Auto mode notes.
As of 01/24/13 and version 18.104.22.168 of
DMDX it is no longer absolutely necessary to use
TimeDX to time video modes and otherwise inspect your machine's ability to
run DMDX. Instead DMDX's Auto mode
can be used. The DMDX installer no longer drops "pure" shortcuts to DMDX and TimeDX
on the desktop but instead drops a shortcut that runs DMDX with the -auto parameter that
instructs it not to throw an error if a setting that would normally be setup by
TimeDX is found, but to instead either take the default action or in the case of
a video mode request take a good guess at what the likely timing parameters
will be. In the past this wasn't possible, these days it appears that the
reliability of Windows drivers is high enough that we can forgo the rigmarole
of using TimeDX. I still recommend using TimeDX to ascertain the machine's
ability to run DMDX however having to time each and every video mode used was
getting old when DMDX's guesses made based on what more modern operating systems
tell it have been performing perfectly well.
There are a few minor caveats (beyond the general hands off
nature of letting one's software make all the decisions itself) in that auto
mode will issue a warning if you specify the
duration of a display in ticks
(retrace intervals), after that it shuts up. Initially developed for
remote testing where no experimenter setup of a machine was possible and indeed
one had no idea what was available the assumption was that you use millisecond
times to specify frame durations because you had no idea how long a tic is.
In addition the default video mode is no longer the ancient
640x480 8 bits per pixel video more prevalent when DMDX was being developed,
DMDX peeks at what the desktop is using and uses that instead. Basically
long an essential staple of item file use is optional with Auto mode.
As of version 22.214.171.124 a small tweak to auto mode was made where if DMDX is
executing from folders other than a Program Files directory it assumes auto mode
is active (makes running from USB sticks and debugging in general easier).
Given that the installer no longer drops classic DMDX shortcuts any more
(Windows 10 occasionally refuses to allow two different shortcuts to the same
program to be put in the start menu so the last time I noticed it doing so I
opted to just keep the auto mode one) about the only way to invoke classic mode
DMDX where TimeDX is essential is to double click the DMDX.EXE file in the
explorer or to create your own shortcut to it. This should not
inconvenience anyone as most of the time if DMDX finds a registry key to control
something it will use it and only automatically assume values if the registry
key is missing, the exception to that rule are the video modes themselves.
Here if auto mode is active DMDX always goes with it's automatically generated
parameters. If this is a major inconvenience for someone I can make it
check the registry keys first should someone find a video mode that DMDX's auto
mode makes bad decisions about.