Archive for October, 2008

Universal Remote Control Cheat Sheet


Universal remotes are great devices which simplify the control of home entertainment devices. They cut down the pile of remotes to one single remote, removing the need to use multiple remotes to do a simple task like watching TV. This also clears up space on the coffee table so that it can be used for better stuff like.. umm coffee.

While making life easier for the person who set up the remote, other family members or friends may become confused by it. All it takes when pressing the remote buttons is for a cat to walk by, or a coffee table in the way of the infra red signal to go walkabouts. There could also be configuration problems where the universal remote isn’t completely compatible with a device. This may result in some buttons needing to be inputed manually.

While the remote works correctly most of the time, when something does go wrong, my wife has no idea what buttons to press to get things up and running. Why should she need to know the inner workings of something that I set up? I continually tried to make minor adjustments to the remote configuration, and even rewired the equipment at one stage, to make life a little easier for her. In the end, there was only one solution.

I put together a cheat sheet for my wife so that she can do her own fault finding. The cheat sheet lists what devices need to be on for a certain activity, and what setting each device needs to be on. Using this list, she can look on the front panel of each device and figure out where the problem is. There are also additional notes describing what may go wrong, and how to rectify it.

I tested it out on my wife and the results were much better than anything else I had come up with. Feel free to download it here and alter it, or create your own. It isn’t a complicated document, but I hope it will save my wife from any continued frustration.

Windows Software: Control your computer with your game controller with JoytoKey

Jtk33en3Have you ever wanted to control your computer with a game controller? It could be convenient to use a game controller from the couch to control Windows Media Center or move through PowerPoint slides.

JoytoKey is a small program that allows you to setup the movement controls and buttons of a game controller, into emulated keystrokes and mouse movements. You can setup different profiles for different programs and games, as well as separate configurations for different controllers. You can even configure a button on the controller represent a key combination.

This program is useful in the case where games don’t offer any game controller support, or where some newer games don’t offer support for older controllers, especially where drivers haven’t been updated over the years. JoytoKey allows you to split the axis controls into two separate buttons.

For example; if you have a first person shooter game that does not currently support a game controller, you can setup a profile for your controller to work with the game. Each button will represent a key from from your keyboard. Once all the buttons are configured, you have effectively added game controller support for your game.

Read more and download your free copy from electracode.

If you would like to control your mouse cursor only with your controller, check out this article for a simple alternative.