In 1995, only about one in ten adults in the U.S accessed the Internet. As of August 2011, the U.S. Internet population includes 78% of adults (and 95% of teenagers). With the wide variety of computer devices available today, it is difficult to publish a project like these Online Rockhounding Adventures with specifications that will accommodate everyone. In fact it is impossible.
Mobile Devices: To begin with, those of you with iPads and iPhones (and other mobile devices that do not have separate keyboards) will not be able to access this class. During development of this project I researched the various options I could use to produce adventures that could be launched to and made available on the Internet. I selected Qarbon software because of its features and compatibility with what I wanted to accomplish. Mainly, the software allowed me to produce the project myself without having to pay a computer programmer or web developer, which would have been cost prohibitive. Although Flash Video is supported by most operating systems and web browsers, several years ago Apple decided that it would not work with Flash-based videos because it didn’t want to share code and work with Adobe. Fortunately, this same issue does NOT impact Apple laptops and desktop computers.
There is also the problem with a large variation in bandwidth capability that various Internet users have. Bandwidth refers to the amount of data that an Internet user can receive and/or transmit. The Internet speed is measured in terms of megabits per second and is separated into both upload and download ability. Internet Service Providers tend to cap these data rates depending on the plan that the user has purchased. This presents a challenge to projects like this in trying to meet the needs of as many potential users as possible who have a varied range of bandwidths. A U.S. customer may only have a connection as low as around 3 megs per second or as high as 100 megs per second. It is estimated, however, that to successfully be able to access and participate in these Online Rockhounding Adventures, you should have an Internet service plan with a download speed of at least six megabits per second.
One other thing you may want to consider is the time of day you access these adventures. Internet speeds tend to decrease during the evening hours when more people are accessing the Internet Also, if you are accessing the adventures via Wi-Fi, the speed of data transfer can decrease if there are a number of other users simultaneously using the same Wi-Fi network.
New Participants. Press this link to register, pay, and gain access to these adventures.
Returning Participants. Press this link to login.