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Installing OneStone® Pebbles

OneStone Pebbles are Java Web Start programs and will work on most machines running Windows 2000 or above, Apple's OS X, Solaris and most common Linux configurations. Although Java Web Start programs are launched by clicking on an html link on a web page, they don't run in the web browser. Instead, they run in their own window, like a typical desktop program.

This isn't the security risk it might sound like - Web Start programs run in a secure 'sandbox' and don't have access to system resources such as files, user information, etc, without specific user permission. In the case of OneStone Pebbles, no sensitive system resources are directly accessed. Access to the graphics hardware takes place through Sun Microsystems' Java OpenGL package, an official extension of the core Java run-time. The first time any one of the Pebble modules is loaded, a security dialog will appear seeking permission to download the JOGL package appropriate for your computer's operating system. Assuming you give your permission, the JOGL package will be downloaded and stored on your computer - it's only downloaded once, barring changes to the JOGL revision level.

Pebbles are designed to download themselves every time they are run. This ensures you always have the latest version on your systems and is not much of a burden - Pebbles modules are typically less than 200 KB in size.

System Requirements

There are two principal hardware requirements:

  • Monitor/video system must be set to a minimum of 16-bit color depth.
  • Video board must support OpenGL 3D graphics.
First-Time Installation

Assuming your hardware meets these requirements, follow these steps to install and run a Pebble for the first time:

  • Install an up-to-date version of Java on your machine. To get the latest version for your machine, visit www.java.com.
  • Visit the Pebble page of your choice and click the 'Launch...' link.The link points to a file with a '.jnlp' extension, and some browsers may display a dialog asking what to do with it. As indicated below, the correct response is to have the file opened as a Java Web Start application.


    Mac/Firefox JNLP Dialog
  • Download the Pebble. This should happen without further intervention; you should see something like the dialog below during the process. The Pebble actually downloads in several pieces; the JOGL run-time, the Pebble's Help module, and the Pebble itself.


    Windows/Internet Explorer Download Dialog
  • Grant permission to the Java OpenGL run-time. As mentioned above, the JOGL run-time provides the software interface between the computer's OpenGL hardware and a Java Web Start app. This package needs to be downloaded only once (barring version level changes to JOGL) and is digitally signed by Sun Microsystems. Most browsers, with typical security settings, will display a security alert dialog before performing the installation; examples of this dialog appear below. Make sure that the package is signed by Sun, then click 'OK'.


    Mac/Firefox JOGL Dialog
      
    Windows/Internet Explorer JOGL Dialog

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