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Little Tips and tricks for AMS

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  • Little Tips and tricks for AMS

    below are some tricks I have learned from this program that I have not seen documented, or if they have, a refresher.

    1. New meaning to personalized menus...
    have menu read from registry the following key: "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Contro l
    [data] Current User"
    and sore it in %username%
    Then on first page of menu, create text
    "Welcome %username%, what would you like to do?"
    It will dsplay the current logged on user's name
    IE. Welcome dallasfreak, what would you like to do?

    2. No gif support, didnt say anything bout AVI's
    instead of using GIF's create small AVI's and under the finished tab for AVI properties have it play AVI object, itself again. You now have a repeating AVI that resembles a GIF

    3. Turn that elevator music off....
    We all like background music, why not let your menu have it as well? When menu opens have it play MP3 file under project open. Give the user the sbility to click on a button that will "Stop MP3" to turn off the music

    4. Reigstry, Friend or Foe?
    The registry contains so much information, why not add to it as well? On my menus I give the user a coice of 10 MP3's to listen to, as well as custom MP3's they can add into it. I also use a moving background image, and registration information. All this is located under a certain key in the registry of my choice. If the user last listened to Bush without background effects on, the menu will read these keys, so that next time CD is inserted, it will not have background effects and it will play Bush for the user. You could take this futher by using the Username function as described earlier, and make it customizable.

    5. People like change, let them
    With skinability becoming more and more popular with programs such as Winamp and Media player, why not give your menu an option for skins. Create a menu that will be basic and look good with multiple backgrounds, etc. Then create all these differnt backgrounds as objects, and hide them all except the default. Then give your user the ability to select a certain skin he likes, and when that variable is chosen, it will then Show that object. Instant skinablity.

    6. Changing Seasons
    If your menu has some cookie cut sections, such as help files, installs, and whatever else, how bout giving it some transtion pages. Create some AVI's at whatever resolution you like (I use 800*600 for compatability reasons), and place them on an empty page so that the AVI takes up the entire page. Then when the AVI finishes playing it jumps to next page.
    IE. User clicks on "Help" on first page, it then jumps to AVIHELP page (which has a cartoon type character reading a book or something like that). When the AVI finishes, it jumps to HELP page which has the help information. You can apply this to the EXIT page and have an exiting AVI to go with your startup AVI (can we say scrolling credits anyone?)

    7. Pop-ups, we all hate them......maybe
    If you have all of you choices for your menu on the left hand side, and a lot of empty space on the right, why not give the user information on what it does. This is sone simply by creating Text and have hide on page open. When the user mouse overs on a choice, it's description will SHOW on the right. When the user mouse leaves, the text will HIDE.

    I have also left instructions for creating About boxes, and copy protecting you software on these forums. Available by request are instructions for drop down menus as well. (Very simple to do, very hard to explain)

    With a little bit of tweaking and doing things a little abstract, you can turn a basic menu into a full functioning, beautiful looking, highly customizable, user specific program. In the end it no longer looks like a menu, but more as a piece of art. Examples of all these techniques in the form of AM3 files and zipped components can be obtained by emailing me at [email protected]. In replys I will give more details on specifics and send a sample menu to play with. If you are unsure of how to do things, the moderators know the easiest ways to do it here, but sometimes there is always workarounds for the things that are "impossible"

    Hope these tips helped people, and if you have found any tricks to do with it, please email me. I am always looking for new ways to enhance my projects

    [This message has been edited by dallasfreak (edited 05-11-2001).]

  • #2
    Re: Little Tips and tricks for AMS

    These are some good ideas/workarounds for some fairly common questions. Good Job, Any others?

    Adam Kapilik
    Indigo Rose Corporation


    • #3
      Re: Little Tips and tricks for AMS

      Have found workarounds so far for everything I ask of the menu. Have jsut started visiting these forums, and each time a question comes up, I'll put my 2 cents in if it's not been answered yet. It may not be worth 2 cents, but that's how much i charge