Live window on monitor: hardware or sofware driven?

  • wadesmart
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Im a little stumped on a project Im working on.

I helped a friend build a digital billboard about four years back. The company he purchased it from went belly up. The computer is a purpose built generic Asus computer running Windows 98 and some horrific software. Since the company is now defunct he is worried about future problems with system breakdowns so he asked me if we could do something about it.

And this is where I need help.
On the computer monitor in the top left hand corner there is a square about 4 in wide by 4 in tall. It is a live view of what is happening on the billboard. However, what sucks about this little live view is that if you move you cursor over that part of the screen it will be seen on the billboard. You cant open any windows on the computer or do ANYTHING that might cover the screen.

Im not able to work on the computer, shut it down, or do anything to it as to bring down the billboard means a very horrible restart process but, does anyone know if it would be software or hardware that is running that little live view?

My plan is to install a purpose built Shuttle pc running Ubuntu on it and then run apache/php/mysql and write the code in php to replace what is running the board now. Its overly complex software that requires 10 clicks to do one thing-- horrid stuff -- and there is no documentation plus -- what little notes there are, are in chinese. So... what a wild project to be on:D

Wade
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Do you really expect to save that thing when you can't even reboot the machine? He has to upgrade to something more modern. Either that or get someone to translate the Chinese.
  • wadesmart
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Its not that it cant be rebooted - as I have taken it down before - its that it is a long painful (needlessly so) process and the owner doesnt want to do that.

I posted in a lot of forums yesterday. I had a response from a person who said its a pixel by pixel screen capture thats part of the software. He sent me a older copy of the software he thought I was talkingn about - which it was - and Im working on unpacking it for a closer look.

Wade
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

If you want to play with it, that's fine but I don't like working for people who want me to work miracles with garbage.
  • wadesmart
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, I like the difficult jobs. They are more fun. Doesnt mean I wont ask for some help here and there when I dont know something. Just means Im willing to try what others are not.

Anyway, I have a lead on it now.

wade

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