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Current Tech Notes


 

SPRING 2017

LIFECYCLES OF SOFTWARE

Those of us who have experience working in churches know that we try to squeeze every last drop of life out of the software we buy. Unfortunately, all software "ages" and we have to be aware of lifecycles.

Every software product has a lifecycle. The lifecycle begins when a product is released and ends when it is no longer supported by the company that produced it.

"End of support" refers to the date when Microsoft and other companies no longer provide automatic fixes, updates or online technical assistance.

At Faith Inkubators, we do our best to remain compatible with older versions of software (PowerPoint, etc.) Unfortunately, we are unable to fully support software that has reached "End of support".

Of course, our tech team will always try to help you out if your older software is having an issue. But, sometimes software or hardware is just too old and needs to be updated.

For reference, here is a list of software that is no longer supported by Microsoft.

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8 (Support ends on January 9, 2018)
  • PowerPoint 2003
  • PowerPoint 2007
  • PowerPoint 2011 for Mac (Support ends on October 10, 2017)
  • PowerPoint 2013 (Support ends on April 10, 2018)

Looking ahead, you may be purchasing a new license of Microsoft PowerPoint 2016 for Windows or Mac.

PowerPoint 2016 will have full support through October 13, 2020.


 

THE MEMBER DOWNLOAD AREA

The Faith Inkubators Member Download area has been designed to give you fast and easy access to your membership resource files. These resource files are an exact duplicate of the files on your DVD-ROM.

To begin downloading resources for a given themeset, click the corresponding "Download Resources " link.

You will then be shown a complete list of themes and their corresponding resource files. To download a resource, simply click on the "Download" link by each resource.


 

Faith Inkubators Member Download Area Tips:

  • If you have licensed multiple Inkubators on your user account, you can navigate between the Inkubators by clicking the name under the "Resources" menu on the left side of the page.

  • We do our best to ship accurate bug-free materials each year, but sometimes mistakes slip through. If we discover an issue over the course of the membership year, we will post a fix here.

    Files that have been updated will display with a red box around their "last update" date. Themes that have had an update will display with a tan box around their "last update" date.

  • All files in the Member Download Area are compressed into zip files. If you are unfamiliar with zip files and need assistance opening the files, we have created a short Tech Support Document called How To Open a Zip File. You can download it here (Adobe PDF document).

  • If time is short and you don't want to pick and choose individual theme files, we have added an option for you to download the "Complete Theme". Each "Complete Theme" is a rather large file to download but it contains all files for that theme packaged up in a single zip file.

  • If you have any questions about the Member Download area, please send an e-mail message to help@faithink.com. A Faith Inkubators staff member will respond as soon as possible.


 

October 13, 2015

Hopeful news on the Adobe Flash Player front. Early this morning Adobe released (what they're referring to as) a fixed version of Flash Player. We just tested it on a Windows 10 computer with PowerPoint 2013 and it seemed to fix the Flash Player Bug (described below). Hopefully this fix will work for all versions of Windows.

If you are using Windows 8 or 10, Flash Player is built-in to Windows so the updated Flash Player software will be installed as part of Windows Update. If you would like to get the Windows Update process started early, search for "Windows Update" and have it look for new software.

If you are using Windows 7 or earlier, you can download and install the latest Flash Player here.

Make sure you click that link using the Internet Explorer (IE) browser (not an alternate browser like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). Using IE will ensure that you are downloading the Microsoft-specific version of Flash Player that is needed to work with PowerPoint.

 

October, 2015

October has been an eventful month for software companies launching buggy software updates into the wild. Perhaps a few of these updates have affected your computer. Here is the latest...

 

FLASH PLAYER BUG

Adobe's latest Flash Player update contains a bug that causes problems for people using PowerPoint presentations with Flash-video embedded.

You will know Adobe's bug has affected your computer if you try to save a modified Flash ("_flash") PowerPoint and you get an error message about repairing the file. After attempting to repair the file, if you try to play the PowerPoint presentation, the Flash video content doesn't play correctly.

