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Web browser plug-ins (sometimes called players)
are used to view movies, cartoons and interactive content. The Home Zone uses plug-ins for the animated Cool Stories and interactive games. The plug-ins used in The Home Zone are made by a company called Macromedia.
Plug-ins and players usually come with your Web browser. But sometimes, you may need to custom-install special players so you can experience all the content on a site.
How will you know if you need it?
If you do not have the player you need for the Web site you
are visiting, the site will usually give you some sort of
warning. Instead of an animation, movie or game you might
see an icon representing the missing player. For example,
do you see an icon of a spoke-wheel, or a picture of Ginnie
with her arms open on the top right corner of this page? If
so, then you probably don't have the Flash 4 player. In the
Home Zone you'll need the Flash 4 player to see the Cool Stories
and play HomeBuilder, and you'll need Shockwave to play Match
'Em. If you already have Flash 4, you will seen an animation
of one of the Home Zone characters on the top right telling
you that you are all set. If you have the Flash 3 plug-in,
you'll see one of the characters telling you to upgrade to
Where are they plug-ins on my computer?
Plug-ins or players are typically installed in a special "plug-Ins"
folder on your hard drive. The plug-in installer
application (called an "executable") will try to find
this folder for you and automatically install the plug-in
there. Try not to move this folder so that in the future,
installer applications will always know where to go. Your Web browser can seamlessly use plug-ins found in this folder without you having to run a thing.
Are there any security issues involved?
Depending on how your browser is set, you may receive a warning message about security when you download the plug-ins to use in the Home Zone. The message will ask you whether you want to continue with the download. If you cancel, the plug-in will not download, but you will not be able to view all the material in the Home Zone.
Some people are concerned when they download plug-ins. The plug-ins we use are not a security issue or privacy issue. They do not collect personal information or interfere with your computer. Kids should always ask permission before downloading anything off the Internet, and adults should always monitor childrens' Internet usage.
can I test my browser for the plug-ins I need in the Home Zone
If you can see and hear the character on the top right telling you that you can watch Cool Stories, you already have the Flash 4 player. You can also check by clicking
on the following link, which will take you outside the Home Zone to
Macromedia's test page. There you will be able to test for
the two plug-ins important for the Home Zone. If you are missing a player, you will be able to install it.
When you are finished installing any missing players,
you can continue visiting the Home Zone.
Click here to get to Macromedia's Shockwave and Flash Players Download Center. You'll see step by step directions for how to download the plug-ins. The Shockwave 7 plug-in (includes Flash 4) can take between 10-20 minutes over a 28.8 kbps modem. If you're having trouble, Macromedia has troubleshooting information, or you can check the Home Zone's troubleshooting page.