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Home > About The Project > FTE Technical Issues

FTE Technical Issues

by Mark MacAllister

Field Trip Earth has been available to users world-wide for more than six years. From a user's point of view, though, the site remains easy to navigate, and requires that the user have only a minimal level of technical skill in order to access all of the text, photos, video, and other resources available on the site. Here's all you need to make the most effective use of FTE:

General Computer Settings
All of the resources on Field Trip Earth can be accssed using either a Windows or Macintosh computer with access to the Internet. Monitors should be set to at least 800 x 600 resolution, with millions of colors selected.

World-Wide Web Browsers
Nearly all of the resources on Field Trip Earth can be accessed using a standard web browser. We recommend that you use the latest version of FireFox, Safari or Internet Explorer. JavaScript capabilities must be enabled in order for all elements of the site to function correctly.

Additional Software
Some resources on Field Trip Earth require other software. The data tables found on many of the field trips can be accessed with Microsoft Excel; text versions of those same data tables can be accessed using any common spreadsheet program, or a text editor like Microsoft's Notebook accessory or Macintosh's TextEdit program. Several documents are in Portable Document Format (PDF) and can be read with Adobe Acrobat Reader, a free download available from Adobe.

Video
There are a variety of short videoclips on Field Trip Earth. Before trying to view the videoclips, please make sure that you have installed Apple's QuickTime player on your computer. It is available from Apple as a free download for both Macintosh- and Windows-based computers. There are also a handul of Flash-based clips on the site. They can be viewed using the freely-available Flash Player.

Though these videoclips are short (generally about thirty seconds each), they may take a minute or longer to begin playing if the computer is connected to the Internet by a telephone modem. Users on a dedicated, high-speed connection, though, should see the videoclip start soon after clicking on its link.

Audio
Audio files on Field Trip Earth are in RealMedia or MP3 formats. The former can be played on RealPlayer/RealOnePlayer software, which is already installed on nearly all Internet-ready computers (it can slso be downloaded for free). Audio files in the MP3 format can be played on the QuickTime player noted above, or on any common MP3 player.

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mugshotAbout the author:

Mark MacAllister is the Project Coordinator for Field Trip Earth.

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