Getting creative with external files.

Here's a thought I have been pondering that perhaps more experienced writers might have an idea on. In many of the new procedures I have been writing I've included error checking and self-validation. They prompt the operator if any error codes pop up. Which is fine for me as I have so many manuals that I have built a fort around my desk to keep people away. So I (usually) have the key for what the error codes mean. But planning for the future, it is unlikely those who follow after me will.

So I am thinking of ways to include these Status and Error Messages into procedures. Some instruments I have gotten away with putting then in DISP messages as there were only 4-5 codes the unit would spit out. But some things like the Keithley 2400C has four pages of status codes.

One thought I have is to screen capture these tables, save them as pictures then call on them using the PIC FSC in Met/Cal. But I wonder, is there a way for Met/Cal to call up a PDF or even a simple txt?

I know it's possible on some level as I read about external txt files in a manual about flex standards and looked to see if I could manipulate the RINFE MATH function to pull it off but that is seeming like an unlikely prospect.

Using the PIC FSC seems like a pretty workable solution but I was wondering there were other ideas or better ways of doing this.

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1332941404

The way I open PDF's is using

The way I open PDF's is using a portable version of PDF reader, SumatraPDF is open source and has a portable version, sumatrapdfreader.org.

Here is an example,

1.001 MATH S[2]= "T:\\UserPrograms\\Filename.pdf"

1.002 DOS SumatraPDFPortable.exe [S2]

The PDF will open, Met/Cal will wait until the PDF is closed before proceeding.

 

BTW SumatraPDFPortable.exe needs to be in your UserPrograms folder or wherever you have your metcal.ini pointed to

1488999028

!!! I have never used the DOS

!!! I have never used the DOS FSC nor was ever sure how it worked. You have taught me much today, great sensei! This opens a ton of other possibilities and ideas. Moreso than I had been thinking about upon my orignal asking. In fact, I don't see why that couldn't be used to run python scripts as well...

Thank you! You have given my curiosity many more hours of experimenting to do.

1336127630

I sometimes put error codes

I sometimes put error codes in an ini file which the procedure can query to display verbose translations.

mjohnst1

You could also use the LIB

You could also use the LIB FSC, I would imagine, Dexter. I haven't used it with a PDF reader before, but any with a COM object should be relatively simple to use, if you take a look at the Excel examples with the LIB FSC.

1488999028

From what I have been looking

From what I have been looking up, it appears the LIB FSC was new to Met/Cal version 8. I do not know if version 7 has that as it's not in any of my manuals.

mjohnst1

Oh, no, it was introduced in

Oh, no, it was introduced in version 8. I forgot you were running 7 still.

Time to upgrade :-)

1488999028

lol, working on it. I believe

lol, working on it. I believe our upgrade was scheduled to happen 8 months ago. I'll look forward to playing with that new feature, hopefully before the heat-death of the universe.

1488999028

From what I have been looking

From what I have been looking up, it appears the LIB FSC was new to Met/Cal version 8. I do not know if version 7 has that as it's not in any of my manuals.