project Preface
How does it look?
"Applies to works of art that incoporate the use of mixed materials (media), but more generally is used as short hand for interactive multimedia"
Understanding Hypermedia.....Bob Cotton

The software which is used to design the script¹, is called Scala 211 Multimedia platform. This piece of software and it's industrial version are used in various industries to display information and let users interact with it. It is being used in Hotel's in Scandinavia to get information to customers. The reason that this piece of software is being used is because, of it`s ease of use and the many features that it employs. Some of which are listed below.

The main purpose of the software is to link different aspects of media together for instance sound, pictures, text and video. Due to the length of time it takes to get video and digitise it, it is not being used here. But it could have been added. The design of script is made easier by not having to write lines of program although if you wanted to you can. Designing is done by looking at menu's picking the features you want to implement next. A timing information is also shown which can be changed, so you let anything happen at specified times. For example, if you had three pictures and you wanted to them to appear on after the other, but at different time intervals then you can easily set this. The pictures can appear in different ways with the use of wipes, you can get a picture to drop down from the top of the screen or come in from the bottom etc.

(¹) A script being the program instructions to be implemented, this is what you want to happen in a sequence.

Designing the Interface

To begin with a design has to be thought up, on how you want the information to be implemented and how you want it to be displayed.

The pages need to be created from the designs thought up on the story board. The 1st pages designed are shown below, Screenshot 1 and Screenshot 2. The procedure in creating them are shown below.

Screen format

The screen format needs to be selected at the beginning this is due to the memory limitations and also on the speed of operation. This was therefore selected as an over-scan screen 768 x 576 (this fills the whole screen), this is important when coming to display the information on a television screen. If it was left in the normal screen mode then there will be a black border round the outside, which looks bad. The number of colours used are 256 so every screen needs to be rendered to the same palette. 24 -bit graphics would be good but it would slow down the refresh rate of the screen considerable.

Screen 1
Screen 1

Screen 2
Screen 2

Presenting Weather data

Screen 2
The first page that is obtained is screen shot 1, where the user can interact, with the system. The mouse can be moved to any area of the screen, when the pointer passes over the icons it will change to an orange colour to show that it has been highlighted. To select that particular icon (²) the right mouse button needs to be pressed in order to select the icon. When any of the icons are selected a data window will appear. This will show the current data for what ever is chosen. Below is a list of icons and what happens when they are selected.
Rain Data window appears, with the current rainfall.
Wind Data window appears, with the current wind speed and the minimum and maximum for that 24 hour period.
Sunshine Data window appears showing the length of time the sun has shone
Temperature Data window appears showing the current temperature and the minimum and maximum for that 24 hour period.
Real Time
Real time Data window will appear showing the current condition for all of the weather devices coming straight from the serial port.

Only the rain and temperature will have any data associated with it, these are the only devices attached to the METDEC board.

When the other icons are clicked on it will say that there is no data available. There will be other icons added to the screen like INFO, QUIT. INFO2 and QUIT will be looked at here the others in presenting the weather Information.


When this icon is selected, it will bring up another menu where you can see past data either on a day to day / week / month / yearly basis. The data will be compared with the long term average obtained from the Meteorology Office. The data that will be shown and compared with the data from Watford and the surrounding area. See Screen shot 7. This will also be displayed in an interesting way, if there is enough time then a graph program will be written in C to display the information.

For a day, then the data will show the whole range of data for each sample. For the rain this will show every minutes reading during that day (24 hour period) this will take up a lot of data (1440 readings per day) a great deal of the readings will be zero, because it never rains all of the time. Some of them can therefore be discarded.

For temperature this will be different, as calculated before there will be 1440 readings per day ( 1 reading per minute). This will be changing all of the time none of them can be discarded. When looking back at the data there will be two pieces of data of significance the Minimum and the Maximum (for recording purposes).

This will be saved for each day only. Though it would be nice to look at how the temperature varies during the day at different days of the year. So if there is a major change from the average, then that particular month should be kept, for analysis purposes.


Another icon which is self explanatory, this quits the program but before it does is asks you if you really want to quit. This is with a YES or NO prompt. The icon appears on all of the pages.

(²) Icon : Pictorial representation of a feature.
(¹) script : Sequence of instructions, to do a certain task.
Project was completed in June 1995

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© 1995-1999 Andrew Lalchan