Computer Requirements - Apple

Apple System Requirements 2013 - 2014


Internet Access

Broadband cable or DSL with a minimum connection speed of 768kbit/s is recommended. Slower connections may not provide optimal course experience and performance.


Operating System

OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard), 10.7 (Lion) or 10.8 (Mountain Lion). New Apple computers come preloaded with 10.8 and Intel processor based Macs with older versions (10.6 and 10.7) can be upgraded for $19.99 through the App Store.

Macs running OS X 10.8 (Mountain Lion) can also run Windows 7 so you can have the best of both worlds. You can set up your Mac to boot into either operating system using the Apple supplied application, Boot Camp, or you can run both operating systems simultaneously using an after market product such as Parallels.


Processor Type

Intel Core, Core 2, Core 2 Duo, i3, i5 or i7 processor based Macs only. Older G3, G4 and G5 processors are no longer compatible.


System Memory

2 GB RAM or higher.  New iMacs and Macbooks come with 4 GB standard.

Monitor

1024 x 768 pixels or higher. All Mac laptops and iMacs exceed this requirement.


Software

Microsoft Office or iWork. Both are available when purchasing a new Mac. When using Pages, Numbers and Keynote, save all files in Microsoft format (.doc, .xls and .ppt) for compatibility with Windows users. iWork is a bundle of Pages (word processing), Numbers (spreadsheet) and Keynote (Powerpoint presentations). 

Some Blackboard courses contain links to WMV formatted video files. Macs require a free software application, VLC, to view. Complete instructions on the download, installation and configuration of VLC is found on our Blackboard Apple/Mac OS X Technical Support section.


Web Browser

Safari and Firefox. Apple's default browser is Safari, although Firefox should be downloaded and installed as an alternate browser.  Both are compatible with Outlook. Internet Explorer is no longer available through Microsoft for the Mac platform. Chrome has some compatibility problems with video links within Blackboard, but is a fast general web browser for other internet purposes.
See: Supported Browsers, Plugins & Operating Systems for Blackboard 9


Anti-Virus

Recommend your system be virus free. Symantec Anti-Virus software is available at no cost to all students from the University website. Although viruses are rarely developed for the Mac platform, files uploaded and downloaded by students could be infected and use of current anti-virus software can prevent passing along infected files.


Storage

120GB of hard drive or higher.

Encrypted USB-Removable Thumb Drive to back-up files and transfer between computers.

Highly recommend a USB connected 500GB or larger external hard drive so that entire computer can be backed up via Apple's Time Machine application. Use of Time Machine makes recovery from a failed computer a fast, painless process without the need to reload software. It also makes the transition to a new computer a snap since a brand new Mac can be loaded from a Time Machine image of another Mac.


Audio

Speakers and a microphone are built into all Macs, but headphones are recommended for participation in web conferencing to eliminate echo when speaking depending on room conditions. Using headphones with a built-in microphone can facilitate configuration when using web conferencing software. Both USB and conventional jack based headphones will work.


Video

A high resolution camera is built into all Macs and monitors. No additional camera is required for video conferencing.


Web Conferencing

Courses using Adobe Connect for online class meetings require the following:
  • To Broadcast Audio:Headset with microphone required.
  • To Broadcast Video: Built-in Facetime camera
See: Supported operating system, browser, and additional requirements for Adobe Connect.

Plug-in's

Course content may include file types that require special plug-in software. Download and install the latest version of the following free plug-ins: Real Player, Java, Adobe Reader and Adobe Flash. Quicktime and Java are already installed on Macs and are kept up to date through the Software Update application. Be sure to install plug-ins AFTER installing additional browsers such as Firefox and Chrome so that the plug-ins function when you use those browsers to access content.


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