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Technical Requirements

To best view and use the sites, MIT OpenCourseWare has adopted the following guidelines:

  • Our course sites work on the Macintosh, Unix, and Windows platforms.
  • Although higher-speed connections are preferable, slower connections, such as 28.8 kbps modems, should allow users to view most materials on the sites; however, downloading materials will take a longer period of time.
  • Supported Browsers: MIT OpenCourseWare has tested the course sites with the following browsers:
    • Internet Explorer version 6.0+ (Windows)
    • Safari version 1.2.2+ (Mac OSX)
    • Firefox 1.0+ (all platforms)
    • Mozilla 1.7+ (all platforms)
  • Due to rapid development in the open source world, there may be other OpenSource software packages that will work as well as of any of those suggested below. We are unable to offer technical support for any of the suggested software
  • If you encounter difficulties, please contact MIT OpenCourseWare with the feedback form.

Some special content filetypes require specialized software to use; an extensive list is included below:

File Types Software Tool Suggestions
.aif, .aiff Audio Interchange File Format (AIFF). Any media player or sound editor program can be used to view the .aif files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.asc Any text editor can be used to view the .asc files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.avi Media player software, such as QuickTime®Player, RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player, is required to run the .avi files found on a course site.
.bat Any text editor can be used to view the .bat files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.bmp Any number of image viewers can be used to view the .bmp files found on a course site
.c Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .c files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.cc Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .cc files, C++ source code, found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.cif A standard filetype sponsored by IUCr, used by various software and tools.
.class Java®Virtual Machine software (automatically installed in most major Web browsers) is required to run the .class files found on a course site.
.cnf Any text editor can be used to view the .cnf files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.coor Any text editor can be used to view the .coor files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.csv Any number of software tools can be used to import the .csv files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.ctd MATLAB®software is required to make use of the .ctd files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.dat Any number of software tools can be used to import the .dat files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.dbf ArcView software is required to open and work with .dbf files, although they can also be opened with Microsoft Excel software.
.dcd The DCD files are single precision binary FORTRAN files the format is supported by a wide range of analysis and display programs (such as VMD and NAMD).
.dcm An image format created by the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as a standard for distributing and viewing medical images, such as MRIs, CT scans, and ultrasound images.
.dcr Shockwave®Player software is required to run the Shockwave® media found on a course site.
.dll Any number of programs can call the .dll files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.dict Any number of text editors can be used view the .dict files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.do The STATA® statistical package is required to view and run the .do files found on a course site.
.ds DataStudio ® Software is required to run the .ds files found on a course site.
.dta The STATA® statistical package is required to view and run the .dta files found on a course site.
.eps Ghostscript/Ghostview, Adobe®Photoshop®, and Adobe®Illustrator are among the software tools that can be used to view the .eps files found on a course site.
.exe The .exe files found on a course site are executable programs. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fa, .fas, .fasta Any number of biological sequence comparison software tools can be used to import the FASTA formatted sequence (.fa) files found on a course site.
FEFLOW FEFLOW software is required to complete work on a course site.
.fig MATLAB®softwareis required to view and run the .fig files (MATLAB graphics files) found on a course site.
.f90 Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .f90 FORTRAN 90 files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.for Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .for FORTRAN files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fortran, .f Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .fortran files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.fna Any number of biological sequence comparison software tools can be used to import the FASTA formatted sequence (.fna) files found on a course site.
.gph The STATA® statistical package is required to view and run the .gph files found on a course site.
.gz File decompression software, such as Winzip® or StuffIt®, is required to open the .gz files found on a course site.
.h Header files for .c programs. Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .h files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.hs Haskell compiler software is required to run the .hs files found on a course site.
.iv The ivview program from SGI Open Inventor toolkit is required to view the .iv files found on a course site.
.jar Java®plug-in software is required to run the Java® files found on a course site.
.java Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .java files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.jnlp Java®Web Start software is required to run the Java® files found on a course site.
.lad MATLAB®software is required to make use of the .lad files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.loc MATLAB®software is required to make use of the .loc files found on a course site. NOTE: This is not a unique MATLAB extension. Please verify it is for use in MATLAB before using these statements.
.m MATLAB®software is required to run the .m files found on a course site. Additional toolbox plug-ins may also be required as noted on a course site. Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .m files found on a course site.
.mat MATLAB®software is required to view and run the .mat files found on a course site.
.mcd Mathcad®software is required to view and run the .mcd files found on a course site.
.mdb Microsoft®Access software is recommended for viewing the .mdb files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Access viewer software can also be used to view the .mdb files.
.mdl MATLAB®software is required to run the .mdl files found on a course site.
