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Frequently Asked Questions

Y Science

Frequently Asked Questions

See below for frequently asked questions. If you can't find an answer to your specific question, please contact us using the Contact Us link above and we would be glad to provide an answer.


Questions About v4.0 and Later Products

A few questions about installing and using Virtual Biology v4.0 and Virtual ChemLab v4.5

New features for Virtual ChemLab v4.5 include:

1.     The software has been completely re-written into Flash so it is now compatible with modern operating systems. The software will now work natively on all Mac operating systems 10.6 or later. While the older software did work on all Windows operating systems, the software is now designed to work on Windows Vista and Windows 7 while still working on Windows XP.

2.     We have eliminated the Instructor Utilities back end system so there is no longer a hallway or card reader before gaining entrance into the laboratory. Access to the main laboratory is now given at the start of the program.

3.     The main laboratory interface has been updated to be fully scaleable, and the interface is now consistent with the Virtual Biology product with holographic projectors and a whiteboard containing workbook preset assignments.

4.     The Inorganic laboratory has been completely updated with new graphics and a new graphical interface that is more efficient and consistent with the laboratories.

5.     A larger collection of presets and unknowns have been created for the stockroom clipboards.

6.     Access to workbook presets is now available through the whiteboard rather than the electronic workbook in the hallway.

7.     The electronic lab book can now be saved as a local file, so each student can keep track of their own lab book. Lab books can also be sent to instructors for grading.

At the Higher Ed level, Virtual Biology is only available through Pearson's Mastering Biology product. When a laboratory activity has been assigned to students inside of Mastering Biology, the Virtual Biology software will automatically load and run in a separate browser window or tab. Students will then perform procedures and answer questions as indicated in the Mastering activity. At the High School level, Mastering Biology is also available online via SuccessNet. In this case, the simulation is launched inside of SuccessNet and then students will perform experiments using worksheets that are available as PDF downloads inside of SuccessNet. Virtual Biology is also available on CD at the High School level for local installations where online access would be problematic. The software is available in a Single User License and also in a Site License format.

For the new Virtual ChemLab, the software is only available on CD with an accompanying workbook as a Single User License for Higher Ed and as a Single User License and Site License for High School. An online version is currently not available. Upon special request with Pearson, a downloadable installation may be available.

As with the earlier simulation products, Virtual Biology and the new Virtual ChemLab include an electronic lab book for students to keep notes and record data. What is new with these lab books, however, is the backend database system is not included with the software, so these lab books cannot be saved online or submitted directly to their instructor. However, these lab books can be saved as local files using the File/Save command in the lab book menu where they can then be opened later by the student (File/Open) for further experiments or the lab book files can be sent to their instructor either by email attachment or as an upload in a course management system. Instructors can then open each student's lab book individually to check work or grade answers to unknowns. Although no backend data management system is included with the software, students can still submit unknowns and results through their lab books.
For Higher Ed, Virtual Biology is available only through Mastering Biology and is delivered directly through a browser. For High School, Virtual Biology is also available online via SuccessNet and is also delivered directly through a browser. No installation is required. However, the High School version of Virtual Biology is also available on CD for a local installation. The installer for the local version has no options and the user should just follow the instructions for installing the software. The only tip or requirement that is unique is that the local installation requires Adobe AIR be installed first before installing the software. Adobe AIR is available free online and an installer has also be included on the CD.

Virtual ChemLab v4.5 also runs inside of Adobe AIR but in this case Adobe AIR is loaded automatically when the Virtual ChemLab software is started, so no separate installation of Adobe AIR is required. The Virtual ChemLab installer is also straightforward and has no installation options except where to install the software. For Macs, the installation is a simple drag and drop into the Applications folder. Also note for Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations, depending on security settings, the installer will prompt the user that the software has an unknown publisher, but this is a bug in the Windows security credentials.

MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

PC
Pentium III Processor (Pentium 4 recommended)
512 Mb RAM (1 Gb Recommended)
CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
150 Mb of free disk space
Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24 bit color)
Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 2 or 3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64-bit editions) with Service Pack 1, or Windows 7

Macintosh
Intel Core Duo or faster processor
512 Mb RAM (1 Gb recommended)
CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
150 Mb of free disk space
Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24-bit color)
Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
OS X 10.6 or later
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

PC
Pentium III Processor (Pentium 4 recommended)
512 Mb RAM (1 Gb Recommended)
CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
400 Mb of free disk space
Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24 bit color)
Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
Microsoft Windows XP Home, Professional, or Tablet PC Edition with Service Pack 2 or 3, Windows Server 2003, Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (including 64-bit editions) with Service Pack 1, or Windows 7
Adobe AIR 2.0.2 or later installed

Macintosh
Intel Core Duo or faster processor
512 Mb RAM (1 Gb recommended)
CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
400 Mb of free disk space
Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24-bit color)
Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
OS X 10.5 or later
Adobe AIR 2.0.2 or later installed

Adobe AIR
Virtual Biology v4.0 runs inside Adobe AIR, and Adobe AIR must be installed before installing the software. Adobe AIR is available online for free and is also available on the installation CD.

1.     The graphics used in the simulations require the monitor to be set to 24-bit true color (millions of colors). Lower color resolutions can be used, but the graphics will not be as sharp.

2.     Right clicking anywhere in the lab will bring up several menu options, one of which shows the current software and database version numbers. On some Macintosh computers, after exiting this menu and returning to the lab tooltips, rollovers, and highlighting will no longer work. This issue is fixed by exiting and restarting the program.

3.     On some monitors at expanded resolutions some of the graphics will appear to have pixel offsets at random locations within the laboratory window. There is no known cause for this, but it can be fixed by moving the laboratory window off from center within the main laboratory window.

4.     For Windows Vista and Windows 7 installations for Virtual ChemLab, depending on security settings, the installer will prompt the user that the software has an unknown publisher, but this is a bug in the Windows security credentials.

If you represent a school, and particularly, if you are interested in purchasing a site license version, we would recommend contacting your local Pearson sales representative and order the software through them. If you don't know your Pearson rep, then you can visit the Contact Page and click on either the Pearson School or Pearson Higher Ed link, as appropriate, to find your local rep. 

You can also purchase the software online by visiting the Pearson School or Pearson Higher Ed sites and search for the product you are interested in. Another and probably easier route to the appropriate link to purchase one of the Y Science products is to visit the purchasing page on this site. A purchasing link is available in the Main Menu and also in each of the product menus. Prices for the products and links to the appropriate purchase page are provided.
The High School products for both Virtual Biology v4.0 and Virtual ChemLab v4.5 are each sold as a Single User version and as a Site License version A Single User version of the software allows you to install the software on only one computer. A Site License product allows you to install as many copies of the software as you would like at the institutional building and on institutionally owned computers for which it was purchased. The software available on the Single User License versus Site License is the same. A Site License allows the user to install the software on large numbers of computers for an affordable price. Keep in mind, however, that a Site License does not permit sharing the software on student owned computers or to deliver it electronically (by any means) for student use except by the written consent of Pearson Education. It should also be noted that Virtual Biology v4.0 is also available in an online format for High Schools via Pearson's SuccessNet.

For the Higher Ed products, the v4.0 and later products are only available in a Single User mode. For Virtual Biology, the software is only available through Mastering Biology in an online delivery format, and for Virtual ChemLab v4.5, the software is currently only available on CD in a Single User of Student format with an accompanying workbook.

General Questions About the Virtual Laboratories

Visit Here for Common Questions About Using the Virtual Laboratories

One of the core principles behind the virtual laboratories is to allow students to experience actual consequences for the decisions they make while performing an experiment. For many of the laboratories, none of these consequences are dangerous, but in some those consequences could result in an explosion of some type. Most students and instructors try to find these for fun. Given below is a list of some of the more straightforward explosions. Other more subtle explosions are included in other areas of the virtual laboratory.

