PCS Video – Installation Instructions

pcs-video-course-series-logoOn this page, you will get detailed instructions for installing all the software required for running a PCS Video Course.

PCS Video Courses are more than just a bunch of video files. They provide a convenient environment for watching, navigating and learning from our videos.

Below, we will take you through 3 easy steps for getting up and running with PCS Video.

System Overview

The PCS PlayerTo consume a PCS Video Course (and therefore, also for testing it), you need essentially two things:

  1. The PCS Player software, and
  2. The PCS Video Course that you want to watch.

Each course comes with a convenient installer program that makes it easy to put it onto your computer. The PCS Player is included with every course (no separate download required).

Tell me more about the PCS Video System

The PCS Player is a web application (HTML, CSS and JavaScript) that runs locally on your machine. The app needs to be copied onto your hard drive and will be started from there simply by opening its main HTML file (called “start now.html”) in your Chrome browser. No online connection is required to run the PCS Player and to watch PCS Video Courses with it.

A PCS Video Course consists of a set of video files (the lessons), a set of resources that are relevant to the lessons (images, Photoshop files, presets etc.), and some information that the PCS Player needs in order to find and run the lessons and the related resources. Every time you download a PCS Video Course, you need to install it on your system before you can watch it.

Watch the overview video about the PCS Video Course Series

Requirements

Here are the requirements for installing and running PCS Video Courses:

  • A desktop or laptop computer running Windows, Mac OS, or Linux.
  • A hard drive with enough space. If you plan on getting more than one course, you may want to have a few dozen GB of free space on the drive where you install the PCS Player.
  • The Chrome browser. The PCS Player needs a web browser to run and we currently only support Chrome.
  • The Java Runtime Environment. We are packaging each PCS Video Course in a cross-plattform installer that makes it easy for you install a course on any operating system. This installer requires Java.

The installation of both, Chrome and Java, is very simple, quick and required only once. Chances are you even have both already installed.

Tell me more about these requirements
  • Why only desktops and laptops? The PCS Player has not been tested on tablets and smartphones and it will likely not run on these devices. The reasons are the differences in browser technology, the lack of enough storage space to hold the video files and the lack of software support for opening resources like Photoshop files.
  • Why Chrome? Since the PCS Player is implemented as a web application, it needs a web browser to run. Making a complex web application run on all browsers in the exact same way is a difficult task. Therefore, we have concentrated on the most widely used browser, which is Chrome. According to the latest data, about 50% of all Internet users use Chrome.
  • But I want to use another browser! Will the PCS Player run? The short answer is “No!”. The long answer is… also “No!”
  • Why Java? To make the installation process for the PCS Player and for PCS Video Courses as simple and smooth as possible for you, an installer software is used to install the download packages on your computer. This installer is exactly the same, no matter which operating system you are using. So there is only one download package for all conceivable systems. To make that possible, the installation software is based on Java. As a consequence, you need to install the Java Runtime Environment on your computer.

Installation Instructions

chromestep-1Chrome Installation (required only once)

Download and install the Chrome browser. If Chrome is not already installed on your system, download the Chrome browser installer for your operating system and open it to start the installation.

Installation instructions for your OS (videos included)

Please open the section that applies to you for further information.

Windows users
Mac OS users
Linux users

On Linux (e.g. Ubutu) double-click on the installer (extension deb). The Software Center will start where you can install Chrome after you have authenticated with your admin password.

Instructions by Google

If you need more detailed instructions for the installation, visit the Download and install Google Chrome support page provided by Google.

step-2Java Installation (required only once)

javaDownload and install the Java Runtime Environment (JRE). If the JRE is not already installed on your system, download the package for your operating system from the Java website. Install the package by opening the downloaded installer file.

Installation instructions for your OS (videos included)
Please open the section that applies to you for further information.
Windows users
Mac OS users

Important note for Mac OS users: Please download and install the latest Java version for your system as shown in the video above. Apple has disabled some earlier versions of Java. So, your current Java version may have stopped working. More information is available here.

Linux users
On Linux you can use OpenJDK if the installer you downloaded from the Oracle site does not work for you. Download the installation package from the OpenJDK website. To install it on a standard Ubuntu system, do the following:

  • Open a Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
  • Type sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk and hit Enter
  • Enter your root password
  • The packages will be downloaded and installed automatically. This can take a few minutes.

 

Note: OpenJDK works on most popular Linux distributions. Please check the website to get the details for your system. The installation instructions above are for Ubuntu. The details of the procedure for your system may be a bit different.

