Few Internet technologies have caused as much stir and excitement as Active X. Developed by Microsoft, it has become responsible for refining and improving a wide range of applications, both for personal computers and the Internet.
Introducing Active X
Most people think of Active X as some sort of Internet technology, and that is partly true. In fact, Active X consists of several object oriented utilities that are not just aimed at improving elements on the Web (such as message boards, and web applets), but they can also help various other processes in a computer run more smoothly.
How to Install Active X
With all the possibilities that abound with Active X, a lot of users want to make sure that they have the component in their systems, and often ask how and where to download the program.
However, for the most part, PC users do not even have to do anything. If their PC comes bundled with Internet Explorer, or they have downloaded it, then they already have Active X on their computer, as the web browser installs it automatically.
If you do not have Internet Explorer on your system, there is another way to determine if you have the components installed. You can just open Windows Explorer and do a search for files ending in .ocx (Object Linking and Embedding Object). It is a part of Active X, so having this file means you have it on your PC.
Active X is a complex piece and consists of several parts but one of the most important is the COM, or component object model. It performs various tasks but it is manly used to help write software to function properly within Active X controls. There are also several components that ensure the stability and functionality of the programs.
Configuring and Upgrading Active X
Most of the time Active X components work seamlessly with the Net, but if you want to fine tune it, you can make some modifications through Internet Explorer. Go to the Tools menu, click the “security” option and you will be presented with the Internet Zone dialog box.
To make changes, use your mouse to adjust the slider, or you can click the Custom Level tab and make manual adjustments. When you are done, click OK.
The procedure for upgrading and updating Active X on your computer is no different from other software. You can just go to Microsoft’s web site and download the latest version. If you have the auto update on, Windows will perform the update for you.
Installing Active X with Firefox
Current versions of the Firefox browser do not have native support for Active X controls. However, you can use some third party applications, such as Mozilla Active X, to enable Firefox to recognize Active X.
Active X and Macintosh Systems
Most Mac users do not need Active X controls but in can be present in their operating systems too. The reason is that some web applications, such as video conferencing, avail of Active X components to function properly. The same can also be said of Unix, particularly if some Internet related software is installed on the system.