Frequently Asked Questions

Chaining Logs (How to Automatically Load the Next Day's Log at Midnight)

In most fully automated situations, you will want Simian to automatically load up and start the next day’s Program Log to create a continuous chain of logs. The CHAIN macro in conjunction with the Scheduled Events functionality of Simian is used to accomplish this. Follow the steps below to implement the CHAIN macro in your own setup.

The CHAIN macro is preferred over LOG LOAD and IMPORTLOG macros used to bring in the next day's logs for several reasons. The biggest advantage of the CHAIN macro is that if the next day's log is not found, it will either reload the same log that was running at the time the CHAIN is scheduled or it will load the default.bsi log (if you have created one) so that you will not be off-air in situations the next day's log has not been created or is not found.

First, go to the Async menu and choose Show Scheduled Events.
The Scheduled Events window will appear as shown at right.

Open Event Builder either by clicking on the Event Builder icon image at the top of the Scheduled Events window, or by going to the Tools menu in the main Simian window and choosing Event Builder.

Once in the Event Builder, go to the Macro tab and choose ”CHAIN” from the Macro name dropdown list.
Click your mouse cursor into the Macro name dropdown. Move the cursor to the end of the word “CHAIN”, add a space, and then add the name of your program log. The CHAIN macro has the ability to use meta variables to represent the file name. This means that it can dynamically find your program log based on the current day or date using the following codes:

%W [the first three letters of the day, Ex: Mon, Tue]
%M [two digits representing the month]
%D [two digits representing the day]
%Y [two digits representing the year]
%Z [four digits representing the year]
%X ["WKD" on weekdays, "SAT" on Saturdays, and "SUN" on Sundays]

Therefore, if your program logs are named with the date that log is going to air (for example, 070416.bsi is the name of your log that will air on July 4th, 2016), your CHAIN macro should be entered as shown (there are other meta variables that can be added to this macro, but this is the minimum configuration needed to load your log).


Now you are ready to add your CHAIN macro to your Scheduled Events.
Click and drag from the Drag From Here icon image and drop it onto the Scheduled Events window.

Now that the event has been added, we need to set the days and time it is to occur.

To set the days, highlight the CHAIN event added to the Scheduled Events window in the last step.
Click on the Set Event Schedule icon image at the top of the Scheduled Events window.

The window shown at right will appear.

In most cases you will want to CHAIN your logs every day, so click on the Every Day button, then click OK.
Make sure the CHAIN event is still highlighted.
To set the time the event will occur, click on the Set Event Time icon image at the top of the Scheduled Events window.

The CHAIN macro should be set to 23:59:50 under most circumstances.
Because the meta variables always reference tomorrow’s date, running the CHAIN macro before midnight will load up the next day’s log to be ready to play at the top of the hour.

After setting the time, click on the Set button.

You are now done adding the CHAIN event to your Scheduled Events.
Make sure to save your Scheduled Events set.
Just as importantly, make sure you set your saved Scheduled Events set as the set Simian is currently using, and also that it is the set automatically loaded when Simian starts by setting the Startup Scheduled Events and Current Scheduled Events dropdowns to your saved set before closing the Scheduled Events window.

 Last updated Thu, Jul 10 2014 1:25pm

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