1. the difference in the images you posted are due to the fact that mgear.zip is the PAL version. if you try mgearu.zip the image is the same as the "bad" rom you posted
Oh, snap. Good catch.
2. the option for not drawing the top/bottom 8 lines however is completely broken: the code to support it is not anymore in the source. the "funny" fact is that it has been broken at least since 0.106 (but probably back until 0.84 or something) and you are the first user ever reporting the problem smile
unfortunately, in the new code there is no easy/clean way to re-implement the trick, and therefore it will be removed completely as of next version.
Ah. Well, damn. Proud to have found a bug, sad to see the feature go. Oh, well.