So you want to do some really cool stuff, do you? Well, you came to the right place. With a macro, you can control switches, play sounds, take snapshots, send emails, and lots of other fun stuff. You can do everything one right after the other if you like. When will this happen, you might ask? You can set it up so that the macro starts when a sensor is triggered, or at a particular time. If you set it up to run at a particular time, you can have it run again and again on a particular day of the week, or on your birthday, or whenever. And you can have it only trigger at night or during the day, or both.
To understand a macro, just think of this: A macro will sit around in a "monitoring" state where it watches all of its triggers. Once the macro is triggered, then it is in an active state, and it will process each action one at a time until they are all done. Once all the actions have been completed, it goes back to a monitoring state again. You can also set up a macro to only be active for certain modes or to be inactive for certain modes, which makes it easy to control a lot of macros for a few different situations. That's pretty much it, although there's a few more things on this window, and a lot of explaining that has to be done about the types of triggers and actions. So read on.
Macro Name and Description - These are for your benefit. The macro name is used when the macro is shown in a list or on the activity log so you know which macro it is. So you may not want to pick a name of "Fred" or "Kristina" unless it reminds you about what the macro does. The macro name must be unique, so you won't be allowed to name two macros the same. The name you choose for your macro should be descriptive, but brief. If you want to be wordy, that's what the description is for, although nothing will stop you from being as wordy as you like on the name. But a long name will be more difficult to see on the activity log or in a list.
Enabled - If you make a macro to annoy your spouse, you'll have lots of fun, but I guarantee that you'll eventually have to make it stop. I know this from experience. But if you want to keep it around for when you're feeling nasty, you can just uncheck the "Enabled" check box. The macro will be in a disabled state and will not monitor any triggers. When you want the macro to be back in operation, just click the enabled check box again.
Always trigger on startup - When you first start up Home Domination, you may want to really make an event out of it by flashing some lights, playing some sounds, and whatever else you can think of. If you check the "Always trigger on startup" check box, then this macro will start every time the program starts. You don't have to add any triggers if you only want it to execute on startup, however you can add a time trigger and have it run the same macro every year on your birthday too if you like. Or perhaps have a sensor trigger and have it trigger every time anyone comes to the front door. Or all of the above.
Include on Main Window - When the "Include on Main Window" check box is checked, the macro will show up on the main window under the macro tab. From there, you can manually trigger the macro. If you have triggers set up, it will also be triggered by those. If you can't think of any reason to manually trigger this macro and you don't want it cluttering up the macro tab on the main control window, then just uncheck this box.
Advanced - The "Advanced" button will bring up a dialog where you can select stop sensors, which can be used to stop a macro when the list of actions are time consuming and you want to stop it if a sensor is tripped. It also allows you to choose what happens if a trigger is tripped when the macro is in progress. This can either ignore the additional triggers, or restart the macro. You can also set the access level of the macro so only certain users will be able to trigger it manually. Click here for more information about the advanced dialog.
Triggers - Triggers deserve their own heading because there's a lot to learn about them. Here's the short version of it, followed by a link to the long version. Your macro will start as soon as a trigger (or multiple triggers - see Trigger When) are tripped. A trigger can be a sensor trigger, where it will watch for a certain X10 code to come through the wire, or a time trigger, where it will start at a particular time. You don't need a trigger either if you only plan on triggering it manually from the Macro tab on the main control window or only triggering it on startup. Clicking the "Add" button will display the windows for getting the type of trigger and the information for the trigger. Double clicking on a row in the list box or selecting an item and clicking the "Change" button will display the same window where you can change the information for that trigger. And selecting a row in the list box and clicking "Delete" will delete the trigger. Click here for the long description of triggers.
Trigger When - "Trigger When" is only used when you have more than one trigger. Sometimes you may only want a macro to be triggered by more than one sensor. In this case, you may have two sensor triggers set up, and you would set the Trigger When to "Any Triggers Active (Logical Or)". Or maybe you only want it to be triggered on particular days of the week when a sensor sends a code. Then you would set up a sensor trigger and a time trigger that triggers on the appropriate days of the week, and you would set Trigger When to "All Triggers Active (Logical And)" so it would only trigger when both triggers were tripped. You may ask "What in the world do you mean by 'Logical Or' and 'Logical And'? This guy's not logical at all!" Well, that was put in there for us techy people who actually find that description more meaningful than "Any Triggers Active" and "All Triggers Active". Yes, we're a strange bunch.