Hopefully Adobe will fix this bug as soon as possible. In the meantime, you have the option of using the QuickTime ("_qt") version of the PowerPoint presentation or you can use the QuickFix Utility below to repair the Flash PowerPoint you are working on.

The Bug
Here is the official bug report on Adobe's website. As you can see, there are a lot of people upset with Adobe and are imploring with them to fix it ASAP:

Deleting the current update and rolling back to the previous version
A company called iSpring Solutions has created a report on the actual problem that you are experiencing. If you want to permanently remove the buggy Flash Player software and replace it with the working older version, they have instructions here. Depending on what version of Windows you are using, you either have to roll-back the Flash Player Update from Adobe or a Windows Update from Microsoft.

Quick Fix Utility
Finally, if rolling back the Flash updates on your computer is too much of a hassle, iSpring Solutions has helpfully written a free utility that allows you to repair a corrupted Flash-embedded PowerPoint presentation. If nothing else, it will get you up and running for that night's large group presentation. Here is a link to that utility along with the instructions. It's pretty easy to repair a modified PowerPoint file using this utility.

WHAT VERSION OF POWERPOINT SHOULD I USE?

There are literally thousands of different configurations of computer hardware and software in use by churches today. Unique combinations of everything from processor type, processor speed, graphical capabilities, RAM, Windows version, PowerPoint version, video codecs, Flash Player version and more.

Because of those unique configurations and the advanced capabilities required to handle embedded video, there is no longer a way to guarantee that one single PowerPoint presentation will work on every computer.

With that in mind, we've created three different ways to play the video files.

1. QUICKTIME POWERPOINT VERSION
The QuickTime (or "_qt") version was created for newer hardware running the latest Windows and PowerPoint software. It is also the only version that will work on Apple Mac computers running "PowerPoint for Mac".

2. FLASH POWERPOINT VERSION
Many churches with older computers have had success running the Flash (or "_flash") version. (The video files embedded in this version are not compatible with "PowerPoint for Mac".)

Just make sure you have the latest version of Adobe's free Flash Player for Microsoft installed.

To install the correct Microsoft version of Flash Player, make sure you are using the Internet Explorer browser. (If you use an alternative browser like Chrome, Firefox, etc., the wrong version of Flash Player will be installed.) Head over to https://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/ and download/install the Flash Player that matches your Windows setup.

3. INDIVIDUAL VIDEO FILES
We've made the individual video files available in the online Member Download Area.

You can find each set of QuickTime and Flash videos listed for download under each Theme Set's System Support Resources section.

You may have a preferred way of embedding videos into your version of PowerPoint that differs from that standard way we embedded the files. If that's the case, we've provided the individual files that allow you to re-embed any video into your PowerPoint presentation.

Finally, if all of the above methods don't work with your computer setup, the individual files still offer one final solution.

The QuickTime files should play by themselves using your computer's media player (if set up correctly) or with the QuickTime Player from Apple.

The churches that rely on this method simply pause the PowerPoint when they want to play a video file; play the video in full-screen using their Media Player; then jump right back into the PowerPoint presentation.

It obviously isn't as seamless as playing a video embedded in a PowerPoint slide, but it at least keeps them from having to skip over the videos during their large group time.


October, 2015

OFFICE 2011 and OFFICE 2016 FOR MAC (POWERPOINT)

If you are using Office 2011 or 2016 and have updated your Mac to the El Capitan version of OSX, you probably know that many programs within Office are no longer working correctly. Until Microsoft fixes the problem, they recommend rolling your computer back to the Yosemite version of OSX. That, of course, isn't exactly practical if you've already upgraded your computer. Hopefully they will get a fix out soon. (Update: Microsoft has released a patch for Office 2011. Problems are still being reported for Office 2016.)

 


 

 

 


Art by Dr. He Qi