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Technical Requirements

If you can't find what you are looking for here, please email your question to Blackboard Support.

Note: Cal Poly does not support personal workstations. This requirements list is available to help you troubleshoot difficulties you may be having with your personal workstation.

Browser Requirements

Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 (PC Windows XP), 7 (PC Windows XP, Vista), & 8 (PC Windows XP, Vista).
Mozilla Firefox 2.0 (PC Windows XP, vista, Mac OS 10.4, OS 10.5), 3.0 (PC Windows XP, vista, Mac OS 10.3, OS 10.4, OS 10.5), & 3.5 (not tested)
Apple Safari 2 (Mac OS 10.4, OS 10.5), 3 (Mac OS 10.5), & 4 (not tested)

JavaScript must be enabled
Java Runtime Enviroment must be enabled
Cookies must be enabled
Allow pop-up windows

Note: If you wish to use Virtual Classroom (the real-time chat feature), Java must be enabled. If Java is not installed on your computer, you need to download a Java tool. Mac : J2SE PC (XP): JRE. It is also recommended that you use the Internet Explorer browser.

Setting Up JavaScript

If you browser's javascript is disabled, you can set up JavaScript by following the steps below:

Internet Explorer 7.0 & 8.0:

PC

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Click on Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Verify that the Internet globe icon is selected.
  5. Click the Custom Level button.
  6. Scroll to the Scripting area.
  7. Select Enable in:
    1. Active Scripting
    2. Scripting of Java Applets
  8. Click OK.

Firefox 2.0 and 3.0:

PC

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Then select the Content tab.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Enable JavaScript, then click OK.

MAC

  1. Click Firefox.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Then select the Content tab.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Enable JavaScript, then click OK.

Apple Safari:

PC

  1. Click Edit.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Security.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Enable JavaScript, then exit out of the menu.

MAC

  1. Click Safari.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Security.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Enable JavaScript, then click OK.
Setting Up Cookies

Your browser may not support cookies. If you have one of the required browser versions, you can enable cookies by following the steps below:

Internet Explorer 7.0 & 8.0:

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Select the Privacy tab.
  4. Move the slider to Medium.
  5. Click on the Sites button.
  6. Type in blackboard.calpoly.edu and select Allow.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK.

Firefox 2.0 and 3.0:

PC

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select Privacy tab.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Accept cookies from sites AND Accept third-party cookies.

MAC

  1. Click Firefox.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Privacy tab.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Accept cookies from sites AND Accept third-party cookies.

Apple Safari

PC

  1. Click Edit.
  2. Click on Prefrences.
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Under Accept cookies, select Always

MAC

  1. Click Safari.
  2. Click on Prefrences.
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Under Accept cookies, select Always

 

Turn Off Pop-up Blockers

Some of the tools (Chat, Virtual Classroom, and Course Map) within Blackboard uses Pop-up windows. For these tools to work Pop-ups window need to be enabled within your Browser. However, a Pop-up blocker may be enabled if it still allows pop-ups for Blacbkoard

Internet Explorer 7.0 & 8.0:

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Pop-up Blocker.
  3. Click on Pop-Up Blocker Settings.
  4. Type in blackboard.calpoly.edu and press Add
  5. Click Close.

Firefox 2.0 and 3.0:

PC

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Options.
  3. Select Content tab.
  4. If the checkbox next to Block pop-up windows is checked, Click on Exceptions.
  5. Under Address of web site, type in blackboard.calpoly.edu and press Allow.
  6. Clicl Close

MAC

  1. Click Firefox.
  2. Select Preferences.
  3. Select Privacy tab.
  4. Click on the checkbox next to the words Accept cookies from sites AND Accept third-party cookies.

Apple Safari
Note: Pop-up blocker must be completly disabled on Safari

PC

  1. Click Edit.
  2. Click on Prefrences.
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Next to Block pop-up windows, be sure that the box is Unchecked

MAC

  1. Click Safari.
  2. Click on Prefrences.
  3. Click on Security tab
  4. Next to Block pop-up windows, be sure that the box is Unchecked

 

Trusted Sites

Firefox (Mac)

  1. Go to Firefox > Preferences and select the Security tab.
  2. Click on the Exceptions button.
  3. Type in "blackboard.calpoly.edu" and click on the Allow button.
    Firefox Mac Securty window

    setting for Firefox Mac

Firefox (PC)

  1. Go to Tools > Options and select the Privacy tab.
  2. Click Cookies and then click the Exceptions button.
  3. Type in the URL you wish to allow, and click the Allow button.

Safari (Mac)

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences and select the Security tab.
    Screen image of the Safari Security window
Add Blackboard to IE 7.0 & 8.0 Trusted Sites list

Add Blackboard to your list of Trusted Sites in IE7. This will allow you to use the Visual Text Box Editor.

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Click the Trusted Sites icon (green circle with checkmark)
  5. Click the resulting Sites button.
  6. Type in https://blackboard.calpoly.edu and click Add.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Click OK.
    Note: The picture below shows a pop-up you may encounter when first accessing Blackboard after making these changes. Select Yes.
    screen shot of the security warning dialogue box asking if you wish to access the trusted site blackboard.calpoly.edu

Setting Up Java Run Time Environment

If your pages are not loading completely in Internet Explorer it is most likely caused by your Java Runtime Environment being out of date.

