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Autodimming monitor after 2 seconds of inactivity. (Solution inside)

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  • Autodimming monitor after 2 seconds of inactivity. (Solution inside)

    I figured out how to do this in response to another thread (we got off topic).I thought this was neat enough that it deserved its own thread, so I am posting it here for everyone's attention.

    So, here is a way to auto-dim your monitor after just a few seconds of inactivity, and have it restore to normal brightness after touching the screen (or moving the mouse).

    ================================================== ========
    1) First, you need to set timeout of Windows screensavers in 'seconds' rather than 'minutes'. This is the tricky part, because Windows control panel does not allow you to do it directly.

    Here is how to do it in Windows XP Pro SP2:
    Start-> RUN
    Type: gpedit.msc <enter>
    Go to: User Configuration>Administrative Templates>Control Panel>Display
    Open Screensaver Timeout, and ENABLE it.
    Set value to something like 1 or 2 seconds.

    2) Now, combine this with Power Dimmer and you have one heck of a neat solution for night driving!

    3) (optional) See Post #32 of this thread for a solution that will enable this for you ONLY at night....
    ================================================== ========

    Oh, make sure you DISABLE 'password on resume feature' from your screensaver control panel. Otherwise it will fade to black instead of keeping the screen contents...

    Hope this helps. I think this is useful for night driving.
    2002 Honda CR-V
    Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
    Spent so far: $1105.90


    Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
    ...or even Listen to my music

  • #2
    Great find, thanks!
    IEI PSB-4710, 1.5Ghz P4, 1GB RAM, 120GB HDD, Lilliput 8" TS, M2-ATX, BU-353,
    Ikey SL75 keyboard, BT Mini Keyboard, WLAN, EVDO, IC-PCR100 (AM/FM/VHF), HQCT, Centrafuse 1.6...

    Comment


    • #3
      I think that this is a great start to what we are all trying to accomplish.

      There are a few flaws in the design at this time. As you have mentioned it would be nice if this only was activated at a certain time of day. Furthermore, I think that this would dim while watching a DVD due to inactivity.

      The best soultion would be to create a plugin or direct impementation of this into a front end, that way it would be able to tell which screen is currently up and whether to be active or not.

      Good Find!!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Good find JIT. Just tested, works really well, as Uno3whO says could do with only working at certain times, would only take 5 mins to knock up a quick app. May do later if I have a bit of spare time.

        Comment


        • #5
          I'd like to see something like this as part of the frontend too (RR, Centrafuse?), so it would have better app logic.
          2002 Honda CR-V
          Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
          Spent so far: $1105.90


          Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
          ...or even Listen to my music

          Comment


          • #6
            I could do an RR Plugin quite easily, unfortunately I know nothing about Centrafuse, I've never used it.

            Comment


            • #7
              i'd personally like to see an RR plugin
              1998 BMW M3
              Mods: Staggered SSR Competition wheels : M Roadster Short Shifter : JTD Aluminum Underpanel : Koni Adjustable SAs : Eibach Pro-kit springs : European clear corners and side markers : Hardwired V1 automatic door and radar detector

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              • #8
                That's certainly very slick. It would add a very professional look to a carpc setup. Even better if it would fade back up, but I don't think that's possible with a screen saver(?).

                Would it be possible to make a program that runs in the background that calculates sunrise/sunset times (like GammaControl does) by entering in your lat/long and then sets your screen saver accordingly? Or just have that program do the fading instead of making it into a screen saver? That way it could 1) fade back up, and 2) be universal (CF, RR, etc could all use it).

                What do you think?

                Dan

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                • #9
                  I agree with chronot150, something like this would be great to have, so that it only dimmed during the night. The fadeup however I think would be annoying. When I touch the screen I would want it to get bright immediately for instant use and gratification

                  Fadeout however is neat.
                  2002 Honda CR-V
                  Carputer progress: 90% [▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓▓ -]
                  Spent so far: $1105.90


                  Download the NEXUS Skin for Centrafuse
                  ...or even Listen to my music

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by justintime
                    I agree with chronot150, something like this would be great to have, so that it only dimmed during the night. The fadeup however I think would be annoying. When I touch the screen I would want it to get bright immediately for instant use and gratification

                    Fadeout however is neat.

                    I agree as well with the fadeout feature. I think that another good idea would be for the screen to essential be locked when it is completely faded (which is a normal action for a screen saver) . Activation should take a keypress anywhere on the screen to unlock it. I guess the usefulness of this would really be dependant on how dark you set it to fade.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Gobby
                      Good find JIT. Just tested, works really well, as Uno3whO says could do with only working at certain times, would only take 5 mins to knock up a quick app. May do later if I have a bit of spare time.
                      A new feature for RR ?

