Hardware and Software Requirements - Download as PDF by fionan


									Hardware and Software Requirements
If you are using your own computer to access this website, you may find this section useful. There are
very few requirements for using the Moodle learning environment, and this resource outlines a number
of points intended to help you get best value from this site.

Your computer
Any computer platform (PC, Apple Mac, Linux) able to run a modern web browser will be suitable for
viewing the content on this site. This may be a good time to consider upgrading an old or outdated
machine, if feasible, as poor computer performance may detract from your learning experience. A
cheaper option may be to invest in some additional memory for your computer – this can make a big
difference, especially if you are using (or plan to use) a newer operating system on an older machine.

Operating System
Again, any operating system with a modern browser will be fine e.g. Windows 2000/XP, Apple OSX
and recent versions of Linux running a graphical window manager (such as KDE or Gnome). Older
systems, such as Windows 95/98 and Mac OS9 and earlier, are now unsupported or poorly supported,
so we encourage you to upgrade to the latest version for your machine if at all possible.

Whatever operating system you are using you should make sure that you keep up to date with the latest
system updates. For Windows based machines you can use Windows Update (see link) and on an Apple
Mac you can use the Software Update facility. Linux users should use the appropriate update
mechanism for their distribution.

Web Browser

The default operating system browsers - Internet Explorer 6 on Windows machines, Safari on Mac
OSX, and Konqueror, Galeon, or Epiphany on Linux – and the popular Opera and Firefox browsers
(available for most operating systems) are all suitable for using Moodle. We strongly recommend
obtaining the latest version of your chosen web browser and keeping up to date with patches - see the
links at the end of this section – for the safest and most reliable browsing experience.

It is useful to be aware that in order for you to be able to use Moodle, your system must allow the
setting of cookies (which can be restricted by your web-browser and any security software you use) to
function, and that more advanced features may require other common web functionality (such as
Javascript) as well.

Web Connection
Get the fastest connection you can afford -a broadband connection is a very good idea if it is available
to you. This may take the form of a (A) DSL connection via an existing telephone line, or be available
via a cable modem provided by a cable company.

You will need an email address so that we can communicate with one another, and you can
communicate with other course members. Free web-based accounts such as Hotmail and Yahoo are
easy to set up if you do not have an existing address to use.

Other Software
At a minimum you will need the following software installed on your machine. Links are provided at
the end of this resource if you need further information.

          •   Microsoft Word

Word-processing software, available as part of the Microsoft Office Suite or on its own, will be needed
to create and view site material in Word (.doc) format. If you are a teacher or a registered student, you
will be able to obtain the MS Office Suite at a much-reduced cost from a number of software suppliers.
A strong open-source alternative is the Sun-sponsored Open Office. If you use this you should ensure
that you save files in Word (.doc) format. Finally, there are several standalone viewers which allow
users to view, but not create or modify, files in the common office formats.

          •   Adobe Acrobat Reader

This is essential for viewing PDF files, one of the most common formats on the web, and is available as
a free download from Adobe's web site. Apple Macs come with this software as standard but you will
probably need to download it if you are using Windows or Linux.

          •   Antivirus Software

This is essential for a Windows PC based system. It is equally essential that the virus definitions (and
hence your update subscription(s) are up to date.

          •   Firewall Software

This is highly recommended and should be considered essential if you have a broadband connection.
This prevents certain types of attack on your machine over the Internet. Good commercial and free
products are readily available, many anti-virus packages now come bundled with associated firewalls,
and a basic firewall may be included in your operating system (in particular Windows XP). Linux
installations typically feature the powerful iptables packet-filtering framework and many packages and
products based around this are available.

          •   Anti-Spyware Software

In a similar vein of security and online privacy, anti-spyware tools are becoming increasingly important
in the face of evolving Internet threats. Microsoft have their own product currently in beta-testing but
the industry leading products are generally acknowledged as being Lavasoft's Ad-Aware and Spybot's
Search & Destroy.

Where free versions are indicated there is often a version available for purchase as well, this often has
a higher prominence on the web page, so make sure you locate the correct (free) version if that is what
you want.

Microsoft Office word-processor
Open Office word-processor
Microsoft Office Converters and Viewers
Adobe PDF Reader
Sophos anti virus and firewall software
McAfee anti virus and firewall software
Free AVG antivirus software
Kaspersky Anti-Virus
ZoneAlarm, popular and free firewall software
Tiny, security software
Microsoft Anti-Spyware Beta
Search and Destroy
Windows Update
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Mozilla web browsers

Much of this software will be available off the shelf at your local computer store or from the usual
online vendors. e.g., Amazon, Dabs.com

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