Sunday, November 10, 2013

Laptop Problem: Cannot Adjust Screen Brightness

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Since I updated my laptop, I’m loving almost everything about Windows 8.1: new features, major UI changes in many stock apps, security fixes, and so on. There’s one problem that rather pestered me, though. I can no longer adjust the screen brightness. My laptop can still detect that I want to change the brightness as I fiddle with the function keys, but it just can’t do so.

Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t really Windows 8.1’s fault here. I happen to pinpoint the latest driver of my graphics card (ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5870) as the culprit of the bug. The default one that 8.1 installs by default actually lets me adjust the screen brightness. Then again, if I don’t update the driver to a newer one, I’d be then worrying about performance and glitches when I play my games. Caught between two problems, I suppose smooth gameplay is preferable to a stuck screen level of brightness.

Possible Solutions to Adjust Screen Brightness

In my case, obviously I need to find a more compatible driver for my video card. As of this writing, though, AMD has yet to release a newer version that addresses the brightness issue.

For other users out there who happen to also suffer from being unable to adjust the screen brightness of their laptop, they can always revert to an older, yet more working version of their video card driver. This can be done by any of the following:

  • Windows’ System Restore
  • Uninstalling current driver with maker’s special removal software (e.g., AMD CleanUninstall Utility) before installing older driver
  • Uninstalling current driver and then check for drivers through Windows Update
  • Manual downloading of older driver
  • Installing the driver that came with the laptop’s companion optical disc

If, however, you insist on using the current driver (even though it really is the one that’s causing the problem), there are other ways to adjust the screen brightness of your laptop without using the dedicated function key combo or the Control Panel > Power Options slider. For instance, go to your video card’s utility software package. For AMD cards, it’s the Catalyst Control Center, under the My Built-in Displays > Display Color setting of which are configurations for color settings, including brightness, contrast, and more.

AMD Catalyst Control Center Adjust Screen Brightness

A rather embarrassing explanation as to why you can’t adjust the screen brightness of your laptop is its low on battery and is trying to conserve power. That’s probably why you can’t make the screen more brighter.

If, for some reason, you’re initially able to adjust screen brightness after a reboot but unable to do so after a while, the problem must be a recently installed or updated software. Trace back your recent installations, uninstall them, and see if that fixed the issue.


This problem might be happening to tablets running on Windows 8, too. If your device is affected, try doing the possible fixes above. I can’t guarantee their effectiveness. Your device may even become more unstable. You have been warned.

Most Popular Dota 2 Heroes of All Time

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Despite missing ones that are so popular in the original Warcraft III mod—Techies, Phoenix, Soul Keeper, etc.—Dota 2 already has several heroes to choose from. Naturally, some of them are bound to hog the spotlight and be chosen a lot by players, while the other Dota 2 heroes are shunned for a reason or two.

Dota 2 Heroes

Most Popular Dota 2 Heroes of All Time

Without further ado, here are the most popular Dota 2 heroes who have managed to make it to the top 10:

  • Pudge
  • Drow Ranger
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Sniper
  • Spirit Breaker
  • Riki
  • Nature’s Prophet
  • Windrunner
  • Lifestealer
  • Juggernaut

It’s easy to tell why many players choose the likes of Pudge and Bounty Hunter  in their usual selection of Dota 2 heroes. Players like being the hunter, not the hunted. Pudge’s Meat Hook allows them to be such, while his Flesh Heap gives him adequate protection from would-be predators. Bounty Hunter is also chosen for similar reasons. His invisibility skill, Shadow Walk, allows him to catch other heroes off-guard and also lets him escape.

Based on personal experience while playing so many Dota 2 games, Drow Ranger and Sniper are popular Dota 2 heroes for newbies or beginning players. They have very simple skills that do not take much time to learn. Newbies also tend to choose a carry role, believing they’re going to be the stars in-game even though oblivious to the things needed to become an exceptional carry. To them, using a support hero is boring.

Notably important, though, is the fact that even if they are the most popular Dota 2 heroes, the ones in the list above don’t actually have a winning advantage over other heroes. Six of them even have a win rate that’s less than 50%, meaning teams in matches that have them lose more often than win.

Least Popular Dota 2 Heroes of All Time

Who, then, are the least picked of the bunch? If you’ve been a regular player, then you know it’s rarer to encounter these Dota 2 heroes. In fact, when randomly chosen, they most likely get repicked:

  • Pugna
  • Brewmaster
  • Medusa
  • Abaddon
  • Skywrath Mage
  • Io
  • Meepo
  • Visage
  • Chen
  • Elder Titan

Common reasons why these heroes are the least favorite among players are skill difficulty, their supporting roles, high map awareness requirement, to name a few. Especially for newbies, Chen, Meepo, and Visage are hard to use because they and their minions/summons/conversions require great micro-management to be able to help win the game. Elder Titan, Pugna, and Skywrath Mage are capable of dealing devastating damage and killing other heroes without much help from others. Unfortunately and especially in public games, these three are expected to play supporting roles (which, once again, is a role type that newbies don’t really like to play). Io, on the other hand, requires that the player use his ultimate skill at the right moment and at the right location, or he and his tethered companion gets killed instead. Some others are least popular because they’re new additions to Dota.


Note that the ones listed above are the most/least popular Dota 2 heroes of all time. The findings came from the website, which gathered data from all public matches played all over the globe. If you filter the list with just games played on patch 6.79, Bloodseeker makes it to the number 2 spot (most likely because of its recently buffed skill that can now detect low-health heroes all over the map, not just within a certain radius).

As new patches roll out, the rankings of popular Dota 2 heroes will most assuredly change. Nerfs, stat changes, skill modifications, new upcoming heroes, or complete reimagining of the existing ones will surely have a drastic effect on what heroes will players pick for their next matches.