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Thread: Laptop Half Arsed Shutdown Control System...

  1. #21
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    Answers to Dontpntpool

    Purpose
    1. Yes, it will perform the action set in the program, be it Shutdown\Standby etc. - BUT this action is performed the moment the laptop is running on batteries. Ie. When the AC is removed. At present it doesn't factor in the battery life, because that wasn't what I originally wanted from the application - as soon as it began running on batteries, I wanted it to Shutdown. The problem is, I can add the feature to only perform the specified action when the battery reaches a certain level - but why? On average, it takes 3 times the amount of time to charge a laptop battery for the amount of time used, and most people do not have journeys long enough to cover this loss, so the battery level will be perpetually low. However, I can still add this if that is what someone wants.
    2. All the actions, Shutdown\Restart\Standby\Hibernate are not sent like the Windows commands. They are forced - so they do not wait for an applications response to the Shutdown command. Ie. WinAmp when playing MP3's will not respond to an ordinary Hibernate command, it will just hang. But if Hibernate is sent from my app, it will happen instantly, regardless of the applications running.
    3. Yes, some applications do not work after Hibernating, my GPS unit does not respond after resuming if you Hibernate whilst its running. So closing it before it Hibernates, then opening it after it resumes is the cleanest way. You can do this by opening Pre-Hibernate.bat in notepad, and adding the following line,

    START taskkill.exe /F /IM notepad.exe

    Simply replace, notepad.exe with whatever you want to close. At present, you cannot add this command in the GUI because of the options that follow the file name, but I will add this into the next release.

    What this can't do
    1. No, it cannot turn on the laptop by itself, there is always a need for some physical input, be it the Power On button, or a pin set live on a serial port, or a loopback adaptor attached to the RJ45 port. Wake On Lan is what I use, and if the laptop supports it, it is by far the cleanest method. The other alternatives are shown here


    Needed
    1. This can be added relatively easily. Most people who use laptops purchase a DC-DC PSU or use an Invertor. And both of these connect through a lighter socket. So using this from Maplin (Car Battery Protector 4.99) it can prevent the battery being drained. The easiest way to configure this, is instead of having the AC Adaptor turned on and off by the IGN using a relay, just have it permanently connected using that adaptor. Then, when the battery is too low, it will remove the AC Power, thus using ShutControl to do its job.
    2. This is my pet hate, and there is no real straightforward way round it other than putting a delay circuit in place of the REM+ wire that goes to the Amplifier. There are many simple delay circuits shown here. Software cannot help this.
    3. Again, more hardware than software, but you can get round this. Using a USB hub with an input for an external input and a 5v DC-DC adaptor (like this), with a relay connected to IGN to turn it on. There are many ways to achieve this without problems.

    '98 Peugeot 306
    Project Status: I sold it ages ago!

    ShutControl

    The ultimate shutdown control software for laptops.

  2. #22
    Low Bitrate dontpntpool's Avatar
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    When I wrote "battery status" I meant either on or off not the level.

    I wasn't completely sure how it worked, my previous post was just trying to organize some thoughts on this project...while still thinking about the overall picture of using a laptop for a carpc. Maybe we should start a howto faq for laptops in a car.

    I was thinking I could make something for the serial port that could switch devices such as the amp on and off...

    A nice thing for this program to do would be to watch to see if a program crashes then restart it, then it would be a battery and software watchdog.

    An even more ambitious version of this program would be to make it a shell replacement.

    Another idea would be to check that xp is setup correctly like showing if ewf or horm is on/off.

    Some of the above might be beyond the scope of this program

    You should also link to this faq: Do-It-Yourself Startup/Shutdown Controllers

  3. #23
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    To turn other devices on and off you are better using the USB port +ve output to turn on a relay, but use a simple capacitor and a potentiometer in place to make a simple delay circuit, so that you adjust how many seconds before the relay energizes. Or you could possibly (I'm not sure of the scope of .NET) use the app to disable the USB ports prior to Shutdown (should be pretty straightforward actually) and then enable them again upon bootup. That way, the amp etc. would only turn on once my app has loaded.

    I can almost definately change my app to monitor any applications loaded from it. It can check if they have crashed etc, then restart it, that would be quite straightforward.

    Shell replacement, bit too much work really, I don't have the time, and its usually something people want completely custom.

    Checking if HORM is on or off could be quite straightforward just by accertaining if there is a resmany.dat file on the c:\ drive.

    I like your comments though, some interesting points and I will bear them in mind for new releases.

    '98 Peugeot 306
    Project Status: I sold it ages ago!

