Lesson 17: Computer Requirements

Access to a PC or Macintosh system (see below for details).

Internet access either via modem and phone line or a direct network connection (highly recommended to have a minimum of high speed BROADBAND access - DSL or high speed Cable connectivity preferred)

Internet service provider for home access and/or access from work (must have prior to start of the course).

Access to the online environment for a dependent on course.

An e-mail account for sending and receiving electronic mail via the Internet (this should be your own private email account, not one shared with someone else, shared email accounts will cause problems with accessing the system for any users with shared email accounts)

Personal Computer (PC):

  • IBM compatible Pentium IV 1Ghz MHz PCs and above
  • Operating System: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Windows Vista Service Pack 2, Windows 7 with all current updates installed (updates available at http://update.microsoft.com)
  • 512MB MB RAM (or more) 1GB (preferred)
  • Internet connection--broadband (DSL speeds) recommended, but a 56k modem is minimally acceptable
  • Sound card and speakers
  • Microphone and earphone OR headset (preferred but not mandatory)
  • At least 128 MB free disk space
  • Monitor with 1024 x 728 pixel resolution or better
  • Software – install latest versions unless otherwise specified:
  • Current anti-virus software
  • Microsoft Word 2003 or newer (or Word-format compatible word processor, Open Office, etc...)
  • Java/JRE: http://java.sun.com/javase/downloads/index.jsp
  • Adobe Flash Player: http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/
  • Adobe Reader: http://get.adobe.com/reader
  • QuickTime: http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/ 

Chrome, Opera, AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe, and other ISP-provided browsers are not supported.

Macintosh (MAC):

Chrome, Opera, AOL, Prodigy, CompuServe, and other ISP-provided browsers are not supported.


It's always best to have a word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, on your computer. This way, prior to submitting assignments, you can check your work for spelling and grammar errors.