Multimedia Technical Requirements
Before you begin working through the course content, you need to make sure the computer you are using is configured properly for the multimedia that you will encounter. Below are specifications and tests to help make sure everything is in working order.
Flash movies, Quicktime video, and .jar files
We have Flash movies and Quicktime video material in many of the lessons in this course. Chances are pretty good that you already use a Web browser that is configured to open up a Quicktime movie, to play swf (Flash) files, and to run a java jar file. Here are some "test" files that you should try out now to make sure you won't have problems later in the course. If these files run smoothly for you, then you're ready to go. If you can't get one or any of the files below to play on your computer, then please refer to the steps at the bottom of this page to troubleshoot your problem.
- Quicktime Movies: /earth501/files/earth501/flash/orientation/worldseriesmovie320.mov Watch this video of a 1989 World Series pre-game broadcast being interrupted by the Loma Prieta earthquake. It comes from www.exploratorium.edu.
- Java animation (.jar files): pretty clock - This link will ask you to save the .jar file to your computer. Put it somewhere, such as your desktop or your Downloads folder, and then double-click the file to run it. It should look like a small colored clock. Just for fun.
- Flash (.swf files): Flash movies appear throughout the course. (I made this one with "Jing," which is free software that creates screen shots and voice-narrated screen captures. You might be interested in trying it out for your own teaching needs, too!) Click on the play button to test the Flash movie below.
Having trouble? Troubleshooting tips...
- Step 1: If you are not able to play the Quicktime or Flash files, start by installing (or re-installing) the Quicktime or Flash plug-ins. If you can't run the .jar file, start by making sure you have an up to date version of the Java Runtime Environment installed. The links here will take you to the respective download sites (and their accompanying directions.)
- Step 2: Request Help. If you still have not had any success, then its time for you to contact the Outreach Help Desk. It is in your own best interest to be as specific as you possibly can. Vague descriptions of a problem only delay assistance. Try to include information such as:
- Indicate the specific task you were trying to accomplish, what you attempted to do when that failed, and the exact language of any error message displayed on your screen
- The date and time when your problem occurred
- Any other pertinent information (does the problem happen consistently and always in the same way, etc.)