Logo of Antelope Valley College - not a link      Antelope Valley College -- Online Learning
       Student Online Learning Information Guide

                                                    rvsd 2/11/2010 about MSO 2007 software deal for Students

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SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS for AVC ONLINE LEARNING

Okay, the assessments you took indicate that YOU are Ready for Online Learning!   Good 4 U !!

But is your computer system ready?  If not, you may use AVC Business and Computer Studies Division's Open Computer Labs.  Open Computer Labs' schedule is located in the printed AVC Schedule of Classes' Computer Applications section.  Some faculty provide the schedule in their course syllabi / calendars.

Following are the preferred specifications for computer applications courses at AVC. For some courses, the software applications may require higher minimum requirements. EMail your Professor if you are not certain about your system's capabilities or specific software requirements for the course.           

HOT LINKS TO SPECIFIC INFO ON THIS PAGE:

 **   SOFTWARE OFFERS - Discounts & Free S/W for students & faculty  
 **   USED TEXTBOOK sites - plus rentals

(1)   Operating Systems
(2)   Applications
(3)   Antivirus Software
(4)   Web Access (ISPs) 
       -- AOL & Compuserv problematic --  get Free & Cheap ISPs
(5)   Web Browsers  & 
**  REQUIRED Browser Settings & Plug Ins & MS Office Viewers
(6)  
Fire Walls & DSL  **  REQUIRED  MSIE Browser Settings

(7)   EMail
(8)   Student Data Files
(9)  
System Configuration   &  How do I know what software is on my computer?
       --
Example of Microsoft System Information window.

(10   AVC Blackboard Online Learning Management System
Blackboard Online Support Center for Antelope Valley College!
Customer care technicians are available to support you 24/7 at 866 885 8352
                   http://d2.parature.com/ics/support/default.asp?deptID=4097 

AVC Online Courses Info & Resources  -- http://avconline.avc.edu/ 

  1. VERY IMPORTANT ! -   Getting Started with AVC Online -
                 
     http://avconline.avc.edu/getting_started.htm  

  2. Some useful FAQs for STUDENTS:

 **  SOFTWARE OFFERS:

 *** A ++ BEST DEAL on MS OFFICE 2007 Enterprise/Professional Plus/Ultimate (all same) from  Microsoft, with all the software listed below as Enterprise 2007, for only $59.95
       (a helpful student provided the URL as of 2/10/2010 - don't know how long the offer will last) 
http://www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us/default.aspx 


** Another option:  FREE OpenOffice from Sun Microsystems.  This is a good product.  It has most but not all the technologies of MSO Professional.  And, now, it is still the MSO classic (1997 thru 2003) version, and not MSO 2007  http://www.openoffice.org/ 


** 
  CA Community Colleges Foundation / Microsoft Educational contract
discounts for students and faculty (also DELL and ADOBE deals)  
http://www.foundationccc.org/CollegeBuys/CollegeBuysHome/tabid/484/Default.aspx 

CA Community College STUDENTS:  MS Office Enterprise 2007 @ $79.98
  -  or MS Office Professional Plus also  2007 @ $79.98 -
                 (this deal will probably last as long as this is the newest version)

 
fyi:  MS Office Standard or Student/Teacher is NOT recommended because they are inferior, with less software and some of the higher level modules removed
 
CA Community College FACULTY & STAFF:  MS Office Enterprise 2007 also a very good deal
 





The following websites are resources for deeply discounted
software that AVC Students are eligible to purchase: 

      *** see below for free Win XP Pro and FREE MS ACCESS 2003

USED TEXTBOOKS:  Generally reliable resources:  ORDER EARLY - BEFORE THE SEMESTER - Contact professors about textbook ISBN and about using previous versions.

NOTE:  Use contact Email at bottom of page if any of these resources are NOT reliable, or if there are inactive links, or if you know of other very useful resources.  Thanks.

**  (2)  FREE Windows XP Professional:  a special program through the AVC Business, Computers & Media Arts Division with the Microsoft Developer's Network Academic Alliance, www.msdnaa.net
 - - - - Also Free MS ACCESS 2003 software, if needed. Other MS software also available.
 - - - - Ask your computer apps or computer science professor about getting a copy. Your may contact professors:  Robert Price, John Burns, or Kathy Moore for information.
 - - - - Do not install Windows upgrades if you can get the full package

**  (3)  AVC Bookstore sells some software at an Educational discount.

(1)  Operating System - minimum requirements:

  •   --   WindowsXP Pro is installed in AVC BE and SSV buildings' labs, and used by Business, Computers, and Economic Development Division Windows' based courses' texts.
    • Windows VISTA is OK.  There will be minor differences
       
  •     -- MAC users - MAC OS 9 or higher.

Use the following to keep Microsoft updates current: link requires MSIE browser
   http://update.microsoft.com/microsoftupdate/v6/default.aspx?ln=en-us 

**  OT101 -  Beginning & Intermediate Computer Keyboarding - requires Windows OS - unable to use MAC operating system.

bullet   If you use other operating systems, you are responsible for working around text instructions.  Else, you may use AVC Open Computer Labs.

