Full Screen Video on Second Monitor

For the longest time, I had been experiencing an issue with my laptop setup when playing videos. I have my laptop screen set as the primary monitor, and an LCD connected to the DVI port of the laptop set as the secondary monitor. The desktop is extended to the secondary monitor. Whenever I play videos using Windows Media Player 9, the video is displayed in a window on the primary screen, and full screen on the second monitor. If I drag the window to the second monitor, the primary monitor goes full screen and the second monitor gets the window. This was a minor nuisance, as I don't usually play videos, but it was a problem. Today I finally decided to hunt down the answer. I found that it had to do with the overlay settings for my NVidia graphics card. The overlay property for the card was set to automatically mirror video as an overlay on the other screen. Once I disabled the property, the full screen video was gone. I could still expand the WMP window to display full screen if I wanted, but I wasn't forced to see it on both screens.

If you are experiencing this issue as well, here are some step-by-step instructions on how to turn it off.

  1. Right Click on your Desktop, and choose the Properties item

    Right-Click Desktop Menu
    Right-Click Desktop Menu

  2. From the Display Properties Dialog, select the Settings Tab

    Display Properties Dialog Box
    Display Properties Dialog Box

  3. Click the Advanced button in the lower right corner

    Display Settings Tab
    Display Settings Tab

  4. From the Advanced Settings Dialog box, choose the GeForce tab

    Advanced Settings Dialog Box
    Advanced Settings Dialog Box

  5. From the additional menu on the left, select the Overlay item

    GeForce Extra MenuGeForce Main
    GeForce Settings

  6. On the Overlay Settings, notice that the Full Screen Device is set to Auto-Select.

    Overlay MenuOverlay Settings
    Overlay Settings

  7. Change the Full Screen Device to Disabled

    Overlay MenuDisabled Full Screen Device
    Disabled Full Screen Device

  8. Click the OK button
  9. Click the OK button on the Display Properties Dialog box

Now when you play videos in Windows Media Player, the non-windowed screen will no longer play the video in full-screen mode. To revert to playing full screen, just go back through these instructions, and change the full screen device to Auto-Select.

Getting Closer

Jenn had another checkup today, and it looks like things are progressing towards a delivery. The baby still hasn't fully dropped into the pelvis, and Jenn hasn't dilated much, but the doc did say that she was about 50% effaced. The Dr. made sort of a funny comment. She said she would just love it if Jenn broke some membranes over the weekend. That is something you don't hear everyday! The doctor is still a little concerned about the size of our baby. She doesn't want Jenn to experience any more pain than necessary, so as soon as the baby is able to deliver, she will likely induce the delivery. It would be great if everything fell into place over the weekend, but from the sound of things, the delivery is still a couple of weeks off. We have another appointment on Tuesday to check on progress. I'll have another update for everyone then.

Game Crazy

I went game crazy this weekend. Jenn was going out shopping with her mom, and I had a list of things that I wanted to get done. I needed to get a pair of steel toed shoes for work, and I also wanted another pair of Columbia pants. I could get both at Galyan's. I needed a hair cut. I wanted a new body pillow, because Koby has the disgusting habit of drooling all over the one I have now. It is no fun to crawl into bed at night only to find a soaking wet, cold body pillow in your spot. Eeesh! I also wanted to get a GameBoy Player, which is a device that lets me play GameBoy games on my television screen.

I started out going to Great Clips, just down the road. They were having a $5.99 haircut deal, and it was an hour wait to get in. I put my name on the list, then headed to the bank for some cash. After robbing the bank, I dropped into the Target to find a body pillow. To my dismay, they don't stock them. The clerk said that they only stock them in the spring and fall, when college students are moving about. I thought that was pretty strange. I also stopped in at McVans Video Games. Jenn has been asking me about Super Mario Brothers, from the old Nintendo. I stopped in to see if they had either the original, or the GameBoy remake of it. I stuck out.

After my haircut, it was down to Galyan's, where I found a pair of steel toed shoes and a nice pair of pants. The pants have removable legs, so they can be shorts too. They are one of the few kinds of pants that can fit my enormous legs. The mall was crazy. The entire place was packed, and traffic in and out of the mall area was absurd. I scooted out of Galyan's, avoiding as much mall traffic as possible, and hopped over to BestBuy. I quickly found the GameBoy Player, but I was also side-tracked by a copy of the original Diablo for the PC for $9.99. I loved this game, so I decided to grab it. These were going on gift cards, so the money didn't bother me.

My next stop was at the EBGames store. This is where I got into real trouble. I found the Super Mario Brothers Deluxe game right away, which was the GameBoy version of SMB. Unfortunately, the clerk then let me know that I bought two used games, I could get one for free. Now you know I can't pass up on that deal. So I looked and looked, and I found a used copy of Dr. Mario, which is a puzzle game that I love. I also found a copy of Soul Caliber 2 for the GameCube. Soul Caliber is currently the most popular fighting game for the Cube, so I decided to give it a shot. Then the clerk told me that if I got a EBGames membership for $10, I could get 10% off of my used games and a free magazine subscription. I must have had sucker written all over my face that day.