                      Terran
                      My Project Site

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I don't use these tools but here's a quick way to solve the time problem of when you activate your screensaver....

                        Do everything justintime says in his post. Then, to only have the screensaver (power dimmer) activate only when it's dark you could write a quick vbs script to get the current time and if it's greater than the time it gets dark in your area, then activate the screensaver. Here's some code.

                        Code:
                        Option Explicit
                        Dim objShell
                        Dim strRegKey, strRegValue
                        Dim strOn, curTime, cmpTime, activate, varOn
                        
                        'This is where you set the cmpTime variable in this format TimeSerial(hh,mm,ss)
                        'hh is 24 hour format so 6:35 PM would be set as TimeSerial(18,35,00)
                        
                        cmpTime = TimeSerial(18,35,00)
                        
                        curTime=cdate(Time)
                        
                        If curTime > cmpTime Then
                        varOn = "1"
                        Else
                        varOn = "0"
                        End if
                        
                        strRegKey = "HKCU\Control Panel\Desktop\"
                        strRegValue = "ScreenSaveActive"
                        strOn = varOn
                        Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
                        objShell.RegWrite strRegKey & strRegValue, strOn, "REG_SZ"
                        
                        
                        WScript.Quit
                        Copy the above into notepad and save it as timecheck.vbs in your scripts folder or wherever.

                        Then go into Scheduled Tasks and create a schedule to run this script however often as you'd like maybe every 20 minutes. All the script does is activate the screensaver after a specific time.

                        It's not a perfect solution because there's that twilight period when you're driving but you can determine what's best.

                        Alternative to creating a Scheduled Task you could place this script in your "Startup" folder and run it once. But again, if you're driving for an hour and it goes from daylight to dark, it won't activate the screensaver. Anyway, just a suggestion.

                        [edit] I just installed the powerdimmer.scr and it works fine. If you password on resume then the screensaver just goes straight to black. Good find on the powerdimmer!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just to add some more fuel to the custom fire...

                          Didn't I read somwhere that at least one of the FE's had support for an input?

                          If the FE guys wouldn't mind writing code for it, it wouldn't be too hard to hook up a simple light sensor to automatically dim the display when it gets below a certain light threshold. I don't think the wiring would be too hard to do.

                          The first link I pulled off Google has a fairly basic circuit that could be used for this application.
                          http://www.uoguelph.ca/~antoon/circ/sensor2.htm

                          Anyway, maybe not worth the bother, a set time would probably suffice, but at least it'll dim when you pull into an underground or go through a tunnel. That, and the fact that it's just cool

                          Cheers,

                          Kris
                          How Much Horsepower Can I have And Still Go To Heaven?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            You are crazy on top of things JIT That's a pretty cool hack too Tipastar.

                            There are too many damn hacks in this community though (still it is cool that it can currently be done). It is way too hard to get everything setup correctly on a new machine. We need a background program (like GC) or front-end plug-in. Maybe the entire program would be a screen-saver with a details page that lets you set the settings. Or maybe in addition to the program/plug-in you would have to enable a screen-saver that notifies the process of a screen-saver event (this screen-saver could by auto-installed/selected by the app/plugin of course).

                            Here is the full feature set as I see it...

                            Code:
                            First, you could use a light sensor if you have one.
                            If not, it could fine out sun-rise/set times like GC.
                            You set the max fade-out for night time.
                            For the hour leading up to night time, it would fade only partially.
                            If you had a light sensor, it would fade based on its level.
                            You set the screen-saver activity time-out
                            You set the amount of time it takes to fade to full dark.
                            You set the time to fade back up after a touch.
                            Preferably if it were non-screen-saver based, you could also set the max-unfaded brightness in case you never want it full-bright at night, even when you are using it.

                            Code:
                            Example:
                            I would set max fade-out level to 70% brightness (I don't like much of a dim).
                            I would set night non-fade-out to 90% brightness.
                            I would have it start to fade out after 3 seconds of inactivity.
                            I would have it take an additional 5 seconds to reach full fade-out.
                            On touch, I would have it quickly fade back up over 0.5 seconds.
                            Now, from my example, if it is totally dark at 8:00pm, and the current time is 7:30pm, the display would be at 95% brightness when in use, and fade to 85% brightness when not in use (because 7:30 is the half-way point between 7-8). Once it is 8, it would be 90% when used and 70% when idle just as I set it to.

                            This way there would be a nice time-fade that would eliminate the chance of having it suddenly fading-out if you are driving at 8:00. I like features like this to not even be noticeable.

                            Of course, an analog light sensor that could report 5 or more levels between full light and full darkness would be even better.

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                            • #15
                              I see one problem - When I run the program manually it dims everything on the screen, however when it is configured as a screensaver it blanks the screen then dims it...

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