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Most people have some basic questions about the new media that's out there.

 

We've attempted to put answers to the most frequently asked questions here.

IMC Studios takes great pride in the level of support we provide our customers.  Please don't hesitate to contact us with any additional questions.

Support - Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start to create a video production?

The best way to start off is to write down your message.  Your message is the most important part of the production.  After writing down your message, write beside each statement the image your have in your head when you are reading that statement .  Remember that the imagery can be still life or animated, recorded with a camera or created graphically.

Once you have the images matched with the narrative, time each part and write the duration in seconds next to each paragraph or statement.  Now you've got something: What's said, what's seen and how long each element lasts in seconds.

Email IMC Studios your "working script" and we'll get you a price quote for your production.  Be sure to include your contact information in case we're confused by something you've written or have further questions.

Of course, we'll be glad to create all of this for you if need be.  Please reference Scripting for more information.

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How do I get started on the Web?

Or, What is Domain Registration, Domain Hosting and web design, and what do you charge for them?

We have two basic ways to deal with the Internet: Self Service and Managed Service.  Either way is great, but you need to be aware of the differences so you can pick the right service for your business.

Self Service costs are lower, but you've got to weigh in the amount of time you'll need to work on your site to get it going.  Of course, we'll give you some great tools and a telephone support number, but you still have to "read and implement".  If that sounds like a little much, then you need Managed Services.

In the IMC Studios Managed Service model, we find out what you need and build it for you.  You've got much less of your time involved in the production process and little to no manpower committed to oversight and maintenance of domain names, servers, pages, etc.

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What are your hours?

IMC Studios is open 9:00 AM to 5:30 PM, Monday through Friday.  Weekends and evenings are by appointment only.

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How do I get a web page listed on the Search Engines?

First off, Search Engines search the web constantly for new content, so your web site WILL be gobbled up and added to their enormous databases.

What most people mean when they ask this question is "how do I get to the TOP of the Search Engines?"  Ah now, that's different.

You could spend some serious blood, sweat and tears continuously modifying your site to get above the next guy, or you can work directly with the Search Engine owners.  I have tried both.  I prefer the latter.  You need Google AdWords   You set the budget and the search words for your site.  Google sets the price per click.  Fairly easy to set up, very effective and budget friendly (why do you think Google is so phenomenally rich?).

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Is it true there are compatibility problems with recordable DVD formats?

Yes. None of the writable formats are fully compatible with each other or even with existing drives and players. In other words, a DVD+R/RW drive can't write a DVD-R or DVD-RW disc, and vice versa (unless it's a combo drive that writes both formats). As time goes by the different formats are becoming more compatible and more intermixed. A player with the DVD Forum's DVD Multi is guaranteed to read DVD-R, DVD-RW, and DVD-RAM discs, and a DVD Multi recorder can record using all three formats. Some new "super combo" drives can record in both plus and dash format, and a few "super multi" drives can record all 5 disc types (DVD-R, DVD-RW, DVD+R, DVD+RW, and DVD-RAM).

In addition, not all players and drives can read recorded discs. The basic problem is that recordable discs have different reflectivity than pressed discs (the pre-recorded kind you buy in a store -- see 5 ), and not all players have been correctly designed to read them. There are compatibility lists at CustomFlix , DVDMadeEasy , DVDRHelp , YesVideo.com , HomeMovie.com , and Apple that indicate player compatibility with DVD-R and DVD-RW discs. DVDplusRW.org maintains a list of DVD+RW compatible players and drives . (Note: test results vary depending on media quality, handling, writing conditions, player tolerances, and so on. The indications of compatibility in these lists are often anecdotal in nature and are only general guidelines.) Very roughly, DVD-R and DVD+R discs work in about 85% of existing drives and players, while DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs work in around 70%. The situation is steadily improving. In another few years compatibility problems will mostly be behind us, just as with CD-R (did you know that early CD-Rs had all kinds of compatibility problems?).

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How do people get my email address and send me unwanted emails (SPAM)?

