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From the Multnomah County Library

The Multnomah County Library ( serves over 1.5 million people in the Portland Metropolitan Area here in beautiful Oregon, USA. Our Central Library in Portland, and 15 branch libraries throughout the area, currently provide over 250 computer search stations to the public. A portion of these stations are what we call "Kids' Computers" which offer close to 20 networked educational and entertaining CD-ROM products. The Gresham Regional Library, for example, has eight of these stations clustered together in the children's area. We needed to find a way to better control the spikes in sound, which at times could have shattered the windows. In addition, some of the CD-ROMs allowed users to turn down or mute the volume from within the program, thereby affecting the volume level for all the other programs.

After searching high and low on the Internet, I discovered Complete Software Solutions and NoiseNak. The programmers at Complete Software Solutions were quite generous in working with me to develop a solution. NoiseNakPlus is the result of their efforts. With the option to hide NoiseNakPlus from the user, we continue to provide seamless access through our Netscape shell under Windows NT. Users can still control the volume to some degree using volume controls on the speakers in the monitor (which we find desirable). NoiseNakPlus is launched via our logon script and uses the settings we setup as local administrator on the workstation. The user sees nothing, but any attempts to change the windows master volume or the wave volume levels through a program are disabled. Audio output is now consistent and controllable.

NoiseNakPlus has many other features we have yet to explore. Through line command control we have the ability to customize the volume settings for each program as it is launched. Under some applications, as with stations where headphones may be desired, an on-screen button bar with volume up and down controls is available. With NoiseNakPlus we are ready to move forward and experiment with offering Internet audio resources on our other public search stations. NoiseNakPlus offers us the flexibility, security and control we really need if we are able to offer audio in a public library.

Great job and thanks for a terrific program!

Michael Brown
Network Analyst
Multnomah County Library

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Last modified: 05/07/11.