Based on software requirements presented in Table 2, we determined that the minimum requirements for our computers would be a 66 MHz 486 with 16 MB of RAM and a 200 MB hard drive. We started off with one computer, a 120 MHz 486 with 8 MB of RAM and a 1 GB hard drive, donated by Literacy Parksville/Qualicum. We tested this computer with the software we intended to use and found that 8 MB of RAM was indeed inadequate for the web browsers. The computer ran very slowly and was frustrating to use. We subsequently added 32 MB of RAM and found that all of the software ran quite satisfactorily. In addition to this computer, we added a 166 MHz Pentium with a 2.1 GB hard drive and 32 MB of RAM. Both computers were also equipped with sound cards and speakers, and 28.8 KB or better modems.
There is a tendency among computer enthusiasts to choose the latest, fastest, and therefore, most expensive, computers. While the Pentium is faster to use than the 486, we would like to stress that the 486 is fully adequate. It is not necessary to purchase equipment that greatly exceeds the requirements of the software chosen. Analysing your software needs carefully before purchasing computer equipment can save a considerable amount of money.
4. Choosing an Internet service provider
This section only applies if you are planning to offer Internet access. Depending on where you are, there may be many Internet service providers to choose from. Considerations in choosing an Internet service provider are: