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Thread: A walkaround for external programs 'hiding' media engine

  1. #1
    Variable Bitrate Tim Lake's Avatar
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    A walkaround for external programs 'hiding' media engine

    I have suffered a problem that I think a lot of people have. Basically if you try to run any external app which uses full screen (or any program which you don't/can't close using the media engine toolbar button) media engine won't reappear and has to be killed by ctr-alt-del and relaunched.
    This is my rather convoluted but working walkaround.

    First you create a batch program which can be done by creating a text file with the below text in it and then renaming it with a .bat extension. In this example imagine i'm running ProgramX:

    echo off
    call "C:\Program Files\ProgramX.exe"
    cls
    echo Please click on the X in the Media Engine toolbar
    :loopwait
    goto loopwait


    Any programmer will know that intentionally creating an infinite loop (last two lines) is very bad practice and you can just use 'pause' instead but that asks the user to press any key which looks a bit silly when you have just told them to click the X and especially if you have no keyboard!

    Once you have created this batch file, simply set that as the external app for Media Engine and it will use the batch file (not the executable which it calls) as the app. This means that once you exit the 'real' program the batch file will resume and media engine can close it and will then return to normal!
    VIA M10000
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  2. #2
    Variable Bitrate
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    Interesting approach. Have you noticed any performance implications because of the infinite loop?

  3. #3
    Raw Wave shotgunefx's Avatar
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    Might be better to call it from a C,Perl, whatever program to get some real sleep. I would think that's going to suck up a lot of CPU time.

    On the other hand, some googling turned up this which looks promising.

  4. #4
    Variable Bitrate
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    Quote Originally Posted by shotgunefx
    Might be better to call it from a C,Perl, whatever program to get some real sleep. I would think that's going to suck up a lot of CPU time.

    On the other hand, some googling turned up this which looks promising.
    Yeah, like threading, you could yield the process with the sleep command in your infinite loop and see if that provides better CPU usage.

  5. #5
    Variable Bitrate Tim Lake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmar89
    Interesting approach. Have you noticed any performance implications because of the infinite loop?
    Well I only use it as a way to ensure ME doesn't get 'lost' and since I always close the program straight away, there have been no problems. Really there is no reason to have the loop running for more than a couple of seconds anyway cos you are done with the program and want ME back
    VIA M10000
    512Mb RAM
    30Gb 2.5" HDD
    Bluetooth, 802.11g, GPS
    Silverstone USB DAC
    Consult (ODB)
    CarTFT K500
    Carnetix P1290
    NLited XP with Road Runner and MapMonkey

  6. #6
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Lake
    I have suffered a problem that I think a lot of people have. Basically if you try to run any external app which uses full screen (or any program which you don't/can't close using the media engine toolbar button) media engine won't reappear and has to be killed by ctr-alt-del and relaunched.
    I'd be interested to know a) what version of MediaEngine you're using, and b) what applications you're unable to close.
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

    FIC K7MNF-64 / Athlon 3200 | 256 DDR | 120 GB 7.2k WD
    WinXP Pro | MediaEngine | 12.1 VGA TFT Touch|Creative CIMR-100
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  7. #7
    Variable Bitrate Tim Lake's Avatar
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    I have the latest version (2.3.2) and the programs that won't close are games which run in full screen. Because you can't see the media engine mini bar you cannot close the program using it. When you close the program from it's own exit/close option, ME doesn't appear and has to be forced closed and then re-opened. Just by way of example ScummVM (playing sam & max and monkey island) and Bookworm Deluxe are two I have had this problem with.
    VIA M10000
    512Mb RAM
    30Gb 2.5" HDD
    Bluetooth, 802.11g, GPS
    Silverstone USB DAC
    Consult (ODB)
    CarTFT K500
    Carnetix P1290
    NLited XP with Road Runner and MapMonkey

  8. #8
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    I'm going to send you a link to try the latest test build - I think it will resolve this issue for you. Using a hard loop in a batch file is just a really ugly kludge.
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

    FIC K7MNF-64 / Athlon 3200 | 256 DDR | 120 GB 7.2k WD
    WinXP Pro | MediaEngine | 12.1 VGA TFT Touch|Creative CIMR-100
    350w Vector | 320w mATX PS | Hellroaring BIC95150 | ButterflySDC

  9. #9
    Variable Bitrate Tim Lake's Avatar
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    I tried it but have the same issue. The program I used was Bookworm Deluxe, a PopCap game
    VIA M10000
    512Mb RAM
    30Gb 2.5" HDD
    Bluetooth, 802.11g, GPS
    Silverstone USB DAC
    Consult (ODB)
    CarTFT K500
    Carnetix P1290
    NLited XP with Road Runner and MapMonkey

  10. #10
    Maximum Bitrate phat_bastard's Avatar
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    I've tried bookworm and I don't seem to have any problems with it. Are you sure you're using the 2.3.3 executable?
    '01 Chevy Xtreme Stepside (pics)

    FIC K7MNF-64 / Athlon 3200 | 256 DDR | 120 GB 7.2k WD
    WinXP Pro | MediaEngine | 12.1 VGA TFT Touch|Creative CIMR-100
    350w Vector | 320w mATX PS | Hellroaring BIC95150 | ButterflySDC

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