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Multimedia and Other Tools

Windows 98 expands the multimedia capabilities of your computer, making it easier than ever to take advantage of exciting new educational software, use new hardware like scanners and digital cameras with your computer, and incorporate a wider range of audio and video files into your lessons and presentations.

Multimedia Features

Windows 98 supports the following multimedia features to help you create a dynamic, interactive learning environment:

DVD Player—Digital Video Disc puts an entire video onto one compact disc with higher quality and durability than traditional VHS tape. The DVD player also plays conventional CD-ROMs.

MMX—Today’s best educational software takes advantage of the latest in multimedia technology like Intel’s Pentium Multimedia Extensions (MMX) for faster audio and video. Windows 98 supports MMX technology.

Broadcast Architecture—You can install a TV tuner board which allows the computer to receive and display television distributed over the broadcast networks. The Windows 98 Program Guide lists television shows that are available. Windows 98 can also receive Enhanced Television programs which combine television with other information related to the program.

ActiveMovie™—Delivers high-quality video playback of many types of files including MPEG audio, WAV audio, MPEG video, AVI video, and Apple QuickTime video.

The Windows 98 Help system contains more information about these multimedia accessories and procedures for using them.


Plug and Play

Plug and Play technology makes it easy to share computer equipment between computers. A technology called Universal Serial Bus (USB), allows you to easily use additional hardware with your computer, and share it with others. Just plug it in and your computer does all the work of configuring it for use with the computer. Unplug it to allow other classroom computers to use it. Instead of having to buy a scanner for every classroom, you can arrange to share popular devices as your lessons require.

Using the Computer with a Television

One of the newest technologies with exciting possibilities for education is the combination of the Internet and television broadcasting. With a TV tuner card installed in a computer, you can use the TV Viewer accessory in Windows 98 to watch broadcast programming in a window on the computer monitor. Organizations such as PBS are developing Enhanced TV which combines the features of a Web site, like articles, pictures, discussion groups, and everything else you currently find on the Internet with the television broadcast. With Enhanced TV, learning will continue after the program is over through Web based content about the program’s subject matter.

Scheduling Regular Maintenance

Features like System File Checker and Disk Defragmenter might not sound all that exciting, but what they can do for your system is. Windows 98 comes with a host of features that make your computer system work faster and more reliably. These features perform behind the scenes tasks like keeping track of files and repairing damaged files.

In the past, you probably relied on a technology coordinator or system administrator to help you with your computer system, and this person’s time was most likely in high demand. With Windows 98, you can use the following maintenance tools to “tune-up” your system.

Using Maintenance Wizard, you can easily have your computer schedule and perform these tasks on a regular basis.


To schedule maintenance

    1. Click the Start button to display the Start menu.
    2. Point to Programs, point to Accessories, point to System Tools, and then click Maintenance Wizard. The Maintenance Wizard dialog box appears.
    3. Click Express and then click Next. You are asked to pick a maintenance schedule.
    4. Select the schedule you want. If your computer is usually left on at night, you may want to select the Midnight to 3:00 AM option so that maintenance does not disrupt you at a time when you will be using the computer.
    5. Click Finish. Or, if you would like to perform maintenance immediately, select the When I Click Finish Perform Each Scheduled Task For the First Time checkbox, and then click Finish.
    6. After you have scheduled maintenance, you can view the schedule by double-clicking on the Task Scheduler icon on the taskbar. You can also reschedule a maintenance task.

      To reschedule maintenance

    7. Double-click the Task Scheduler icon on the taskbar and then click the maintenance task you want to reschedule to open the appropriate task dialog box.
    8. Click the Schedule tab. The current schedule is displayed.
    9. Click the Schedule Task down arrow, and then click the new schedule choice.
    10. Adjust the number in the Every box by typing a new number or use the arrows to adjust the number of days.
    11. Click OK.

      Setting Up the Update Wizard

      Windows Update, Microsoft’s Web-based support accessory, keeps your computer up-to-date with additions and improvements to Windows 98, and offers a technical support option that helps you find answers to your questions.

      To connect to and set up the Update Wizard

      If your computer is not already connected to an online computer network, you will need to have your modem connected.

    13. Click Start to display the Start menu.
    14. Click Windows Update. Microsoft Internet Explorer's browser window opens and the Windows Update Web page is loaded. A message tells you that Windows 98 Update Wizard Directory Finder needs to be installed.
    15. Click Yes. The Windows 98 Update Wizard Directory Finder is transferred to your computer and installed.

Putting it Together

Now that you are more familiar with the multimedia capabilities of your Windows 98 operating system, you can try the following activities in and out of the classroom: