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Author Topic: DONE: DimSaver, a better PowerDimmer screensaver alternative  (Read 49303 times)
brotherS
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« on: April 06, 2006, 05:11:16 AM »

Hi,

in http://www.donationcoder....um/index.php?topic=1998.0 LuckMan212 told us about PowerDimmer (http://www.whitsoftdev.com/powerdimmer/). While it is working pretty good, it has several flaws:
  • it doesn't always react on key presses
  • it disables itself even when no key is pressed, for example when another app brings up a new window or popup.
huh

Also, it would be especially cool for such a screensaver to allow different dimming settings for day and night - dimming to the same level makes it now hard to recognize the dimmed screen content at day when it's perfectly set for night use.

So, is anyone here up for the task?

« Last Edit: April 22, 2006, 06:52:03 AM by brotherS » Logged

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m_s
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 06:20:20 AM »

What I would really like would be a two-phase powerdimmer screensaver: so it dims the screen for ten or fifteen minutes, and then it launches another screensaver (my choice would be the lovely imitation mac flurry saver - http://www.maddogsw.com/flurry/ and http://www.osx-e.com/down.../screensavers/flurry.html).  Is this possible?
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2006, 08:52:57 AM »

I think that the response to both posts could be a script that you set as screensaver, and that can do all you mentioned.
You can copy powerdimmer's executable twice, each one with different options (for day and night), and the script would run each of them.
As for powerdimmer not recognizing keyboard events, it has never happened to me...
Having 2 different screensavers is quite easy if you have a script that controls them, it would activate powerdimmer first, then send a key for powerdimmer to be closed, and would then launch the other screensaver.

Just my 0,02$..
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brotherS
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2006, 02:11:00 PM »

I think that the response to both posts could be a script that you set as screensaver, and that can do all you mentioned.
You can copy powerdimmer's executable twice, each one with different options (for day and night), and the script would run each of them.
Thanks, that got me thinking... one surely could do that OR one could code an AHK script based on A_TimeIdlePhysical that would just start one of the predefined powerdimmer copies based on the current time!

Did you ever try something like that?

[copy or print]
runwait, c:\winnt\system32\powerdimmer.scr, c:\winnt\system32\, hide

only brings up the config dialog, it doesn't actually start the screensaver...
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jgpaiva
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2006, 03:38:49 PM »

one could code an AHK script based on A_TimeIdlePhysical that would just start one of the predefined powerdimmer copies based on the current time!
Yes, that could be done, but wouldn't it be a waste of resources when windows already does that for you? Wink

Did you ever try something like that?

[copy or print]
runwait, c:\winnt\system32\powerdimmer.scr, c:\winnt\system32\, hide

only brings up the config dialog, it doesn't actually start the screensaver...
Yes, that's true, but i think someone must know something to do about it.
I guess there has to be some kind of parameter passed to it.
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skrommel
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« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2006, 12:30:00 PM »

 smiley Try this one!

DimSaver - Screensaver that dims the screen.

Features:
- Night- and daytime settings.
- Run another screensaver after a while.
- Change dim speed.

You'll find the downloads and more info at 1 Hour Software by Skrommel.

Skrommel
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skrommel
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« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2006, 12:33:11 PM »

 huh But shouldn't this request be moved to CodingSnacks? I haven't found it if brotherS hadn't informed me.

Skrommel
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brotherS
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« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2006, 12:52:49 PM »

huh But shouldn't this request be moved to CodingSnacks? I haven't found it if brotherS hadn't informed me.
It didn't start out as a typical CodingSnack request, I moved it now smiley

I'm looking forward to test it - you just need to actually put it on http://www.donationcoders.com/skrommel for me to do so! cheesy
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brotherS
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« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2006, 03:27:53 PM »

Thanks, good job skrommel!  thumbs up

A tiny requests for version 1.1: please add the according range to the Transparency and Dim speed fields. Now one has no idea what values are allowed.

[Edit]
Another idea: what about excluding DimSaver.scr from the "ScreenSavers" list?

And how do I start the screensaver from another AHK script?
[copy or print]
runwait, c:\winnt\system32\DimSaver.scr, c:\winnt\system32\, hide
isn't working...
« Last Edit: April 07, 2006, 10:00:18 PM by brotherS » Logged

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skrommel
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« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2006, 04:00:05 AM »

 smiley Updated DimSaver to v1.1, brotherS!

To run a screensaver from the command line try adding /S.

Skrommel
« Last Edit: April 08, 2006, 04:01:44 AM by skrommel » Logged

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brotherS
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« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2006, 04:16:16 AM »

@skrommel: thanks! How do you feel about adding an option to just turn the monitor off/enter low-energy-mode later instead of starting another another screensaver?

[Edit]:
There's a bug: I did set the day settings, but the night settings are being used.

