ESP Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Also see our bugs page.


Q: I cannot find the file installed-chrome.txt in Firefox 1.5 or higher. Where did it go?
A: In the Firefox program folder (wherever it is located on your computer), create your own installed-chrome.txt in the "chrome" folder, using any text editor. Add the single line given in the ESP manual. Close all your open Firefox windows. Run Firefox and ESP Desktop should work. (Note: a user has confirmed this works on Windows, but we have not confirmed Linux yet.)

ESP Desktop

Q: Hotsynching isn't working for ESP Desktop on Windows.
A: The ESP Manual has an extensive Troubleshooting section for ESP Desktop. Additionally, you can try manually configuring your computer's hotsyncing settings. Locate the hotsync icon in your system tray (lower right corner of your computer display). Open it, select "Custom", and then set all the conduits to "do nothing" except for ESP Pmem and ESP Desktop. Close everything and try hotsynching with ESP Desktop again.

ESP on the Palm

Q: How do you get the Palm out of "Take Over Machine" mode? I tried a soft reset but it didn't work.
A: See the ESP Manual section titled "Collect Data" which explains how to do it for old and new Palms.
Q: I'm having trouble installing or hotsynching with ESP Desktop on Windows.
A: The ESP Manual has an extensive Troubleshooting section for ESP Desktop.
Q: ESP is "timing out" while participants are in the middle of answering a question (e.g., sliding a slider, writing Graffiti, etc.).
A: This is intentional. Participants have a certain amount of time to answer each question, set by the experimenter. Moving a slider, checking a checkbox, etc., does not change this fact. The question must be fully answered within the time limit. See the ESP Manual section titled "Max Seconds To Respond" for more information.
Q: In automatic mode, ESP runs one trial when I initially start the program, but future trials aren't occurring when I expect. I might see one or two trials, then nothing.
A: Be sure to check the end time for your trials. Make sure it is set later than your start time. A common mistake is to leave it set to midnight, which is likely before your start time, leading to unexpected results.
Q: The ESP manual says not to use the Palm sound called "Alarm" for experiments. Why not?
A: The Alarm sound has a longer duration than the others. If you set the setting "Seconds Between Beeps" to be too short (shorter than the duration of Alarm), then as the Alarm sound rings, it will overlap itself, with the next beep beginning before the previous one has ended. This can interfere with the timing of your experiment. Therefore, if you use Alarm, make sure that "Seconds Between Beeps" is longer than the duration of the Alarm sound, and test it carefully.

ESP Data Collection

Q: When an ESP question uses multiple checkboxes, how is the participant's response represented in the data?
A: In binary (base 2). A "1" value means the checkbox was checked, and a "0" means unchecked. For example, if the question has 6 checkboxes, and the participant checked the first, second, and fifth, the response will be recorded as 010011 = 19. (Note that the values are read from right to left: the rightmost bit is the first checkbox, etc.) This is a standard technique called a "bit vector." To decode the data, many scientific calculators can convert numbers from base 10 to base 2 for you.