A support article from Sunday Software for our customers and our software.
We are thrilled that Windows continues to support older programs, as well as new ones. That’s a super-bonus to churches with older equipment or whose Sunday School relies on finding good used computers. Each version of Windows has its own peculiarities with regard to new and older software.
This article is our final recommendation on hardware and operating systems. We have closed the retail part of our ministry and donated all our software to www.rotation.org. Read about it!
Check our Tech Notes for Updates to your Software
Some earlier CDs and Downloads contain files that we’ve SINCE updated to make them compatible with Window 8 and 10. In particular, some program video files have been update to W8/10 “codec” standards and you’ll need to download the video file updates and copy them to your installed program.
Making our software fill more of your screen
Many of our programs have fixed dimensions, and can thus appear ‘small’ in the middle of a large monitor. Fortunately, Windows 7, 8, and 10 have a “display scaling” feature you can play with to make our software fill more of the screen. Open your Display Settings and look for the “scaling” option. The scaling control has a different appearance and location in each version of Windows. Below is the one for Windows 10. How-to article.
In Windows 8:
Again, if you have Windows 8 on the older or used equipment given to you in your church, we recommend upgrading to Windows 10 immediately. If that’s not possible, consider the following tweaks.
You’ll need to ignore the “tile” (“metro”) interface to Windows 8 and work from the DESKTOP. Windows 8’s opening “tile” or “metro” interface is practically useless for Sunday School computing. We are not running apps. Rather, we are installing and running programs and will need start up icons on your desktop. You may even want to set Windows 8 to boot Window 8 to the DESKTOP screen. At a very minimum, teach all your teachers and students where the Desktop tile is on the tile interface.
For Both Windows 8 and 10:
Be sure you have the latest/last version of Quicktime for Windows version 7.7.9 installed. https://support.apple.com/kb/DL837 Search for it at apple.com.
Be sure you are following our latest tech tips for each program. View our Support Page.
Tips on Installing & Running our Software on Windows 8 and 10
1. INSTALLING FROM THE CD
When you insert the CD into the CD drive, often as not in Windows 8 or 10, the ‘autoplay’ or auto-install feature doesn’t start up. That’s because you have to tell Windows 8 what you want it to do when you insert a CD. (Stupid thing.) On some Windows 8 and 10 machines this can take a few moments, or never happen! The workaround: Whenever I install a program on our Windows 8 computer, I insert the CD and then immediately go into my folder and navigate to the files on the CD and double click the installation file. If you are unfamiliar how to do this, get someone to show you how.
NOTE: For a short time we did sell “downloadable” software. All the software we donated to www.rotation.org is all downloadable.
2. ACCOUNT CONTROL INTERFERENCE.
Windows 8 and 10’s Security “Account Control” will often pop up and ask you if you really want to install from the CD. (Annoying, if I didn’t want to, would I have inserted it?) In my experience, this security window message if often BURIED underneath an open window. Look for the security shield blinking icon on your taskbar if you don’t see the window. Turn off Notifications in the User Account panel located in the Windows Control Panel.
After over two decades of creating and resourcing software for Sunday School, we have closed our virtual doors and donated all of our software and their guides to www.Rotation.org where they can be downloaded for free by the supporting members of that Sunday School resource site. Rotation.org’s lesson forums also have all my software lesson plans as well. Teaching materials, software descriptions, and tech support will remain active here at Sundaysoftware.com through 2021.
All 18 donated programs work on Windows 7, 8 and 10! –and are still in use in thousands of Sunday Schools and Christian homes across the U.S. and Canada. Read more about our journey and decision.
It has been a blast and a blessing. Thank you.
3. ADMIN AND USER “LOG-IN” ACCOUNTS
Always install software while logged in as the main user with full administrative rights. If you set up a sub-user account with limited privileges, then certain installation functions may not take place, or be permanent. AFTER installing under the full admin user account, IF you also have a sub-user acct set up for the kids, now go into that sub-user account and test that the software works under those limited privileges. I don’t have a separate log in for the kids. Why? Because a teacher is always there.
