I downloaded BITTSy and unzipped the folder, but when I tried to open BITTSy, it didn't open.

  1. Check that you're opening the correct application file. There are a lot of supporting files that have similar names or look like something you should open, but aren't the main BITTSy program, so this can be confusing! Check what you're trying to open against the screenshots shown here. If you made a shortcut earlier, check that it's correctly referencing this main application file.

  2. Give Windows Defender permission to allow BITTSy to run. If you aren't able to double-click on the BITTSy program to run it, try right-clicking and selecting Open. If you get a blue pop-up trying to warn you that it was downloaded from the internet, click More Info then Run Anyway.

Whenever I open BITTSy, I get pop-ups about FTD2XX.DLL / FTDI drivers / no FTDI device being connected. What are these about?

These are warnings about your computer missing a driver for lights or there not being a DMX controller for the lights recognized by your computer. If you aren't using lights, you can ignore these completely, and just click through them to launch BITTSy! If you are using lights, these are critical errors that need to be addressed before trying to validate your protocol - which is why they're checked upon launch. Check that you downloaded the appropriate drivers and firmware (step #6) for your USB-DMX interface box, and that it is connected to your computer.

I loaded in one protocol, and now I want to run another, but I can't click Load Protocol or any of the other buttons again.

This is intended, as a foolproof way of preventing uncaught validation errors or execution errors from one protocol from ever affecting subsequent runs. Close out of BITTSy and open it again so that you can select a new protocol, or load and run the same one again.

BITTSy has the validation error "more displays were defined than are currently available."

BITTSy will display this error whenever your system doesn't have enough displays active, so make sure that your system has the external monitors configured and recognized properly. Check that your display settings in Windows are set to Extend Mode, and all your additional displays are powered on before opening BITTSy. (See this section on display ID numbers for more background on how BITTSy uses displays.)

Protocols that do not require the use of displays should not contain the DISPLAYS ARE starting definition at all. This prevents you from having to turn on unnecessary equipment for every run just so that the protocol avoids this validation error.

When I validate a protocol, BITTSy says there is an error on lines where I define a file tag. What could be the issue?

There are several possibilities.

  1. Make sure that you have the correct and full file path specified in your protocol for each of the files, and that all of your files are present in the desired folder.

  2. Verify that there are no typos, either in your protocol or in the names of the files themselves.

  3. Make sure you're using backslashes (\), not forward slashes (/) in your file paths.

  4. If you typed up your protocol file on a Mac, there could be an encoding issue that causes important characters for parsing protocols, particularly quotation marks, to be read differently on a PC. There are two types of quotation marks, straight and curved. When you type a quotation mark in TextEdit on a Mac, you get curved ones, but BITTSy expects the default for a PC, which is straight quotation marks. Try deleting your quotation marks and retyping them on your PC in Notepad or another plain text editor. If they look different, this was likely an issue for you. (Use find+replace to fix all of them!)

I ran my experiment, and now I can't type anything else in the text boxes like the Comments box.

All the text boxes on the user interface have their contents saved to the log file immediately when you start running a protocol file. This ensures that this important information for identifying the log file is always present, in case an experiment unexpectedly crashes or access to the log file is lost. Once you click the Run button, they are locked from editing, to help make it clear that no further information from there can be saved. After the session, experimenter notes or comments on how the session went can be added manually to the log file by opening it in a text editor, or you can use other paper or electronic documents such as a run book.

If you choose to manually edit log files, be sure that they are always opened after the experiment has stopped completely, as demonstrated by a pop-up in BITTSy, indicating successful execution or an early termination of the experiment after pressing the Escape key. This ensures that BITTSy has completed writing information to the log file, and that there are no conflicts between your accessing the file to make edits and BITTSy finishing logging events from the experiment.

I closed out of BITTSy while an experiment was still running, and now I'm having trouble controlling lights. Why does this happen, and how can I fix it?

When you open an instance of BITTSy, it checks for the device that controls the lights, and if it's available, takes control of it. Once a program controls this device, that program must signal to give it up before another program can gain control. Since BITTSy is likely to be the only program on your computer you're using with your DMX controller for the lights, the issue is when there are two instances of BITTSy open at once - only one of them can be controlling the lights at any given time.

In BITTSy, the signal to give up control of the lights comes when:

  1. You close out of the BITTSy window without having started to run a protocol

  2. The experiment executes successfully (end of the protocol file is reached)

  3. BITTSy encounters an execution error and interrupts the run with an error message

  4. You press the Escape key to end the study early

If you are already running a protocol, it does not come when you click the red X to close the main BITTSy window, or right-click and close BITTSy from the task bar. These only close the user interface, and don't fully stop background processes such as the control of the lights. So if you close BITTSy improperly in the middle of an experiment, then reopen BITTSy to run a new protocol, you may get strange behavior in regards to using the lights: they may respond to keypresses as if you are still running the previous experiment, or they might not respond at all.

You can fix this by fully stopping the previously-running instance of BITTSy that is still controlling the lights. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete and go into Task Manager, select any instance of BITTSy that appears, and End Task.

Ending an experiment before closing the main BITTSy window is important both for avoiding this problem and for ensuring that log files are complete and not at risk of being corrupted. If you need to close out of BITTSy before the end of an experiment, always press the escape key first, and wait for the pop-up that execution has been stopped!

My experiment ended while one of the lights was on, and the light stayed on after I closed BITTSy. How can I reset the lights?

Simply open BITTSy again, and the lights should all turn off. (If they don't, see question above - your previous run may not have ended fully.)

I have another question and I can't find an answer to it - what can I do?

Submit a bug report/request for help, and a member of our team will contact you!

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