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Last post Author Topic: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works  (Read 31374 times)

nudone

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Ath's WinButtons: http://ath.dcmembers...tware/winbuttons.php and a 7" MYMO Touchscreen are now part of my system - AND IT ALL WORKS perfectly.

Okay, there are slight issues but they aren't worth mentioning just yet; it works better than I could have hoped for within a few minutes of setup.

THIS REALLY IS THE ULTIMATE TOUSCREEN + PC setup. (Potentially, at least; this is still early days.)

I've already said to Ath that I think this could easily make the iPad look prehistoric in comparison. Imagine the combined power of your computer setup and the ability to have a super multi-purpose "magic" keyboard that changes to every one of your program requirements. WinButtons makes touchscreens genuinely useful to your average user - that's amazing - that's a first. (It's blowing my mind just thinking of what's possible - even without considering the serious business market - imagine if Adobe or Microsoft were selling a universal touchscreen device. Oh, I'll shut up as I'm getting carried away.)


Here are a couple of photos. Not a great deal to look at as I've only just had all this working for about 10 minutes (yes, it works straight out of the box). I'll try and do a video demonstration when I've set up all my buttons and programs.

Photo-0005.jpg
WinButtons with custom 40 button layout on MYMO 7" touchscreen. I shall be moving the touchscreen down so that it doesn't get in the way of the the 30" center screen. (On the left screen is the WinButtons template in edit mode.)

Photo-0006.jpg
Close-up of the 40 button layout. Sorry for the poor quality (I need to buy proper a camera). The four buttons in the top left are graphics - just for testing.



Oh, just a quick description of what actually happens when using all this stuff:

1) A program has focus, say, Photoshop for example.

2) The touchscreen displays a specific set of buttons related to the above program (in focus).

3) Hitting the touchscreen buttons trigger macros or, more simply, just hotkey shortcuts already built into Photoshop.

4) Moving Photoshop (or whatever) out of focus, i.e. to focus desktop or Explorer, makes another Button layout appear on the touchscreen. This layout has its own set of custom triggers/buttons and appearance.


What's the point?

a) No need to remember hotkey shortcuts as they'll be displayed as buttons on the touchscreen (nice graphic buttons will help this).

b) No need to remember which macro key on a fancy keyboard relates to which function. (I've got around 30 macro keys on my MS Sidewinder keyboard and I can't remember which key is which.)

c) It's like Star Trek but without having to wait a hundred years for the technology to arrive. (This isn't rocket science, something like WinButtons and a touchscreen should have been on the market a few years ago.)


More posts on the project to follow, I'm sure...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 04:18:52 AM by nudone »

mouser

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2011, 04:12:11 AM »
Love it! keep the posts and pictures and updates coming.

Nudone has a history of coming up with great ideas so he is worth listening to when he says something is useful.

Ath

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2011, 04:54:27 AM »
This makes me a happy person with a warm feeling inside today (and some more days this week) :-* and that's just because you are so happy with the result :D

It's looking great, though touch-screen placement does indeed need some tweaking :)

jgpaiva

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2011, 04:59:20 AM »
That looks great!
I'm looking forward to see how this project goes.

I'd also like to know how this setting compares to Optimus Maximus keyboard (or something simpler).

Nudone has a history of coming up with great ideas so he is worth listening to when he says something is useful.
I agree 100%  :Thmbsup:

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2011, 05:15:36 AM »
Unfortunately, I have some "real" work to do for a deadline this week, which means I won't be able to dedicate as much time as I'd like to this project. I'm sure I won't be able to resist keep testing new touchscreen operations out though.

Regarding the Optimus Maximus keyboard, DC member timns (Tim, of Head in the Clouds online comic fame), bought an Optimus keyboard and gave up using it as it was a terrible device to use for "serious" work. It looked nice, as you would expect, but for someone that needs a "work" keyboard, he had to stop using it as it was so annoying. Maybe I shouldn't have said that as he gave it away as a prize during the DC fundraiser. So, for light use, the Optimus looks pretty and will impress and I'm sure it serves it's purpose well for displaying "reminders" as graphic icons on the keys. But if you want to do a lot of typing - stick with a "real" keyboard.

I know timns was also very keen to try using a touchscreen - but he was waiting for me to be the guinea pig and risk buying something that may be useless; knowing that there wasn't any good software to use with one (there really isn't).

But, now we have WinButtons and it really does seem quite revolutionary to me at the moment.

