Science in the shape of train wheels; how Windows 7 computes the Aero effect; changes in notification sounds in Windows 11.
Train wheels are conical in shape.
That means they have a varying diameter at different points of contact.
Now, suppose the track turns right.
The train’s left wheels now have to travel more than the right wheels
because at the turn the track on the left is longer.
Since the wheels are conical in shape, the whole wheel-set shifts a bit to the left, if the track curves right.
Now the point of contact of the left wheel is at a larger diameter of the cone.
While the smaller wheel Correction from the toptouches at a point where the diameter of the wheel is lesser.
Therefore, if the left wheel now makes one circle it travels further than the right wheels and the train moves along the curve smoothly.
I really enjoy the Aero glass effect from Windows 7 and feel unfortunate when Microsoft removed it in Windows 8. Hopefully someone could analysis how Microsoft achieved this effect and port it to a X11 compositor.
These shaders are *.bin resources embedded in dwmcore.dll.
This tool can extract https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/resources_extract.html
Then, cmd_decompiler.exe from there https://github.com/bo3b/3Dmigoto can either disassemble or decompile these binaries.
The pixel shaders there include both ps_4_0 code for new GPUs, and ps_2_0 for running on DirectX 9 GPUs.
This makes the disassembler slightly more useful than the decompiler, the *.asm will contain both programs.
They first sample from 4 locations of the source texture.
Then, they compute the average of the 4 colors.
At this stage, they’re using pre-multiplied alpha.
For the next step of the pixel shader, they compare alpha with zero.
If not zero, they convert the color to straight alpha, apply this formula https://entropymine.com/imageworsener/srgbformula/ to convert from sRGB to linear,
then convert back to pre-multiplied alpha.
For the last step, they’re applying linear transformation to the color using input values passed in the constant buffer.
This part varies a lot for different shaders.
Some shaders only using a single scalar constant, and returning (alpha.wwww*result)^2 color.
Other shaders are using 4x5 transformation matrix in the constant buffer to transform the final color.
P.S. There’re 282 compiled pixel shaders there, and I only looked at a few of them.
It’s very possible some other ones are doing something completely different.
I think Microsoft compiled them from just a few source *.hlsl files, with different preprocessor macros.
At least that’s how I would do that if I were implementing these effects.
CNBC reported last week on how Microsoft has replaced the notification sounds in Windows 11 with calmer and “less overwhelming” versions.
I get stressed by the audio alerts from my Windows PC.
The sounds are loud and insistent, and they disrupt my thoughts and my work.
They demand focus and attention,
even though most of the sound alerts are unimportant and
would be better served by no sound or at least a subtler audio queue.
In Windows 11, there’ll be two different sound themes: one for the Dark color mode and one for Light mode.
The two themes sound similar, but the Dark mode sounds are more subdued than the Light mode sounds.
Both variants are less intense, disruptive, and stressful than the alerts used in earlier versions of Windows.
The different soundscape for Dark mode seems to have been designed to make your PC quieter in the evenings.
You can change the default sounds to get an even calmer experience on your Windows PC.
Press Windows key + R, type mmsys.cpl, and
press Enter to open the Sound control dialog.
Switch to the Sounds tab.
From the Sound control dialog, you can change or disable different system sounds.
You can listen to all the sound options in the dialog, or by looking for .wav audio files in the
C:\Windows\Media\dm\(dark-mode versions) folders.