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Macros/Programming questions
This thread has 14 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Monday October 12, 1998 at 00:29
Andy Kromkamp
Historic Forum Post
Two Questions:

1)Can a Macro step be to switch to a Device menu?
ie. At the end of a Macro to say "Play a Movie on DVD", would think the ideal last step would be
to automatically switch over to the DVD transport controls. Can you do this?

2)I notice there is a time built into the unit,
does this imply you could set up instructions
to execute a macro on a certain day/time? Alternatively, can the delay you can program in
a macro be on the order of hours/days? (ie press record in 24 hours to tape something tomorrow
at the same time).

Bonus Question: Are there "soft" channel and
volume buttons on some screens?

Bonus Question 2:Can the "hard" macro buttons
on the remote be used to flip to a particular
screen (have one go to the VCR control page #1
for example, or to the macros page)

Bonus Question 3:Can you program a 'default'
page that the unit automatically goes to when
powered on? (Or does it automatically go to the
same page it was last on), and can this page
be the macros page? I like the idea of seeing
a custom menu with large buttons containing
phrases "Go to VCR Controls", "Play a Movie", etc.
similar to the Madrigal/Microsoft remote.

Andy K.

OP | Post 2 made on Monday October 12, 1998 at 00:52
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
1) Yes, you can have it switch to a device when you're done. They call this a "Go" function.

2) There is time, however there is no date. It appears to be for convenience only.

3) I haven't seen any soft volume commands anywhere, but you could always program some other buttons to do it. There are a few that I had no use for that would work well, but why bother?

4) There aren't any hard macro buttons on the remote - the two buttons on the bottom are for commands that are the same throughout a particular device (say Play & Stop).

5) When you turn it on it goes right to where you last left it. And that's a good thing, since if it times out while you're watching a movie, for example, you wouldn't want to have to work your way back to the DVD menu to stop it. At the top left is a quick-link to the macros menu however. And in that menu you'll see buttons custom labeled like you describe.
OP | Post 3 made on Monday October 12, 1998 at 14:56
Jan van Ee
Historic Forum Post

1) The last step of a macro can take you to the
first panel of any device.

2) The clock in the Pronto is only used to show the current time. The maximum delay in a macro is 99.9 seconds.

Bonus 1) There are no soft channel and volume buttons, but you can create your own by relabeling buttons.

Bonus 2) Not quite. However, macros can be assigned to hard buttons when the 'macro section' is active (when the 'device section' is active, only single IR codes can be assigned to hard buttons). The last step of a macro can take you to the first panel of any device.

Bonus 3) No. Normally, the Pronto will return to the same panel it was last on. If left in any mode other than USE for at least 5 minutes, it will return to the first home panel. The contents of the home panels automatically reflect the contents of the device menu.


Jan van Ee

OP | Post 4 made on Monday October 12, 1998 at 16:29
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
In response to Jan van Ee, Bonus #2 -

Good tip! I think I'll add a section to the main Pronto page to cover all these handy facts that either aren't mentioned in the manual or are hard to find.
OP | Post 5 made on Friday October 16, 1998 at 01:50
Jan van Ee
Historic Forum Post

I saw you have added a tip on hard key macros to your Pronto review, but I'm afraid the information you provide is not entirely correct (unless I misunderstand what you mean by 'global'). Every macro group, like every component, has its own hard key definition. But unlike component hard keys, macro group hard keys are macros. Only a 'home' hard key definition (which can only be a single IR code) is global in the sense that that definition is used if that hard key is not defined in the currently active component or macro group. The reason that the left and right key can not be assigned a macro is that these keys already have a system function when a macro group is active.

I guess it would have been nice if every soft button or key (not just the ones in macro groups) could be assigned a macro, but we already had a hard time balancing flexibility and ease of use. The good news is that this limitation only exists in the Pronto user interface...

