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Newton InstituteWeb Seminars > Help

Isaac Newton Institute

Web Seminars Help

Frequently Asked Questions

I can not find what I am looking for...

Seminars are categorised by programme and sorted by reverse date. Workshops are a sub-category of Programmes, and have identification codes (e.g. the third workshop under the HOP programme will be tagged as HOPw03). You may also want to try searching..

or using the University of Cambridge Search Tool . If you are lost, the 'breadcrumb' trail at the very top is your main navigation tool.

What are all these different types of Multimedia files?

Multimedia may be provided as Adobe PDF, Microsoft PowerPoint, PostScript or DVI (TeX). If you are not able to view the files then we can recommend some viewing software. Adobe Reader is recommended to view the PDF files and this is a free download via Adobe. If you do not have Microsoft PowerPoint on your computer, there is a free PowerPoint Viewer available via Microsoft. GhostScript & GSview is recomended for PostScript files and you can find out more about DVI from the TeX Users Group

We are currently experimenting with video production and are providing video on some talks. This project is in development, so if you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know!.

What are all these different types of sound files?

Sound is provided as a single track covering an entire talk and may also be provided as separate sections for each slide. On average, the size of the sound file for an entire talk is about 20MB. Sound sections for individual slides will typically be a few hundred kilobytes.

We currently supply most sound-files as MP3. This is a common format and your computer will be able to play these with no problems. If you are experiencing difficulties, then MP3 Players are widely available for many platforms. Further information about this format and players can be found via

Some of the older seminars also have RealAudio versions. RealAudio is a proprietary audio file format. To listen to sound in this format you will require the RealPlayer software. Note that RealNetworks does not supply versions of it player software for HP-UX workstations.

Why is the sound quality sometimes very poor?

We have occasionally experienced problems with the radio-microphone system. Because of this, the sound for some talks has been taken from the ambient-microphone that is used for recording questions from the audience. Unfortunately doing so causes the background noise to be much more pronounced. Speakers also wear the microphone on their clothing. The distance between the microphone and mouth varies and sometimes the microphone can get knocked around. These actions can produce quieter recordings and sudden loud noises, but we try to edit the audio to reduce noise and normalize (smooth) the volume to a suitable level.

Why are there no per-slide sound sections for some talks?

Some speakers gave blackboard-only talks - the "slides" shown are actually taken from overview notes which may not correspond exactly to the presentation (eg. Katok, Caffarelli). Other speakers used multiple overhead projectors simultaneously or switched back and forth very rapidly between slides (eg. Penrose).

What is Flash Player?

Flash player is a plug-in that allows your browser to play Flash movies. It adds interactivity on pages and downloads to your internet browser in a reasonable amount of time. Flash Player is free and available via Adobe.

We have also developed a Flash Seminar Player which aims to provide a modern and easy way to view and select slides whilst listening to the accompanying audio. You can view an example via...

We hope this is intuitive to use and have tried to make it simple. If you have any difficulty using this, or have any questions or suggestions, please let us know!.

How can I save files to my computer?

To save a picture from a web page to your computer, just right-click the image and select "Save Image As..." from the menu that pops up.

To save audio or multimedia files from a web page to your computer, just right-click the link and select "Save Link As..." from the menu that pops up.

What is the difference between 'no frames' and 'frames' page layouts?

Our default page layout is 'frames' which provides a constant menu of items on the left. Clicking on the links in the menu will open the material in a frame on the right. We also provide a 'no frames' version (click on [no frames]) for those who prefer it.

Related Work

Here are links to some sites that demonstrate how other people have gone about making their talks available online. Currently, there is no standard and so everyone has their own distinctive method of presentation. Variety is the spice of life, or so they say.

Any other questions?

It is hoped that the layout of these webpages is self-explanatory. However, if you have any difficulty finding your way around, or have any questions or suggestions, please let us know!.

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