How to use DMDX
If you aren't using the Auto mode shortcut
and you installed DMDX
you will have to use TimeDX version 5 to
establish operating parameters and store
them in the registry. Otherwise DMDX can be run immediately.
If you didn't install DMDX and are running DMDX.EXE from some directory other
than a Program Files one it will also assume auto mode is active to facilitate
running DMDX from memory sticks and so forth where creating shortcuts can be a
bit entertaining. This is what it's main screen
looks like under Windows 10 circa 2019:
When DMDX is first run it now pings our server (psy1.psych.arizona.edu)
looking for the current version number
of DMDX and if the copy you are running is not the most recent version it
displays the text message you can see in the list box advertising that a new
version of DMDX is available (here of course the version number is earlier
than our version as I'm capturing images of the latest development version
prior to releasing it). If you need to update the latest installer
http://www.u.arizona.edu/~jforster/dmdx/DMDX.ZIP or alternatively at
http://psy1.psych.arizona.edu/~jforster/dmdx/DMDX.ZIP. Or as
suggested you can use Help / About and it'll pop up the same message with
suggestions to click on the Upgrade button which will make Windows download
the psy1 copy of the installer and you can exit DMDX and install the new
As of version 18.104.22.168 of DMDX there's a new
Introduction button on right that will run an item file that's baked
into the DMDX executable that introduces people to the basic
capabilities of DMDX and will then go on to cover most of the tools to do
almost any of the things anyone might like to do including some of DMDX's test
modes allowing someone to rapidly check whether that machine will be any good
for running DMDX without needing additional item files. Just click the button and it will run.
DMDX's primary dialog presents you with the name of the
file to be run and a browse button to change it. Usually an item file,
it's resources (graphics and sound files) and the
data files generated are all found in
It also has Diagnostic
check box that enables the standard DMastr debug mode where each item is
displayed and the item number is then recorded for a response time instead of
actually gathering a response from the subject. By default no branches are taken when the Diagnostic button is checked unless the
Diagnostic Branching check box is set. This is because when branching
was first implemented it was for repeating sections of items till some
criteria was met by the subject (ie branches were based on the RT) and in
diagnostic mode like as not the item file would continue looping forever as
the RTs were static (being based on the item number). Nowadays it's used
(by me anyway) as a control structure where branches are made based on the
contents of counters or
macros and diagnostic mode has
no use unless those branches are taken.
Subject ID field is an optional subject ID, if DTP data files are being used
then the first character of this is included in the binary data file, if
AZK or ZIL files are used then the whole string is included in the
file. The subject ID is also available in item files with
The Ignore unknown RTF check box is to override error messages resulting
from unusual file formats, see Item Files.
The Unicode check box
turns on the
Unicode code path.
To run the item file click the Run button, press ESC when
the item file is finished to save the data. To exit DMDX click Exit, to use
another dialog just select it from the menu (the current DMDX and TimeDX dialogs
don't need to be exited manually).
To perform a syntax check (analogous to
ICHECK) click the Syntax Check button (the screenshot below is a syntax check).
The syntax check will not display items as they are processed, nor will
it perform any branching -- it will parse the entire file and check for the
existence and integrity of any bitmaps or wave files (inc. cursor names)
that are used, it even checks that the destinations of branches exist too.
Note that the syntax check performs a number of additional checks that can
produce errors that are not performed during a run of an item file so it's
entirely possible to have an item file that fails a syntax check that
nonetheless produces data when run. This is by design as when I
introduce checks to catch legacy dubious behavior I can't break item files
that people may be using.
The Copy button under the diagnostics
window will copy the contents of the diagnostics to the clipboard, or at least
the last 8000 or so lines of it should it be longer...
To access the VOX dialog to set the threshold for the DigitalVOX device
use File / "Test Vox". To get back to this Run dialog use File / Run Item
Note that the dialog can appear narrower if
your monitor is not wide enough.