Posted by Daniel Tonks on July 23, 2001 at 1:00 AM
Our ProntoPro review is now up!
If you've been holding out for the ultimate in remote controls, then you'll definitely want to check out our brand new review of the Philips ProntoPro TSU6000
. As what could be described as the most sophisticated remote for [just] under $1000, the ProntoPro steps to the plate with many valuable features such as a bright 256-color LCD
screen, 8 megabytes
of memory, motion sensor
, two more hard buttons
, optional RF basestation
and an included rechargeable battery pack
and docking station.
Wondering just how good that color screen is? If the new case design feels as nice as it looks? Exactly how much "usable" memory is available compared to the Pronto TSU2000? How long transfers of large configuration files will take over the serial interface? If color is really needed for a good design? How to access the new hidden game? Well, you'll find answers to these and many more questions in our full review, which is without doubt one of our most detailed ever, with heaps of photographs and screenshots. Enjoy!
Click here to read the ProntoPro review!
If you're interested in picking a ProntoPro up, I've been informed that our good sponsor, AVSMARTS.COM, has them in stock for $875 including 2-day shipping. But you'll have to call them at (219) 477-2572 for this deal!
Troubles with the far right...
As I promised in last Friday's news update, I've come up with a workaround to the ProntoPro/ProntoProEdit "far right hard button" bug. Despite customer service emails that some forum users have posted indicating that the two outer buttons cannot be used for anything but the default scroll functions (which is correct in the sense that you can't do anything else on just the base remote), ProntoProEdit does allow you to attempt to customize them. The issue is that anything you assign to the far right button promptly disappears when you try to use it on the remote – the far left button works fine. But, through some persuasion, it is possible to get it working - indeed my ProntoPro right now has all four hard buttons fully functional. So, without further ado, here's the rather complicated instructions (please let me know if they work for you):
How to get the far right hard button working in devices:
- Load your existing CCF file into ProntoProEdit.
- Configure all far-right-button options in the software (see below for tips), but do not save the file.
- Run the emulator. Leave it running.
- Load up Windows Explorer and find a file in your Windows temporary directory (typically c:\windows\temp) called cabxxxx.tmp, where "xxxx" is a random 4-digit number.
- Right-click over the filename, select "Copy", then right-click elsewhere in the window and select "Paste" (not "Paste Shortcut").
- Rename the file copy of cabxxxx.tmp to myfile.ccf by right-clicking over it and selecting "Rename".
- Connect the ProntoPro to the serial cable.
- Load up a terminal program, such as HyperTerminal, which is an optional accessory to Windows 95/98.
- Create a new connection: Direct to COM1 (or wherever your ProntoPro is located), 115200 Bits Per Second, 8 Data Bits, No Parity, 1 Stop Bit, No Flow Control. FIFO buffers do not matter. Press OK to connect.
- You will now be directly connected to the remote. Open the battery cover on the back of the ProntoPro and, using an unfolded paperclip or other small object, press the [RESET] button.
- A series of numbers (00 04 12, etc.) will begin to show on-screen. Quickly, hit the "ESC" key on your computer, before the "Booting..." message shows. A CABERNET> prompt will appear. If you miss the "Booting..." message, reset the remote and try again.
- Type dl ccf followed by the Enter key. A string of C's will begin to show on-screen.
- From the "Transfer" menu, select "Send File". Navigate your computer and find the myfile.ccf file you just saved in the temporary directory. Ensure the transfer protocol is set to "Xmodem" and press "Send". Transfer time will be significantly longer than a download through ProntoProEdit, however it must be done this way.
- When the file is finished sending, the transfer window will close and you'll be back to the CABERNET> prompt. Type in go followed by the Enter key. The remote will now load your CCF file.
Although this procedure can be used to obtain a fully functional CCF file, I have found that it does not always work - in fact it tended to not work more often than it did, with a ratio of 8:1. Here are a few tips that may or may not have any impact on the successful creation of a file:
- Label all hard buttons, configure the three left hard buttons and save the file before you start this process. This will make repeat attempts easier.
- Do not make any mistakes - you don't want to have to go back to the device's Properties screen a second time.
- Expand all devices on the left window (press the "+" icon) before you start configuring. Do not close a device (by pressing the "-" icon) when you are done.
- Complete action lists that require a jump after any devices that merely use aliases.
- After configuring all buttons, test your file out in the emulator. If it's not working right there, it's not going to work on the real remote. If a file does not work correctly I suggest starting over (not patching the currently open one).
- Do not try to edit more than 6 or so files in a row. After that, due to ProntoProEdit's resource leak, the likelihood of generating a corrupt CCF is much higher. Reboot your computer before continuing.
- Extensively navigating your file in the Emulator before saving it (via the directions above) can result in corruption, due to a resource leak.
- Possible problems with a file generated this way include your action and label not showing up on the far right hard button on one or more device, or a device not functioning correctly - pressing the far right hard button, which does show your label, has no effect. No other buttons in that device will work and your remote will crash as soon as you change devices. A perfect file will not exhibit any of these symptoms. I have so far managed to create only two perfect files.
You can attempt to load this file back into ProntoProEdit for further editing, but if you save it there you will again lose all far right hard button actions - thus you must always save via the directions above, according to the directions above. Also note that you cannot edit the far left and far right hard buttons on the remote. Remember that you follow these directions at your own risk - I cannot be held responsible for any problems that occur with your remote.
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