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How GraphicJam works
Problems connecting
Browser Versions
The Interface


How GraphicJam works

GraphicJam is a java applet that connects through the internet to a server running on a host computer. This connection is what allows the GraphicJam applet in your browser to talk to the other applets currently connected, so drawings can be shared by several people across several browsers at once.

Sometimes, due to high traffic, load on the server, or a technical problem, the applet may not be able to connect to the server. A common cause is that your PC is connecting to the internet through a firewall, often the case if you're connecting from work. You will see the message 'disconnected' on the applet. You will still be able to draw, but will not see the drawings of others. You may see the history draw on screeen, depending on the situation. See Connections for more details on problems with connecting.

Once you are connected the recent history of activity at GraphicJam will replay on screen. These drawings are stored on the server, and redraw on your applet. Once the history is done you are seeing the present state of GraphicJam. You can stop the history by clicking the Stop button. If you see only a Play button, the history is already done playing.

Use the drawing tools, color picker, and size control to create a wide variety of graphical marks and textures. Anything you draw on the applet surface is automatically added to GraphicJam.


Problems Connecting

GraphicJam relies on a connection with a central server to function correctly. There are several conditions that may cause the connection to fail.

Firewalls - Firewalls are protective devices that prevent certain types of communication between computers and networks. They are often used in corporate environments for security purposes. A PC that connects to the internet through a firewall may view the Jam website, but the firewall will prevent the Jam applet from communicating with the server. In this case you will see 'Not connected' on the applet. You will be able to draw, and will see the history of activity, but will not see anybody else drawing and they will not see you drawing.

Maximum Users - For practical reasons there is a limit to the number of people that can use GraphicJam at one time. Currently the limit is seven. This limit keeps the system performing at a reliable level--especially for people connecting from slower computers. If you see the message 'Over user max' there are already seven people connected. Try again in a few minutes.

Dropped connection - Sometimes due to unpredictable conditions (high traffic, line problems, etc) your connection to the server may 'drop'. You will see a message 'Try Reload' on the applet. Click the 'reload' button on your browser window or View|Reload in the browser menu. (Internet Explorer uses the term "Refresh" for this.) This will reload the current web page, restarting the applet. This should re-connect you to the server.

Server is down - This message indicates either a firewall problem, or that the Jam server is not operational. The latter should be rare, and usually will correct itself shortly. Try reloading the applet web page. If that does not connect you to the server, visit GraphicJam again in 15 minutes, at which time the server should be running again.



# Users - The number of people currently connected to GraphicJam. This includes you.

If you see any of the following messages it means the connection to the Jam server may not be functioning. You can still draw in your applet window, but you drawing will not be seen by others connected to GraphicJam.

Reconnecting - The applet temporarily lost the connection with the server, and is in the process of re-establishing a connection.

Connecting - The applet is creating a connection to the Jam server.

Try 'Reload' - The connection with the Jam server has been lost. Click the 'reload' button on your browser to restart the applet.

Disconnected - The applet was unable to connect to the server. This may be due to a firewall.

Over user max - There are too many people connected to GraphicJam right now. Try again in a few minutes. Server down - The Jam server is not operating. Try again in fifteen minutes.


Browser Versions

GraphicJam was designed to perform well in as many different browser versions as possible. There are so many combinations of browser brands, versions, and computer hardware that it is impossible to test them all. GraphicJam runs best in Netscape 3.X and 4.X, or Internet Explorer 4.0, on a PC.

Many older Mac computers have problems running java applets and so may not execute GraphicJam properly. Check here for details on what works and what doesn't. Internet Explorer 3.0 also has known bugs when executing java applets.

If you experience problems running GraphicJam please email us and inform us of the version of browser and operating system you are using.



Most of the interface is self explanatory, but for the sake of clarity we've included the following notes.

  click to choose your current drawing tool.

  click and drag in the red, green and blue columns to adjust the current color.

  click and drag to change the width of the drawing tool line.

  click once to start redrawing the recent GraphicJam history.

  click once to stop drawing the history.