Calorimetry. In the Calorimetry Laboratory, if students perform a heat capacity experiment with one of the alkali metals such as Na, K, or Cs and drop that metal in water then an explosion will occur. Go to the stockroom and select Na, K, or Cs as the metal and also select the coffee cup or dewar calorimeter. Out in the laboratory, fill the calorimeter with water and if you then drop the metal into the calorimeter it will explode.

Density. In the Density Laboratory, users can fill the graduated cylinders with different liquids and drop different solids into them. In this case then, choose a water based liquid for one of the cylinders and then select either Na or Cs and drop it into the cylinder.

Organic. In the Organic Laboratory, students build and run synthesis experiments using a collection of solvents, starting materials, reagents, and glassware. If the student does not build the equipment correctly, then the apparatus will build up pressure and explode. To blow up the glassware, choose any reaction containing a volatile liquid, add heat, and then run the reaction for 30 minutes or so. Having the condenser attached makes for a better explosion.
The answer is most certainly yes. The Y Science Community would benefit from anyone writing or customizing worksheets that can be used with any or all of the products and for any academic level. If you have a favorite worksheet, customized your own, or written a new activity, please feel free to contact and let us know. If you would like us to post your worksheets on the Worksheet Page then we would be glad to do that also.
If you represent a school, and particularly, if you are interested in purchasing a site license version, we would recommend contacting your local Pearson sales representative and order the software through them. If you don't know your Pearson rep, then you can visit the Contact Page and click on either the Pearson School or Pearson Higher Ed link, as appropriate, to find your local rep. 

You can also purchase the software online by visiting the Pearson School or Pearson High Ed sites and search for the product you are interested in. Another and probably easier route to the appropriate link to purchase one of the Y Science products is to visit the purchasing page on this site. A purchasing link is available in the Main Menu and also in each of the product menus. Prices for the products and links to the appropriate purchase page are provided.
The single most important key to guarantee success with the simulations is to tie what the students are doing in the virtual laboratory back into what is being taught in the classroom. We have seen many instances of instructors giving virtual labs as assignments but then fail to help the students connect what they observed in the laboratory with the topic and concepts being taught in the classroom or laboratory. It is difficult for students to make that connection. In our experience, before handing out an assignment it is crucial to explain what you expect the student to learn from doing the work and then when they are done briefly help the student tie the results from the experiment back into overall concepts being taught. These tie-ins do not have to be length but they are important.
Initially, most instructors and/or administrators will think of virtual laboratories as potential lab replacements. While our laboratories can be used in that fashion and often quite successfully, in our experience the most successful applications for the Y Science simulations is as a bridge between the classroom and the laboratory. Our simulations focus on the thinking, decision making, and data interpretation behind a laboratory experiment. With that in mind, we have found the instructors at all levels have used the simulations in the following different learning environments: 

  • Homework 
  • Class Discussion 
  • Student Group Work 
  • Quizzes
  • Lab Exams
  • Laboratory Supplement 
  • Pre-Lab Work 
  • Homework 
  • Mastering Biology Assignments 
  •   
    While the simulations have been used successfully in all of these different applications, most find that homework and/or group work coupled with class discussion is incredibly powerful at teaching students how to think and apply abstract concepts from the classroom.

    Setting up a successful experiment regardless of whether it is in a real or virtual laboratory can often be very difficult for the beginning scientist. In order to help students setup and run important or common experiments, a clipboard has been provided in each laboratory containing a lis of preset experiments specific to that laboratory. These preset experiments are a great way to quickly setup the laboratory to perform these important experiments and allow students to focus on the data collection and analysis rather than the experimental setup. To access a preset experiment, click on the clipboard (usually hanging in the stockroom or resting on the lab bench) and select the desired experiment.
    By far the best way to learn the interface is to perform one or two of the worksheet assignments that come with each copy of the software. The worksheets contain focused and carefully structured assignments that teach or demonstrate specific concepts typically taught in the classroom. Step-by-step procedures are included with each assignment and thus provide a natural and convenient method to learn the basics of the interface. Typically, students can learn their way around the virtual laboratories in less than 30 minutes. If problems are encountered in a particular laboratory, then usually the cause is not understanding or knowing the concepts behind an experiment rather than how to maneuver through the simulations themselves.

