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Configure Sharing And Backup (Multiple Shops and Tools)
List Builder Forms (Multiple Shops and Tools)

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software
Main Workshop

Purpose of the workshop

These workshops are the mainstays of the ITSBITS® Catapult Garage. Each workshop makes several features available to you:
  • 144 "shortcut" buttons, each identified by icon or name, allow you to launch programs with a single click
  • Up to 5 browsers can be shown in a single workshop frame. Each browser can be set to refresh at a regular interval. Each individual browser can be maximized.
  • Up to 5 picture frames can be shown in a single workshop frame. Each frame can be setup to rotate through pictures in an images folder or to show a single picture.
  • A background picture for the frame can be specified for display when the workshop is active
  • You may have a maximum of 21 workshops inside the ITSBITS® Catapult Garage at any one time. (Each workshop uses memory resources in your computer, so you should use only the number of workshops you actually need.)

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Start The Workshop

When you start a workshop for the first time, it will have nothing in it (unless you use a preconfigured workshop, of course). Hence, you will see a warning explaining that the workshop's configuration file can't be found, however, it will go on to tell you that if it's the first time you've run the workshop this is normal and you can just ignore the "problem." Click the "OK" button to move on. Next you'll see a blank screen--except for the workshop's small top menu. To begin configuration, click on the "Configuration" menu option within the workshop's small taop menu, to show its options like this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Main Workshop Configuration menu option

Click on the option to turn "Config Shortcuts Mode On" and you'll see a small representation for all 144 buttons with each button labeled by number. Click on a button where you'd like to show a program-launch icon and text. This will present a "Setup New Tool" screen something like this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Setup New Tool Screen

The first textbox lets you drag and drop from most desktop shortcuts or from Windows® Explorer--just click on the string that shows the path to the file you want to use, hold the mouse button down, then drag it to this textbox. If you do this, and the file you're using is an executable (e.g., a .exe file), you can click the button to "Use This Below." If you do this, and the file you're using is a data file you want opened by another program read on first, then, (e.g., the path is for a .html file or a .pdf file), you can click the button to "Append This Below."

You can use the "Browse" button to specify the path to the executable file you want to use or, if you're sure you know the path, you can merely type it into the "Target Program / File" text box. You should know that you can a special abbreviation here, too:

  • %%cfg%% will be expanded into your main configuration file's folder path. Hence you could make an entry something like this:

    %%cfg%%MyFileName.txt

    and rely on the operating system to use whatever program (default is Notepad) is associated with the .txt file extension.

For an example of how this is used, look in your TechSupport module's Tools workshop (using configuration mode) at the option that lets you look at the "Caution" associated with the workshop.

Now, nNote that there are certain other options as follows:

  • Use Internet Explorer® -- since Catapult already knows the path you've configured for IE, it can plug that in for you. You don't have to do anything here except click the appropriate check box.
  • Use favorite browser -- since Catapult already knows the path you've configured for your favorite browser, it can plug that in for you. You don't have to do anything here except click the appropriate check box.
  • Use Windows Explorer® -- if you want to have a button that will open a specific folder in the Windows® Explorer, you can use this check box. Type the folder path into the text box, then click the check box (so it has an x in it) and hit the tab key to move on. (As an example, you could type "TaskMgr.exe" into the text box, then click the check box, and move on. This would provide a configured button that would execute the system Task Manager program for you.)
If you are setting up this button to launch a program that needs arguments, place those in the "Arguments" text box. Then add a brief description of the button's purpose in the last text box in the "Target Program / File" grouping. If you should want to allow your user to use a run-time argument, you can enter the literal string (no quotes) "QUERY_USER" to cause this. You can see numerous examples of how this works in the TechSupport tools workshop.

Type a very brief description of what the button is for. (It has to be very short because it must fit on the button face.) If the software did not automatically extract an icon from the target program, you can click on the button to do this. You can also use the button to "Search Icon Path" to look at the icons you already have in your Catapult Garage icon path and use one of them. Finally, you can use the browse button to search for an icon file to use. Once a valid icon is found, it will be displayed in the space to the right of the browse button.

We're almost done. You need to select a button back and fore color. Just drop down the boxes for each and select the color you want. The way it looks will be demonstrated in the small boxes to the right of the drop-down selection boxes, plus the one that says, "Looks like this." Now, notice the check box above the "Cancel" button. This box lets you make the colors you have selected your default colors, so if you want to avoid having to pick the colors for each button you configure, just click this check box (puts and "X" in it) and these colors will be used for all subsequent buttons in this workshop. (We recommend that you use different colors in each workshop so it helps you avoid confusion.)

Finally, we get to the three buttons at the bottom-right of the window:

When you're finished configuring buttons, click the "Configure" option on the workshop's menu and click on the option to "Turn Shortcuts Configuration Mode Off." You configuration changes will automatically be saved to disk.