OP | Post 6 made on Friday October 16, 1998 at 02:18
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
Ah, I think I get what you mean - a macro assigned to chan up/down, vol up/down and mute is only available while in the macro menu and that macro group. It's global in the sense that it's the same no matter which macro *page* you're on, but can't be used elsewhere, ie a device. I'll correct that.
OP | Post 7 made on Friday October 16, 1998 at 13:05
Scott "popcorn"
Historic Forum Post

Am I to understand that you helped to develop this remote? Or at least are you able to answer this question: I would like to know what you can (eventually) use the RS-232 port for? Namely, is it just to program IR commands from a PC's database, or does it offer more flexibility, such as allowing new templates to be created and uploaded from a PC, or, even better yet, for those of us that are computer science oriented, to actually write our own user interface for the remote, and upload it?
OP | Post 8 made on Monday October 26, 1998 at 23:58
Jan van Ee
Historic Forum Post

Yes, I did play a role in the development of the Pronto software. Part of the Pronto UI is fixed by the system software, and part is described separately in what I call a configuration. A configuration defines the contents of all the control panels (panels are linked into a device or macro group) in terms of widget trees. The bitmaps that define a widget's appearance, the lists of actions associated with buttons and hard keys, and the actual IR codes are all defined in a configuration. Configurations can be downloaded and uploaded using the RS-232 port.
OP | Post 9 made on Tuesday October 27, 1998 at 14:31
Scott "popcorn"
Historic Forum Post
So, once software is available as well as a cable, (or even just the information, since I'm a computer science major) then I could theoretically change the appearance of the menu screens, as well as allowing any buttons to be a macro? Do I understand correctly, or is the button actions list not that flexible?
OP | Post 10 made on Tuesday October 27, 1998 at 18:30
Jan van Ee
Historic Forum Post
Yes, every button and every hard key can be assigned a list of actions, not just a single action. The last action of every action list can be a jump to any panel in the configuration. Moreover, action lists can refer to other action lists so you can have macros in macros.
OP | Post 11 made on Tuesday October 27, 1998 at 19:44
Scott "popcorn"
Historic Forum Post
WOAH! KEWL!!! One last question... Can I get programming info so that I can write my own design/upload program, or will it require Windows 98 or NT, both of which I have vowed not to use? Something that goes along with this... Can the information from the Pronto be downloaded, so it can be saved... Namely, if you want the original setup back, you can upload it again (similar to flash ROM on PCs... Where you can save your current version in a file, just in case the new version doesn't work right, you can restore using the old version file you saved...)
OP | Post 12 made on Tuesday October 27, 1998 at 21:44
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
Hmm! This is very interesting! If such software & a cable becomes available, I'd love to test it out. My VCR has some pretty unique button configurations I'd like to see if I could duplicate.

Jan, you mentioned that you can go to any panel of any device - this is the one thing missing out-of-the-box on the Pronto. You can only go to the *first* panel of any device. While this is typically not a problem, my VCR is my default tuner (better than the TV) so whenever I end a macro with the GO command, it ends up on the VCR's tape controls rather than panel 2, tuner controls.

It seems however that every flexibility has been thought of already in the base code, it only require a more sophisticated means to program it such as a PC. Just the mere fact that this is all *possible* is going to win a lot of users.
OP | Post 13 made on Wednesday October 28, 1998 at 01:17
Scott "popcorn"
Historic Forum Post
Yeah, Daniel... This programmability is what is winning me... Just imagine redesigning the screens so it looks like a monochrome Starfleet control panel. :) I'd love to get the low-level specs on programming this thing so I could start working on a DOS program to upload/download info from the remote, and work on the template design.
OP | Post 14 made on Thursday October 29, 1998 at 21:41
Historic Forum Post

""The maximum delay in a macro is 99.9 seconds.""

is this per command in a macro or the allowed sum of delays in a macro?

OP | Post 15 made on Thursday October 29, 1998 at 22:17
Daniel Tonks
Historic Forum Post
As far as I know, it's per command not per macro.

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