I got home and had just too much fun the rest of the weekend. I installed Diablo and played that for something like 5 hours. I played Soul Caliber way into the night. I played Dr. Mario until my ears couldn't take that old time 8-bit music anymore. The next day, Jenn and I played some Soul Caliber, and I hooked up the GameBoy Player to play some Mario & Luigi Superstar Saga and Metroid Fusion. Other than spending too much time reading my law book, it was a fantastic Sunday. The snow was coming down, and we had a fire going. I'd like to have another five days in a row like that.


I'm a dork, and I can prove it. I just won 3rd place in a contest to name a video game from an obscure picture. The prize you ask? This crappy picture:

Shopping Trip

I went on a shopping trip this past weekend. I needed to get a couple of birthday gifts for Jenn, and I also wanted to look for a Gameboy Game. I wanted a game for the Gameboy because I figured there would be times in the hospital when Jenn and the baby would both be resting, and I couldn't sleep. I wanted something to keep me occupied. I know this is probably wishful thinking on my part, but you never know. Plus, it was a good excuse to go hunting for a game.
I read a bunch of reviews online, and it seems that Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga was a good game to get. It is a role playing game (RPG) with Mario & Luigi center-stage working together. I like RPG games, and I've liked the majority of Super Mario Brothers games that I've played, so it sounded like a good deal to me. I went to the Castleton Mall first, as I wanted to make sure I got Jenn's birthday gifts before I did anything else. Once that was done, I checked into the Electronics Boutique at the mall. They had a really small selection of Gameboy Advance (GBA) games, and were sold out of Mario & Luigi : Superstar Saga (ML:SS). So then I headed over to BestBuy. The only copy they had was running in the GBA SP demo model. Otherwise, they were sold out as well. Next, I headed over to the Walmart. Once again, sold out, save for the demo model. Finally, I stopped at the new EBGames store. They had a copy left, and at a decent price too: $29.95. I'm pretty happy with Nintendo for pricing the GBA games as low as they do. It makes them a lot more accessible than the $50 GameCube games.
So I've played ML:SS for about an hour and a half, and it is a lot of fun! There characters have a lot of personality, and the game has that indescribable fun-ness that the Super Mario Brothers series is famous for. I even caught Jenn playing it for a few minutes the other night! So I may not end up with the time to play it, but I'm prepared in the case that it should happen.


Life is getting more and more hectic. Here is a rundown of what I did yesterday

0700 - Alarm Went off
0725 - Got out of bed
0735 - Out of shower, getting dressed
0750 - Chugging breakfast (SlimFast) heading out door
0805 - Arrive at work
0815 - Retrieved first cup of coffee - begin checking e-mail
0845 - E-mail replies completed, start work on document revisions
0930 - Break for meeting with product vendor
1030 - Continue to next meeting to analyze what went wrong on last project
1130 - Break for lunch. Play three games of euchre. Have cup of noodle soup
1230 - Return to desk. Checkout Yahoo News, Slashdot, Fark, and the Nintendo forums
1330 - Resume work. Continue coding on new project software upgrade. Second cup of coffee.
1715 - Work day over. Get colleague and head to Windows User Group meeting
1800 - Arrive at IWUG meeting. Eat pizza and chat
1830 - Meeting starts. Discuss wireless networking
2015 - Meeting over, head home
2030 - Arrive home. Assemble new glider (rocking chair) for baby's room
2130 - Finish glider and dispose of box. Watch last half of CSI
2200 - Review glider with the wife, and find that it is good
2215 - Sign on to forums.
0030 - Think about getting some sleep.

Needless to say, it made for a really long day. I crawled into bed around 12:30am, but I didn't fall asleep until well past 2. I'm not sure what it was. I was hot, uncomfortable, the dog was lying next to me. The IWUG meeting was pretty informative. It gave me some ideas on how to protect my network, and how to find out if there are some attacks running against it.

New Addiction

I have a new vice: the Nintendo NSider Forums. Nintendo completely revamped their website, and enhanced the forums section of their site. Now, if you go and sign up for an account, you can read and post messages to fellow gamers. The site is focused on Nintendo products, but that is fine with me, as I spend most of my time on the GameCube lately. There are also some incentives to keep posting and reading messages. There is a ranking system that gives you an improved rank based on the number of messages you post, the time you spend online, the number of messages you read, and the number of message boards you read. I'm currently a Tektite, which is one of the critters you find early in the original Legend of Zelda game. I go by the username JadeMason, so if you get over there, do a search on that to find my messages. I have already progressed through the ranks of Goomba, Cappy, and Pirahna Plant. Next I'll be an Oktorok. Woohoo! I am such a dork. There are also some additional incentives to be active. As you increase in rank, Nintendo will send you different offers in the mail. In addition, if you get a certain amount of notariety on the boards as a good user, the staff at Nintendo may select you for Sage status. It is essentially an honor they give to people who post consistently, and post useful or pertinent information. It is a little shady on the details, but I think Sages get discounts on some games, and are encouraged to write reviews for Nintendo that may be quoted on boxes, or in print.
Lately, I've been spending more and more time on the boards. I would say that the majority of the folks there are young kids. Many of the messages are relatively brainless, and have very little substance. As an example, I must see the thread "Which Smash Brothers Character is the Best?" at least twice a day. It is a totally subjective question, and about 80% of the responses are "I like character X because he's da bomb!" Fortunately, there are enough intelligent people on the board that I can usually find an intelligent conversation pretty quickly. Not only that, but these folks are all video game addicts like myself. My current stats show that I have been on the message boards for 2102 minutes since 12/29/2003, and I have posted 187 messages. So I'm spending a little over 3 hours each day logged into the boards, and I post a new message about once every 11 minutes that I am online. Yep, it is like my very own personal form of crack. :-P

