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coding challenge?


shadow1100mfp
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i guess its a coding challenge, but anyway:

im building a pooltable, and i know many people who have pool tables, rec rooms etc etc.

but no one has a custome point system, and that would be the ultimate geek/hak.5 tribute to make a program, hak.5 logos throughout, that kept score:

what i am thinking is you attach 3 buttons to the side skirt of your pool table, all wired to a control box which leads to your computer. one button marks a point for team a, the second for team b, and the third is a reset switch.

on the computer end, it would be a simple program, able to run on any low end computer easily, opens directly to the game screen which has 3 main partitions of the screen: team a, team b and a timer (screen is divided into thirds, first third being team a, second third being the timer, third third being team b). points are shown on the team screens, the timer displays the amount of time that the game has been in play, and the current time (maybe with an option to set a time limit, when the limit is up it plays a sound file of the users choice?).  themes would be built in, all with hak.5 logos (or how about a picture of wess' face with pretty flowers? haha), the only real difference between themes would be color scheme: the colors to be included would be basic red (not bright red, kind of maroon), black and green (again, not bright, but dark, like a pool table), these colors would come default in the program to match a majority of pooltables, but since it's an opensource kind of thing, im sure people would make their own layouts for it. button layout would be something simple, such as standard square boxes, black with lettering to match the color scheme. and if you wanted to get really fancy, it could include a music player, with the ability to do anything from shuffle to search your music for specific songs/artists

on the hardware end though (the buttons), i think it would be possible to set up an automatic point system with the buttons, but have the buttons tell the computer whos turn it is, team a or b, and then have a sensor at each hole (when a ball goes in a point is scored to that team). if a mistake is made, then you push the reset switch and the computer deletes that point (press twice for new game).

just an idea i've been working on over the last week or so, im really getting into pool, and i thought this would be the perfect computer oriented accessory to set hak.5 rec rooms apart from the crowd. i would try to program this myself, but i have no idea how to program anything other hten basic stuff, but i figured there are alot of people here who would love to have a go at this challenge, maybe we can put it up for downloading purposes if it is popular enough? at any rate, if anyof you take this challenge on i will be extremely greatful, it will be wuite the addition to my rec room. ill be sure to put up some pictures of my hacked out rec room when im done (it's about half way there).

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Hardware side = 3 button mouse guts, solder wires from the buttons to microswitches, there's your 3 buttons. :D

Easy to build, easy to interface, easy to code for.

Alternatively, if you wanted more buttons, you could use a gamepad (or rather the guts of one), this would allow for extra functions such as music controls or team name entry (like a bowling alley, but for pool).

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Hardware side = 3 button mouse guts, solder wires from the buttons to microswitches, there's your 3 buttons. :D

Easy to build, easy to interface, easy to code for.

Alternatively, if you wanted more buttons, you could use a gamepad (or rather the guts of one), this would allow for extra functions such as music controls or team name entry (like a bowling alley, but for pool).

i like your thinking =]

because i do have countless mouses around my house that i don't use any more, so i could do that easily. im pretty skilled at working with tools, so i could even whip up a nice case to mount everything in, and mount that onething to the table instead of mounting everything seperatly.

as far as music controls, do you think that would be best controlled by a mouse, on the computer itself? or would it be all that much better if i put some buttons together like play, pause, vol up, vol down,  next  and mounted that to the table too?

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as far as music controls, do you think that would be best controlled by a mouse, on the computer itself? or would it be all that much better if i put some buttons together like play, pause, vol up, vol down,  next  and mounted that to the table too?

I was thinking a sort of wired (or wireless?) remote control thing if you used a gamepad, you could use the buttons (perhaps in a new case to your own design if you felt like it) as play/pause/etc. To keep it simple though, your 3 button idea would be the first thing to concentrate on.

You could have a music player running in the background though and use something like Joy2Key to assign the ex-gamepad's buttons to hotkeys in the music player, so you wouldn't even have to code anything, you just use it as a sort of easy to configure remote control.

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I was thinking a sort of wired (or wireless?) remote control thing if you used a gamepad, you could use the buttons (perhaps in a new case to your own design if you felt like it) as play/pause/etc. To keep it simple though, your 3 button idea would be the first thing to concentrate on.