    For v2.5 and v3.0 products, the best source is to visit the TV Screen in the lab and then click on Help. Here you will find most of the answers to your questions. User guides should also have been provided with the software. For the v4.0 products and later, you can access Help by clicking on the Help image projected above the whiteboard or by clicking on any of the bells on the stockroom counters in the laboratories.

    v2.5 and v4.0 Products

    The lab book allows you to write and save experimental procedures, observations, and numerical data. For students who receive assignments electronically in the v2.5 and v3.0 products, the lab book is also used to submit results and notes to the instructor for grading. For students who enter the laboratory as a Guest or who enter using the Electronic Workbook in the hallway, the lab book can still be used to story temporary notes and observations, but most commonly it will be used to store numerical data in the Calorimetry, Titrations, or Gases laboratories for analysis outside the simulations in a spreadsheet program. Note that for Guest or Electronic Workbook users, data stored in the lab book will be deleted when the program is exited.

    v4.0 and Later Products

    For the new lab book available in the v4.0 and later products, the purpose and usefulness of the electronic lab book is the same as in the older versions of the simulations. Results, data, notes, output from instruments, images, among other things can be saved to the lab book as a record and for post experiment analysis. The major differences with the new version, however, is the electronic lab book can be saved externally from the software and then opened later to continue work or to add new experimental results. Thus, each student can have their own lab book and use it throughout a class. The lab book can also be sent to an instructor via email attachment or uploaded into a class management system for grading.

    Installation and Usability Issues for v2.5 and v3.0 Products

    Common Questions and Technical Issues When Installing and Initially Using the v2.5 and v3.0 Products

    Pearson Education does not sell a Network version of the software but instead sells a Site License version. Often the Network and Site License versions are confused and considered different, but a Network version and Site License version of the simulations are the same thing. In traditional network software, a system administrator can install a single copy of the software on the server and then deliver that software down to the users on network clients on an as-needed basis without having to install the actual software on each client. The Y Science simulations are too large and graphic intensive for this to be effective and, consequently, the software requires an installation on each network client computer. In most instances, the software is installed on a single master image and then cloned to the rest of the client computers. 

    A Site License product allows you to install as many copies of the software as you would like at the institutional building for which it was purchased. A Site License version also provides a back end or Instructor Utilities option that allows instructors to create classes, provide unknowns and assignments, and grade results and lab books within the context of the virtual laboratory. This capability is only provided in a Site License version although Single User or Student versions can be used in conjunction with this option. Passing data back and forth from the instructor to the student is accomplished either in a local area network environment or through the Web using a web server (provided with the software). Although the assignments can be passed in a network environment (thus why some use the term Network version), the software must be installed locally on each computer where they will be used. The simulations themselves cannot be delivered through the Web, but only the assignments.

    The graphics used in the simulations are rendered with 24-bit color in high resolution and have a fixed size. In order to achieve the interface detail and speed of the simulations, the graphics are not rendered on the fly. Consequently, the window size cannot be adjusted and is most often fixed to 800 x 600 resolution. If you want the simulations to appear larger, then the only option is to decrease the resolution of the computer monitor. Note, however, for the newer Virtual Biology v4.0 and Virtual ChemLab v4.5 products, the main laboratory interface containing the whiteboard and lab benches is adjustable in size to fit the size and resolution of any monitor and to allow other windows to be visible, but again the actual interface graphics for the different lab bench are fixed and cannot be adjusted.
    Yes, the v2.5 and v3.0 products do work in the Vista and Windows 7 operating systems. However, during installation Vista will prompt the user suggesting that the software is not registered and is not safe to install. The user should ignore these warnings and proceed with the installation. Also, Vista and Windows 7 will prevent a Program Group from being created in the Start Menu but the program will be installed correctly in the Program Files folder and the user can create their own Shortcuts to the software.
    MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