Spiders and parasites.  Welcome to the new world of electronic junk mail, better known as SPAM.  Spiders are programs that "crawl" (search) the web, parsing (separating) a web into its component parts (text, graphics and tags) and rummages through them to find email addresses.  If your email address is on a website, sooner or later it ends up in someone's list.  Mail servers as part of the normal operation must respond to mail account "checks" by other mail services (or those acting as an imposter) to email address verification requests.  Far and away, if the address is quickly acquired, the culprit is a parasite.  Parasites are programs which run in the background to gather information from your computer and send it to remote servers.  Most parasites are acquired by "internet curiosity" (clicking on that "Get Me Now!" flashing window for instance).  Don't lose your street smarts on the Internet.  Nothing is FREE! Check CLOSELY in the application installation for statements regarding privacy of your information.  DON'T install "free goodies" on your machine and you're one step closer to keeping the parasites (and their inevitable SPAM landslide) out of your computer.  REMEMBER: EVERYTHING you view on the Internet is DOWNLOADED to your machine.  EVERYTHING!  I can't tell you the number of times I've heard a user say, "I've been all over the Internet, but I haven't downloaded anything!"  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  IMC Studios recommends and installs AVG 8.0 or greater for home and Small Business Networking, and Microsoft Forefront for medium to Enterprise size networks.

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What the difference between a parasite and a virus and how do I get them?

"Download Trojans" and "Browser Hijackers" are computer programs in the family of applications known as "parasites". Traditionally, parasites have differed from "viruses" because they attempt to only "live off their hosts", stealing personal information but intentionally trying to "stay under the radar" when it came to system damage, but I've experienced a new breed of parasites that are blurring the line between the themselves and viruses. Recently, removing parasites has also damaged the Windows Login System and literally made it impossible to use the system. This is a new dangerous twist in parasite behavior.

Parasites are acquired via the Internet, it's that simple. And like head lice, once one of you lets them on your network, unless you take precautions, you all will have them (most of the email parasites immediately scan your email address books and attempt to start up a mail service of their own on your computer to send the parasite to all your contacts). One of the biggest threats to your network security is when the user intentionally requests the Internet-based information by accepting a download request or opening an email.  Most parasites are installed by users seeking "freebies" on the Internet.

You should take precautions to scan every email that you receive by Norton Antivirus PRIOR to passing it to Outlook for display to the user. Norton will generally alarm BEFORE the email arrives in the Inbox in Outlook or is even opened. The virus scanner compares the message content or attachment to a list of known viruses (someone around 50,000 known threats at any one time), but it is important to note that this list is not exhaustive. There is a finite time between the discovery of a new malicious program (parasites or viruses) and the time it is analyzed, understood, and a "signature" of the virus is sent back to your computer's list of known viruses (also known as "updating your virus signatures"). During this time, systems are vunerable to this new attack, and we rely on Norton's "Active Protection" that looks at application activities (like attempting to delete all your data) and stops these programs from operating. This is why it's so important for Norton Active Protection not to be disabled.

Finally, the last lines of defense are good user work practices in handling the Internet and Internet email.

Please be VERY wary of free downloads. Precision Time, iWon, Search Assistant, HotBar, Date Manager, and many, many similar free utilities come laden with parasites.  The best practice is just not to load them. In fact, the best practice is not to modify the machine in any way without first truly evaluating the TCO (the "Total Cost of Ownership"). These free utilities almost always cost hours of downtime and configuration difficulties, not to mention being the flagship means of stealing personal identification information for the purposes of false identification and credit card theft. In a time of war, we certainly don't want to be contributing to the bad guys having entry into our country physically or electronically. If you really need the functionality of these "free" utilities, contact us to evaluate the application PRIOR to installing it. Some free programs have great track records (Ad Aware for example). Most, however, do not. Often, there is an inexpensive alternative that provides all the functionality and none of the parasites.

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I've installed Anti-Spam software and it's still not enough!  Now what do I do?

There are also stronger Anti-Spam Solutions--even paid services--for the removal of Spam.

You may want to try a software-based solution first, but know that IMC Studios can provide hardware devices and hosted services if you really believe its becoming a problem (most for as little as $2/month/account).

There are also discussions of more serious legal requirements for identification of the sending party by ISPs.  Tell your local politician your views.  Microsoft is proceeding forward with Unified Communications, where presence and identity become much more prominent in the discussion.

The hardware and software solutions are either "learning-based", "trap-based" or hybrid, and there are "pre-delivery" and "post-delivery" systems.

The learning based applications attempt to "learn" what offends you and identify mail of that type after delivery to the mailbox.

The trap-based applications use robotic internet email accounts to receive and analyze email for viruses, parasites and spam while still residing in the mail server.  Hybrid applications use a combination of remote databases with lists of offenders and learning options.

IMC Studios has options for larger email databases and heavier Spam traffic.  For more information, contact us.

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