Posted by Daniel Tonks on June 29, 2001 at 1:00 AM
If you've been wondering just what I've been doing for the past while, I can assure you that it's all been site-related! Since completion of the Xantech URC-2 review last week, I've been working very hard on a new color configuration for use with the now-just-available Philips Pronto Pro
(I received one for review on Wednesday).
I've forgotten just how much work this is! My original Pronto design was accomplished in many small steps over a period of years (see screenshots below) - and though I know by now where buttons should be and what I'm looking for operationally, the new color capabilities offer so many additional design considerations that trying to recreate the whole process in a few days has proven practically impossible. I decided that it wasn't enough to merely colorize my black & white design, and have instead started over with a clean slate -- while still attempting to maintain the flavor and expandability of the original concept.
From the original...
...to my first custom...
...to the current B&W version.
While working, I found that even though the editable user space remains the same at 240x219 pixels, adding sixty-four times as many colors results in an incredible illusion of greater resolution. For instance, take a look at the two photos below. The one on the top was converted to the Pronto TSU2000's 4-color palette and is of appropriate size. The one on the bottom was converted to the Pronto Pro's new 256-color palette (and it is 256 colors, not 216 as was reported earlier). Quite a difference in legibility!
Of course, what this boils down to is that image quality now matters much more than it did before - meaning longer development time. I've already completed the majority of bitmaps and screens required for my devices, but the design is still a ways from being complete. I'd post a few screenshots - but I'd really prefer to wait until it's truly ready!
It just never happens when you want it to...
In related matters, some users in the Pronto forum have warned that ProntoProEdit may be capable of randomly corrupting files, resulting in the potential loss of hours of work. Though I have spent much time working with the new software, I have not yet experienced this. But as the saying goes, better safe than sorry - always save to a new file after significant changes. Though I have found several other bugs with ProntoEdit, they've been small and did not affect anything of importance. Be sure to check out the Pronto chat forum for all the latest.
Finally, I'm pleased to announce that Remote Central now has a "Top Downloaded Files" page, which presents statistics for the top 15 files downloaded yesterday, the past week, the top 30 files for the month, plus the top 50 all-time most popular requests. Believe it or not, we've had nearly 2 million individual file downloads so far! Check out this new addition to the file archives by clicking here.
New Philips Pronto-branded hardware solution for iPhone-based smart controls.