(2)  Applications -- course dependent. Check with your Professor
     Many Business and Computer Studies courses require the Microsoft Office suite.

Install ALL Components using initial CUSTOM installation, or Install components as you need them.  In some courses we use many of the advanced features not installed via STANDARD install.

  • MSO2007 sw     --  Microsoft Office Professional 2007 installed in AVC BE and SSV buildings' labs, and used by Business, Computers, and Media Arts Division Windows' based courses' texts.

  •  

  • Earlier Microsoft Office versions can be used, if you are computer savvy.  Use the installed HELP feature. 
    Also, Microsoft understands the issues, and provides excellent resources in its website "Help and How To" area  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/help/default.aspx - select MSO 2007.
    Link to MS Office 2007 Users INFO: section below
     

  •      -     MAC users -  MS Office 2004 or later version, e.g. MAC 2008
    ( MAC Office 2004 Professional version includes Virtual PC)

Use the following links to keep Microsoft updates current: http://office.microsoft.com/ProductUpdates/default.aspx  & click on Check for updates

bullet   If you use other Office suites, you are responsible for working around text instructions.  Else, you may use AVC Open Computer Labs.

bulletMS OFFICE versions INFO:

  • MS Office 2007 files are not inherently downward compatible.

  • However, MSO 2007 can open prior versions' files.

  • MS Office 2007 creates xml-based files that can not be opened directly from within MS Office 2003 and earlier editions unless you download a "compatibility" converter - see below.

    • OR, you can save MSO 2007 Word or Excel or PowerPoint files to be opened by earlier MSO versions, by saving as the .doc or .xls or . ppt file type.

    • ACCESS uses entirely different technology and does not have the Save As .mdb option.  You will need to use ACCESS 2007 software.

      • Or you can use the AVC Open Labs.

      • You can request the free ACCESS 2007 from your instructor, or check with me, Kathy Moore.

Note - Microsoft provides a "converter", i.e. Microsoft Office Compatibility Pack for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint 2007 file formats -  to support exchange of files between previous releases of Microsoft Office and the 2007 Microsoft Office release.

- webpage =  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/products/HA101686761033.aspx 

***  And there is no compatibility conversion for ACCESS.

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(3)  ANTIVIRUS and INTERNET SECURITY SOFTWARE - This is critical to help protect your computer, and any computer to which you send files, from computer viruses, spam, hackers, etc.  Setup for "passive" performance so antivirus program runs continuously, scanning every file, every EMail, every download. 

**  UPDATE ANTIVIRUS DEFINITION FILES with- Automatic Virus Definition Update setting. If that option is not available, manually update each day that you access the Internet/WWW.   

The top-rated services based on reviews listed below:  Symantec's' Norton Internet Security 2008  and Norton 360 and ZoneAlarm Internet Security 7and Kaspersky Internet Security 7.0 and  McAfee Internet Security 7  

There are other good systems - See December 2007 Reviews at:  
   http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2704,2231625,00.asp
   http://www.pcworld.com/article/id,140127/article.html# 

(4)  Web Access --You should have a computer capable of connecting to the Internet/WWW through your own Internet Service Provider (ISP), or Online Service. Minimum connection speed 56 kbps modem. Or, you may use AVC Computer Labs, if you're able to get to them enough hours to get all the work done.

AOL with its limited "Opera" browser is NOT recommended for online interactive work.  If you use AOL or Compuserv online service for Internet/WWW access, first, install the very latest version. 
Then, use a "real" browser - link to
Web Browsers & Browser Settings & Helpers & Plug-In Utilities below.

TIP:  To stop the AOL's TIME OUT utility that defeats your efforts to work outside AOL's environment, trick the system.  Open a Chat and periodically post a message to yourself.

--- Alternative Internet Service Provider (ISP) might be necessary to work online. 
              Link to ISP - FREE or CHEAP page for  info about what free or cheap dial-up services are available in your area and for evaluations.  I do not recommend getting trial ISPs, especially AOL.  It takes a long time to cancel, and charges will be incurred.  The website to get most current info is  http://www.all-free-isp.com/ 

TIP:  Be certain your dial up phone number is to a local toll-free phone number.

--- Or, use AVC Open Computer Labs.  Business & Computer courses use BE319 and BE317

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(5)  Web Browsers & Browser Settings & Helpers & Plug-In Utilities  --   You'll need one of the major browsers to work effectively on the Internet. Why? Because some pages are designed with code and scripts that only one browser will support. It's all about competition! Additionally, you'll need some utilities called helpers and plug-ins to support interactive multimedia sites.  FREE downloads.

  1. Mozilla FireFox http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/ (preferred - latest version)

  2. Microsoft Internet Explorer (MSIE) - Internet Explorer 6 SP1 Download Site
    or    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/ie6/downloads/default.mspx 
    or  http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/top10.mspx

    • Recommend MSIE 6.x because MSIE 7.x has been problematic and may not be supported by some software


     

    Link to REQUIRED Browser Settings to update & setup EACH browser you use.

    Browser helpers & plug-in utilities maybe needed for your online activities. 
             Follow instructions at download sites to install the following software as needed.

