What you'll need to run Old English Aerobics

Note: This document describes only the requirements for running the Old English Aerobics exercises. The Old English Aerobics Reader is now an entirely different program, which requires only a web browser and an Old English-capable font. See here for further details.

Old English Aerobics (OEA) requires a reasonably up-to-date operating system and a Web Browser equipped with Java version 1.1 or higher. It runs best on good hardware (a Pentium or PowerPC chip, 32MB of memory, at least a 600x800 screen, a 56k modem). It has been tested on these platforms:

You will also need the RealPlayer (version 5.0 or higher) from RealNetworks® if you wish to listen to the sound files that come with OEA. The free RealPlayer will do fine: you don't need the "RealPlayer Plus."

Notes on the Operating Systems

Windows 95 and 98

Old English Aerobics runs just adequately in Internet Explorer for Windows. OEA runs well in Netscape, version 4.06 or higher. It will not run in earlier versions of Netscape. Netscape 6 and Mozilla will run OEA better than Netscape 4.x. Be sure to download the full version of Netscape 6, with Java. If you have Mozilla, you may have to install the Java Runtime Environment separately. The K-Meleon browser is a blindingly fast non-commercial browser. I have not tested it thoroughly, but it appears to run OEA extremely well.

Mac OS 7.6.1 or later

Because of incompatibilities between standard Java and Microsoft Java, OEA will not run on Microsoft Internet Explorer unless you replace Internet Explorer's Java Virtual Machine. Fortunately, this is easy to do.

First download Apple MRJ ("Macintosh Runtime for Java") 2.1.2 or later from www.apple.com/java/ and install it on your machine. (MRJ is free, and if your OS version is 8.6 or later you already have it.) Your machine must have 32MB of memory to run MRJ.

Next, start Internet Explorer, pull down the "Edit" menu and choose "Preferences." Find the "Java" panel in the Preferences dialog and for "Java Virtual Machine" choose "Apple MRJ." Exit and restart Internet Explorer; OEA should now work.

Netscape 4.x for the Macintosh contains an incomplete implementation of Java 1.1, and since there is no way to plug in an alternate version of Java, it is not now possible to run a Java 1.1 applet like OEA in that browser. Netscape 6 and Mozilla may have fixed the problem, but they have not yet been tested.

Linux and Unix

The Java engine in Netscape 4.x for Linux has a reputation for crashing frequently: I have tested versions 4.07 and 4.61 and found this to be true. It is best simply to turn off Java in Netscape 4.x.

OEA does run well in Netscape 6 for Linux; be sure to install the full version, which includes Java. Mozilla is a non-commercial browser that is functionally similar to Netscape 6 but lighter and faster. Be sure to install a recent version.

OEA may run well in Netscape under Unix and Unix-like operating systems other than Linux: I have not had the opportunity to test.