Thursday, May 5, 2011

Instructions for downloading and viewing the movie about Deep Time

I posted about my deep time movie here recently, and since then I’ve received a few queries from people who can’t actually see the movie!
I hope these instructions below will fix that problem and help everyone to see the movie.
Here are the steps that people operating PCs (like me) will need to take to download and to watch the movie
1. Go to the journal's 2011 volume:
2. Find  my article and click on “” which is “Supplement 3” under my article “Deep Time in Perspective: An Animated Fossil Hominin Timeline
3. A window will pop up on your screen.
4. Select  "Extract" (Depending on your unzip program, there are variations on how to get to this command of "extract" and what it does, but ultimately it results in the "Timeline Folder" ending up where you choose. I choose my Desktop.)
5.. Go to where you sent these files (e.g. I go to my desktop) and find “Timeline Folder”
6. Double click on it to open it
7. You will see three files inside this folder
8. Double click on “timeline” (there are two named this, choose the one that is 2kb and comes ready with a browser’s icon… mine is Firefox)
9. It should open your internet browser and start running
10. You can stop it at any time by clicking on the red “button” below the timeline
11. You can change the rate by choosing from the drop-down menu below the timeline. At its slowest it takes 93 hours, at its fastest it only takes about 7 minutes or so.
12. You can start all over from the beginning by hitting “reset time” below the timeline.

A few thoughts...
One reason that this movie file is hard for some people to access is that it is NOT linked to (as implied) in the original article.
The other reason it's a nuisance is the movie comes in the form of a zip folder containing three files that need to remain bundled in order for the movie to run. The movie (one of the files) draws on the data from the other two files that it’s bundled with. As it’s running (in your default internet browser, like Mozilla Firefox or Internet Explorer) you can’t tell that it’s doing that at all. However, if you remove the movie file from the folder and try to run it, it won’t work. Whenever you move the movie or copy the movie, you must do it at the folder level. You must move or copy the whole "Timeline Folder" or else it won't run.
To download zip files you have to “extract” them before viewing them. So the process is a little bit convoluted for newcomers. Zip files are handy ways to compress large files for sending via email, but in this case we used the zip technology to bundle the three files that MUST remain as one unit for the movie to run.

Thank you so much for all the positive feedback. I hope this movie is a useful tool for everybody.


EllenQ said...

I just tried downloading it using your instructions exactly and running it in the Chrome browser. It worked perfectly. I would note that it is essential to extract the files (as you say), even if you can click on them without extracting. It will only work if the files are extracted.

Congrats on putting together such a great resource!

Holly Dunsworth said...

Thank you so much for the big help Ellen.

Chrome users rejoice!

And EXTRACT like a fool, yo.

Holly Dunsworth said...

Thanks to a friend of a friend of the Mermaid's Tale we have confirmation that these steps work on a MAC.

Holly Dunsworth said...

"on the mac it auto-extracted and then she just clicked on the .html file."