    ShutControl

    The ultimate shutdown control software for laptops.

  4. #24
    Low Bitrate dontpntpool's Avatar
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    Another suggestion:

    An option to mute sound before shutown/suspend/hybernate and unmute after windows is started.

    Probably can be done in the auto run...but would be nice to be built in...

  5. #25
    FRP
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    I need to be able to run this as a service as I run mediacar as the shell, so windows startup folder is not called.

    There are a few apps which allow any program to be run as a service but I don't know how compatible this would be, and having it built in would be better.

    Are you planning to release the source code?

    Dan

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by dontpntpool View Post
    an option to mute sound before shutown/suspend/hybernate and unmute after windows is started.
    Done!



    Quote Originally Posted by FRP
    I need to be able to run this as a service as I run mediacar as the shell, so windows startup folder is not called.

    There are a few apps which allow any program to be run as a service but I don't know how compatible this would be, and having it built in would be better.

    Are you planning to release the source code?
    In terms of making it a service, I had a try, but I'm not sure I know what I'm doing. I will quite happily send you the source if you think you can add Windows Service functionality. I will have another try at it tommorow when I have a fresh mind.

    '98 Peugeot 306
    Project Status: I sold it ages ago!

    ShutControl

    The ultimate shutdown control software for laptops.

  7. #27
    Low Bitrate dontpntpool's Avatar
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    I am sure he will release source he has before.

    Running it as a service has many advantages...runs outside the login just incase the laptop gets logged out or not logged in (log full, password incorrect, etc)

    Running any program as a service is quite simple:
    Get this: ftp://ftp.microsoft.com/bussys/winnt...srvany_x86.exe

    This procedure is a condensed version of the general procedure found in the srvany documentation file.
    1. Copy srvany.exe to c:\program files\directory\
    2. Open a Command Prompt window and install the service portion by typing:
      instsrv WhateverServiceName "c:\program files\directory\srvany.exe"
      The quotes around the path are needed because of the space in the path. Omit the quotes if you do not have spaces in your path. Press Enter after typing the command line. Note: instsrv.exe if also found in the Resource Kit.
    3. Open the Services utility in Control Panel, click on WhateverServiceName, then click on Startup to display the Startup dialog box.
    4. In the Startup group, click Automatic or Manual. (most likely Automatic)
    5. In the Log On As group, select the account you want the service to run under, probably the System Account and be sure to check Allow Service to Interact with Desktop.
    there might be some more but I was at the bar tonight so I might have forgot something

    Thanks for the mute function!!!

  8. #28
    FRP
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    1. Why are the Pre Hibernate and Post Resume boxes greyed out when single action is enabled? They still run (see 2), but to edit them you have to enable multiple action.

    2. When power is cut, the pre hibernate app launches immediately. Is this by design? Perhaps there should be an option for delay before running pre hibernate launch (obviously this can only be upto the timer of the (first) action). EDIT: this only applies when single action enabled

    3. Should "Pre Hibernate Application Launch" be called "Pre Action Application Launch"?

    4. There is a bug on mine when selecting multiple action, upon resuming it does not reset status (whether the ac is connected or not)... It just says "Hibernated".

    5. When on Multiple action, I think it would be better to have the application do the countdown, and then use the shutdown command to do the action immediately (to stop the standard windows warning saying the system is shutting down a la blaster virus). It's not that important cos the screen should be off at this point, but it will be more integrated and more subtle if the screen does happen to be on.

    These are not complaints, hope it is helpful... and yes I would quite like the source code to have a play. Obviously I wouldn't release any changes to anyone but yourself. Besides, you are making changes at such a rate I would never have the most up-to-date version.

    Dan

  9. #29
    FRP
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    Using multiple action, upon resume, I get this (attachment).
    If I click the red "Pr" on the right (which I assume is the "click here to cancel") it goes back to it's normal state.

    UPDATE: I think it is because of my large fonts, "Preparing to Shutdown..." is displayed off the window.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #30
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    I tested the big font thing in the new version and it works perfecto. Download the newer version dude, it should solve those problems listed. Click the link in my sig...

    Quote Originally Posted by dontpntpool View Post
    An option to mute sound before shutown/suspend/hybernate and unmute after windows is started.
    I was just wondering, why did you want this feature? Does it stop speaker pop (I can't possibly imagine how it could). It works anyway, but I just wanted an insight as to why you wanted it.

    '98 Peugeot 306
    Project Status: I sold it ages ago!

    ShutControl

    The ultimate shutdown control software for laptops.

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