Is Your Computer ready for Online Courses?


If your pc passes the following 10 tests then you're ready to go! 
Tests include operating system updates, Flash, Adobe Reader, Word and RTF capability, and multimedia capabilities (video)
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  1. Windows Updates. If you are using your computer online (either dial-up or high-speed cable) then it is essential to keep the Windows Update and Antivirus updated daily. This may be set on Automatic, but I never assume and test mine several times per week.
    • Warning: When (or if) asks "Do you want to upgrade to Internet Explorer v7, say NO. Although it is becoming an industry standard, if you're running v6 it will have fewer compatibility issues.
  2. Click here for the Flash test (be patient if you're not on high-speed cable). If it's not installed, here's the Flash download. Flash technology (.SWF) is used on many web sites to view video clips and movies. A good example is animation. Therefore it is important that you have the latest version of flash installed and working properly.
  3. Adobe Reader file (formerly called Acrobat Reader) 
    If this test fails, simply download the most recent free version of Adobe Reader.
  4. Microsoft Word file 
    If this test fails, contact your instructor. They will instruct you around this problem (RTF file type).
  5. RTF file  (industry standard for transferring word processed files between Macs and PC's.)
  6. View Active Media Setup  Make sure your browser is able to view active media, which is commonly used in online courses.
  7. YackPack System Firewall Test (If you need to record audio for your instructor, make sure this test is working).
  8. Audio-Speaker and Microphone Test Part of the beauty of online education is the ability to send and receive audio to your instructor and peers. Here is the test and setup instructions.
  9. Excel spreadsheet (You will need to enable the Excel Macros
    If this test fails it may be because: 1) you do not have a spreadsheet on your computer that can read Excel files; or your Excel security level is not set properly. It must be set to enable macros. Ignore the warning that it may contain a virus --- the error message is bogus. If you do not have Excel, please download and install this free Excel Viewer from Microsoft. 
  10. AVI (media/video file) 
    This file type is used for multimedia presentations (video demonstrations, etc.) 
    Downloading Microsoft Media Player (preferably v9 or above) will enable your pc to read this filetype. 
  11. MP3 file 
    This is rapidly becoming the industry standard for recording audio due to very small filesize. 
    Downloading Microsoft media player or Apples QuickTime will allow you to listen to these types of media files.