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Button Assistant

This workshop configuration option is designed to assist you with the configuration of buttons in your workshop. It will scan your "Program files" directories to find the executable programs on your system. These program files will then be shown in the left-hand list box for your selection. Notice that you can tell the system to look in other places, or delete a place where it's looking, using the "Where To Look" menu item.

The screen, which will take a minute or two (or more depending on a number of factors) to load, will look something like the one shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Button Assistant Configuration

Note that if you aren't sure where to find a program file, but you are sure of the file's name, you can enter it into the text box at the top of the left-hand grouping, then click the "Find" button to locate it. When you see the program file you're looking for, you can just click on it and the file path will be entered into the "Program file to use" text box in the middle gropuing. It will also be entered in the "Icon to use" text box.

Put button-face information into the "Program abbreviation" text box. Select the button number you want to use in the drop-down box in the middle grouping at the top-right. Next enter the program's "friendly name."

Almost finished--you need to click the button to "Use Selected File." The needed configuration data will be transferred to the large-right-hand list box. (You can click on the button labeled "Show results so far," to see what it shows. To clear out an entry and start over, click the button "Don't use selected file."

You can select several programs in this manner, or just one. When you're finished, click the button at the middle-bottom labeled "I'm finished for now."

Of course, you can also cancel out of this activity by clicking the middle-bottom button labeled "Cancel/Exit w/o saving."

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Configure Workshop Background

You may want to configure the workshop to use a single image as its background. To do this, click on the workshop, then click on the "Configure" menu option. Now click on the "Background" option followed by the "Define" option. This will bring up a window similar to the one shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Configure Workshop Background

Here you can use the "browse" button to find the file path to the image you want to use or, alternatively, you can type the file path into the text box. Once you have entered the image file's path, you can click the "View Image" button to be sure you've entered the correct file path. Finally, click the "OK" button to save your configuration change and exit from the window.

To size the background image so that it fills your workshop screen, click the "Configure" menu option. Now click on the "Background" option followed by the "Size" option.

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Configure Photo Frames

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Configure Photo Frames

On each workshop you can use from 1 to 5 photo frames to show a set of image files stored in a given folder or to show a single photo. You can resize these, too, so you can use a favorite photo as the background for a workshop. Finally, you can enable or disable any of the five frames at any time.

Start the workshop, proceed by using the workshop's configure menu option, use the option to turn configuration ON, then click on the photo frames option. You'll see a window similar to the one shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Main Workshop Photos Configuration

Start by dropping down the frame-color selection box and then pick out a color you'd like to use for a picture frame. In the example shown here we're going to look at a selected folder/directory and rotate through the pictures there, changing to the next picture each 120 seconds. Note that if the pictures are to be visible, you must enable the photo frame. We could have chosen to use a single image file--in that case, our window would look more like this:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Main Workshop Photos Configuration

Here you can use the "Browse" button to find the path to the image file you want to use.

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Browser Configuration

You can configure up to five different browsers as the background (or purpose) of your workshop. To do this, start the workshop, proceed by using the workshop's configure menu option, use the option to turn configuration ON, then click on the Browsers option. Select the browser you'd prefer to use and click on that option. Now you'll see a window similar to the one shown below:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Main Workshop Browser Configuration

Start by dropping down the frame-color selection box and then pick out a color you'd like to use for a frame around the browser. Next enter a URL you want to use as this browser's "Home" and finish by indicating the time delay between refreshes you want...normally, you would want the longest period (1440 minutes), but you can have the page refreshed as often as each minute.

When you've finished, you can select the Exit button to save your configuration and leave this window.

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Configure Browser To Use

You will want to configure the path to whichever browser you want to use from within this workshop. To do this, start the workshop, proceed by using the workshop's configure menu option, use the option to turn configuration ON, then click on the Use This Browser option. This will present a windows similar to the one shown below.

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Main Workshop Browser To Use Configuration

You can use the "browse" button to find the path to your browser, you can type the path into the text box, or, if you have copied it to the system clipboard, you can paste it into the textbox. When you're finished, simply click the "OK" button to exit from the window and save your configuration change. You can also click the "Cancel" button to close the window without saving your configuration changes.

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Button Move, Cut, Copy,Paste

When a workshop is in configuration mode, you can easily move, cut, copy, or paste a button from/into a workshop. This means you can copy or cut a button in one workshop and paste it into a different workshop. You can move a workshop button within a given workshop, too.

When the workshop configuration option is selected, you can select the option you want. This will give you simple-to-follow instructions to follow. For example, for a move, you will see a window something like the one shown here:

ITSBITS Catapult Garage Software Main Workshop Button Move Instruction screen

Simply follow these on-screen instructions to accomplish your task.

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