- What are the minimum requirements to run E-Prime Go?
PST has posted the minimum system requirements for E-Prime Go, but it seems these are the same as the ones for E-Prime Studio. They also have a ‘quick verification app’, but this seems slightly less quick and easy than I would like, given that practically, you just want the participant as quick as possible to run the experiment, or they will forget all about it. Your average willing friend or curious family member you managed to convince to do your experiment (a luxury resource that tends to evaporate as you stick in this line of business) will not necessarily know or care about RAM requirements, and if their PC is still running in 2020, it'll likely just do fine. If not, they'll find out soon enough.
Practically then, I tell my participants that they likely will be able to run the experiment if they have a Windows PC (Windows 7, 8 or 10, but not XP) and have admin rights. Note: technically, admin rights are a sufficient but not necessary precondition: a PC might be able to run the experiment even without admin rights, but they need to be able to download an executable file from the internet and run it, which some places strictly forbid. For example, a PC that is borrowed from a large organisation (or, e.g. is a library pc, or a student's PC borrowed from the university with the IT department enforcing strict policies) may not work, but if it is their own, it will probably be OK. I also find some virus scanners go haywire when they notice you want to run an executable from the internet – in which case you can let them send the file to the virus scanning company (I had that once, turned out fine), but it’s generally easier if you ask them to run it on a friend’s/parent’s computer instead.
PST also told me they know of some antivirus software that can affect E-Prime.
- Is there any parallel software on a system that can cause a crash
E-Prime is generally pretty solid and hard to crash once it runs, and E-Prime Go is the same. However, I would be careful about any software running in the background, particularly ones that can cause popups to be displayed, like Skype or Outlook. You should also try to ask subjects to close any unused browser tabs before running the experiment, because of course they take system resources and can also pop up notifications. This is, of course, true for any other time-critical software out there as well and even if literally everything would run from the server, you'd still have to cope with the fact that a pop-up attracts attention and if participant starts doing something entirely else during the experiment, they'll... well, not do your experiment.
- Does the new update give subject numbers by default?
No it does not, and as is, it will use the subject/session number stored in runtime. To be honest, though, it’s less of a problem than I thought, as long as you tell each subject ‘If you agree to run this experiment, go to [link]. At the beginning of the experiment, you will be asked for a subject number. Please use the following number as both subject and session: [number]. That way I will know when you have finished the experiment.’ And change the number for every subject. Somewhere at the beginning of the experiment, add an inline:
c.setattrib “Session”, random(1,32767)
…that way, even if the participant forgets the number, you will be able to figure out from sorting the data both by subject and session. In a way, giving a subject number also means a type of informed consent.
- Is it possible for multiple people to download the task simultaneously or will there be problems with duplicate subject numbers.
As far as I noticed, it seems to work for multiple people to download and run tasks in parallel – of course, it’s not being run on the server, but I doubt that PST would have a problem with the small amount of data transfer before and after the experiment. See above for how to deal with duplicate subject numbers. As such, they are stored separately, but it can be a hassle to figure out which one is which after the fact!
- How do I know if my participants will be able to read the letters on the screen
E-Prime is run by default at an old-school resolution of 1024 x 768, which was pretty standard back in the 90s and early 2000s. I think by now we can expect higher resolutions, and although you can make an educated guess that participants will have a widescreen (e.g. 1366 x 768, 1440 x 900, 1600 x 900, 1680 x 1050), there are still exceptions. I would definitely have E-Prime use ‘match desktop resolution at runtime’, because not all resolutions are supported by all screens, even though PST recommends using a prefixed resolution (which should facilitate timing commensurability). That means, however, you will have to deal with some people with extremes, so try to run your experiment at your PC’s lowest resolution to see if everything looks okay. There’s also the slight possibility that someone has a HiDPI screen (e.g. 4K), and everything will look illegibly small, but so far I haven’t seen this occurring (if it does, you might ask them to lower the Windows resolution before running the experiment). Keeping that in mind, I would make sure your text is at a fontsize that is comfortable to read across the board. E-Prime’s default is pretty high already though!
- How do I get more people to actually do my experiment?