Some more suggestions:
- add an "exclude list" for buttons that will NOT disable the screensaver! That way one would be able to use Winamp's Global hotkeys and other stuff without turning off the dimming! I'd love that smiley
- you could also add options whether it should disable itself on keyboard and mouse activity or on one of those two only. I'm using a Miranda plugin which has such a feature (did I tell you I love being able to customize stuff? cheesy )


I added a poll at the top, please all take part! smiley
« Last Edit: April 08, 2006, 05:29:26 AM by brotherS » Logged

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mouser
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« Reply #11 on: April 08, 2006, 05:43:01 AM »

DimSaver - that is so damn cool.
sending some credits your way skrommel.

ps.
it only works on the primary monitor-  if you could find a way to do this for both monitors that would be phenomenal.

really really nice smooth effect!
i don't use a screensaver, but if this worked on both primary and secondary display, i would use this as my screensaver.

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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2006, 07:11:22 AM »

Excellent - what a good idea  Thmbsup
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brotherS
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« Reply #13 on: April 08, 2006, 04:10:47 PM »

I found another problem in the 1.1 (see for other problems above):

In one of my two running AHK scripts there's this code:

[copy or print]
  [...]
  WinActivate, programX
  WinWaitActive, programX
  [...]

While DimSaver was actively dimming, that code wasn't executed - only when I moved the mouse to disable DimSaver, the other script was continuing.

When I was running PowerDimmer I never saw that happening.
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skrommel
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« Reply #14 on: April 08, 2006, 11:33:26 PM »

 smiley Try DimSaver v1.2. I've added multimonitor support and tweaked it some.

Please let me know if it works.

Skrommel
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mouser
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« Reply #15 on: April 09, 2006, 12:06:06 AM »

multimon not working here.
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brotherS
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« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2006, 07:01:26 AM »

smiley Try DimSaver v1.2. I've added multimonitor support and tweaked it some.

Please let me know if it works.
http://www.donationcoder....ftware/Skrommel/#DimSaver still says "DimSaver v1.1" although it's 1.2.

I suggest you set all the 3 "Actions that closes DimSaver" on default, I was kinda puzzled when I updated to 1.2 and found no way to disable it (besided killing the task) smiley

Hmm... for whatever reason DimSaver does not save the "Actions that closes DimSaver" settings here Sad

And it's still using the night settings when testing it now.
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2006, 05:09:42 PM »

 embarassed Please upgrade DimSaver to v1.3! And remember to remove the existing ini-file.

I've very sorry for last night's very buggy version. I had no multimonitor to test it on, the day and night settings weren't working (still don't know why), the values got swapped (so check the options window), the mousemove, -clicks and keys settings weren't saved, the list goes on. So take my advise and get to bed early - there's nothing like a good night's sleep!

Skrommel
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2006, 06:42:23 PM »

Is version 1.3 there? It is still listed as version 1.1 on the download page (even though you mention 1.2 in the text below)
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« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2006, 10:00:49 PM »

report on 1.3:
multimon works (well done)
dimsaver uses 89% of the cpu while its running - OUCH! if it uses this much even after screen is dimmed completely then this would be a show stopper for me since i don't want to have my cpu hitting 90% cpu overnight for no reason.
the dimming seems MUCH MUCH slower, even at fastest speed, than before.
it seems to Undim (and exit) after it finishes dimming! (ie 60 seconds) - i dont think this is intended smiley
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brotherS
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2006, 01:58:19 AM »

Great, version 1.3 is running fine here so far, no high CPU load!

Now I only miss the "exclude list" idea (that I mentioned above - for keys that will *not* disable the screensaver) smiley
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skrommel
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2006, 02:56:41 AM »

 tellme Mouser, DimSave creates a window coverting all monitors, and changes the transparency. It's Autohotkey's transparency function that's so CPU intensive, and the bigger the window, the slower it is. I could make it skip every other transparency, but it would still use a lot of CPU. But afterwards it shold be fine. What delay have you entered in the settings dialog? Have you selected a screensaver to run next? There could be a bug in there...

brotherS, I think your problems with the WinActivate function is also related to the transparency, by always staying active. And to turn off the monitor afterwards, install my MonitorOffSaver. About the hotkeys, I'm not shure how to detect them.

Skrommel
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 08:18:14 AM by skrommel » Logged

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brotherS
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2006, 04:19:45 AM »

brotherS, I think your problems with the WinActivate function is also related to the transparency, by always staying active.
Hmm... meaning there's no way around? Sad Or that it has to be done in C++?

Another problem I have with the 1.3: for the second time in a row, it didn't disable itself when I moved the mouse and hit some keys. The options are set correctly.
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« Reply #23 on: April 10, 2006, 04:27:17 AM »

I find I get DimSaver using ~70% CPU cycles but only while it dims. Once it gets there it uses 0-1%. Not had problems exiting the screen saver though.
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brotherS
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« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2006, 02:45:18 AM »

Skrommel?
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