Internet Explorer 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, or 7.1:

PC

  1. Click Tools.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Scroll down until you see the Java(Sun) entry.
  5. Make sure the Java(Sun) box is checked, If not, click the box below it, and then click OK. You may need to close and restart your browser for the settings to take effect.
  6. The current version of Java(Sun) should be JRE 1.6.0_12 (version 6, update 12).
    If you have an earlier version, then you will need to install the newest version.

    Installing Java Run Time
  7. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp
  8. Click on the Download button next to your computer's operating system. Follow the instructions on the web site for installation.

Firefox (Mac or PC)

  1. Type "about:plugins" in the URL box.
  2. Push the Return or Enter key.
  3. Scroll down the page until you see the "Java(TM) Platform" text or go to http://www.javatester.org/version.html
  4. The current version of Java(Sun) should be
    PC - Java 1.6.0_12 (version 6, update 12).
    MAC - Java 1.5.0_16
  5. If you have an earlier version, then you will need to install the newest version.

    Installing Java Run Time
  6. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp
  7. Click on the Download button next to your computer's operating system. Follow the instructions on the web site for installation.

Safari (Mac or PC)

  1. Scroll down the page until you see the "Java(TM) Platform" text or go to http://www.javatester.org/version.html
  2. The current version of Java(Sun) should be Java 1.5.0_16 from Apple Inc
    If you have an earlier version, then you will need to install the newest version.

    Installing Java Run Time
  3. Go to http://www.java.com/en/download/manual.jsp
  4. Click on the Download button next to your computer's operating system. Follow the instructions on the web site for installation.

If you need assistance after trying these steps, please call the Service Desk (756-7000) to ask for a Blackboard Support Person to support you.

Browser Downloads

Firefox 3 and prior:
http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/all.html

Internet Explorer 6.0 (PC):
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=1e1550cb-5e5d-48f5-b02b
-20b602228de6&DisplayLang=en

Internet Explorer 7.1 (PC):
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/ie/downloads/default.mspx

Apple Safari
http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

System Requirements

Platform: Windows 95, 98, 2000, NT, or ME / Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X.
Hardware: 64 MB of RAM, ~20-25MB of free disk space.
Browser: Internet Explorer 6 or 7 (Internet Explorer 6 for Windows XP only), Firefox 2 or 3, and Safari (JavaScript & Cookies must be enabled.)
Modem: 56 K modem or higher.

DSL (Connection Problems)

Listsrv: some DSL users are having problems posting forms in Blackboard.

This seems to be caused by some incompatible network settings in Windows and some DSL implementations (especially with routers, but some PPOE clients may be affected as well). MTU (Maximum Transmission Unit) settings are too high, resulting in fragmented packets that never arrive at the server due to some extra bytes that are added during transmission. Setting the MTU to 1362 seems to fix this in most cases.

The easy way to fix this is to use a software program such as DrTCP, which is available at dslreports.com.

Download and run the program. Change the MTU setting to 1362 and click save (make sure that you set the MTU for the network adapter that the DSL modem is connected to and not dial up). Reboot, and you should be able to post these forms. This fix should work with any version of Windows that has this problem.

TCP/IP properties
Virtual Classroom

If your TCP/IP properties do not include the calpoly.edu extension, then you will find that the Virtual Classroom will not work off campus. The Virtual Classroom uses an application on the Blackboard server (TutorNet) and if the address is only sophia, and not sophia.calpoly.edu the Virtual Classroom tool will not work. To add the calpoly.edu extension to your TCP/IP properties...

MAC OS X

  1. Open System Preferences in OS X
  2. In the Internet and Network section, click on Network
  3. Select the TCP/IP Tab
  4. Under Search Domain (Optional) at the bottom-right corner of the TCP/IP Tab, type "calpoly.edu"
  5. Click on the Apply Now button and then close out the Network window.

PC

  1. Click Start>Settings>Control Panel to enter the Windows Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on the Network icon to enter the network properties.
  3. Click on TCP/IP in the list of network services once to highlight it. If your computer has multiple connections, choose the TCP/IP properties for your Imagine connection.
  4. Once the TCP/IP list item is highlighted, click the Properties button to open the TCP/IP properties.
  5. Click on the DNS tab. This is where you set the DNS properties.
  6. Set the following properties given below:

    • Host: moe
    • Domain: calpoly.edu
    • DNS Server Search Order: 129.65.16.254
      129.65.21.254
    • Domain Suffix Search Order: calpoly.edu

  7. Click OK to save them. You will be prompted to restart your computer, which you will need to do for the changes to take effect.
  8. Restart and try using Virtual Classroom. The first time your machine attempts load the Virtual Classroom, it may take up to 5 minutes. If it still doesn't work, close and reopen IE. Running on a cable modem can take quite a bit longer so if it looks like it is starting to load the files, just be patient.