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Alternate Reality (AR Wrapper) FAQ

This is the Frequently Asked Questions section for the AR Wrapper software hosted at Giors.com

What is AutoIT?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:30 AM by Darryl Giors

AutoIT is a basic-like script language which supports the creation of windows GUIs. This is highly recommended to anyone that is interested in creating script programs, or making windows programs in general.

Some benefits of AutoIT:

  1. Absolutely, 100% FREE!
  2. Very comprehensive documentation/manual
  3. Incredible forum support. Get help or answers by visiting the forum 
Highly recommended, and not hard to learn. Anyone interested in learning programming can start here. Please note that the developer of AR Wrapper did not know ANY Windows or script programming prior to writing AR Wrapper!

How does AR Wrapper work?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:28 AM by Darryl Giors

There are two key techniques which come together to make AR Wrapper what it is:

  1. Script programming.  AR Wrapper is written 100% in AutoIT code which is at it's heart a script program.  This program essentially can monitor another program (in this case the Atari Emulator) and send it commands, such as how to set itself up, how to switch disks, etc.
  2. Pixel sampling.  Pixel sampling is crucial to the function of AR Wrapper.  Unfortunately there is no direct way for the atari emulator to feed back information to AR Wrapper.  Pixel sampling is the solution.  By sampling various pixels on the screen, AR Wrapper can be made "aware" of what the emulated game is doing.  This technique is used extensively for all disk swapping routines, autowarp sequences, etc. 

Thus the absolute need to keep the full emulator window on-screen!

I found a flaw or bug with AR Wrapper, what do I do?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:25 AM by Darryl Giors

If any persistent issue is observed, please email the administrator for support. AR Wrapper is NOT a perfect program, and future revisions are definately feasible with your input.

Can I play Alternate Reality in full screen mode using AR Wrapper?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:23 AM by Darryl Giors

Yes - Just press ALT-ENTER. Please note that while the game is fully functional, auto-warping will be disabled, as well as access to user commands (saving, loading, cheating). Just toggle back to windowed mode via ALT-ENTER to access these options again.

How do I leave a Bank or other establishment if there is no menu option to leave?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:22 AM by Darryl Giors

Press the down arrow key.

In Alternate Reality the City it was required to press down on the joystick in port 1 if you were in a bank after hours or any establishment that is not displaying it's menu for whatever reason. In the emulator the directional keys emulate joystick input on port 1.

What about Easter Eggs in AR Wrapper?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:20 AM by Darryl Giors

Sorry not telling. Some of these are very obvious if you know where to look, others are not. These will be slowly leaked out via the AR online community. One big reason for this is to encourage the community to talk about and get back into this excellent game. Hopefully this will also get people thinking about the potential that these games had (or still have!)

Alternate Reality is waiting for me to press the START key?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:18 AM by Darryl Giors

The Atari's Start key is mapped to F2 on your keyboard.

What should I do if I have a problem with AR Wrapper?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:16 AM by Darryl Giors

Before contacting technical support there are several things you can try.

Recommendations
 
  1. A source of many problems is timing issues on fast or slow processors. Because the Wrapper and the Emulator are separate applications the commands can sometimes be sent from the Wrapper before the Emulator is ready. Try changing the speed of the Wrapper in the Settings-Speed menu to Slowest (Most reliable).
  2. Try exiting the Wrapper and restart it (save your progress first, if possible). If the Wrapper appears stuck in a loop and cannot be closed normally look for the AR Wrapper icon in the system tray. Right-click and select exit in the popup menu.
  3. Several features of the Wrapper don't work when the emulator is in full-screen mode. Press Alt-Enter to restore windowed mode.
  4. Ensure that your windows desktop is set to use 32-bit color mode. Consult Windows Help & Support if you are unsure how to do this.
  5. Ensure that no windows are overlapping or obscuring any portion of the AR Wrapper or Emulator windows.
  6. Close any software that enables hotkeys or keyboard macros as they may interfere with the Wrapper's functions.
  7. Close web browsers, anti-virus or any other programs that create occasional popup windows or dialogues.
  8. Refrain from typing or moving the mouse when the Wrapper is executing a script. You will see a popup window with a command prompt or a file load/save dialogue during execution.
  9. If you are getting reports of missing files, extract the original ZIP archive of AR Wrapper to your install directory to repair/replace missing or damaged files.
If you still have issues with AR Wrapper you may contact the site administrator. Use the subject "AR Wrapper support". Please include your operating system and a detailed description of the error including any error messages.

I'm having proglems creating, transferring and/or rebooting characters in AR Wrapper

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:11 AM by Darryl Giors

AR Wrapper is a script program and as such in some situations commands may not be sent to the Emulator correctly. There are several things to look out for if problems are observed here:

  1. Do not touch the keyboard or mouse!
  2. Throttle down the script speed in the Settings menu. Slower is always more reliable.
  3. Ensure that the entire emulator window is present on the screen and not occluded by overlapping windows.
  4. Confirm that your Windows desktop is configured for 32 bit color mode.

Why is AR Wrapper causing my mouse/keyboard to go crazy?

posted Sep 5, 2012, 5:05 AM by Darryl Giors

Since AR Wrapper is a script based program, it sends commands to the emulator window which should be "in focus" or active. When executing commands, it is generally assumed that the Atari800Win emulator is active. Some fault detection is present but it is by no means perfect.

In other words, if a script is being executed and you click your mouse on another application or theWindows desktop, commands from AR Wrapper will go to those applications instead of the emulator. Besides corrupting the routine, Windows may actually be slightly affected. One method that sometimes helps to recover from this is by pressing CTRL-SPACE. If this does not work then restarting Windows may be required. In short, to avoid this do not touch the keyboard and mouse when AR Wrapper is busy!

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