- File extensions are an important part of all names on all computer systems. Under MSWindows they are essential to identify an executable program, i.e. the .exe must be present. Unfortunately, MSWindows can hide the .exe as well as other file extensions deemed to be standard. This can be confusing to crippling in doing non-MS-standard work, like studying macromolecular structure. Fortunately, there is a simple fix: (at least on WindowsXP) any directory window has a "Tool" menu item, under which is a "Folder Options..." choice. This brings up a dialog box with tabbed panels. In the "View" panel make sure to UNcheck the checkbox "Hide extensions for known file types". Also, under the "Hidden files and folders" select "Show hidden files and folders". This will let you better understand the hierarchical directory structure as you navigate through directories. For instance, "My Documents" is standardly accessible indirectly from the Desktop but can be hidden in its actual parent directory.
- Launching programs and finding files is often obscure. Knowledgable users can set pathways and shortcuts that increase convenience on their own computers, but there is enough variation in what is standardly set up on an individual computer that it is difficult to write simple instructions for our lessons. So unless you know a better way, put all files and programs for a given lesson in the same directory, i.e. the same folder.
- MSWindows versions of the kinemage software are in self-extracting packages, usually with the extension .zip -- once downloaded into your working directory for a lesson, double-clicking on the zipped package will open a directory window showing the executable program, which then can be dragged out and dropped back into your working directory. Sometimes, the extraction process will actually place the executable into the directory of your choice. in any case, the name of the program should be edited, if necessary, to get it into its simple form ending with .exe
e.g. prekin.6.42.060212.win.exe --> prekin.exe OR probe --> probe.exe
- Programs that are run from a GUI (Graphical User Interface) like mage can be launched by double clicking on their icon, then using menu item File: Open New Kin File... to bring in the desired kinemage. When mage calls another program, e.g. when doing a Tools:Remote Update... , there will be a dialog box with the full command -- which can be edited to have the exact progam name and the exact file name that match the names actually in your working directory. Note that these names are case sensitive! The only exception is that the program name can have or not have the .exe extension. (The command line can be edited to give the path name of the desired program or file if they are not in the working directory, but this is a real pain, hence the suggestion to put everything in one directory.)
A common problem of our ever-changing lessons is keeping the exact name of files, including case and whether or not they have an extension, to be the same in the printed lesson directions and in the kinemage file for remote updates as the file is actually named. So if nothing happens, the first thing to check, once you are sure the files are all present, is the exact specification of the name.
- Programs that are run from a commandline, as probe must be, and prekin is often, are called from a special window called "Command Prompt". Open this window by going to Start --> (All) Programs --> Accessories, and select "Command Prompt". In this window, you must navigate to your working directory. cd name changes the directory to name, where name is one of the directories listed by typing dir Unfortunately, hidden files are not shown by the dir command, even when you have set them to be seen in directory windows. dir/a:d does show all directories but only directories. cd .. takes you up to the currect directory's parent.