Monday, February 25, 2013


This is just a note about the progress of the Online Rockhounding Adventures.

1.  After sending the files for the first three segments last week, my webmaster set up the subdomain pages and sent me the temporary links.  I checked out the segments along with a few close friends.  It was immediately obvious that I had to reduce the bit rate size of the movies.  It took me most of the weekend to reformat all 86 movies.  I finished uploading all of the files to my webmaster yesterday.  The good news is that once each segment is set up, I can update and republish easily and as often as I want.  This in the future will allow me to easily add more photos, make change, correct errors, expand the segments, etc.

2.  I sent my webmaster a list of the tasks yet to be accomplished.  Hopefully, all of these things can be done in the next few days. 

3. When the adventures are ready, I will post a blog update with the announcement.  Also, the project will be announced with an update to  After two years of work, I am excited about seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. 

The pilot program launch is in a 640 x 480 size, which is not full screen for most monitors.  I set this size, and now the bit rate, so that the majority of households will be able to access the adventures and successfully load and play the movies.  There may be some dial-up internet users that have to wait for the movies to load -- we will have to see what happens after launch.  As I have said in previous posts, those with IPads will not be able to participate, however.  This is because Apple Computer decided not to work with Adobe and flash-based videos cannot be played on IPads.  Unfortunately, the format required by IPads is not yet supported by the software I used to produce the adventures.

In the near future I will publish a wide-screen high resolution version of the project.  Only those with upper-end high speed internet will be able to use this version.  According to government statistics, that includes 69 percent of internet users.  I also have to finish developing the Play Time self evaluation exercises for all nine segments.

This week I am going to create a Troubleshooting Guide.  I am going to develop this using the software and include it as its own segment with the project on the webpage.  This will allow me to update the troubleshooting guide as often as I need.  One advantage of using the software to develop the troubleshooting guide is that the software has a screen capture capability so I can actually show people how to adjust their computer display if it is not set up correctly to view the adventures.

Originally I had hoped to get the project done before the international agate show in July.  Then I thought after I closed the museum for the season in September, that I would be done by late fall.  But the project has been harder and more involved than I thought.  But now the launch is in site.  Also, my friends who have seen the project like it, so hopefully everyone else will as well.

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