Smeal Quint

Cellphone Wallpaper

This page contains instructions for creating cellphone wallpaper.

Choosing a calendar size
Setting the calendar size
Capturing the calendars
Transferring to cellphone
Impress your friends!

Many modern cellphones allow the user to display personal images; some permit the user to specify an image to be used as "wallpaper"; that is, as a background image for the Main Menu screen.



Choosing a calendar size

To avoid artifacts from resizing a raster image, it is preferable to set the calendar to a size that corresponds to the cell phone display.

Note: if the cell phone display is particularly small, it may be better to use larger images and allow the cellphone to resize them (see details below).

The following instructions are specific to the Motorola Droid (A855), but the procedure is similar for other cellphones.

The display on the Droid is 480 pixels wide by 832 pixels high. We can use the full width of the display, but the top and bottom of the screen are reserved for status displays and soft menu labels. By setting the calendar width to 480 (full width) and the height to something similar the image will not interfere with (or be truncated by) the on-screen status and menu displays.

If calendar images will be viewed both in "portrait" and "landscape" mode, then it may be desirable to set FormWidth and FormHeight to the screen width in pixels.

For cellphones with small displays, consider setting the calendar to twice the physical size (in pixels) to minimize aliasing (artifacts which appear when a raster image is resized).

Example: the display on the LG VX3200 is 128 by 128 pixels. We suggest using a FormWidth of 256 and a FormHeight of around 224 (feel free to experiment). Note that the FormHeight of our calendar is less than the screen height (in pixels) to allow room for on-screen status displays.

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Setting the calendar size

The easiest way to control the calendar size is to modify the FormWidth and FormHeight settings in the desired .ini file.

We suggest creating a copy of shiftcal.ini (perhaps named "cellphone.ini") on which to perform the following operations.

Open the desired .ini file in Notepad and scroll down to the [Config] section:

        [Config]
        FormWidth=480
        FormHeight=512
      

Locate the FormWidth and FormHeight keys under the [Config] section and set them to the desired size.

If your [Config] section does not contain entries for FormWidth and FormHeight, create them by entering "FormWidth=xxx" and "FormHeight=yyy" on separate lines, where "xxx" is the desired width and "yyy" is the desired height in pixels.

Consider whether the month name should be displayed in full or in abbreviated form. Create or edit the following key as required:

FullMonthname=1

Use "1" to display the full month name and "0" to display an abbreviation.

Note: if the user prefers to edit shiftcal.ini and wants to preserve his/her custom settings, values can be temporarily commented out by placing a semicolon in front of the keywords:

         [Config]
        ;FormWidth=480
        ;FormHeight=512
        FormWidth=240
        FormHeight=256
      

To restore the former values, delete the temporary entries and un-comment the original lines by removing the semicolons.

Run the program, open the desired .ini file, and adjust the header and calendar fonts to your preference.

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Capturing the calendars

To capture the screen images, we suggest using a dedicated screen-capture utility; our personal favorite is TNT Screen Capture by EC Software. There are many free or nearly-free screen capture utilities available; perform a Google search on "Windows screen capture" or "free screen capture Windows".

If you elect not to use a dedicated screen capture utility, the contents of the current window can be copied to the Windows clipboard by holding down the "Alt" key and pressing the Print Screen ("Prt Sc") key. The image can then be pasted into your graphics editing program of choice to crop out the title bar and perform any other editing you deem appropriate.

Save the finished images in .png or .jpg format. We suggest adopting a naming convention that will automatically sort the images by date; we use four-digit years, an underscore character, and a two-digit month:

        2013_01.png
        2013_02.png
        ...
        2013_11.png
        2013_12.png
      

Calendars named using a convention like this will appear on your phone in chronological order.

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Transferring to cellphone

Depending upon the user's phone, this part can be trivial or difficult (or somewhere in between...).

If your cellphone uses a transflash ("micro-sd") card, you can insert the card into your computer (using the adapter provided with the card), copy the files to the appropriate folder, re-insert the card into your phone, and restart the phone.

If you have an interface cable to connect your phone to your computer, you may have a menu option which makes the phone look like an external flash drive; in this case you can simply drag-and-drop the files to your phone. Lacking such an option, you may be able to use a utility like BitPim to transfer images to your phone.

The final alternative would be to transmit the images to your phone from your computer, either as an image or as an attachment to a text message, depending upon your cellphone and your service provider. This option may incur charges, depending upon your service plan.

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Impress your friends!

Now you get to enjoy the fruits of your labors: pull out your cellphone and ask your co-workers which platoon is on duty on the last Thursday of the month...

"Oh, I have it right here!"

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Copyright © 2013 T. Wesley Erickson
Warner Springs, California
All rights reserved.

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