Killing Radio Userland by remote control

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A little background: Both Rhye's PC and my PC have a Hauppauge WinTV card installed on our computers. The cards are connected to infrared receivers attached to the front of each monitor. An infrared controller application runs in the system tray to read key presses from the remote control and sends them as keyboard characters (keystrokes) to the Hauppauge WinTV application.

The infrared controller has some flaws in it. If it is running, and the WinTV application is in the foreground, everything works like it is supposed to. When the infrared controller is running and WinTV is not in the foreground, the controller appears to send its keystrokes to every application running on the task bar. Unfortunately, the infrared controller does not check to see what application it is talking to, and whatever application happens to be in the foreground will accept the infrared controller's keystrokes just like they were typed at the keyboard. (Background applications appear to ignore the keystrokes.)

Most of the time, this is not a problem. I normally run the infrared controller application 24/7, and when I'm using the WinTV remote control, I always have the WinTV application in the foreground. The problem is when Rhye uses her remote control to command her WinTV card while I'm working in another program on my PC.

Both of our computers are on the same side of the room, and it is difficult for Rhye to point her remote control in such a way that her computer sees the infrared signal but mine does not. So more often than not, both WinTV cards execute commands from Rhye's remote control.

A month or two ago, I was working on a MS Word document. Rhye started entering channel numbers with her remote control, and MS Word happily picked up the key presses and entered them into my document. I told Rhye what was happening and we both laughed about it - it was easy to see what was happening, and easy to fix.

Last night, I was looking at some of the programming scripts in Radio Userland's radio.root (main) database. While I had a script open, Rhye pressed a couple of the number keys on her remote control to change channels. Unfortunately for me, a whole line of text was selected in a core Radio Userland script, and the keystroke replaced the entire line of text with the number Rhye pressed on the remote control.

Without knowing what the original text was, the only option I thought I had was to reinstall Radio Userland. Then I remembered I had made a backup of the entire Radio Userland directory, including the radio.root database. I extracted a copy of the old radio.root, renamed it radio2.root, and opened it in Radio Userland. It complained a lot, but I was able to see the affected script in both databases and copy the correct code from the old database to the current database. Disaster averted!

My lesson for the evening: Don't run the infrared controller app when I'm working on other things on the computer - especially if it's programming.

1 Comment

is that like a note to self? funny ...needed a good laugh

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This page contains a single entry by TweezerMan published on August 18, 2003 12:31 AM.

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