    Macromedia Flash Player Download Center - FREE --
    http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash

    Macromedia Shockwave Player Download Center - FREE --
    http://sdc.shockwave.com/shockwave/download/download.cgi

    RealPlayer Basic Download - FREE --
    http://www.real.com/player/?src=downloadr

    Acrobat Reader - FREE - choose your Operating System --  http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/main.html

    PowerPoint Viewer 2003 (if you do not have PPT installed) - FREE - lets you view full-featured presentations created in PowerPoint 97 and later versions.  Many faculty provide some course content via PPT slideshow web presentations and/or files.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=428d5727-43ab-4f24-90b7-a94784af71a4&DisplayLang=en 

    Excel Viewer 2003 (if you do not have Excel installed) - FREE -  Open, view, and print Excel workbooks, even if you don't have Excel installed. Also, view and interact with Excel Interactive web pages.  Some faculty provide course content via MS Excel files and/or interactive web pages.
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=c8378bf4-996c-4569-b547-75edbd03aaf0&displaylang=EN

    Other Viewers for MS Office applications (if you do not have MS Office installed) - FREE -
    http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/HA010449811033.aspx

(6)  If you have FIRE WALL software and are using DSL connection, setup your MSIE BROWSER SETTINGS as follows:

If you have DSL or CABLE connections you SHOULD INSTALL FIREWALL SOFTWARE, because your computer is very vulnerable to hackers at ALL times when it is powered up and the DSL or CABLE are active, even if you haven't logged on to your ISP.

MS Windows XP installs with online firewall option at no extra cost.

Other options are:
Symantec's Norton firewall
McAfee firewall 

IMPORTANT:  If you have DSL and a FIREWALL,
and you use MS Internet Explorer (MSIE) browser,
you need to complete another browser setting is required to avoid "server not found error."  
              
                  Link to the REQUIRED Browser Settings page

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(7)       EMail :

(1)  Web-Based - AVC Email account
     Some faculty will require you to
use your
"myAVC" Email account for AVC courses. 

LogIn portal =  http://myavc.avc.edu 

         Your "myAVC" Web-based EMail account can be accessed from any Internet-connected computer.
 

(1)  Web-Based - Personal Email account

Additionally, I recommend a backup Web-based Email account for times if/when AVC Email fails.  It must support file attachments. 
FORWARD your AVC Email to your Personal Email to avoid having to login to both services.

  • Most ISP's provide web-mail and client mail service.

  • Or use a full-featured free web-based EMail service, e.g.YAHOO.COM  

    • TIP:  Hotmail, gmail, Adelphia.net mail, and AOL mail are problematic and NOT recommended.

(2)  PRIVATE & SECURE MESSAGES mail service within Blackboard  -- Most online learning systems include individual Private and Secure mail service within the course site.  This Email should be the PRIMARY Email account, for confidential communications,  when taking courses online.

(8)    Student Data Files:  Some courses require publisher-prepared Student Data Files.  A diskette or CD may be included with the textbook.  More and more, however, you must download the files from the publisher's textbook site.  Your textbook should include the URL for the download website and download instructions.  If not, ask your Professor.

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(9)  What is your computer’s System Configuration 

  1. Click on Start button (located on bottom left hand corner of your screen)
  2. Select Settings -> Control Panel
  3. Click on System. The Processor and RAM are listed on the bottom right of this screen.
  4. To find your computer’s disk space, double-click on My Computer (located on your Desktop).

    How do I know what software is on my computer?  And what version?

  1.  
       
         
           
            To determine if your computer system has the above software,
              Click on Windows START menu button.
            1. Click on PROGRAMS submenu -> ACCESSORIES submenu -> SYSTEM TOOLS -> SYSTEM INFORMATION
                        (link to example below).
            2. Software info is in various sections:
              • System Information (Operating System);
              • Software Environment
                •  -> Startup Programs
                • & ->  Software Updates;
              • Internet Explorer,
              • and Applications. 
            3. Click the plus + signs to expand the sections list in the left window pane. To display info in the right window pane, click on the item in the left window pane.
               
          1. Installed software are listed in the Programs window of Start menu (click START / PROGRAMS).
            • For applications not listed in the System Information window, if there is a " > " by the menu listing, click on the application name, and a submenu will open, listing the installed components.
            • If there is no " > " by the menu listing, clicking the application name will run/open the application window. 
               
          2. For an individual application,
            select the application's HELP menu.  Click the ABOUT_app_name command for version info.

          Click link to Example of Microsoft System Information window. Your computer has different info.

divider made of smal;l avc logos

NOTE: If linked pages open a new browser, when finished, CLOSE the new browser to return to this page.

  1. Welcome to AVC Online Learning
  2. What is Online Learning?

  3. Is Online Learning For YOU?

  4. System Requirements

  5. How to Get Your Course Login Information 

    • Follow instructions to contact your Professor before classes begin

    • and/or to attend OnCampus Orientation Meeting

    • AND complete all Online Orientation Tasks

    • ASK Questions as needed - It's about your education!!

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    AVCONLINE HOME

     

    Last Updated 2/11/2010
    By K E Moore copyright 2003 kmoore@avc.edu