearType.
  • Click OK.

After that, you will see the change in all fonts – they become smoother, thicker.

Microsoft ClearType Homepage is a very good resource to get more about this tip. My friends are all very surprised when I helped them to turn this feature on. They shouted out, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier?” Well. Why not enable this on LCD by default? Note: There is no difference in the CRT monitor – the TV-like monitor.

My favoriate usability guru Jakob Neilson also thought highly of the technology. He has the same concern as I have – too few people know this great feature.

Productivity Tools – Office 2003

I always install Office XP in my previous reinstall. The killer feature I would say is the SmartTag technology, especially the one appears when I paste something into a document.


It really improves my productivity.

Recently Office 2003 hit beta and I begin to install this one. No report so far.

Microsoft Money

I will also install Microsoft Money on the computer too. It helps me to track my cash and bank account. Very nice interface.


Some funny things. Fan is using Latitude C400 and today, I found an interesting article to help you run Linux on the system. What surprises me is, it can make the wireless card work.

8 thoughts on “I Still Know Software – ClearType and SmartTags

  1. Hi Jian Shuo,

    I’m also a big fan of ClearType, and I do find it helpful, even on CRT monitors. I agree that the difference on LCD is so much more, since I can’t imagine using my laptop without it. If you have time, give it a try on your normal monitor and see if it’s better. Personally I just like the way it looks and it makes reading text (like your blog ;) so much easier.


  2. Johnny, nice to know someone who also enjoys ClearType. I am looking for some new stuff about the ClearType technology – it seems the only thing we can do with it is to turn it on and enjoy the clearer screen font. :-) Please do keep visiting this site and share with me your findings around technologies. Have a nice day!

  3. I tried that ClearType on my Dell 4550 with a 15″ LCD. But Im disappointed – it does not make my screen fonts any clearer. What I can see is that fonts got bold and sharpness reduced. But text sharpness is the major benefit of LCD, right?

  4. I have nec e616v with 2g sim card of India, i want to wap & gprs setting in mobile. please help me.

  5. Hi guys.Just wondering if any of you could help me.I have a Dell Latitude C400 recently got from a friend.It has an error saying “\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM” is missing and i should select “R” when i`ll next install the OS.I tried to but it won`t boot at all.Tried to change the BIOS boot options but didn`t help.Can anybody PLEASEEEEEEE help me ?


  6. to:


    similar problems occur with nt2000 pro in dell latitude h500gt

    some say … if you did not try to repair it … there is hope…. have someone copy the drive and restore the os .. with the files … folder etc and it will work (if one did not use the repair ‘r’-option or try to write into it).

    good idea is to make a spare copy of the hard drive and keep it safe. plus your files backed up allways and all you do is load the old os with files and (and reformatting .. which destryoes all data) start using it again… but

    if you try all this …. get a hold of a dell …like you have and try it on first before you attempt it on your work machine

    its lot safer….

    some say the r-option works … but i never met anyone who can actually show any evidence of it.

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