On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 20:37:41 -0600, "Peter Olcott"
Is this a homework question? I haven't seen these devices for years!
The old macro keyboards that inserted between keyboard and computer
were probably under $100. Modern solution is use something like Macro
Express <http://www.macros.com/ which is much more convenient to use.
One of the applications that I am creating with my www.SeeScreen.com patented
technology is a better Macro Recorder than can otherwise exist. Since SeeScreen
let's any application always be able to intelligently see what's on the screen,
now for the first time a Macro Recorder can reliably operate the mouse. Before
SeeScreen Macro Recorders were blind, and could not "see" where to click the
I see. Let me clarify for the other readers - you are _not_ proposing
to recognize any arbitrary "text". It is possible to render text in
Windows using a font not known by the system using bit-blt on
internally rendered bitmap. Certainly you would not be able to
recognize a custom "dingbat font".
That said, I can vouch for the value of your application (if it
actually works. :])
Most macro recorders today are somewhat disfunctional. (Macro
recorders monitor, in software, the input stream to Windows, and
attempts to replay the stream back after the computer has been rebooted
to get the application into the state it assumed when a human entered
The reason that they are broken has primarily to do with timing - when
it comes times to playback the keystrokes, they have no idea how
rapidly the application is responding to playback. So the macro
recorder might replay input too fast, playing keystrokes that were
meant for a window that has not come alive yet. The keystrokes are
then lost. The operator of the macro recorder will try to combat this
by guessing how long it takes a Window to be "born" and "come to life",
waiting that amount of time before playing input to that Window. But
this is error prone. Raise or lower the CPU peformance, and it breaks.
So Peter's application apparently takes a snapshot of the screen, finds
all the windows, finds the title bars in the windows, edit boxes, etc.
and presents that data when it is requested by a function that wants
it. In this case, the operator of the macro recorder will no longer
have to guess how long it takes windows to pop up. He will simply say,
"Wait until there is a window with "Google Talk" in the title bark".
If this is what you are doing, and you are not doing generalized OCR,
which you said on your site you were not, then I am a bit puzzled, as
it would be possible to do the same by intervention into the GUI
subsystem of Windows. And unlike the frame grab method, where you
watch the pixels and therefore cannot "keep up" with state transitions
on the screen, you would know pretty much the "exact" state of the
screen at all times.
-Le Chaud Lapin-
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