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Athabasca University

Technical Requirements

The major piece of software used in these courses is the browser you are using now. (We recommend that you keep your browser updated.) Other software, including tools for various aspects of the courses you are taking, will be described in more detail in the specific course syllabi and study guides.


You will need, at the very least, a computer with 256 MB memory (RAM) and a large hard disk (at least 10 GB of free hard disk space for office automation and compiler software). You will also need Windows (2000, XP, or Vista), a CD-ROM drive, a printer and a connection to the Internet. (Note that if you are running an older version of Windows such as 2000, you will need to ensure your required software will install on that version.) If you are buying a new computer, we recommend purchasing a computer with a MINUMUM of 1 GB of memory, and a 60 GB hard disk. If you purchasing a computer with the Windows XP operating system, it is STRONGLY recommended that you purchase the Professional Edition and NOT the Home Edition. If you are purchasing a computer with Windows Vista, there is no recommendation at this point for which edition to purchase. (Vista Premium or Business are suggested, though.)

You may use alternative platforms, such as Linux or Mac, for a number of courses. The requirements for the CD-ROM, hard drive, printer and modem remain the same. To use the Linux platform, you will need to have an X Windowing System.

Please contact the Virtual Helpdesk if you have any questions.

Updated January 07 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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