You could have a music player running in the background though and use something like Joy2Key to assign the ex-gamepad's buttons to hotkeys in the music player, so you wouldn't even have to code anything, you just use it as a sort of easy to configure remote control.

wireless would be cool, maybe infered? but thats line of sight.... maybe it could be incorperated into the wireless laser transmitter somehow? lol.

the case is pretty much done anyway, i found a sheet of plexiglass in my garage a couple days ago and made a small case for just this purpose, so if im already cutting into it to mount the three buttons i might as well put a few more in while im at it.

the music player was just an idea, because theres also a stereo in the room (it's a full rec room/game room/media room), but i thought itd be cool to have almost a kiosk (i think thats what its called) where its all set up and when i have friends over they just go over and enter names or whatever, and start playing... that way they wouldnt have to go through opening certain programs, looking for the right icon etc. and the chance for them to screw up my computer is minimized. (someof my friends don't know how to use computers very well, so i thought it'd be alot easier just to incorperate the player into the pool hall programs interface)

what type of programming would i need to know to make this program myself? like ive said before i don't have much time but ill give it a go and if it works out then hooray!

but the challenge is still on to anyone who wants to make the program and have the masses test it (if you do make the program, put your name into the program somehow, like under help or something, as the producer of the program)

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If you want cool graphics, something real quick and dirty like DarkBasic would work... it includes commands to work with the mouse and joypads/joysticks/gamepads, audio, video,  graphics stuff, networking... It uses DirectX.

BlitzBasic/BlitzBasic3D is similar to DarkBasic in that it uses DirectX and has good support for graphics, audiom video and gaming devices. The 3D version is the same as the 2D version besides its ability to work... well, in 3D...

Visual Basic is good for rapid development, but like DarkBasic it's not gonna get you far if you really want to get in to programming. It's great for making things real quick. It's able to use a mouse fully, but doesn't have good support for gaming devices without really hacking about. If you use something like WinAmp to play audio though and assign hotkeys to the hacked up joypad, that probably won't matter.

C/C++ would be a good place to start if you want to really get in to programming, but won't get you anywhere quick. You'd need to learn a lot of C to make something like this. Like Visual Basic it doesn't make working in DirectX easy... not that you really need it, but anything graphics related could be very difficult.

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If you want cool graphics, something real quick and dirty like DarkBasic would work... it includes commands to work with the mouse and joypads/joysticks/gamepads, audio, video,  graphics stuff, networking... It uses DirectX.

BlitzBasic/BlitzBasic3D is similar to DarkBasic in that it uses DirectX and has good support for graphics, audiom video and gaming devices. The 3D version is the same as the 2D version besides its ability to work... well, in 3D...

Visual Basic is good for rapid development, but like DarkBasic it's not gonna get you far if you really want to get in to programming. It's great for making things real quick. It's able to use a mouse fully, but doesn't have good support for gaming devices without really hacking about. If you use something like WinAmp to play audio though and assign hotkeys to the hacked up joypad, that probably won't matter.

C/C++ would be a good place to start if you want to really get in to programming, but won't get you anywhere quick. You'd need to learn a lot of C to make something like this. Like Visual Basic it doesn't make working in DirectX easy... not that you really need it, but anything graphics related could be very difficult.

so for someone whos never done anythign and isnt planning on doing much, visual basic or dark basic would be a good one?

another feature i thought of while shopping for haxor flakes (aka soda): another window on the software end, with elimination brackets on it, maybe the ability to save positions?.

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Shouldn't be too hard to do that bit either really...

Yeah, if you just wanna do 1 program, one of those two should do it. DarkBasic if you want to do a bit more with audio and graphics and you want to learn a bit more to accomplish this, Visual Basic if you want it easy, less fully featured as far as this goes and not so good looking.

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Shouldn't be too hard to do that bit either really...

Yeah, if you just wanna do 1 program, one of those two should do it. DarkBasic if you want to do a bit more with audio and graphics and you want to learn a bit more to accomplish this, Visual Basic if you want it easy, less fully featured as far as this goes and not so good looking.

ill try out v/b and d/b then. is there a way to save the programs so that when the demo is over i can still use the program?

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