Posts Tagged ‘ΓΑΙΑ ΙΙ’

Running E-Slate (Αβάκιο) on Windows 7 and Vista

For those who wonder what E-Slate is, it’s a componentized authoring environment for the creation of (interactive) educational microworlds, see my previous post for more info.

As I mentioned at that post, the latest official version (ignoring any unofficial / experimental versions that you might find around at some educational research labs’ websites) doesn’t work out of the box on Windows Vista and Windows 7, so below I provide some easy steps to make it work there too.

First of all, you navigate to with your web browser.


The you follow the download link on the left and locate the English and Greek installation files for Windows.

Note that the official version was never released for the Mac (although we had working prototypes running on both MacOS and MacOS-X), cause at the time Apple’s own JVM (MRJ) had serious issues (if I remember well they’ve moved on by now to use the official Java code under the hood). Some RA.CTI team has even recently made it to run one of the latest experimental E-Slate versions on Linux too (full source-code is now available with these latest versions).



Note that the installer also installs documentation, source code for the code parts and components that were OpenSource at that time (e.g. the Logo scripting engine) and several demo microworlds. However you can download more microworlds from the “microworlds” link on the left.


Then you download and run the appropriate installer (English or Greek, so that you get localized content in the demo microworlds). Do accept/allow at any security prompts for the installer to function properly.



Follow all the steps at the installer (just press Next etc.) and just press OK at the following dialog to ignore it (the URL provided is broken by now with Sun Microsystems having been acquired by Oracle and anyway Java 1.3 is quite old [there’s 1.6+ now]).


You should instead install the latest Java Virtual Machine (JVM) from



After these steps, you have to fix E-Slate launcher to work with administrator rights if UAC (User Access Control) is enabled on Windows Vista or Windows 7 (which is the default setting), or if the current user doesn’t have administrator rights (you’ll be asked for the administrator password in that case when you do that setting change). So right click the E-Slate shortcut (“Αβάκιο” if you installed the Greek version) on the desktop and select “Properties”.


At the properties dialog displayed, click the “Compatibility” tab and then select “Run this program as an administrator” and press “OK”.


From then on you’ll be able to either click an E-Slate shortcut to launch the E-Slate Container (the editor) or double-click a .MWD file (an E-Slate Microworld storage file) to open that microworld in the E-Slate Container. Make sure you reply “Yes” to the

The 1st time you launch E-Slate you’ll see a dialog like the following popup, to select the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to use with E-Slate (assuming you did install Java from Make sure you select the greatest version (there are some duplicate entries there due to recent changes on how JVMs register themselves with the system – those that have the same “in …” part at the end are equivalent).


The E-Slate launcher will remember this selection in the future, unless it can’t find the JVM you had selected anymore. To select another JVM make sure you hold down CTRL key when launching E-Slate (e.g. can press CTRL+OK at the security prompt Windows UAC shows when you run E-Slate with administrator privileges or hold CTRL when double-clicking a .MWD file or an E-Slate shortcut if you are running it using an administrator account and UAC is disabled).

The above instructions also apply to software based on the E-Slate environment, like the fine education software GAIA II I had built together with several educational and research partners from Greece. If you have any problems, just drop a question at the comments section. Will be glad to help…

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