Check My Browser

Use the button below to lauch Check My Browser. The check will report whether your computer is properly configured for WebCT OWL. Please see below for further information about WebCT OWL requirements and recommendations.




Browser Requirements

Java
WebCT OWL requires the Sun Java Virtual Machine (Sun JVM) to be installed on your computer. Version 1.4.2 or later is required. If you have an older version or a version provided by another vendor, you can download the recommended version here. For detailed instructions, please see How Do I... Download and Install Sun Java?.

Supported Browsers
WebCT OWL supports web browsers on the Mac and Windows platforms. The supported browsers have been tested extensively and are validated for use with WebCT OWL. Your web browser must be configured properly in order to access and interact successfully in your courses. Click on a link below to double-check the settings for your browser.

Note: If you are using AOL, you will need to connect normally, minimize the AOL browser, and open one of the supported browsers listed here.

 

Web Browser Mac OS 10.4 Mac OS 10.5 Windows XP Windows Vista
Firefox  3.0
check
check
check
check
Firefox 3.5
PR
PR
PR
PR
Internet Explorer 6
-
-
check
X
Internet Explorer 7
-
-
check
check
Internet Explorer 8
-
-
check
check
Safari 3.x
check
check
-
-
Safari 4
PR
PR
-
-

check
supported
X
unsupported
PR
future technologies considered supported


Browser Settings


Protect Your Computer

Information Technology Services recommends that you take precautions to protect your computer and electronic identity. The following tips are a guideline for computer wellness:

  • Spyware Removal Tools - Spyware removal tools are available from a variety of vendors. If you have spyware installed on your computer, you may have difficulties accessing WebCT OWL. It is recommended that you download and install Lavasoft Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy to remove the spyware.
  • Anti-virus Protection - Antivirus software packages are available from a variety of vendors and they are worth the investment. PC-cillin 2006 is now available to Western students, staff and faculty at the Campus Computer Store for $15.
  • Update Your Software - Windows users should run the update at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com/ to fix critical security issues. Mac users should run Software Updates on a regular basis.
  • Back-Up Once A Week - Consider purchasing a zip drive, CD burner, or USB key to back-up your files once a week. If you back-up regularly, you'll only lose a few days work if your computer crashes.

For more information please see Information Security and Computer Wellness at Western.

Related Links


Pop-Up and Spam Blockers

Pop-up blockers are programs that keep unwanted advertisements from popping-up as you browse the Internet. WebCT OWL uses pop-ups to deliver announcements, mail, discussions, and quizzes. If you are using a pop-up blocker, you may have difficulties accessing some of your course tools. Many web browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla, Firefox) and toolbars (Yahoo!, MSN, Google) provide pop-up blocker features. It is recommended that you do one of the following:

  • Disable the pop-up blocker software when you access your course.
  • Configure the pop-up blocker settings to allow pop-ups from http://vista.uwo.ca and http://webct.uwo.ca

Related Links


Browser Plugins

Plugins are software programs that add functionality to your web browser (e.g., run movies or view animations) or allow you to view special content (e.g., view PowerPoint or Word files). For some courses, you may be required to have one or more of these plugins. Your instructor may have requirements specific to your course, please refer to the course outline. The following plugins are free downloads from the vendors. For installation assistance, please contact the technical support of the respective vendor.

Vendor Plugin Name Technical Support Download Link
Adobe Reader 6.0 + Reader Support Get Adobe Reader
Apple Quicktime 6.5 + Quicktime Support Get Quicktime
Macromedia Flash 6.0 + Flash Support Centre Get Flash
Macromedia Shockwave 9.0 + Shockwave Support Centre Get Shockwave
Microsoft Excel Viewer 2003 Get Excel Viewer
Microsoft PowerPoint Viewer 2003 Get PowerPoint Viewer
Microsoft Windows Media Player 9 + Windows Media Support Get Windows Media Player
Microsoft Word Viewer 2003 Get Word Viewer
RealNetworks RealOne Player Real Customer Support Get RealOne Player
Sun Java VM 1.4.2 + Java Help Get Java


Recommended System Requirements

Just as you would prepare yourself for an on-campus course, preparing your computer for online learning is your responsibility. You will require an Internet connection and are responsible for the cost of arranging the connection. Both dial-up and high-speed Internet connections are supported by WebCT OWL. Note: The increasing sophistication of web-based resources means that it may take more time to access WebCT OWL over a dial-up connection. Please take this into consideration when choosing your Internet connection. Your instructor may have hardware/software requirements specific to your course, please refer to the course outline.

Apple Macintosh Microsoft Windows
Minimum Recommended Minimum Recommended
Operating System MacOS X MacOS X 10.3 Panther 98, ME, 2000, XP 2000 or XP
Processor Speed 400 MHz PowerPC G4 800 MHz PowerPC G4 300 MHz Pentium II or equivalent 750 MHz Pentium III or equivalent
Memory 128 MB 256 MB 128 MB 256 MB
Monitor Resolution 800 x 600 1024 x 768 800 x 600 1024 x 768
Internet Connection 56 kbps Modem High-Speed 56 kbps Modem High-Speed
CD-ROM Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sound Card and Speakers Yes Yes Yes Yes

For additional information, please see Laptop Recommendations @ Western.