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ATEM Mini Pro

Blackmagic Design makes some cool production switchers that are reasonably priced and work great. They even distribute an SDK to control them from Windows or Mac programs. Controlling from Crestron is tougher, but not impossible. Some third-party products have sprung up to make it easier, too. In this post, I’m going to walk through how I wrote a module to perform a couple of functions on the ATEM Mini Pro.

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VirtualBox Headless

Collected from the wonderful documentation at

To see which VMs are available, type:

$ VBoxManage list vms
"dev-site" {2e39d6cc-c307-44f6-b73e-a6f95e0f17b0}

To only see running VMs, type:

$ VBoxManage list runningvms

And to start it:

$ VBoxManage startvm "dev-site" --type headless
Waiting for VM "dev-site" to power on...
VM "dev-site" has been successfully started.

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HTML5 Cleanup

The last post took me way too long to write (like an entire month), and I think it’s the format of trying to step through every single change, every single time that’s slowing me down. We’re going to be moving into program sizes where that just isn’t going to work. But before we make that jump, I want to do some clean-up on our last program, the Huddle Room.

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HTML5 Huddle Room

For our first room type, we’re going to program a very simple huddle room. It will focus around a PC-based codec that we won’t control directly. These spaces are typically low-cost and plentiful, but only allow 3 or 4 people to use them.

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SIMPL Tricks: 4-series

If you’re starting to get into 4-series projects but you don’t have actual hardware to test with you can load SIMPL programs targeted for 4-series processors to a 3-series. I’d heard the reverse was true: a 3-series programs should run unmodified on a 4-series. But it looks like for testing purposes, you can also run 4-series SIMPL programs on a 3-series.

Of course, your program would need to be written such that it runs on a 3-series and a 4-series. This is different from the 2-series to 3-series transition where the architectures must have been wildly different.

Baby escaping from sandbox
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HTML5 + 4-series

We’ve already run into a couple things we need to be mindful of when using HTML5 and 4-series processors (see HTML5 XPanel for details about licensing and authentication). In this post, my goal is to break away from 3-series sandboxes and SIMPL Windows, so that means we’re moving into the realm of C# and Visual Studio 2019.

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In this post, we’re going to greatly simplify how we create touchpanel layouts: we’re going to ditch the Contract Editor and most of the CH5 components. I do think these tools have value in the right hands, but I want to explore going my own direction. We might reinvent some of their features, but I think it will pay off from the learning aspect. And we’ll know how our program works, inside and out.

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More Office Treasure!

The owner’s manual for the office microwave oven has been sitting on top of it for over a year now. I’m very tempted every time I see it sitting there to file it in the round filing cabinet. While I was waiting for my coffee to finish, I thumbed through it to see exactly how much instruction is required for a microwave.

But then I stumbled across the page titled MICROWAVING PRINCIPLES and liked the drawings so much I think this manual is a keeper. I really appreciate Sharp hiring an artist to draw such an excited water molecule!

A quick blurb about RADAR and World War II was enough to entice me to read up a little more about early experiments to cook food using microwaves. I found this neat story from IEEE: A Brief History of the Microwave Oven. Enjoy!