Thursday, February 14, 2008

Macbook Air, part 3

I have had the MBA for a while now and all seemed to be well until tonight. I uploaded a presentation I am doing next week which included 5 wmv files embedded in a Powerpoint 2007 presentation. The movies would begin to play and then freeze up PowerPoint. I thought it might be PowerPoint, and re-installed, but that did not work. (The movies played fine in Media Player and I even converted them to AVIs using Premiere Elements and that did not work, either.) (4/28/08 follow-up: I found out if I save the presentation as PDF with Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional and embedded the videos as AVI or MOV (which are the only two choices) into the resulting PDF, the videos played pefectly in the PDF on the Windows side of the machine. Just a simple work-around...)

It took a while, but I found the answer was to decrease the hardware acceleration of the graphics card. To do this on XP, simply right-click on the desktop and choose PROPERTIES-SETTINGS-ADVANCED-TROUBLESHOOT. I had to drag the slider down to the middle of bar in order for the wmv movies to run within the PowerPoint presentation. This disables some things that apparently could cause problem with Direct X programs, but I need the videos to work right now. It is easy to set it back to full for all other applications.

This must be an interesting chipset. I found newer drivers, but hesitate to install them because of the Bootcamp/Windows/Mac thing. However, I did find a fix for those with the Intel 965 chipset (on any computer) who cannot seem to get Second Life to run. That post is here. I successfully followed these directions on a student's Dell laptop with Vista earlier this week and he is having no problems!

I promise not to continue with many more postings on the Air. However, people are reading and responding and asking me additional questions via email, so I feel compelled to share what I learn to save others some time!

Kathy "The Techno-Geek" Schrock