    PC
    Pentium 1 GHz (Pentium III or better recommended)
    256 Mb RAM (512+ Mb Recommended)
    CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
    1 Gb of free disk space
    Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24 bit color)
    Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
    Windows 2000 Professional or Windows XP
    QuickTime 6.x/7.x

    Macintosh
    PowerPC (G3 or better recommended)
    256 Mb RAM (512+ Mb recommended)
    CD-ROM drive (for installation only)
    1 Gb of free disk space
    Display capable of and set to millions of colors (24-bit color)
    Recommended minimum resolution 1024 x 768
    OS X (any version)
    QuickTime 6.x/7.x

    Server (For network installations)
    For a Direct Database Access network installation or common database sharing amongst instructors, a file server running an operating system capable of mapped or named drives accessible to all clients in the local area network is required. The clients must be running an operating system compatible with the Virtual Physical Science software (see above). Linux, OS X, Windows, and Novell file servers have all been successfully implemented to host the Virtual Physical Science database.
    A single user version of the software allows you to install the software on only one computer. For Higher Ed products, the single user version is generally intended for students. A Network version and Site License version are the same thing. A Site License product allows you to install as many copies of the software as you would like at the institutional building for which it was purchased. For the v2.5 and v3.0 products, a Site License version also provides a back end or Instructor Utilities option that allows instructors to create classes, provide unknowns and assignments, and grade results and lab books within the context of the virtual laboratory. This capability is only provided in a Site License version although Single User or Student versions can be used in conjunction with this option. Passing data back and forth from the instructor to the student is accomplished either in a local area network environment or through the Web using a web server (provided with the software). Although the assignments can be passed in a network environment (thus why some use the term Network version), the software must be installed locally on each computer where they will be used. The simulations themselves cannot be delivered through the Web, but only the assignments.

    If you would like more detailed information about the network capabilities for assignments, please visit the Download page and download the Instructor Utilities Guide where you will find everything you would care to know about managing the simulations in a network environment.

    1.     The graphics used in the simulations require the monitor to be set to 24-bit true color (millions of colors). Lower color resolutions can be used, but the graphics will not be as sharp.

    2.     When installing any of the virtual labs, you must be logged in as an Administrative User in order for all files and folders to be installed correctly and to have correctly configured file permissions; otherwise, unpredictable results such as hard crashes and other errors can occur during installation and running the labs.

    3.     The Inorganic and Organic simulations will not run on some Macintosh Macbooks using an Intel-based processor. This is a known issue affecting all Adobe (formerly Macromedia) Director products, however there is some disagreement whether the fault is in Director or OS X. This problem does not appear on Macbook Pros and only on some regular Macbooks. The current solution to this issue is to install the software on Windows running in a virtual machine such as VMware or Parallels.

    4.     Occasionally when installing on the OS X operating system, the system fails to copy over the program icon for aliases created on the desktop. There is no known cause for this. Aliases with the correct icon can be created manually inside the installation directory or by copying the icon on to an already existing alias.

    5.     When installing on the OS X operating system v10.4 (or Tiger), selecting the option to place an alias on the dock causes the dock to be reset to its initial installed state and any dock customization is lost.

    6.     In the directory where the product is installed, the user must always have read/write privileges to that directory and all directories underneath. This is the default state for all Administrative Users (both Mac and PC), and this condition has been set by the installer for Standard Users in OS X as well. However, if users will be logged in as Restricted Users in Windows (such as in a computer lab), then the privileges for the installation directory must be set manually to “Full Access” for Everyone. The installer attempts to set these permissions for Windows installations, but for unknown reasons it is not always successful. In addition, if the system crashes hard while running the product (either on Windows or OS X), these permissions may have to be reset to read/write for everyone.

