Since I received my Allpowerfull M15x laptop, I always wanted to use the alienFX lights as an indicator of whether I am currently busy or available to talk to/etc... The solution provided by alienware would be to load up the alienFX software (takes a relative long time), load up a previously created profile, hit the apply button and exit the application. Suffice to say that this is really impractical to be of any use. The other major problem was that I use mainly Linux as my working environment and alienfx is not available for linux and the alienware software seems not to work on Windows over a virtual machine installed(tried both Vmware and VMBox).
Thus I decided to write my own alienFX program which would work under Windows and Linux. Here is the Result
I would be grateful for any comments and opinions on how to make the application better. Also, please let me know if you think the application is useless, so that I know if there is any point in further developing this application.
****DISCLAIMER****THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
USE THIS SOFTWARE ON YOUR OWN RISK!
Date | Description | version | url
15/03/2010 | Forth Verison | 0.4b | http://progger.co.uk/alienfx/AlienFXLite-0.4b.jar
12/02/2010 | Third Verison | 0.3 | http://progger.co.uk/alienfx/AlienFXLite-0.3.jar
12/02/2010 | Second Verison | 0.2 | http://progger.co.uk/alienfx/AlienFXLite-0.2.jar
10/02/2010 | First version released | 0.1 | http://progger.co.uk/alienfx/AlienFXLite-0.1.jar
AlienFX Lite is a simple cross-platform program to create profiles and set the AlienFX lightning to the set colors. This application was done for the Allpowerfull M15x and only tested on this machine. It should also work on the M17x. The application will most likely accept the Area 51 m15x but it was untested. The current supported platforms are:
Linux (32 bit), Linux(64 bit), Mac OS X(UNTESTED), Windows 7(64 bit), Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows Vista (32bit), Windows Vista 64bit, Windows XP
Thanks go to Ingrater (http://3d.benjamin-thaut.de/) for providing me with the protocol for the alienFX device and some windows native code.
The application can be installed on windows and on linux in the following way.
This guide is for ubuntu only. For a different distribution (which doesnt use debian packages), you have to install the following things Java Runtime Environment 1.6 (6) and libusb-1.0-0.
Step 1) ==CHECK FOR JVM 1.6==
Check if you have have a java vm installed. This can be done by typing "java -version" into a terminal. If you get a "command not found" returned or the version is lower than 1.6 go to step 2. If the version is 1.6 or above, go to step 3.
Step 2) ==INSTALLING JVM==
To install the latest jvm type:
Confirm your choice and wait until its installed.
sudo apt-get install openjdk-6-jre
Step 3) ==INSTALL libusb-1.0==
The linux native libraries are based of libusb. It has to be present on the system. This can be done by:
sudo apt-get install libusb-1.0-0
Step 1) If you dont have java 1.6 then Go to: http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp and click on Download JRE. Install the JRE.
Step 2) Place the AlienFXLite-0.1.jar into a suitable for you folder, and remember the path (e.g. C:\User\wattos\AlienFXLite-0.1.jar)
Step 3) Unfortunately the application requires administrator powers or othrwise it will not be able to write to the alienfx device. Find the location of the JRE javaw.exe, which will most likely be somewhere here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_18\bin\javaw.exe
Step 4) Right click on your desktop, and do new->Shortcut. Now enter the path (e.g. "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_18\bin\javaw.exe") with the qoutes into the text field, followed by the location of the jar file. Thus all together it should look like:
If you want the application to go directly to the system tray without opening, append an -s e.g.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_18\bin\javaw.exe" -jar "C:\User\wattos\AlienFXLite-0.1.jar"
Thats it, you are done.
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jdk1.6.0_18\bin\javaw.exe" -jar "C:\User\wattos\AlienFXLite-0.1.jar" -s
To open the application in linux, do the following
sudo java -jar AlienFXLite-0.1.jar
sudo java -jar AlienFXLite-0.1.jar -s
for the silent version.
On windows, rightclick on the created shortcut and press on "run as admin".
Once the application is open, you can create new profiles. On the left you can see the color chooser, which is used to choose colors. When creating a new profile while having no profile selected, all lights will be defaulted to the color which was selected when pressing the new profile button. If you create a new profile while another profile is selected, then a copy of that profile will be created.
Once you are happy with a profile you need to press the save button. This will write the changes to the hdd. The remove button allows you to remove profiles. Finally, click the apply button to apply the profile to the alienFX controller.
If System trays are supported (usually they are) the application will not close when the window is closed. Instead it will hide. The application is only closable from the system tray. To close the application, right click on the system tray alienFX icon and then Exit. In this small menu, all profiles are also listed. Clicking on a profiles name will automatically apply the profile without having to open the applications window.
In order to change the colors for selected regions, select a color on the left side, then press the button with the text of the region you want to change the color. Dont forget to hit the save buttons once you are happy with a profile. The apply button DOES not save your profile.
* The profiles are saved under (USER_HOME)/.alienFXprofiles.
* On linux you can make your user able to access the usb devices without being a super user but part of a group which has access to the usb devices. I dont know how to do that
* Sometimes the JVM will spit out a bug when opening the menu of the system tray. This is a bug in Swing and should be fixed with a new update of the JRE (hopefully).
* It seems that the system look and feel does not work on ubuntu which runs inside a VM (??).
* With some look and feels, its possible that the non-resizable window is too small.
* The java functionality for system trays is generally crap. The balloon messages looks really bad and icon does not support transparency.
* It only works with the 32 bit JRE on windows
* change the format of the profiles from binary to xml
* change the Ui to look better/different
* Make the applying of the effects in a background thread so that the gui doesnt freeze
* Added support for M11x
* Added support for active preview
* Added support for Battery Monitoring
* Added support for brightness
* Added Turn off features
* Fixed Windows visual bugs
* Added support for copying/pasting a sequence of actions
* Added support for changing a lot of colors at once
* Added reset function
* Removed the info button and copy button
* Added support for 32 bit linux
* Added support for sequences
* Added support for copy/paste of action
* Added support for right click on color to select the color from an action
* Added support for "colors in profile"
* Added support for morph/blink
* Added support for speed
* Changed the Gui layout