(Ath will be able to join in the fun too but it looks like his touchscreen won't arrive until the end of this month; about 25 days away.)

nosh

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2011, 06:34:09 AM »
Great work, Ath!  :up:

Quote
I'll try and do a video demonstration when I've set up all my buttons and programs.

I was hoping for a video demo but thought it would be too much to ask for, before I read that.

jgpaiva

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2011, 10:11:36 AM »
Regarding the Optimus Maximus keyboard, DC member timns (Tim, of Head in the Clouds online comic fame), bought an Optimus keyboard and gave up using it as it was a terrible device to use for "serious" work.
Ok, I knew it was offered in a recent giveaway but didn't know why.

Your photos and descriptions got me really interested in this :)
I haven't been following the development of winbuttons, but does it support "menus"? Drawer-line collections of buttons, for example. I could see that as a neat addition to your "touchscreen console". To be fair, I'm only thinking visually it would be nice, I'm not sure how useful it'd be.

I can see a lot of potential in this idea, but right now I'd really like to see some use for it, for example you drawing cody on photoshop using it :P

A few practical questions:
Which hand do you find more useful to use the touchscreen?
How about in terms of precision, do you find the touchscreen as accurate as the iPad, for example?
Have you tried placing it on the left of the keyboard, laying on the table?

Ath

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2011, 10:19:41 AM »
but does it support "menus"? Drawer-line collections of buttons, for example.

Please have a look at the first screenshot in the WinButtons release-thread, it's showing a 3-level menu, and the 2nd screenshot shows a 2-level menu. It's simply a secondary instance of WB, positioned relative to the button that started it. It needs either <Esc> pressed or a dedicated button that closes that single instance (or the border displayed, with the default Windows close button), so that might need some improvement in implementation. Feature requests are welcome, ofcourse  :)

jgpaiva

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2011, 10:37:53 AM »
Please have a look at the first screenshot in the WinButtons release-thread, it's showing a 3-level menu, and the 2nd screenshot shows a 2-level menu. It's simply a secondary instance of WB, positioned relative to the button that started it. It needs either <Esc> pressed or a dedicated button that closes that single instance (or the border displayed, with the default Windows close button), so that might need some improvement in implementation. Feature requests are welcome, ofcourse  :)
Cool :D Maybe the button to open the second instance could be a toggable button? This way it could open the submenu when you press it (and then stay in a "pressed" state), and close it when you press it again (returning to the "normal" state).

Also, the "aero" transparent look on the background of the toolbar would look awesome, IMHO. I've recently posted on DC how to add this to AHK, but I don't know how to do it in autoit. I think in terms of looks it is a major improvement easy to achieve with only a few lines of code.

PS: notice that I'm just saying stuff I think looks good, don't take it as serious feature requests or anything because (unfortunately) I've moved to mac and can't really give my opinion from a user's point of view, only as an external observer :P

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2011, 10:59:30 AM »
A few practical questions:
a) Which hand do you find more useful to use the touchscreen?
b) How about in terms of precision, do you find the touchscreen as accurate as the iPad, for example?
c) Have you tried placing it on the left of the keyboard, laying on the table?

I've got a whole list of ideas that could "improve" WinButtons but I'll wait to reveal them until I've tested everything out with the current version.

Just to answer your questions though:

a) I use mouse in right hand, which means touchscreen seems better suited to left hand use. I'm using the touchscreen like a keyboard extension - so, it just seems right to keep my right hand on the mouse.

b) The touchscreen isn't as responsive as the iPad. But, my machine isn't exactly cutting edge; maybe when I get a faster pc things will be more responsive on the touchscreen. Note: there are several settings to adjust sensitivity on the touchscreen using the utility that came with it - not really looked into this yet.

c) I don't think I'll be putting it on the left of the keyboard as that means more distance for my eyes to travel, which is why I've put it under the main screen (and above the keyboard). I'm staring at the screen and don't look at my keyboard when I type, so putting the touchscreen as close to the main screen seems to be the right thing to do. timns said he wanted to try the touchscreen, flat on table, left of keyboard like you suggested. Which, makes me wonder is this a preference for people that don't touch-type (i.e. if you look at the keyboard whilst typing, maybe the touchscreen is better placed next to the keyboard).

As for drawing with the touchscreen, I wonder if there's some confusion as to what I'm using it for. I'll only be using the touchscreen as a glorified keyboard. I'll have different "key" or button layouts and sizes depending on which program I'm using. So, I'm not actually drawing on the touchscreen - I just prod the "keys" on it.