.mf These are metafont text or source files. To use these files, you need a typesetting program that can read the font such as TeX or Metafont. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.mnc The MINC file format is used for storage of image data following mosaic unpacking in Siemens MRI systems.
.mod Any number of programs can be used to run the .mod files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.mov QuickTime®Player software is required to view the .mov files found on a course site.
.movie QuickTime®Player software is required to view the .movie files found on a course site.
.mp3 Media player software, such as QuickTime®Player, RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player is required to run the .mp3 files found on a course site.
.mp4 The latest version of QuickTime®Player can be used to run the .mp4 files found on a course site.
.mpeg Media player software, such as QuickTime®Player, RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player is required to run the .mpeg files found on a course site.
.mph COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS™(formerly FEMLAB) is required to make use of the .mph files found on a course site.
.mw These files are Maple Worksheet files, for use with Maple software.
.nb Mathematica®software or the free MathReader software is required to run the .nb files found on a course site.
.p3 Primavera Project Planner® software is required to run the .p3 files on a course site.
.pdb RasMol software is required to run the .pdb files found on a course site.
.pdb Protein Data Bank viewer software can be used to view the .pdb protein data bank files found on a course site.
.pddl Any text editor can be used to view the .pddl files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.pl A Perl interpreter is required to run the .pl files found on a course site.
.ppt Microsoft®Powerpoint® software is recommended for viewing the .ppt files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Powerpoint® viewer software can also be used to view the .ppt files.
.ps Postscript viewer software, such as Ghostscript/Ghostview, can be used to view the .ps files found on a course site.
.psf Any text editor can view these Protein Structure (.psf) files. They are generated by VMD Molecular Graphics Viewer and can be used with NAMD (Molecular Dynamics Simulator).
.py Use the Python interpreter to run the .py files found on a course site.
.qif MATLAB®software is required to run the .qif files found on a course site. Any text editor can be used to view the contents of the .qif files found on a course site.
.r Use R, an open source language and development environment for statistical computing, graphics, and exploratory data analysis, to run the .r files found on a course site.
.ram RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .ram files found on a course site.
.rm RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rm files found on a course site.
.rt RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .rt files found on a course site.
.s Assembly file. Any number of development tools can be used to compile and run the .s files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.sas7bdat Base SAS software is required to open the .sas7bdat files found on a course site.
.scm Scheme software is required to run the .scm files found on a course site.
.sit Stuffit® is required to open the .sit files found on a course site.
.sldasm SolidWorks®software is required to run and view the .sldasm files found on a course site.
.sldprt SolidWorks®software is required to run and view the .sldprt files found on a course site.
.slogo StarLogo software is required to run the .slogo files found on a course site.
.smil RealOne™ Player software is required to run the .smil files found on a course site.
.so These are Unix shared library files. Any number of programs can call the .so files found on a course site. These files are also executable. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.spt RasMol software is required to run the .spt files found on a course site.
.stp Nanotec WSxM software is required to view the .stp file found on a course site.
.swf Flash™Player software is required to run the Flash™ media found on a course site.
.swj SolidWorks®software is required to run and view the .swj files found on a course site.
.tar File decompression software, such as Winzip® or StuffIt®, is required to open the .tar files found on a course site.
.tex Software to view the .tex files on this course site can be accessed via the Comprehensive TeX Archive Network (CTAN) and the TeX Users Group Web site.
.textgrid Pratt software is needed to make use of these plain text files that accompany corresponding sound files.
.tif Any number of image viewers can be used to view the .tif files found on a course site.
.vsd Microsoft®Visio®software is recommended for viewing the .vsd files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Visio®viewer software can also be used to view the .vsd files.
.vss Microsoft®Visio®software is recommended for viewing the .vss stencil files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Visio®viewer software can also be used to view the .vss files.
.vst Microsoft®Visio®software is recommended for viewing the .vst template files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Visio®viewer software can also be used to view the .vst files.
.wav Media player software, such as QuickTime®Player, RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player is required to run the .wav files found on a course site.
.wscp Any text editor can be used to view the .wcsp files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.wk1 A Lotus123 worksheet that can be read directly into MATLAB®. Lotus 123 or MATLAB®software can be used to run the .wk1 files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.wm Working Model 2D is required to view and run the .wm files found on a course site.
.wma Media player software, such as RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player is required to run the .wma files found on a course site.
.wmv Media player software, such as RealOne™ Player, or Windows Media®Player is required to run the .wmv files found on a course site.
.x Any number of development tools can be used to run the .x files found on a course site. Please refer to the course materials for any specific instructions or recommendations.
.xls Microsoft®Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls files found on a course site. Free Microsoft®Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls files.
.xmcd Mathcad®software is required to view and run the .xmcd files found on a course site.
.xml Any text editor can be used to view the .xml files found on a course site.
.xsl Any text editor can be used to view the .xsl files found on a course site.
.xyz VMD (Molecular Graphics Viewer) is used to to view and use .xyz files foudn on a course site.
.zip File decompression software, such as PKZIP® , Winzip®, or StuffIt®, is required to open the .zip files found on a course site.