USA Baby

Way way back in August or September Jenn and I went looking for some baby furniture. We knew that we needed a crib and a changing station. The first store we stopped in was pretty scary. Then we went over to USA Baby. They had a nice selection of furniture, and a lot of cute sheets and blankets. We selected a crib, a changing station, and a glider. We got to the register, and a guy smacking some chewing gum took our order. This guy was your stereotypical greaseball salesman with his hair all slicked back and chomping on his gum. He told us it would be six to eight weeks to receive the furniture. In November, we got a call to let us know that our furniture was ready, except for the glider. We went and picked up our stuff. We loved it! The crib and changing station looked great. We asked about the glider and they said it was still on order. At the end of November, still no glider. So Jenn gave them a call to see what was going on. We got a message back that said that the company in California that manufactures the glider never received the Purchase Order. The message said that they would re-fax the order and put a rush on it. They said it may still take six to eight weeks. That was cutting it pretty close to the due date, but still okay. So Jenn went into USA Baby on Sunday with our friend Karla to pick up Karla's bedding (she is pregnant as well) and our mobile. Jenn asked about the status of the glider. The clerk said that she didn't have any updates since the PO was issued, but that she would call on Monday to find out. Today, Jenn gets a call from the clerk. They've lost the PO!!! Again?!?! Evidently, even though the message said that they were going to re-issue the Purchase Order, they never got around to it. So for the last month, they've known that our glider wasn't on order, but they didn't do anything about it. Jenn was assured, again, that they would put the order in and put a rush on it. The attendant said that we could probably get the glider in two to three weeks. Even if they meet the two week deadline, that is putting us dangerously close to Jenn's due date of Feb. 18th. Not only that, but why have they bungled this order so badly? We've never gotten a really good vibe from the staff at USA Baby. One girl working the counter was wearing skin-tight leopard print, just what every expecting mother wants to see. A coworker of mine related a story about how he went in at the end of the day on Sunday during a one day sale. The clerk was closing the store, but assured him that if he came back tomorrow, he would receive the discount. So he dutifully went back the next day and spoke to the same clerk, who acted as if he had never seen him before!! So from now on, we are going to avoid USA Baby, and I would recommend that you do the same.

Video Games

I'm a video game freak. I know, a real shocker to any of you that know me. Over the Christmas holiday, I logged some serious hours on the GameCube and PC, playing several games. I finally finished Metroid Prime. I love that game. It was a huge! I received it for Christmas last year, and I played it quit a bit. I got right up to the last boss, but then got frustrated when I couldn't beat him right away. I stopped playing it for a while, but then in December I started a new game. This time I got all the way through. However, now I have a new difficulty level to defeat!! Woohoo, more game time :-D In addition, I received a couple of new games for Christmas: SSX3 and Halo. I loved SSX Tricky, so I was really excited to start playing 3. I wasn't disappointed. The game has a lot of the same mechanics as the last one, with a couple of new maneuvers thrown in for good measure. In addition, this time you can race down the entire mountain. Before, you could race down a single track, but then would need to restart. Now, all of the race tracks chain together to form one enormous track. My best time down the entire mountain is just under 25 minutes. That's right, 25 minutes of continuous racing down the slope. I don't know how the developers pulled it off, but it is really amazing. I was in the habit of starting playing at around 10pm (when Jenn went to bed) and crawling back up to bed around 3:30 or 4 in the morning. Fortunately, I could still sleep in until 11 or even noon.
I haven't played Halo much, but what I have seen is pretty fun as well. This is a game that I have on the PC, that originally came from the XBox. It is a lot like Half Life, only you have teammates that help you out. Sometimes they aren't much help, as they tend to shoot each other in a crossfire. They do make good alternative targets for the enemies when you are trying to make a quick escape though.
So now I have quite a collection of games that I have not yet completed.
  • SSX3
  • Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2003
  • Neverwinter Nights
  • Halo

I know that when the little one arrives, I'm going to be much more interested in spending time with him/her than on the arcade. So I'm going to do my best to get as far as I can in the next few weeks. This is also good practice at sleep deprivation, which several people have told me I will experience with the child.

SSX3 threw in a really interesting wrinkle though. I beat all of the racing challenges with a gold medal. On my last race, however, I earned a Platinum medal. Hmmm... Platinum, what could this mean. I went online and learned that Platinum medals are earned for getting an outrageously good score. Evidently there are some really high goals set for earning them. This is going to make it much more difficult to finish this game in time. I must dedicate myself to my purpose.... :-P

Jade Mason