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Technical Tips from the Developers

see also: Frequently Asked Questions

The program needs to be installed in order to run. Some users and testers have tried to run the program without first installing it. You will either get a message telling you that you need to install first, or in some cases the program may hang at the sign-in screen. Please install the program before trying to run it.

Installed Files:
The installer creates a directory (folder) on your boot-up drive called "ourhouse". The information in this folder must not be moved or deleted, otherwise, problems similar to not installing will occur, i.e. the program will run inproperly or may crash.

Newer QuickTime (PC only):
If you have a newer version of QuickTime than the one shipped with The White House Is Our House, the installer will recommend that you not install the shipping version. However, it is possible that your new version will no longer support the QTVR driver included with the program. If this is the case, you will need to place a compatible (newer) version of QTVRW.QTC into the "ourhouse" directory on your hard disk. Several options exist:

32-bit QuickTime (PC only):
If you have 32-bit QuickTime installed on your computer, and it is newer that the version shipping with The White House Is Our House, you may be inclined to not install the 16-bit version provided. However, the program is not supported by the 32-bit version of QuickTime. Some Windows 95 users and all Windows NT users will need to go ahead and install the 16-bit version of QuickTime provided on the CD. It can peacefully coexist with the 32-bit version you already have. If you already have a 16-bit version installed which is newer than the one shipped, you may still need a newer QTVRW.QTC. See the tip above about Newer QuickTime. If you are still having problems, the following may prove helpful:

  1. COPY (not MOVE) the file QTVRW.QTC from the OURHOUSE directory into your WINDOWS directory, in order to get QTVR working outside the confines of our program.
  2. Run the MOVIE PLAYER (the plain one - not the 32-bit version)
  3. OPEN the file EASTAPP.MOV from the QTVR directory on the CD.

If the QTVR shows up (and is active), the problem is not related to Quicktime. If the controller shows up with no image, Quicktime VR is still not working properly. There may be a conflict with your video hardware (or other hardware) and the version of QuickTime shipped with the program. You may benefit from downloading the latest version of QuickTime from Apple's site. At this point you will need to COPY the newer version of the file QTVRW.QTC into your "OURHOUSE" directory to work with the program, as discussed above under Newer QuickTime.

Removing the CD:
If you remove the CD during program operation, your system will be likely to crash with a GPF message, or at least hang. If you are really lucky, you will simply get a dialogue box telling you that your CD can't be read, and you will have the opportunity to push the darned thing back in and press OK. Otherwise (and more likely), you will need to reboot your computer to recover from this foolish act, especially if you got the GPF.

Screen Savers:
Windows screen savers may cause the program to crash, hang, or cause the Main View Window to go black. In some instances, simply moving the mouse in the Main View Window will bring the QTVR back to life. In other situations, you may need to Quit the current Tour and go back to the program's Main Menu, where you can start again. In the worst case, you may need to reboot either Windows or your computer. It seems to have something to do with the particular screen saver, your video setup, and available memory. If you are having this problem, disable your screen saver.

Usually, if the program crashes, it is because of not enough memory. If possible, you should shut down all other programs before using The White House Is Our House, and you may need to take other measures to make more memory available. Please note that the memory requirements are for AVAILABLE or FREE memory, not total memory installed on your computer.

If you are not finding what you are looking for with the Find function, it is probably because your phrase is too long. The program (unfortunately) will not find phrases that break over the end of a line. Instead of "President John F. Kennedy", which is likely to break over a line, you should search on "Kennedy" and pick the right one when it comes up. Instead of "Silver Water Ewer", just plain "Ewer" will do.

Wrong Cursor:
Sometimes when moving the cursor out of the Main View Window, it does not change back to an arrow. This is a known QTVR/Director bug, and there is nothing that can be done about it for now. However, please note that even though it might be the wrong shape, the cursor works fine, and will normally revert to an arrow if ANYTHING is clicked.

Windows Colors:
Even though all images are stored on the CD in 24-bit format, the Windows version presents everything except the QTVR in 8-bit color. This doesn't do justice to several of the portraits and some of the other images as well. Unfortunately, this is a technical problem with running QTVR in Director, and there is nothing that can be done about it at this time. Fortunately, when printing from the Treasure Box, the original image files are used, not the screen images, and all printing is done in 24-bit color (or to the limits of your printer).

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