Your Computer and FLO

Having problems with using your own personal computer to access your materials or don't know what computing equipment and programs you need? Don't panic! You should find the help you want here.

Contents


To use your computer effectively with FLO you should:

Keep your computer free of viruses

Follow this link to download Sophos anti-virus software.

Keep your Microsoft Windows system updated

 

Some solutions to common problems

Password Problems

The biggest problem you might have is remembering your FAN (Flinders Authentication Name) and password to login to iFlinders or FLO. Keeping them written down in a safe place is the best solution. If you do forget your username or password, contact the FLO Student Help Desk.

Use the FAQ's

There's a good chance that your problem and its suggested solution appears in our  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) web page.

Firewalls

A firewall is a program that protects your computer from offensive websites and hackers while you are connected to the internet.  For example, a home computer may use a program such as Zone Alarm Pro or Norton's Internet Security, a suite of programs that includes a firewall.  In a workplace, if a computer is connected to a network, the firewall may set up by the organisation's computer support staff.

Firewalls can block access to FLO.  For example, when go to access the FLO login page your web browser displays an error page, "page is unavailable" or "cannot be displayed".

If you are having this problem you most likely need to adjust the settings on your firewall program to allow you access to FLO.  If you're using a computer in the workplace, you may need to consult with the organisation's computer support staff.

Contact the FLO Student Help Desk

If you can't  find a solution to your FLO problem, please contact the FLO Student Help Desk.

  


Internet connection

If you do not already have a connection to the Internet, you will need to subscribe to an Internet Service Provider (ISP).

The ISP will connect you to the Internet. Most ISPs will also provide you with a web browser and E-mail program. Your ISP should also provide you with instructions on setting up your computer, modem and software to get online. It is worth 'shopping around' for the best ISP deal you can find.

Software

We recommend Microsoft Windows in one of these versions for PCs:

  • 2000
  • XP
  • Vista
  • Windows 7
or Mac OS X or later for Apple Macintosh computers.

You will also need a web browser (see below) and the Java plugin.

You may need other software for your studies in different topics and your lecturer will be able to tell you what you need. Some of these programs will be free to download onto your computer from the Internet.

Downloading Computer Programs

Many of the materials available through FLO are in HTML format meaning only a browser such as Microsoft Internet Explorer or Firefox will be necessary for viewing. However, some material such as journal articles, book chapters, Power Point slides, Excel worksheets, or Word documents may need special free viewing software. You may download the software at the following sites:

Microsoft Word viewer
Materials requiring the Word viewer end in the extension .doc or .docx
Microsoft Power Point viewer
Materials requiring the Power Point viewer end in the extension .ppt or.pptx
Microsoft Excel viewer
Materials requiring the Excel viewer end in the extension .xls or .xlsx
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Materials requiring the Acrobat viewer end in the extension .pdf
Adobe Flash Player
For playing multimedia files that require the Flash player

 

ADSL
Broadband internet access using a telephone line, but faster than conventional dial-up access.
Application Programs
Sometimes just called applications. A computer program such as a word processor, spreadsheet, database etc.
Bookmark (or Favorite)
A tool for creating shortcuts to web sites or web pages which you are likely to want to visit again. If you find a web page you may want to visit again, click on the word 'Bookmark' or 'Favourite' on your browser. Then click on 'Add Bookmark'. Next time you want to visit that site you can go straight to it by selecting it from your Bookmark menu.
Breadcrumb
A description of the path you took to get where you are in a website. FLO uses breadcrumbs.
Broadband
High speed internet access, faster than dial-up access.
Browser
Short for web browser, this is the program which allows you to view web pages and to search the web. Two of the most popular browsers are Netscape Navigator and Internet Explorer.
Cookies
Cookies are pieces of information generated by a Web server and stored in the user's computer, ready for future access. Cookies are embedded in the HTML information flowing back and forth between the user's computer and the servers. Cookies were implemented to allow user-side customization of Web information. For example, cookies are used to personalize Web search engines, to allow users to participate in WWW-wide contests (but only once!), and to store shopping lists of items a user has selected while browsing through a virtual shopping mall.
Download
This is the transfer of information from the Internet to your computer. Every time you instruct your computer to retrieve your e-mail, you are downloading your e-mail messages to your computer. You may also download web pages, documents and programs to your computer.
E-mail
Electronic mail. An e-mail program allows you to send and receive mail (messages) over the Internet.
FAQ
Frequently asked questions.
Home Page
The starting page which you see when you enter a web site.
HTML
Hypertext Markup Language- a computer language which indicates how text will be viewed in a browser. For example, HTML allows a word to be made to appear bold or in another colour.
HTTP
Hypertext Transfer Protocol- the common protocol which tells different computers how to communicate with each other.
Hyperlink
Connects one web page to another web page (see 'links' below). If the hyperlink is text, it is called hypertext. Hypertext is usually a different colour from other text on the page and is often underlined.
ISP
Internet Service Provider. This is your connection to the Internet. An ISP connects you to the Internet via your phone line every time you log on.
Internet
A complex network of computers, modems, and telecommunications are linked up to form the Internet. This allows computers to share information and people to communicate electronically with each other. Two of the most popular information carrying services on the Internet are the World Wide Web and e-mail.
Link
Also known as a hyperlink, a link will take you from one Internet site to another with just the click of your mouse. Links can be text, pictures or other graphics. Links are easy to recognise once you know what you are looking for. When you move your mouse so that your cursor is on a link, the arrow on your screen will become a small hand. Text links are usually underlined and a different colour from the rest of the text in a document.
Online
Connected to the Internet.
Operating System
The master control program that runs the computer, eg. Windows 98, Windows XP, Mac OSX etc.
Popup blocker
A software utility that is used to prevent unwanted advertisements that "pop up" in small windows in front of the web browser window you are using at the time.
Search engine
There are many different types of search engines for you to choose from, each with slightly different functions. You conduct a search by choosing a search engine (tool), then entering relevant word(s). The search engine will sift through the web and produce a list of sites which match your search criteria. Because different search engines work differently, it is a good idea to repeat a search using several different search engines. This will help ensure you collect all of the sites you are looking for.
Server
A computer that offers services on a network. There is a FLO server at Flinders University.
Site
A group of pages on the Internet. A site may be as small as one page; or can be made up of hundreds (or thousands) of pages. Every web page has a location, address or URL.
Spyware
Software that performs actions such as advertising, collection of your information or changing the settings on your computer.  These actions are usually done without your consent.

 

Surfing
The process of 'looking around' the Internet.
URL
Universal Resource Locator, the whole address of a web site or single page. URLs usually begin with 'http://'.
Upload
The process of transferring information from a personal (or local) machine onto a server on the Internet.
Virus
A computer program which can wipe out information or create major problems on your computer. You may accidentally download a virus from a web site or get it from a disk that someone loans to you. Be careful about downloading material from sites you are not familiar with and make sure you have up-to-date virus-checking software.
WWW
Also called the World Wide Web, or the web.
Web browser
A software program which allows you to view web pages and search the World Wide Web. Two of the most popular browsers are Mozilla Firefox and Internet Explorer.