FreeBee Newsletter #7


FreeBee Newsletter #7

April 2006


Be Sure to Visit the

ToolBookDeveloper On-Line Store

Instant Access to products you buy

Quantity Discounts on 2 or more products


Check out the

newest money saving bundle

Actions Objects Bundle and save $100


I have been quite busy lately with projects for customers, developing new products, and my trip around the world last July through September - visiting customers in the US, Europe, and the Middle East. 

ToolBook Decaf Version

I hope that life has been better for you since the release of Decaf.  Reports from my customers are that support issues have gone down substantially after converting to ToolBook 2004 SP 3.  If you haven't already upgraded, I highly recommend that you do so.  Also note that there is a recently released patch for ToolBook Instructor 2004 SP3 as well so be sure that you have updated to that too.  But wait there's more... you will see below that there will be another patch/SP/update out soon.

SumTotal Systems Webinar

Robin McDermott and I conducted a Webinar for SumTotal Systems in March that focused on several products including Power Book Builder, the Audio Player Widget, Question Feedback Widget, Quiz Randomizer and the Quiz Summarizer.  If you missed the Webinar, not a can see/hear the entire recording on the STS ToolBook website.

Top of Page

NEW FREEBEE! Eliminate the annoying Click to Activate message in IE 6+

Just when you thought it was safe to pick up the tech support phone (now that your courses are decaffeinated :-)...

Ouch :-( Microsoft, having lost a patent dispute with Eolas, has modified launching ActiveX controls through Internet Explorer to require a click for embedded content such as Flash, or Media like vector graphics.  Big deal...what does this mean to you???

Here is what it means...if your exported ToolBook project requires ActiveX controls such as Flash or perhaps draw objects that you have set to export as vector graphics, when your users mouse over the item in Internet Explorer they will get this tool tip message:

"Click to activate and use this control".

Or perhaps:

"Press ok to continue loading the content of this page".

And your user ins thinking..."Darn it, that's annoying!"

So, what is going on anyway?  Basically, Microsoft lost a patent dispute with Eolas (a software company), regarding embedding media in WebPages.  So, ActiveX Controls can no longer be processed by Internet Explorer that they used to be processed.  When your end users update their computers to the latest MS updates, the Active X Control change will be updated on their computer and after that they will be required to click for any interaction with embedded media.  Wow!  We are supposed to be encouraging our users to take our training - not discouraging them from it!

So...What can you do?

  1. One alternative is to disable this feature by applying the Compatibility Patch for Internet Explorer for Windows XP Service Pack 2.  This patch removes the IE Active X update behavior installed with the April 2006 Security update.

  2. SumTotal Systems is working on a patch to address this issue and it should be available soon.  However, this patch will require you to re-export all of your ToolBook projects. Not a problem with only one or two books, but a nightmare with 20 or 30 books!  But, never fear...

  3. Download and install my Fix Eolas - Click to activate... FreeBee.  This FreeBee will fix this annoying problem for all of your existing ToolBook projects! of will not have to re-export your books because this fix gets applied AFTER you have finished your export.  Click here for more information.

Top of Page

Looking Ahead to TBCon 2006

This year Chris and Jeff at Platte Canyon are broadening the scope of the annual ToolBook Users conference to include other aspects of e-learning in addition to ToolBook and .Net.  Tracks will include ToolBook (of course!), .Net, Flash, and Managing E-Learning so there will be something for everyone involved in on-line training.  While neither Robin or I will be attending TBCon this summer, we will be there in spirit and hope to be back next year! 

NEW Knowledge Base Tip!  Be sure you are viewing your courses the way that your users are viewing them by using the Right Click Send To menu

If you have never paid much attention to the Windows right click send to menu, I have some important reasons why you should be using it and also some tips on how you can use it when you are creating ToolBook projects.  Click here for the article.

Lee Karns:  Contributor to the Knowledge Base

I would like to say a big thank you to Lee for contributing to my Knowledge Base articles. Lee already has four great articles about Simulations: How to and Tips.  Click here to read them:-)

Lee Jay Karns has a well-rounded background in the planning, design, development and deployment of computer based training applications.  He began using ToolBook in 1991 as a professional support staff at Cleveland State University developing computer deployed courseware for the Philosophy, Biology, Anthropology, Speech, Business and Education departments.  In 1997 Lee was hired by Asymetrix, now SumTotal Systems, Inc. While at SumTotal Systems he served in a wide range of capacities. His job titles included:

  • ToolBook Programmer for custom development

  • Project Manager

  • Technical Trainer

In 2004 Lee founded Vertical View Software Associates. VVSA is a consulting network of Software Professionals specializing in the process of Computer Based Training initiatives.  Lee is recognized as an expert within the ToolBook community, especially in the creation of Performance-based Software Simulation training, and enabling developers by creating sophisticated templates.

Click here for more information about Lee's work with Tom Hall on the ToolBook Rapid Development Suite.  The Toolbook Rapid Development Suite will be showcased at TBCON 2006.  You may also view examples of Lee's work at the Vertical View Software Associates website.

Top of Page

New Products

Be sure to check out the newest products:

Power Book Builder continues to be my number one selling product.  If you have PowerPoints that you need to convert into ToolBook, then you need Power Book Builder...that is unless you have nothing better to do, don't have a deadline for your project, and really like copy paste, copy paste, copy paste, copy paste, copy paste, copy get the picture.  Learn more about Power Book Builder and request a FREE conversion sample.

Another Great Knowledge Base Tip!  Get rid of that pesky image toolbar in your dhtml projects

If you have your have Internet Explorer 6 (IE 6), you may have noticed that whenever your mouse pointer (or mouse cursor) moves over an image, an image toolbar automatically pops up, giving you the option to save that image, resize it, print it, send the picture to someone in an email, etc.  Much as this may please some of your users, it annoys a number of fellow ToolBookers who are not thrilled that IE encourages copyright infringement by suggesting that it is acceptable to pilfer pictures from our programs. If you feel the same way, you may be comforted that it is an easy matter to prevent the toolbar from showing over images on your site.   This Knowledge Base article will show you how.  Click here to access it.

Subscribe to the FreeBee Newsletter - It's...well, FREE :-)

If you are new to the FreeBee newsletter, please consider subscribing.  As a subscriber, you will be the first to receive notice of new newsletters.  In addition, some of my FreeBee Tools (free utilities to make ToolBook development easier) are available only to subscribers.  Click here to subscribe.  When you subscribe you will receive an automated e-mail with a username and password for accessing the FreeBees.

Best regards,

Peter Jackson

Top of Page

2006 Nirvana Bound PTY LTD

Please contact the Webmaster with comments/questions about this website.

Click here to subscribe/unsubscribe.