4. CREATING A STARTUP ICON to the PROGRAM ON YOUR DESKTOP
Many programs will automatically install their startup icon on your desktop screen, HOWEVER, many will not and you have to do it manually. To manually install a startup icon to the program do this: (1) Go into the program’s folder (probably c:\programs86x) and RIGHT click the start file. (2) Select “Send to” and “create shortcut on desktop”. After it puts a shortcut on your desktop, you can rename the shortcut on the desktop. If you don’t know how to do this, you should probably ask someone who does.
NOTE: Many of our customers will need to create a Startup Icon on their Desktop when they are in the process of fully copying a program to a folder on their harddrive and run it from there so that the kids/teachers don’t have to handle the CD. This is quite do-able in Windows 8, but just remember: you can’t do this as a way to avoid buying the right number of copies of a program. Some programs are designed to fully install and not need the CD in the drive. Others are designed to run from the CD but can be fully installed to the harddrive and run from there (with the CD put into safekeeping). If you don’t know how to do these things, ask someone who does. It’s not hard, and quite do-able in Windows 8.
The ‘startup’ or ‘executable’ file in most of our programs is the file on the CD or in the folder with the extension “exe” (which stands for executable). In some cases the file is named “start.exe” or uses the name of the CD, such as “faith.exe”. Look at the files in the installed folder. If you need help finding the right file, email us.
5. INSTALLING THE LATEST VERSION OF QUICKTIME FOR WINDOWS
Windows 8 and 10 will require the latest version of Quicktime for Windows. https://support.apple.com/kb/DL837
Some older versions of ‘QT’ won’t work in W8. Most of our programs that use Quicktime also come with a version of Quicktime on the CD, HOWEVER, it’s probably too old for Windows 8. If your lab doesn’t have an internet connection, download the standalone version of QT from Apple, put it on a USB flash drive and bring it into your lab to install it. Easy-peasy. Go to https://support.apple.com/kb/DL837
The four CDs in series are quite old but still great to teach with. They come with a version of Quicktime that MUST be installed on your Windows 7 or 8 machine in order for the videos in the Bible Time Theater to work. Look for it on the CD in the folder titled “Media” …it’s the qt32.exe file.
QT32.exe install note:
Before running this file, RIGHT click it and select “run as administrator.”
When the program asks if you want it to “search for other versions” select NO, otherwise the install will error.
BTW: This program will only display 640 x 480 windows. On a high resolution screen, it will thus look pretty small! See this article about setting your resolution down as low as you can go.
7. ERRORS DURING RUNNING/PLAY
“Acknex” has caused/errored”
Video or animation won’t play
8. SET WINDOWS MEDIA PLAYER (aka WMP) as the DEFAULT VIDEO PROGRAM in W8
By default, Windows 8 will try to open standard “wmv” videos found in some of our software using its default and dumb “XBox Video App.” This will cause those wmv videos NOT to play during a game because the game software expects the Windows Media Player to hand off videos to it. (I first noticed this problem when trying to view the opening video in Attack of the Sunday School Zombies CD, -who’s video is in the ‘wmv’ format. ) (Windows 10 got rid of Xbox Video and returned to Media Player.)
Thus, you need to
- Go into the Windows 8 Control Panel,
- Open DEFAULT PROGRAMS,
- and CHANGE the default program for video files to Windows Media Player.
This will also make WM-Player the default player for other windows video files, and it is much easier to use WMP than the crappy Xbox Video app. For example, I keep a set of Christian music videos on our computers and like to select “play all” so the music videos are playing in the background. Can’t do that in the Xbox audio app, duh.
Note: Setting WMPlayer as the default video player will not affect those programs that have Quicktime videos instead. They play nice with each other.
9. Note about “Sticky Keys”
Windows has a “accessibility” (disability) feature called “Sticky Keys” which can sometimes pop up when you rapidly press a key during a game. It can also cause a game to ‘minimize’ to the taskbar during use. To turn it off, Press your SHIFT Key rapidly 5 times. This will prompt the Window’s “sticky keys” feature to open. Select “No”.