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Technical FAQ and Replacement Policy
Noted Guerillas on CDROM
Q: Do you support Linux, Apple, etc?
A: No. This is not a matter of bias, sucking up to Microsoft, or anything of the kind. We are a small operation --we simply donít have access to anything other than the Win32 clients (XP, NT, Win2000, Win9X) to try these things out. However, these are standard Adobe Acrobat 5.0 files (set to Acrobat 4.0 compatibility) --if Adobe has a client for your OS, then you should be able to read the files. That is if you can read the CD, which was written from WinXP. We canít help you there; likely your experience in a hostile world (compatibility-wise, that is) has already taught you the answer to this one way or the other. We make no representations or guarantees that the CD or the PDF files it contains will work on anything other than the different flavors of 32-bit Windows OSes.
Q: What is the slowest pc this will work on?
A: Donít know. We tried it on a Celeron 466 with 96MB RAM and a 20X CDROM drive. Worked fine. Adobe suggests a Pentium-class processor and 64MB of RAM for Acrobat 5.0 on a 32-bit Windows machine.
Q: How do I get this thing started?
A: The CD Menu (it looks like this) should start automatically when you insert the CD into your drive. If it doesnít, you can go to My Computer, right click on your CDROM drive, and click on "Autoplay" --that should start the menu as well. Alternately, you can navigate to the CD contents in Windows Explorer and click on "Autorun.exe" which should also launch the menu. The menu is written in very basic html (web page) code that any relatively modern Windows computer should be able to run. As a last gasp, if the menu just wonít start (weíve never seen this), you can navigate directly to the individual PDF files and click on one of those --if you have Adobe Acrobat installed on your pc it should launch and read the file for you. The files have obvious names like "Churchill.pdf", "Duel.pdf", etc.
Q: Okay, the menu started, how do I read one of the included works?
A: Click on the blue underlined title for that work. Your mouse should turn into the little hand with finger when it is over the title. Remember, this menu is basically a web page. Clicking on the link should launch Adobe Acrobat (if installed on your pc) with that work.
Q: I clicked on a title; nothing happened. What now?
A: Most likely your pc does not have a copy of Acrobat Reader installed on it. Click on the "Install Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.05" link on the menu and follow the instructions. That is, if you have a Win9x, NT, XP, or Win2000 machine. Those are the only OS supported by the install package for Acrobat included on the CD. If you have some other OS, you can go to www.adobe.com to see if they have a compatible client of Acrobat Reader for your OS.
Q: Okay, everything starts fine, but some of the pictures look pretty bad --are they supposed to look like that?
A: Probably not; at least we think they look pretty good. Here is a sample of the first image from Churchillís The Crisis the way it is supposed to look. If yours looks significantly worse than this, there is probably a problem. Are you using the most current version (5.05 --the one included on the CD) of Acrobat Reader? While the files are compatible with Acrobat 4.0, we have seen some instances where Acrobat 4.0 caused some images to look ugly. If you are using an older version of Acrobat, try upgrading to the current version and see if that helps.
Q: The images of Kennett Castle, Gratz Brown, and T.C. Reynolds in The Brown-Reynolds Duel are kind of dark --are they supposed to be that way?
A: Thatís the way they look in the book. The book is in excellent shape, but it is 90+ years old; it isnít clear to us if they were always that dark or if that is the result of aging and the technology ("mezzotints") originally used to make them.
Q: Some images and maps in the various works need to be viewed sideways. Thatís fine for a book, but do you expect me to turn my monitor sideways to see them?
A: Luckily, Adobe helped us out there. There should be a button on your Acrobat toolbar that looks like this That button will rotate the screen image for you. Rotate it back when you are done looking at the image and continue on your way.
Q: The text or image size is a little smaller than I would like. Can I make them bigger?
A: Yep. Use the zoom tool on the Acrobat Toolbar to make them as big (or small) as you like. I usually use the "fit width" setting personally, with the occasional zoom in on images to 200% or 400%. Whatever works for you.
Q: Whatís the deal with all the blue underlined links in the table of contents?
A: Most of the table of contents lines are actually linked to spots in the texts. You can click on those blue underlined links to transport yourself to that chapter or image. You can then (if you chose) use the big back arrow on the Acrobat Toolbar to return to where you started. This is handy for hopping to specific chapters or images.
Q: My CDROM drive is really old and slooow. Is there some way to make this go faster?
A: We tried it out on an 8x CD drive and it seemed pretty good to us. Still, if you like, you can create a new directory on your pc, copy all of the files from the CD to your harddrive and read them from there. If you have a particularly slow CD drive this may result in better performance. Copying the files for your own personal use wonít violate the software license so long as you own the pc you copy the files to, you arenít running a "Warez" piracy site featuring old Missouri Civil War texts, and you keep the original CD in your possession. However, there are some other considerations. For one, if you have an old CD drive, you probably also have a smallish harddrive and may not have room to copy the PDF files to your harddrive --they are approximately 170MB in size for all of them combined. Please check that you have the room on your harddrive before attempting this --we donít want to be responsible for you crashing your system with a "disk out of space" error. If you copy all of the files from the CD, then the "autorun.exe" in the new directory on your pc should start the menu and read the files from your harddrive. If not, then navigate directly to the PDF file you want with Windows Explorer and click on it to launch Acrobat and read the file. The Brown-Reynolds Duel is the biggest PDF file with the most images of the group; for this reason it tends to be somewhat slower than the others.
Q: The post office destroyed my CD, or I get lots of read errors, or. . .anything else that leads us to believe that your CD is no longer among the living. What now?
A: We test each CD before it is sent out, so hopefully you wonít get a bad one. Still, these things happen, and the ways of the US Postal Service are as inscrutable to us as they are to you. We will replace a bad/damaged CD with a new one on request, free of charge, for the first 30 days, so long as you return the corpse of the old one to us first. If some months from now, you manage to accidentally do something horrible to your CD (drives are even known to eat the things from time to time), we will still replace it with a new one if you first send us the old one --but after 30 days from purchase we will require a $2 replacement fee and $4 s&h to perform this service. We want you to have a good experience with the CD for a long time and we will do anything that seems reasonable to us to insure this. We reserve the right to refuse to perform this service if it appears to us that anyone is abusing the privilege. Please contact us at email@example.com, BEFORE returning your old one, to discuss and arrange should you find yourself in need of a replacement CD. This service will only be available to purchasers of the CD; if received as a gift the user will need to identify to us the name of the original purchaser so we can check it against our records.
Q: Nice try, tech-boy --but my question isnít covered here. So now what?
A: Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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