Day/Night - This combo box lets you choose when the macro can be triggered. If it is set to "Trigger Day or Night", then it will only look at the triggers and not worry about whether it's day or night. If it is set to "Trigger Only During the Day", then this macro essentially goes to bed at night and won't wake up till the next morning no matter how much trigger tripping goes on. If it is set to "Trigger Only At Night", then it's a night owl and sleeps during the day.
Actions - Actions are another of those things that deserve it's own topic. So once again, I'll give you the short version here and link you to the in-depth description. Actions are what is to be done when the macro is tripped. You can have any number of actions you like. When a macro is triggered, it starts processing the first action and keeps going until it's done with the last action. Once it's done, then the macro goes back into a monitoring state and doesn't do anything until it is triggered again.
An action can control a switch, delay a certain amount of time before the next action, play a sound, beep, send an email, alert a network client about something, take a snapshot from a video source, control a Ninja (video motion device), run another program, start or stop another macro, use FTP to transfer files to or from a web site, or set the state of a mode. Click here for the detailed description.
Click Add to add an action. Double click on an item in the list to change it, or select the item and click Change. Select the item and click Delete if you want to get rid of an action. Select an item and click the Up or Down buttons to move the action above or below another action.
Modes are used as a convenient way to control multiple macros. For instance, let's say your a young Casanova. On those rare days when you don't have a hot date, you want a macro to run when you come into a room which will turn the light on at full brightness so you can read the latest women's magazines (after all, you can't become a young Casanova without learning all of women's little secrets, and what better place to learn). But on the days when the future super models visit, you want to run a macro that turns the light on dim to set the mood. More than likely there will be many macros that you want to run regardless of whether or not you're impressing your lady friends, many macros you will want not to run (like the one that sounds the chime when it's time for "Wheel of Fortune"), and some that you'll only want to run when it's snuggle time.
You may also have a different mode for security. So when you leave the house, you could trigger a macro that would activate an "away" mode. Macros could be set up that will only run in this mode, and will use an activity trigger to monitor all the motion sensors in the house and sound a siren if motion is detected and send an email to your cell phone. When you get home, another macro can disable the mode, which will disable the security macros. Another macro could be used to automatically turn the mode on again while you sleep and off again in the morning before you get up.
Active For Modes - This list is used to choose what modes the macro is active for. If more than one mode is chosen, the macro will be active if any of the modes is active. If none of the modes are active, that macro will not trigger. See Mode Setup for more information on modes.
Inactive For Modes - This list is used to choose what modes the macro should be inactive for. If any of the selected modes are active, the macro will not trigger. See Mode Setup for more information on modes.
Mode Setup - This is used to set up a new mode or change an existing one. This is the same dialog that appears when clicking the Modes button on the Setup window. Mode Setup is where a mode is added. There isn't much to a mode except for a name and a description, and it keeps track of whether the mode is active or not. The list of modes show up on the Modes tab of the main control window, where they can be turned on and off, and there is an advanced action where a macro can turn a mode on or off based on a sensor trigger or time trigger (for instance, your keychain remote could enable or disable a mode, or a mode could be enabled or disabled at a specific time). Each macro can be set up to be included for a mode, or excluded for a mode. If a macro is neither included or excluded for a mode, it functions as normal regardless of the state of any modes. If it is included for one or more modes, then the macro will only run if one or more of those modes are active. If it is excluded for one or more modes, then the macro will be disabled if any of those modes are active.
As mentioned in the brief description of triggers, a trigger is something that indicates when to start processing the actions. Or in normal terms, it tells when to do stuff. You can have as many triggers as you want.
Add - When you click the "Add" button, a small window will pop up asking you for the Trigger Type. You currently have 4 choices. You can select a "Sensor Trigger", "Time Trigger", "Group Trigger" or "Activity Trigger".