    7.     The installer does not allow installation and other directory paths to be typed in directly, but all installation paths must be identified or select by browsing to the desired location. When installing on the OS X operating system, browsing to a folder using aliases occasionally causes the installer to spontaneously shutdown. Consequently, it is recommend that aliases be avoided when browsing. There is no known cause for this.

    8.     When installing the product on to the OS X operating system, the user must have read/write permission for the folder into which the simulations will be installed. In the vast majority of cases, the simulations will be installed into the Applications folder, but in order for this to be successful the user must be an administrative user. In some cases, however, the permissions for the Applications folder have been modified by other software installed on the machine, which will prevent the software from being installed in the Applications folder. These permissions can be reset back to their default state using the Repair Disk Permissionsfunction in the Disk Utility program located in the Applications folder.

    9.     QuickTime 6.0 or later is required for the software to run properly. The most recent version of QuickTime can be obtained at http://www.apple.com/quicktime/

    10.     For unknown reasons, on some machines the QuickTime videos will not play properly if the system QuickTime settings are in their default state. This can be corrected by changing the Video Settings in QuickTime to Normal Mode.

    11.     In our experience, the Y Science servlet engine that runs the Web Connectivity Option is stable for months at a time. However, it does occasionally become unstable, which usually exhibits itself by locking out administrative users or occasionally students. This instability often occurs during heavy use by hundreds of students but can be fixed by completely stopping the TomCat server and then re-starting it. Simply turning off the Y Science servlet is not sufficient.

    The two most common issues when installing the simulations are file permissions and the database location.

    File Permissions. For v2.5 or earlier products, the program requires that the user have read/write permissions to the folder where the simulations were installed. In computer lab settings, that does not mean the user must have permission to path to the installation folder, but the user must have read/write permissions. This problem should be solved for any v3.0 or later versions. 

    Database Location. For the vast majority of users, the database containing classes, users, and lab book data is stored locally in the installation folder. As discussed above, the user must have read/write permissions to this folder for v2.5 and earlier products. For some network and computer lab installations, this database can be installed in a central location on a server where it can be accessed by each user to authentic access, retrieve assignments, and report results. When the database is located on the server, the most common problem is that (a) the user does not have read/write permissions to the database folder or (b) the correct path to the database was not provided at the time the client software was installed. The database path must always have a volume name (or drive letter for Windows) followed by the correct path and MUST end with \Data\ for Windows or :Data: for OS X.
    Because of a bug in the Adobe Director version used by the virtual laboratories, the Inorganic and Organic simulations do not work on certain Intel Macs including MacBooks, iMacs, and Mac Minis. The simulations appear to work fine on MacBook Pros and Mac Pros. The current recommended solution to this problem is to install a Windows emulator such as Parallels or VM Fusion and then install the simulations in the Windows environment. This is a satisfactory solution and in most cases the simulations will run faster (and cooler for laptops) when running in the Windows environment.
    In the vast majority of the cases, students will be given laboratory assignments using some form of a paper-based or electronically-based worksheet delivered either through a browser or PDF file. For these types of assignments the card reader is not necessary. However, for v2.5 and v3.0 products instructors do have the capability to create classes, assign usernames and passwords to students, define laboratory unknowns or other types of assignments, send these to students, and then grade the submitted results and student lab books. If students will be receiving these types of assignments, they will need to log into the laboratory using the username and password provided by the instructor. In some cases, the assignments may be delivered through the web and in that case the student will also have to provide the URL address for the assignment server. This URL address must be provided by the instructor. For version 4.0 products and later, the card reader is no longer part of the interface.
    Most often laboratory assignments are given to students either using worksheets delivered on paper or through a browser, but the virtual laboratories also have the capability to create and deliver assignments and unknowns electronically directly to a specific laboratory. For worksheet assignments, the student should select the corresponding assignment using the blue electronic workbook found on the table in the hallway. For unknowns and other electronic assignments defined by an instructor, those are accepted by students for work in the laboratory by going to the laboratory specified by the instructor and either selecting the unknown from the Unknown Shelf in the stockroom or for assignments without unknowns accepting the assignment using the clipboard. Once an assignment has been accepted, instructions that may have been provided by the instructor will be displayed in the TV, and assignments can be reported for grading using the lab book.
    When entering the password using the keypad, Num Lock may be off which would prevent the numbers from the keypad from being entered into the password. Remember that the password is hidden as it is entered, and it will not be obvious what is actually being typed.