General information
Note: You don’t need to bother with installing Java in your Chrome browser. Java comes with browser plugins that enable Java on web pages. This is not required here. You just need to install it on your computer so that you can start a normal Java program (see below).

step-3PCS Video Courses Installation

  1. Download all the files of your PCS Video Course to the same directory. Each course comes with an installer (a file with the extension ‘.jar‘). Free courses that you download directly from our website and the shorter courses will typically come packaged in a single installer (‘.jar‘) file. Courses that exceed a certain length, will come with an installer and additional package files (extension ‘.pak‘, ‘.pak.1‘, ‘.pak.2‘ etc.). All files of your course must be completely downloaded before you start the installer.
  2. Double-click on the installer file (extension: jar). The installer will start and guide you through the installation process. At the end of the installation, the course is automatically opened in Chrome, and you can start watching immediately.
  3. Bookmark the PCS Player page (optional). To be able to start the PCS Player quickly and conveniently, simply create a bookmark for the PCS Player page in Chrome.
Installation instructions for your OS (videos included)
Please open the section that applies to you for further information.
Windows users
Mac OS users

Important: Recent versions of Mac OS will not let you start any downloaded program by double-clicking if the developer is unknown to Apple. If your system refuses to start the installer, do the following: Right-click on the installer file and choose ‘Open’ from the pop-up menu. Then click the ‘Open’ button in the dialog that appears. If that does not work, an alternative way to resolve this is shown in the video above at the 1:00 mark.

Lunix users
On some Linux systems, double-clicking on the PCS Video Course installer (the jar file) will open the file in some archiver utility. In that case, you will not see the splash screen and the installer window will not pop up as intended. If that happens, please proceed as follows (instructions for Ubuntu):

  • Open a Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
  • Type cd /home/ubuntu/Downloads in the Terminal and hit Enter (Your download directory may be different depending on your browser.)
  • Type java -jar ./pcs-course-001-HoPT-Collection-installer.jar and hit Enter (Please use the name of the course installer you downloaded.)

This should start the installer, and you can continue by following the instructions on the screen.

General information
About the downloads: The combined size of the downloads for this course is roughly 2.3 GB. None of the packages is larger than 650 MB to avoid problems with aborted downloads. All files are hosted on Amazon S3 for maximum performance and reliability. For security reasons, all download links are signed and valid only for a limited time. If a download fails for any reason, resuming it in your browser may not work. Simply start a new download in that case.
About the installer and the installation: If you already have Chrome installed on your computer, the only decision you have to take during the installation is the choice of an installation directory. If you plan on getting more than one PCS Video Course, you may want to have a few dozen GBs of free space on the respective storage device. The installation can take a few minutes, due to the volume or data that needs to be copied.pcs-course-installer-screenshot-01

Important: If you install additional courses or if you update the PCS Player, you need to chose the same installation directory for each installation process. This directory will become the home of all your PCS Video Courses.

How long will my downloads take?
To estimate your download time, enter your download speed in kilobits per second (Kbps) and the size of your course (in gigabytes) in the form below and click the “Estimate time” button. To find out what your download speed is. You can go to the Bandwidth Meter Online Speed Test by Cnet or any other online speed meter for measuring your download speed.
Tip: Speed test results are not very accurate and may vary greatly between to consecutive measurements. If you want a good estimate, repeat the speed test a few times and enter the approximate average value in the form below.
Your download speed: [Kbps]
Course size: [GB]
[HH:MM:SS]
Tip: Once you start the downloads, your browser will give you its own estimates for the time required to download each file. Go to the list of downloads to find these more accurate estimates.

Updating your PCS Player

You can update the PCS Player at any time, independently from the courses you have installed. PCS Player updates are packaged in separate installers. Please visit the PCS Player page to get the latest version and respective installation instructions.

Installation instructions for your OS (videos included)
Please open the section that applies to you for further information.
Windows users
Mac OS users
Linux users
On some Linux systems, double-clicking on the downloaded PCS Player installer (the jar file) will open the file in some archiver utility. In that case, you will not see the splash screen and the installer window will not pop up as intended. If that happens, please proceed as follows (instructions for Ubuntu):

  • Open a Terminal (Ctrl + Alt + T)
  • Type cd /home/ubuntu/Downloads in the Terminal and hit Enter. (Your download directory may be different depending on your browser.)
  • Type java -jar ./pcs-player-vx.y.z-installer.jar (where “x.y.z” is the version number) and hit Enter. (Please use the name of the course installer you downloaded.)

This should start the installer, and you can continue by following the instructions on the screen.

General information

PCS Player included in each course: Each course comes packaged with the PCS Player software. So, the PCS Player is automatically installed when you install a course. However, the PCS Player is constantly improved. So, it may well be that a new version is available even if you’ve just completed the course installation.

Automatic update checks: The PCS Player will automatically check for available updates and notify you when an update is available. It will also tell you the details of that update and direct you to the PCS Player page to download the latest installer file.

Note: A working Internet connection is required for the update checks to work. The PCS Player has to connect to our website and download small bits of information to decide if an update is necessary.

Updating is simple: A PCS Player update is packaged in its own installer that works very similar to the course installer explained above. However, the PCS Player installer is much smaller (typically a few MB) because it does not contain any large video files. You download the installer from the PCS Player page, you start it with a double click, you follow the instructions and you reload the PCS Player page. That’s it.

Note: When the installer displays the warning “The directory already exists! Are you sure you want to install hereand possibly overwrite existing files?”, you can safely click “Yes”. This will update all the files to the newest version. None of your information will be lost.

You can update at any time: You may want to install the latest version immediately without waiting for the PCS Player to notify you. We have set up the update checks very conservative. So it may take some time before you are notified. To update now, simply go to the PCS Player page and download the installer for the latest version. You will also find extensive information about the update and earlier versions there.