Home Computing Environment
See also the Technology Literacy Requirements.
Please note that the School requires that prior to enrolling and starting the INFO 203 course (the content of which is required for MARA students as well as MLIS students) all incoming students have computer access in their homes with the following minimum hardware, as well as home internet access:
For PCs: Dual-Core Celeron, Core (Duo, Solo), Core 2 (Duo, Extreme), Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Itanium, Xeon, or AMD Athlon, Turion, Sempron, X2 Dual-Core, Athlon II, Phenom II, FX, and A Series.
For Macs: Intel-based processors (Core Duo/Solo, Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7)
- For PC users: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 or 8.1, or Windows 10. Please review the Windows 10 Product Specific Notes.
- For Mac users: Mac OS X v10.9 (Mavericks) or v10.10 (Yosemite) or v10.11 (El Capitan).
- Chromebooks: Please note that Chromebooks are NOT supported.
- RAM: 4.0 GB - 8.0 GB
- Hard Drive: 100GB or greater. Solid State Drives (SSD) and "Fusion" drives are acceptable, and are recommended where possible.
- Storage and Backup: External hard drives, USB Flash drives, and network-attached storage (NAS) options are strongly recommended. Students interested in cloud-based backup solutions are welcomed to explore such options, however you are strongly encouraged to verify that the cloud provider has strong security in place to protect your data. You are also strongly encouraged to maintain local backups of your data as well, so that your data is protected in the event that the cloud storage provider goes out of business. Students are strongly encouraged to regularly back up critical documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF HTML files, etc). For Windows users, third-party software programs are available that coordinate automatic backups of data to an external hard drive. For Mac users, the Time Machine feature will allow you to set up automatic data backups to either an external hard drive or a network-attached Time Capsule drive. IMPORTANT NOTE: You are responsible for backing up anything you want to save from D2L or Canvas. If you have course work on Senna or another system, you are responsible for saving that. We strongly recommend that you keep extra backup copies of anything that might be needed for your e-Portfolio and that you back them up using one or more types of removable media.
- Audio: Sound card and speakers. (NOTE: most systems now have a sound card integrated on the motherboard, so you likely will not need to purchase a separate sound card).
- Headsets: Students are required to have a headset with a microphone. USB headsets are strongly recommended.
- Printing: Local or networked printer (inkjet or laserjet).
- Internet Connectivity: Access to a high-speed connection is required. Minimum requirement: 1 Mbps downstream.
- Network Hardware: Any appropriate hardware for whatever type of Internet connection you have. For example: DSL modem, Cable-modem, Ethernet adapter, Mobile broadband card, MiFi (cellular WiFi base station), WiMAX modem, satellite dish, etc.
- Firewall: Second Life uses a "port" that is different from Web browsers and may need to be unblocked by your network administrator; See this Second Life knowledgebase article.
- Graphics Card: (specifically for Second Life): For students who plan on using Second Life during their degree program (for instance, if you're taking a class that requires the use of Second Life, or have a personal or professional interest in virtual worlds), then you will need to make sure that your graphics card meets the minimum requirements for Second Life. IMPORTANT NOTE: Second Life is not mandatory. All classes that use Second Life are elective. You only need to worry about the Second Life graphics requirements if you plan on taking a course that specifically requires the use of Second Life, or if you have a personal or professional interest in virtual worlds and plan on accessing Second Life to further those interests.
Checking Your Graphics Card
For Windows users there are two methods for displaying the graphics card:
- Use your mouse to right click on your desktop and choose "Properties" from the tab that pops up.
- Click on the "Settings" tab. The graphics card will be displayed in the display field. OR:
- Click on the "Start" button and choose run. In the run dialogue type the letters "dxdiag" and hit "Ok".
- The DirectX Diagnostic Tool will display processor and memory.
- Click on the "Display" tab and you will see the graphics card listed there.
For Mac OS users:
- Click on the Apple in the top left of the screen and choose "about this Mac".
- Processor and memory information should be displayed. Click "More info" to see the graphics card.
- Click "Graphics/Displays" to display the chipset model.