So a couple of years ago, Carleton University got new monitors for all their computer labs. That’s great, the old ones were looking distinctly early 2000′s and were in need of replacement. However, the new monitors are widescreen. The computers themselves are still running Windows XP, and have always been locked down so you can’t change the screen resolution. That wasn’t really an issue with the old 4:3 monitors, but when you move to a widescreen monitor getting a 1024 X 768 signal, guess what happens? Yup, everything’s stretched.
This always irks me. There are thousands of computers at Carleton that are displaying stretched images! And I can’t believe it would be that hard to set them up for a widescreen resolution.
Sadly, this still seems to be a common issue, even though it’s been several years since widescreen monitors became mainstream. I see it all the time with people who figure they’ll finally replace their old CRT monitor and get an LCD, which just happens to be widescreen. They’ll plug it in and leave the resolution as is, perhaps wondering in passing why everyone in their photo library has gained so much weight. In a couple more years this probably won’t be an issue — it’s hard to find non-widescreen monitors now, and once everyone upgrades to Windows 7 or newer (which handles widescreen resolutions much better than XP), 4:3 screen ratios will be a thing of the past.
EDIT: As of the fall 2011 semester (September-ish), Carleton upgraded their labs to Windows 7. Voila, proper aspect ratios.