CU Auxilary Displays

Developed and Provided by the University of Colorado, Jim Love and Dan Seltzer

The CU SOS Auxiliary Display software synchronizes PowerPoint with Science On a Sphere, so that as a presenter goes through a playlist, correspondinig PowerPoint slides can be shown on a seperate monitor or projector. It is possible to have multiple slides for each SOS dataset. The following directions explain how to set up the software and how to create and link in your own PowerPoint slides.

A copy of just the PowerPoint file and the corresponding text file is available here. (Updated March 2015)

How to Install the CU Wall Projector Display Software

Note: All of these steps need to be completed on a Windows XP or higher computer with MS Office XP or higher PowerPoint installed that is on the same network as the SOS computers. The PowerPoint file will need to be a .ppt file, not a .pptx file.

Things you need before starting:

  • Windows XP or higher PC with MS Office XP or higher PowerPoint installed
  • Auxiliary monitor or projector
  • The zip file containing the CU SOS Wall Projector Display Software
  • The IP address of the SOS computer

  1. On the Windows computer, make a folder called SOS on your C drive: "C:\SOS\"
  2. Put the zip file that you downloaded into the SOS folder and unzip it
  3. This should give you the folder v1.1 that contains all of the necessary files including:
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Text file with the same name as the PowerPoint presentation
    • config.txt
    • python-2.5.2.msi
    • pywin32-211.win32-py2.5.exe
    • several python files (.py and .pyc files)
  4. Install python on your PC by double clicking both the .msi and the .exe files and following the instructions that pop up
  5. Open the config.txt file and fill in the following information:
    • sos_ip: IP address of the SOS computer, typically
    • default_path: directory path to the SOS Wall Projector Display software (C:\SOS\v1.1)
    • default_name: name of the PowerPoint and text file (don't include the extension)
  6. In the v1.1 folder, right-click the file and click "Send to > Desktop"
  7. Find the file on the Desktop, right-click it and select "Properties"
  8. Change "Target:" to "C:\Python25\python.exe -n default_name" where default_name is the name of the PowerPoint and text that you put in the config.txt file
  9. change "Start in:" to the location of the files "C:\SOS\v1.1" and close the window
  10. Double clicking the icon on your desktop will launch the CU SOS Wall Projector Display software, open the appropriate PowerPoint file, and link it to the sos_stream_gui on the SOS computer if it is open.

NOTE: If the names of the datasets in your playlists don't match the names in the text file, then this software won't work. Edit the text file to match the "name = " keyword in the playlist.

How to link your own PowerPoint Slides

If you want to make your own PowerPoint file to link with the system, there are several ways to do this. What you need is a PowerPoint file that has an intro slide and then at least one slide for each dataset and a text file to match. The text file has one line for each dataset which contains the name of the dataset followed by a semicolon then the number of the corresponding PowerPoint slide (or slides). The file should look like this:

InitialSlide ; 1
Blue Marble ; 2
Mars (25 degree tilt) ; 3 ; 4

The first line always has to have InitialSlide in it. If you load a dataset that doesn't have a PowerPoint slide associated with it, then the InitialSlide will be shown as a placeholder. The names that you use for the datasets must match the "name =" that is used in the playlists. Everything on the line must be separated by a space. If you have more than one slide for a dataset, include all of the slide numbers on the same line separated by a space and a semicolon. In the config.txt file, you can edit how long to stay on each slide. The default is 15 seconds. When there are multiple slides, the PowerPoint will loop through them until a new dataset is loaded.

There are two ways to get the files that you need. The first is to create a PowerPoint file and then manually create a text file to match. The second option is to use the software to automatically generate the PowerPoint file and the text file. This is a useful option if you are a making a PowerPoint file that includes all of the datasets on your system. The PowerPoint file that is created simply has one slide for each dataset and contains the name of the dataset. After the PowerPoint file is generated, you can then edit as like, as long as you don't change the order of the slides (changing the order will mean that the PowerPoint and the text file don't match). The advantage of the second method is that it automatically generates the text file for you. To automatically generate the files:

  1. On the SOS computer, open the playlist that contains the all of the datasets that you want to have PowerPoint
  2. slides (if you have the Library tab, then open All, which gives you a playlist containing every dataset on the system)
  3. On your PC, create a copy of the Wall Projector Icon that you created on the Desktop
  4. Right-click your new copy of the Icon and edit the properties
  5. Change "Target" to "C:\Python25/python.exe -s -n file_name" (notice that there is a now
  6. -s, which tells the system to created slides. file_name should be whatever you want to use as the base name for the new PowerPoint and text file)
  7. The program doesn't create new PowerPoint and text files, it only edits them. Create a text file
  8. that has "InitialSlide ; 1" on the first line and save it in the "C:\SOS\v1.1" folder. Open PowerPoint and save a blank presentation with the same base name that you used for your text file. The file name should also match what you used in the Target for the icon
  9. Close PowerPoint and the text file
  10. On the SOS computer, click on the first dataset of your playlist
  11. On the PC double­click on your new icon. You should see PowerPoint open and create a slide
  12. for the dataset that is open on SOS
  13. Back on the SOS computer, click through your playlist (you can also just turn on AutoRun). Each dataset that
  14. is clicked on will have a PowerPoint Slide created for it and will be added to the text file.
  15. Once you are done clicking through your playlist, on the PC press Y in the black python window
  16. to exit. The PowerPoint and text files are automatically saved
  17. Now you can edit PowerPoint however you want
  18. To use the new PowerPoint file that you created, make sure that the config.txt file has
  19. "default_name" set to the new file and that the icon on the desktop to launch the software has the new file name as well.

One alternative to creating a brand new PowerPoint and text file is to simply edit the PowerPoint file that was originally provided. In order for this to work, make sure that the names of the datasets in the text file exactly match the names that are used in your playlists. As you add new slides for new datasets, just make sure to include them in the text file as well.