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up Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs grouped by category

Donations

You guys are great, can I donate some money to help pay your costs?

Lecture Videos

Wow, these videos take a long time to download, can I get them another way?
Why is downloading so slow? Why do I get errors when downloading?
Downloading takes so long that I've written a script to make it easier to get the lectures from an entire course, is that ok?
Are there any mirrors of the video content available?
How about transcripts of the lectures or colloquia?
What happened to the MIT SICP lectures that used to be on the old aduni.org?

Redistribution Policy

What kind of license are the course materials and videos released under?
Can I redistribute your course materials? Can I use your materials for a class I'm teaching/taking?
Can I mirror some or all of the site? Can I host some of the lectures on my server?

Technical Difficulties

I downloaded a lecture, now what?
Why are your lectures in realplayer format?
Why don't I hear any sound on a Mac running OS X?
How do I open .ps or .tex files?

Education

How do I apply to attend ADUni? Can I take your courses?
Can you refer me to a distance learning program? What you think of school XYZ?

More information

I can't find ... ? Is there a ... ?
How can I get more information?

Donations

You guys are great, can I donate some money to help pay your costs?

Sure! See our donations page for more information.

Lecture videos

Wow, these videos take a long time to download, can I get them another way?

Yes - you can get all of them (and all of the lecture notes, problem sets, etc) on DVDs. See our DVDs page for more information.

Why is downloading so slow? Why do I get errors when downloading?

The short answer is that all of those happen because we limit the amount of bandwidth we use. We have to do that because otherwise we'd go over our the amount of bandwidth that we pay for, the hosting center would get mad and charge us more, and we'd be broke within a month. So, unfortunately that means that our restrictions slow things down, limit the number of videos you can download at once, and sometimes cause errors. If you're getting errors, close any other browser windows that are pointed at ADUni, end any downloads, and try again.

Downloading takes so long that I've written a script to make it easier to get the lectures from an entire course, is that ok?

Actually, we'd prefer it if you didn't do that. The more attempts your script makes to download a lecture, the more our server will get clogged, and the more downloading will slow down for everyone. If you're having that hard a time downloading or if you want to download a lot of lectures, please consider buying a set of DVDs containing all of the course materials.

Are there any mirrors of the video content available?

We are aware of the following mirrors:

Do you have a mirror online not on this list? Let us know and we'll add it!

How about transcripts of the lectures or colloquia?

If you compile any transcripts yourself, please let us know, we'd be happy to post them, but we just don't have the time to wade through so much material for that purpose.

What happened to the MIT SICP lectures that used to be on the old aduni.org?

When ArsDigita University was an active school, the aduni server also used to host some lectures that were taped at MIT of Hal Abelson teaching his SICP course. Unfortunately, when we moved to the new server we no longer had room for those lectures. MIT has made a set of vidoes available based on the older 1985 edition of the SICP book.

Redistribution Policy

What kind of license are the course materials and videos released under?

They are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license. The only exception is the colloquium series which are under the Attribution-NoDerivs license.

Can I redistribute your course materials? Can I use your materials for a class I'm teaching/taking?

Yes, in fact that's exactly what we want you to do with them. All you need to do is include attribution to ADUni and the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license (either by file or reference). While you are free to make modifications to our materials and redistribute them, be aware that you are required to release your version under the same Attribution-ShareAlike license that you received them under. Please note that you may not modify the colloquium series videos.

Can I mirror some or all of the site? Can I host some of the lectures on my server?

That would be wonderful! The best way to do that is to is obtain a set of DVDs with all of our course materials - see the DVDs page for information on how to do that. Once you have the DVDs, you can make all or part of it available via http or ftp or work parts of it into your own site, whatever's easiest for you. Then just let us know where it is and we'll link to it. The one thing you should remember is that it takes a lot of bandwidth. All of the video files are quite large, often 500 megs or more each. You should probably be able to spare at least 1Mb/sec and preferably more like 2 or 4Mb/sec.

Technical Difficulties

I downloaded a lecture, now what?

All of our lectures are in realplayer format. In order to watch them you need a copy of realplayer, which you can get from real.com. If you look carefully, you can find the links to follow to download the free version of the player.

Why are your lectures in realplayer format?

This is the format the original videos were turned into back when we were taking the courses. A lecture would be taped in the morning, turned into a realplayer video overnight and the tape itself would be reused within a week. As a result the videos are only available as .rm files and getting the data out of .rm files and converted to another format is almost impossible. If we had it to do over again, we wouldn't have locked ourselves into a proprietary format, but now we have to work with what we've got

Why don't I hear any sound on a Mac running OS X?

Real Player has some issues with sound when running under OS X. Check out their support document about this (a quick hint is to try running Garage Band once first to see if that resets the audio system).

How do I open .ps or .tex files?

.ps files are Postscript files and can be opened with (for example) ghostscript. We really shouldn't have any .tex files one the site - they're really source for people who are building documents in a layout editor like LaTex. If you come across one, IBM makes a plugin viewer that you can try for free. It's available from http://www-3.ibm.com/software/network/techexplorer/.

Education

How do I apply to attend ADUni? Can I take your courses?

We're sorry, but you can't. ArsDigita University (the brick and mortar school) closed it's doors in July 2001 because it lost funding. ADUni (the website) isn't a school at all, not even a distance learning program. What we do is provide course materials, not courses. So, you're welcome to watch our lectures, do our problem sets and learn all that you can, but we can't give you credit and we don't have any teachers on staff (actually, we don't even have a staff - just some alumni volunteers who keep things going). In the future we hope to add ways to interact with other people who are also watching lectures, doing problem sets, etc, but we still won't be a proper school that you can attend for some sort of credit or certification.

Can you refer me to a distance learning program? What you think of school XYZ?

We mostly try to stay away giving this sort of advice. There are people out there who are far better at it than we are and it's better if you seek them out. But if you know of a program that might also interest people who are interested in ADUni, please let us know and we'll look into linking to it.

More Information

I can't find ... ? Is there a ... ?

From time to time we get asked about syllabi or a WimpyPoint presentation, etc. from a class or colloquium. If it's not listed on the class/colloquium page, we just don't have it. It may never have existed in the first place (for example, for several classes we never had a detailed syllabus with a reading list) or it may have gotten lost in the ether. Feel free to ask, but chances are, what you see is what you get.

How can I get more information?

Since we have no physical location, the best (and only) way to reach us is via email.


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Site last updated: May 14, 2013
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