Sensor Trigger - A Sensor Trigger will watch a sensor. It can trigger when the sensor goes on, or when it goes off, or even when it dims or brightens by a certain amount. Click here for more detailed information on this type of trigger.
Time Trigger - A Time Trigger will watch for a particular time to roll around. It can be a one time thing, or it can be something that recurs on a regular basis. It can trigger at a certain time, and on certain days of the week, or certain times of the month, or once a year. There is a lot of flexibility with this, so click here to find out more.
Group Trigger - Sometimes you may want to only trigger a macro on certain days of the week, but on those days, you want any of several sensors to trigger the macro. To do this, you need a combination of "Any Triggers Active" and "All Triggers Active". What you would do is create a Group Trigger and add all the sensor triggers under that group with a Trigger When of "Any Triggers Active". When done adding triggers to this group, the group will appear in the macro window as a single group trigger. Then you would add a Time Trigger and select "All Triggers Active" for the Trigger When field. Click here for more detailed information on this type of trigger.
Activity Trigger - This trigger will monitor a group of sensors for activity. For example, let's say you want to make sure the kids are home after school and you want to be alerted if the kids have left. If you have enough motion sensors around your house, there should be a flurry of activity while they're home. So you can set it up so that if there is no motion from any of the sensors for a period of time, then it will alert your remote network client that you have running at work. You can also make a macro that will alert you when activity is resumed. Click here for more information about this type of trigger.
Once again, actions are things that can be done once the macro is tripped. You can do many actions one after the other. It won't start one action before another one finishes, although it is possible to have two separate macros that are doing actions at the same time. But when you're designing a macro, you should probably just worry about that macro. The most commonly used action, and the most complex, is to Control Switches. The Delay Before Next Action action can be used to put a time delay between actions or before the macro can be triggered again if used as the last action. There are two actions that can produce sound: Beep and Play Sound. Two actions that can be used to alert somebody is Send Email and Alert Network Client. The Video Snapshots action will snap a picture and store it on the hard drive. The Video Motion action will let you control video motion devices like the Ninja. There are advanced actions that can Run another program, Start or Stop Another Macro, use FTP to copy files to or from a website, and allow you to Set the state of a Mode.
Control Switches - This action lets you turn switches on, off, dim or brighten them. You can also turn all lights on or off too. You can control any number of switches and include two switching actions that can also be repeated. Click here for more information about this action.
Delay Before Next Action - This action lets you set a delay before doing the next action. This lets you put in a delay before the next action is done, or if it's put in at the end, it delays when the macro can be restarted. Click here for more information about this action.
Beep - This action lets you make the computer beep. You can select a variety of beeps. Click here for more information about this action.
Play Sound - This action lets you play a .wav file. This can be a sound or an entire song if you use something like Nero to get the song from the CD to your hard drive. Click here for more information about this action.
Send Email - This action lets you send an email. You can customize the email message and even include some variable information. Click here for more information about this action.
Alert Network Client User - This action lets you pop up a message box on the network client program that a particular user is using, or on all network clients that are connected, regardless of the user that is logged in. You can customize the message that is displayed and even include some variable information. Click here for more information about this action.
Video Snapshots - This action lets you take snapshots or video clips and store them to the hard drive. Click here for more information about this action.
Video Motion - This allows you to control video motion devices such as the Ninja, via a macro.
Run - This action is used to run another program or to do other commands that can be done from the Start / Run prompt via a macro. Click here for more information about this action.
Start / Terminate Macro - This action will let you start another macro, or terminate another macro that is already running. This can be handy if you want one macro to trigger other macros, or if you want to make sure another macro is not running when this macro is running. Click here for more information about this action.
FTP (Copy to/from a website) - This action lets you use FTP to copy snapshots or other files to or from a website or other remote location. Click here for more information about this action.
Set Mode - This action will let you set a mode to an active or inactive state. Each macro has the option of only being active for certain modes, or to be inactive for certain modes. This makes it easy to control a group of macros for a particular situation (mode). Click here for more information about this action.
Reboot PC - This action is not currently available. This action lets you reboot your PC. This can be handy if your computer is completely unattended, and you want to reboot the computer periodically to prevent any memory leaks from eventually overwhelming the system. Click here for more information about this action.
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