The amazing thing, for me, is that the buttons will have nice graphics on them to indicate what their functions are - which then means I don't need to remember keyboard shortcuts for all the different editing programs. To be useful, the whole touchscreen/button interface has to be as idiot friendly as possible. And that means nice big buttons/keys with nice graphics on them; things that are instantly recognisable when you glance at the screen for a fraction of a second. If the touchscreen was really, really, responsive you could even, probably, get away without having to look at the screen at all - then use it like a real keyboard extension - maybe this is possible even now if careful.

This is the beginning of the whole project though. There's really an entire universe of ways this could be used. Maybe Windows 10 will approach something like what I think WinButtons and a touchscreen can do.



jgpaiva

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #10 on: September 05, 2011, 11:10:35 AM »
c) I don't think I'll be putting it on the left of the keyboard as that means more distance for my eyes to travel, which is why I've put it under the main screen (and above the keyboard). I'm staring at the screen and don't look at my keyboard when I type, so putting the touchscreen as close to the main screen seems to be the right thing to do. timns said he wanted to try the touchscreen, flat on table, left of keyboard like you suggested. Which, makes me wonder is this a preference for people that don't touch-type (i.e. if you look at the keyboard whilst typing, maybe the touchscreen is better placed next to the keyboard).
Actually, I also write without looking at the keyboard, my idea was that it might be easier/faster for the eyes to travel down than for the left hand to travel a larger distance to the touchscreen. If the screen was being used as a "heads-up display" with no touch-screen capabilities, I would think like you.

As for drawing with the touchscreen, I wonder if there's some confusion as to what I'm using it for. I'll only be using the touchscreen as a glorified keyboard. I'll have different "key" or button layouts and sizes depending on which program I'm using. So, I'm not actually drawing on the touchscreen - I just prod the "keys" on it.
Yes, I understood that, I ment seeing it being used as a neat "toolbox" which you can touch to switch tools.

This is the beginning of the whole project though. There's really an entire universe of ways this could be used. Maybe Windows 10 will approach something like what I think WinButtons and a touchscreen can do.
I look forward to see you transport us into the future with this project, now I'm especially curious about your list of "improvements".

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2011, 11:35:26 AM »
Ah, yes, I see.

Maybe I'll change the position of everything after I realise this isn't really the most efficient layout.

As for the improvements, they are only simple things that I'm confident Ath could implement without much trouble. Many are things we've all become used to over the years, like buttons changing their colour or "state" if they've been hit - but now I've thought about that I can see how that could be a problem in itself, unless everything worked 100% reliably.

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2011, 05:02:23 PM »
Nice work, Ath!  Thanks for the pics, nudone!

cranioscopical

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2011, 08:53:45 PM »
I know timns was also very keen to try using a touchscreen - but he was waiting for me to be the guinea pig
He's not the only one  ;D  :Thmbsup:  ;D

Thanks for the narrative!

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2011, 06:48:03 AM »
I've now got a "mImo" touchscreen plugged in to my machine. Yesterday it was a "mYmo" touchscreen. Yep, I ordered another screen to see if there are any differences between the two brands.

At the moment I'm unsure which I prefer, though, it seems that the MIMO has more options and better help file.

Crucially, the MIMO has an option to reposition the mouse cursor to its original position before the touchscreen was pressed. In other words, the touchscreen doesn't steal the pointer away from where you really need it on your main screen(s); so the touchscreen behaves like a touchscreen ought to work (in my opinion). I've not tested this option out for more than a few trials; it isn't perfect, so it might be proof yet that these types of touchscreens are still made by people that never use them.

The MYMO is meant to have a similar "don't move the mouse cursor" option but it doesn't work. (I will try again later.)

And, interestingly, the MIMO comes with a "Toolbar" creator. You wouldn't know this without digging around in the help as it's only enabled via a command line switch. I thought this was going to be the solution to everything as it provides more options than WinButtons has - BUT it doesn't work (have touchscreen makers not learnt anything from all the touchscreen phones and tablets that have been around for years - seems they are all living in another universe, ignorant of what a touchscreen device can really do).

The problem is that it looks like you are creating a "Toolbar" in the configuration panel but it never becomes visible anywhere on the screen (not on any screen). The help file doesn't explain why this is, it reads like the Toolbar should be visible instantly - so, again, I have to say WinButtons is the only program that provides any kind of useful touchscreen options available today. I'm quite astounded that the makers of MIMO have got a custom "toolbar" editor, then hidden it away, and then it doesn't work even when you manage to find it - I'm so annoyed by this kind of idiocy I'm on almost tempted to send both touchscreens back today and forget about the whole thing. WHAT AN ABSOLUTELY RETARDED INDUSTRY.




nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2011, 07:32:17 AM »
Right. The MYMO is going back in the box and sent back to Amazon.

