The graphics background

When you first run the simulator, the background to the graphics area will be plain green. Sometimes you may want a different background so there is a facility for you to make the background anything you want.

The simulator makes a folder on drive C. The address for it is C:\swallow\pip\picture. If the simulator finds a picture file with the name picture.jpg in this folder, it will use that as the background.

To make a background picture, start the Paint application. (You can use any application that allows you to draw pictures.) Create your design in the application and select "file" and "save as". Use the explorer window to navigate to the c:\swallow\pip\picture folder by selecting C:, swallow, pip and picture in turn. Change the file type to JPEG file interchange format (*.jpg), Give the file the name "picture" and save. Next time you run the PIP simulator, your picture will be the background.

You can use jpg files from anywhere as your background. During development, I used a picture of my daughter with three dogs. You can take files from the Internet if you want. All you have to do is save them with the correct filename in the C:\swallow\pip\picture directory.

There are some limits on the picture size. Pictures less than 20 pixels square did not work on my computers, so don't use very small ones. Large pictures take ages to load. I wouldn't recommend using pictures bigger than about 800 pixels square unless you have a very fast computer.

Pictures are distorted to fit the screen. The amount of distortion will depend on the screen that you are using and the shape of the picture. Many graphics applications will allow you to crop a picture to make it nearer the correct shape and minimise the distortion.

Date Last Modified: 11/9/01