Difference between revisions of "What's an Orbiter"

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Revision as of 19:25, 30 September 2007

What's an Orbiter?

You control LinuxMCE using the 'Orbiters'. Orbiter is just our word for remote control. You can use the Orbiter software on your Symbian Bluetooth mobile phones, or on a Windows, Windows CE, or Linux webpad or pda. And an Orbiter will automatically appear on the TV or monitor connected to the media directors, which you can control with a mouse, keyboard or infrared remote control.

How does the Orbiter software get on my webpad, pda or laptop?

Open a web browser on that device, go to the LinuxMCE Admin Website on your Core and click the link for the Orbiter installers. Chose the Windows or Windows CE version.

How does the Orbiter software get on my Symbian Bluetooth phone?

On the phone to to Menu, Tools, Manager. Hit the left button, choose settings, and "Software installation" to 'on'. Set the "online certificate check" to 'off'. On the menu, Connect, Bluetooth, turn Bluetooth on, and choose the option to make your phone visible (public). Then go near a media director with a Bluetooth dongle. Within 30 seconds or so you will see a message on all the Orbiters that a new phone is detected. Select the phone's owner. The software will be sent automatically to the phone as a message in your phone's inbox. Just accept the default installation options. The phone will always update its own software. If the software somehow gets deleted and you want the media director to resend it, turn the phone off, go to Advanced, Devices in LinuxMCE Admin, and check the box "Reconfigure Device". Then turn the phone back on. The software should be resent.

Every Orbiter has a 'Rooms' button on the main menu

Using LinuxMCE basically consists of selecting scenarios that you created in the LinuxMCE Admin site. For example, you may select the 'Good Morning' Lighting Scenario. If you want to watch TV, you will select the 'TV' scenario for that room. Since the scenarios are grouped by room, the Orbiter needs to know what room you are in so it can show you the scenarios for that room. The Orbiter running on your Media Directors, which you see on your TV or computer monitor, will always default to the room that it is in. You can specify the default room for other Orbiters, like webpads, on the Orbiters page in LinuxMCE Admin. The mobile phone Orbiters by default 'follow you'; whenever you enter a room with a Media Director that has a Bluetooth dongle, your phone will pick this up and switch to that room, showing you that room's scenarios by default. However, no matter what type of Orbiter you use, there will always be a 'rooms' button on the main menu showing the currently selected room. Select it to chose a different room.

Every Orbiter has a 'Users' button on the main menu, except mobile phones

With a mobile phone Orbiter, you don't need to tell LinuxMCE each time who is using the Orbiter. The owner of the mobile phone is specified on LinuxMCE Admin's Orbiter page. But with the other Orbiters, which are shared by the whole family, there will be a 'users' button that lets you pick who is using the Orbiter. This won't affect the scenarios--those are the same for everyone. But it does affect some other things. For example, when browsing media, only the current user's private media is shown. Also, it affects things like speed dials, phone books, and so on.

Selecting a scenario from the phone's main menu

On the mobile phones, the screen is quite small, so rather than showing you all the scenarios for a room, the phone normally just shows the categories of scenarios: 'Lighting', 'Media', 'Climate', 'Security', 'Telecom', 'Other'. Select a category, then select the scenario underneath it. The 'c' button always takes you back to the main menu. The red 'off' button stops whatever media is playing. And the 'menu' button hides Orbiter so you can use the phone as a normal phone again. To show the Orbiter again, hold the menu button until a strip of currently running programs appears, and chose 'LinuxMCE MO'. If the Orbiter isn't running, press the menu button, and choose 'LinuxMCE MO' from the menu. When you do, the Orbiter won't appear instantly--it will only appear when a Media Director is in proximity and is able to connect to the phone and talk to the LinuxMCE MO software. This can take around 15 seconds. While using the Orbiter, all the other keys have different functions depending on what you're doing. A brief legend is usually shown on the screen, and you can hold down the 'c' button for help.

Selecting a scenario from other Orbiter's main menu with touch or mouse

In LinuxMCE Admin, on the Wizard, Devices, Orbiters page, you can select the 'Skin', which is the aesthetics or the motif (wood, marble, modern, classic, etc.), and the 'Main Menu', which determines how the user interface behaves. Therefore, your Orbiter's main menu may look different, and it may not display all the scenarios on the screen at once. You may first choose a category, like you do with the mobile phones. Just touch the button, if you have a touchscreen, or click with the mouse.

Selecting a scenario with a keyboard's arrow keys, or an infrared remote

When you see an Orbiter on the media director, you can also use the number keys, or the up/down/left/right/enter keys on the keyboard or an infrared remote control to select a scenario.

Quick tip!

No matter what the user interface looks like, and no matter whether you use the phone, keyboard, or infrared remote, the categories are always numbered as follows: 1=Lighting, 2=Media, 3=Climate, 4=Telecom, 5=Security, 6=Misc. And within each category, the scenarios are also numbered the same, and in the same order, across all orbiters. LinuxMCE tries to encourage consistency, making it very easy to make your selection rapidly. For example, the 2nd media scenario is nearly always TV. So, from the mobile phone, or an infrared remote, or a keyboard, 22 turns on the TV (2 for Media, 2 for TV). Also, you may have noticed that when creating your lighting scenarios LinuxMCE encouraged you to make the first lighting scenario the 'default on', and the second the 'default off'. This means that in any room you normally can hit 11 on any remote to turn the lights on, and 12 to turn them off. If you are consistent like this across rooms, you will find that you remember the number shortcuts in no time and can do common tasks without even looking at the remote.