    When logging in as a direct access or web user, the most common problem is using the wrong user name. The most common user names will consist of a combination of the last name and first and middle initials. For example, if your name is Jane C. Doe, then a likely user name will be either doejc or doej where the first user name would be used if the ChemLab administrator used the middle initial in the class roll and the second user name would used if the middle initial was not used. The user name must be entered without spaces.
    Organic Chemistry

    Common Questions Relating to the Organic Chemistry Simulation

    The short answer is no, although if you contact your local Pearson sales rep you may still be able to make an off-catalog order for the software. The Virtual Organic software has not been updated and is still only available as v2.5. This version does not work on any OS X 10.7 or later operating systems and only works on about half of the OS X Intel based machines with older operating systems. The software does work well on Windows XP and later, but again there are installation issues when installing on Windows Vista or 7. One common solution to get the software to work reliably on Mac computers is to install a Windows emulator, install Windows XP, and then install the software inside the emulator. By in large, you can usually find a solution to get the software to work on most machines, but the software is old and will be updated at some point in the future.
    The C-H percentages were calculated based on the actual chemical formula of the unknown and have been thoroughly checked for accuracy. Students should always presume the data to be correct. Most students make the mistake of thinking they "know" what the unknown is before analyzing all the data given. Do not try to "fit" the data to your presumption of the unknown. First, analyze the data and then come up with a number of possibilities the unknown might be.
    Students need to know that the IR and NMR spectra are actual data of the specific compounds and not theoretical or idealized. The developers of the program obtained spectra from precise instruments and took great care in the accuracy of each particular compound. Always check the integration of each of the peaks, and make sure to account for each hydrogen atom.
    Switching between procedures is simply done by choosing the next step. For example, if you want to stop the reaction, choose the separatory funnel and then follow with the appropriate workup reagent. To purify a liquid, you must have the flask on the stir plate and then select the distillation equipment and N2 gas. To purify a solid, you select the crystallization dish and drag the flask to the dish. For more details on the procedures, use the Help button located on the TV screen.
    The reaction stops when you use the separatory funnel and then quench the reaction by adding a workup reagent. In an actual lab, this step is analogous with removing the flask from the heat source and doing extractions on the reaction mixture.
    To start over, the lab must cleared first by clicking on the red disposal bucket and then proceed to the stockroom to setup a new experiment. If you are working on an assignment, you must explicitly accept the assignment from the clipboard again.
    If you want to use the IR or NMR equipment, simply click on the selected analytical tool and drag the icon to the reaction flask (this equipment is available after work-up). You can use TLC at anytime during the reaction by clicking on the TLC jar and dragging the TLC plate icon to the desired flask. Other lab equipment for building a synthesis experiment, workup, or purification is accessed by clicking and dragging or double clicking.
    All reagents for a synthesis experiment must be added before the reaction is started. Reagents are add to the flask by clicking on the selected reagent and dragging the indicated icon to the reaction flask, or you can double-click on the selected reagent.
    In Organic Chemlab, you are only allowed to work on one experiment at a time. To start a new experiment (either a synthesis or qualitative analysis experiment) you need to clear the lab first by clicking on the red disposal bucket and then proceed to the stockroom. If you need help setting up an experiment in the stockroom, click on the bell on the stockroom counter.


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