I thought I'd give it another try and see if I could make it respect the "don't move the mouse cursor" feature that comes with its own software control. It doesn't.

So, I thought maybe the MIMO software might work with the MYMO screen. It doesn't (and vice versa).

Maybe the MYMO would work on another computer setup. I assume it won't because of how poor these devices seem to be.

So, today's lesson is: don't by MYMO. (Which I'll have to mention in the Amazon review for this product.)

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2011, 07:46:47 AM »
Wow!  It's hard to believe those devices are that sorry!  Sounds like the toolbar feature was in the experimental stage, and they started writing a help file for it, then decided it wasn't ready to include in the release, but forgot or neglected to remove the help file reference.

jgpaiva

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2011, 08:16:09 AM »
nudone: if that mouse thing isn't working reliably, I think it might be the kind of thing that AHK could easily do.

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2011, 08:26:21 AM »
nudone: if that mouse thing isn't working reliably, I think it might be the kind of thing that AHK could easily do.

Ath has implemented a feature in WinButtons to try and stop the mouse cursor jumping to the touchscreen. It works a lot of the time but it's not 100%. Hard to say at the moment how often it fails - it's sporadic.

Perhaps with tweaking he'll get it to work perfectly, if not, then it looks like a MIMO screen and their software is required, though, as I said, that isn't perfect either (it doesn't quite manage to hit the target so often places the cursor about 100px away from where it should be).

But, I have to say, the things I've seen you do with AutoHotKey (with DialogMove and GridMove) made me assume that "mouse cursor position memory" would be something achievable. Perhaps the 100% perfect is a little too much to ask for, I don't know how difficult these things are really.

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2011, 08:50:00 AM »
Ath has implemented a feature in WinButtons to try and stop the mouse cursor jumping to the touchscreen. It works a lot of the time but it's not 100%. Hard to say at the moment how often it fails - it's sporadic.
Cool :D
Yeah, I think I may have been overly optimist with the "easily" part, getting this kind of stuff working with 100% reliability is hard (and even in GridMove I still find some glitches that I haven't managed to sort out). I'm sure ath will get it working great once he starts playing with a setup similar to yours ;)

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2011, 08:50:31 AM »
So, today's lesson is: don't by MYMO. (Which I'll have to mention in the Amazon review for this product.)

That's a useful lesson: I just ordered a 7" MIMO. Was tempted by the larger screens but...

Needless to say, I'm far too busy at the moment to do anything with it (isn't it always the way?) but I may be past that by the time it arrives here.

Dare I hope that you'll make available any Creative Suite templates you might build with WinButtons?

Oh, and @Ath, I shan't be sending one to you  ;D

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #21 on: September 06, 2011, 09:36:30 AM »
I'm in the process of putting together the button templates, well, I've started on the Photoshop one.

If you've got a list of suggestions for which buttons and functions to use then I'll have a go at creating the templates. Or, I will provide the blank template that you can put your own icons into.

The basic template I'll upload later (this week). Which you could easily just insert text labels instead of icons on the buttons.

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #22 on: September 06, 2011, 09:55:47 AM »
Oh, and @Ath, I shan't be sending one to you  ;D
That's kind of a disappointment, but I'll survive ;D


I'm sure ath will get it working great once he starts playing with a setup similar to yours ;)
I'm working on making the currently fixed buffer a bit more flexible, I'll probably release the update later this week.

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #23 on: September 06, 2011, 12:34:17 PM »
This is totally awesome, nudone.

nudone

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Re: It's alive, it's alive!!! mwahaha! - WinButtons and 7" touchscreen works
« Reply #24 on: September 06, 2011, 01:14:37 PM »
This is totally awesome, nudone.

It will be (hopefully).


Just thought I'd better mention something I've just realised regarding lying the touchscreen flat, as jgpaiva and timns had wondered about.

It's not really going to be possible because of the USB connection being at the back of the screen. On the MIMO the socket is in the very center and on the MYMO it's not far off.

Maybe there are (mini) USB connectors that are 90 degrees to the cable, so you'd almost be able lie the screen flat but you'd have to provide some clearance for the connector - or angle it or something.

On the MIMO, the stand would have to be removed somehow too. It doesn't look like it's designed to separate to me.