Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am experiencing this error when launching ToolBook on a Windows 2000 machine: "Initialization failed. Not enough memory or the file is damaged."

Please refer to the Knowledge Base article on the Asymetrix (ToolBook) website.

Q. As a lecturer, I would like to use parts of the MATTER site in lecture demonstrations. However, I don't want to risk the embarrassment of a bad/failed Internet connection or server failure during the lecture. Is there anything I can do?

A. The best solution is to "cache" your favourite pages prior to the lecture and then work offline. To do this:

  • open a web browser on the computer you will use for the lecture.
  • check that the browser is set to cache visited pages (consult your browser's Help on how to do this). Most browsers come with the default cache settings on, but it is best to make sure.
  • Browse to all the pages you wish to use in the lecture. These should then be stored in the browser's cache.
  • To check, switch to offline browsing. (File | Work offline in Internet Explorer, File | Offline | Work offline in Netscape).
  • Open some of the pages again to make sure they display. You might even want to disconnect the internet cable to make extra sure.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The cached files are NOT kept indefinitely on the machine. If possible, carry out the above procedure within a day or so of the scheduled lecture.

Q. Is there any way to download or buy a copy of your website to install on my own machine or network?

A. We get many requests on this subject. At present we are unable to offer this type of service for a number of reasons.

  • Technical Support - Maintining our website on our own systems is often challenging enough. To try and support copies of the website on a wide variety of operating systems and webservers would simply be impossible at the present time.
  • Intellectual Property - Many individuals and organisations have contributed to the contents of the MATTER website. By distributing copies of our website whole, we would inevitably lose a measure of control over the intellectual property of MATTER and its partners.
  • Changes - We make regular changes to our website. Many of these changes are quite subtle and might not be readily apparent to the end-user (e.g. changes to the code of Java applets, Flash movies, etc.). Copies of the website held on local machines would rapidly become out-of-date.
  • "Dynamic" Web Technology - Like many other providers of interactive websites, MATTER is making increasing use of "dynamic" web technology. This requires that web pages be run from a web-server, and not just run from the operating system. More and more of our pages are also being generated from databases, which are not distributable.

Q. Are you going to issue another version of Materials Science on CD-ROM?

A. Materials Science on CD-ROM version 2.1, released in January 1998 is the final release of this title. Since that time, all new MATTER titles have been developed for on-line delivery.

Q. Why can UK universities get a site licence for Materials Science on CD-ROM for just £50, while non-UK universities have to pay the full site licence fee?

A. Although this pricing might at first seem discriminatory, there is an important issue about the way the development of Materials Science on CD-ROM version 2.1 financed.

MATTER was originally funded by the 4 UK Higher Education Funding Councils under the TLTP programme (Teaching and Learning Technology Programme). TLTP funding was "top-sliced" from the overall UK universities budget - in effect, each UK university made a significant financial contribution to MATTER (in effect about £1,600 per university).

Because of this, MATTER is obliged under the terms of our TLTP funding to provide the software AT COST (e.g. £50) to all UK HEIs.

As universities outside the UK did not contribute to the initial development costs, it is only fair that they pay a higher price than their UK counterparts. Even at £800 for a 40 user licence, a non-UK university is getting the software for less than half the real cost borne by its UK counterpart.


The University of Liverpool
Copyright of The University of Liverpool 2000