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The display screen shows a series of images from the intranet server "Physicsweb" using the feed at:

This attempts to explain to those with editing access how to use the system.

Creating an image for display

The screen is currently using JPG images, and it likes them to be 1024x768 pixels (the display itself is actually 1366x768, but that's proven difficult to work with in this way). If the file is much larger than this it won't display correctly.

You can create the image in many graphics packages, or for those used to it Microsoft Powerpoint can also be used. Powerpoint will allow you to save as a JPG, but by default it uses an image size that it lower than the 1024x768 that the screen wants, so the result tends to be a bit fuzzy. There is a registry fix within the Display screen directory that can be applied to improve things.

(If you need to export many slides, send the powerpoint file to Adrian, as he has a tool to help with this!)

Connecting to the Display screen folder

Once you've been given access, you can access the display screen control folder at the network path
\\\display_screen - if you'll be using it often you may want to map this to a network drive.

Once connected you'll see several folders, plus the images that are currently in the display cycle.

The important folders are:

Finished - which contains images that have been displayed, and have now been removed.
Pending - images that are ready for future display.
Powerpoint - contains powerpoint versions of previously used slides (useful for reference or consistency) and also the registry fix mentioned above.
Other folders - contain special slides used for Freshers' week, UCAS days etc. and also some templates for coreldraw and publisher. The "Normal" folder is used to contain standard slides when the UCAS ones are being shown.

Getting an image displayed

It's simple - just copy it to the display screen folder! Anything in there will be displayed.

To remove a slide manually, drag it into the "Finished" folder, and it will go on the next refresh.

Naming images for automatic addition/removal

I've created the control scripts in such a way that you can use the file name to control the order items are displayed, and when they should appear.

If you look at the existing images in the folder you'll see that they generally take the form


XX = the display sequence order
YYYYYYYY = the date to start displaying, entered as YearMonthDate, so 8th October 2009 would be 20091008
ZZZZZZZZ = the date to remove, in the same format.

The others will be of the form

XX-name.jpg - these aren't date specific and have to be moved manually.

If you're preparing a slide in advance, for the system to display automatically on a certain date, give it a date in the future, and save it in the "Pending" folder, rather than the current one.

If it should be displayed from 'today', ensure that the YYYYYYYY part is 'today's date, and save in the normal folder.

The script that controls all of this runs at 01:00 every day, and all of the dated changes are made at this time. Remember this when putting things for removal, as they will need to be dated for the day after the finishing date.

So, if today is the 8th October 2009, and you create a slide to display from Monday 12th through until the end of Wednesday 14th, you'd create an image, and save it as XX-20091012-20091015.jpg in the "Pending" folder.

The XX bit, showing the display sequence order, is required - generally the welcome screen is given 00, and others are added as 10-, 20-, 30- etc, so there's space to add say 11-, 12- etc. in afterwards if required.

Renaming of slides isn't a good idea - if this is necessary please let Adrian know.


DO NOT DELETE OR RENAME THIS! It's required, as the system has to have a file by this name - there has to be one permanant reference image to base the rest on, and this is it!

Screen refreshes

The folder that you have access to above isn't actually the version that the screen works from... every 10 minutes the server it's running on reviews the files in the display_screen folder, and rebuilds the live version from it.

At 1am each day the server runs a second script, which removes slides that have now finished, and moves any with the correct date in the pending folder so that they are in the display_screen folder itself. It also cleans up the live images in the background, so there's a 10 minute period when nothing is likely to display correctly.

Each slide is displayed for the same period of time. This can only be adjusted by Adrian, and is usually 15 seconds. During Freshers' week 09 this was reduced to 10 seconds, due to the number of slides to show. The welcome slide shows twice in a row (at the beginning and end of each cycle), so it appears for longer. If a slide should be shown for longer, create multiple copies!

The system powering the display screen itself is currently reloading the images every 30 minutes - so at this time it restarts from the beginning, and will start to display any new slides.

More information about the display system may be found at 3W Square display screen

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