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Ask-WA Quality Tip: Updating Flash/Java/Web Browsers

If QuestionPoint seems more buggy than useful to you, it may be because certain settings on your computer are causing issues. Here are a few tips that may help improve your QuestionPoint experience.

Update Java and Flash

You can get the latest version of Java here: http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp – and the latest version of Flash here: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. Keeping both of these updated will improve your QP performance (generally), and will help you get the most out of your web experiences in general. I’d suggest making sure these are up-to-date on whatever public access terminals you are offering as well, so that your patrons don’t have any problems using the service either.

Fix Your Browser (or Try A New One)

Most of you are probably using Internet Explorer, which is fine. I’d recommend using an iteration of IE7 (and NOT upgrading to IE8 quite yet), and following the set-up procedures (for chat only) listed in this document: http://www5.oclc.org/questionpoint/Chat_setup.pdf.

If IE isn’t working very well for you, you might consider trying QuestionPoint using Firefox (which is what I use and without any problems) or Google Chrome (which I have not used for QP but hey it’s worth a shot). I find that while IE requires some setup, Firefox works out of the box (as it were), which is nice.

No matter which internet browser you use, you generally have some fine-tuning options you might consider. For instance, deciding whether new pages open in windows or tabs could greatly improve your QP experience, depending on which you prefer. In Firefox I like to go in any de-select all my warning messages (which are just annoying pop-ups that get in my way), since I know I’m not engaging in any risky activity anyway. Similar options are available in whichever browser you choose to use, generally.

Check for Background Applications

If QuestionPoint seems to be running particularly slow, you might see what applications your computer has running in the background. Maybe your anti-virus program has chosen that moment to run a full scan of your machine. Maybe a desktop search program is in the middle of indexing your hard drive. The fewer things your computer has going on, the more resources it will have to run QuestionPoint smoothly and without error. You can usually see the resource hogs down in your bottom-right taskbar, and while you shouldn’t disable your anti-virus, you can certainly tell it to scan later, when you’re less busy.

Still Not Working Right?

If you feel like you’ve done everything right and you’re still having issues, don’t just put up with them. Call QP tech support and see if they can’t help you find a solution. They’re available 7a-9p EST at 800-848-5800, or you can email them at support@oclc.org. If you don’t need support, but want to leave them feedback (QP sucks, I love QP, omgqwidgetrolluplzkthx!, etc), you can use their feedback form located here: https://www3.oclc.org/app/questionpoint/comments/.

And as always, if you have any issues, you are always welcome to share them with me. I don’t have a magic wand (unfortunately), but you may find me to be an excellent commiserator. I am even helpful, occasionally.

Have your own tips for QuestionPoint success? Please share them in the comments!

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One Response to “Ask-WA Quality Tip: Updating Flash/Java/Web Browsers”

  1. In case you’re looking for proof that it works well- I’ve been doing QP on Google Chrome for a couple of weeks. It certainly seems to work really well. It works just as well, and sometimes better for me, than Firefox. I never used IE, so I can’t give you a review of that. But, Chrome definitely makes having the myriad of things open that I need open easier. I heartily recommend it!