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MouseTrial Autism Software
Fun animated online exercises to help kids with autism

system requirements

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All illustrations, animations, software and text ©Dan Welchman Productions

browsers

MouseTrial is always played through a web browser. You don't necessarily need an internet connection to play MouseTrial though. You can also play offline on a local copy that you have downloaded. But you still run it from within your browser. When you double click on one of the mousetrial.html module files your browser will start automatically. MouseTrial will run on any version of Internet Explorer. It will also run on FireFox or Mozilla but these browsers sometimes suffer from buggy handling of audio files resulting in truncated or interrupted sentences. Please see the FAQs if you hit this problem. MouseTrial isn't currently supported on Opera or Safari due to Javascript and cookie problems respectively.

sound

To play MouseTrial your computer must be capable of playing sounds. (actually, MouseTrial will work without sound, but it won't make very much sense). Nearly all computers these days are equipped with speakers and a sound card but a few lack them (mainly servers or very old machines). The sound will also need to be switched on and turned up to an audible level. The interface for doing so varies on different platforms and different operating system versions. You should consult your documentation for further details. Note that some browsers implement their own mechanism for turning sound on or off, so check in your browser's preferences or control panel if you can't hear anything. MouseTrial doesn't require high fidelity sound; your computer's built in speaker(s) will do just fine.

cookies

You will need to have cookies turned on in your browser if you want MouseTrial to work. A cookie is a very small file of information that a browser stores on your computer to remember things like settings and preferences. MouseTrial uses cookies to store your scores as well as things like your chosen array sizes and which items are switched on or off. It is possible to switch cookies off using your browser's preferences dialogue, but MouseTrial won't work if you do so. Cookies are normally switched on by default so this won't often be a problem.

Javascript

Your browser will need to have Javascript enabled to run MouseTrial. Javascript is the computer language that browsers use to run simple programs. Javascript is normally turned on by default so this won't often be a problem. You can turn Javascript on or off using the preferences dialogue or control panel of your browser. It often appears under the heading "enable scripting" rather than mentioning Javascript explicitly. Confusingly, there is a separate language called "Java" that you can also switch on or off in most browsers. MouseTrial doesn't need Java, so you can leave it switched off if you like.

Platform and Operating System

Unlike a lot of software, MouseTrial doesn't really mind what hardware it is running on. If your computer will run Internet Explorer (and has sound) then it will almost certainly run MouseTrial successfully. It works on all versions of Windows and of MacOS (whether X or 9 and earlier) that we have tried. We have failed to run it on Linux so far, but haven't tried terribly hard to find a suitable browser and/or plugin. We would be very interested to hear from any Linux fans who have succeeded in running it!

internet connection speed

If you want to play MouseTrial online then you will need a fast internet connection. The advantage of playing online is that no "installation" is necessary and you are always playing the most up-to-date version. Any broadband connection (from 500Mbits per second upwards) should be adequate. Of course, internet performance is affected by many factors apart from connection speed. Heavy traffic and remote bottlenecks can cause poor performance even for customers with very fast broadband connections. If MouseTrial runs too slowly then please try a downloaded version. You can download the latest versions as frequently as you like.

processor speed

There is no need rush out and buy a super-fast new computer to play MouseTrial. MouseTrial's demands for processor power are very modest and even quite obsolete machines will perform adequately. Of course, we can't stop you rushing out to buy that super-fast computer if you want to. But you can't use MouseTrial as an excuse!

screen size

MouseTrial is designed with displays of 1024 X 768 pixels and larger in mind. But in fact it will operate quite well on smaller screens at a pinch. At 800 X 600 the only ill effects are a little clipping around the edges of some of the larger animations and so on. You may want to keep the array sizes small if using a low resolution screen.

disk space

MouseTrial comes in separate themed modules. Each one is different and they vary in size somewhat, but none of them require a gigantic amount of disk space. A typical module is currently about 10 to 20 megabytes in size (the zip files that you download will be a little smaller due to compression). We frequently add new animations and trials to the existing modules so the space required will creep upwards gradually over time.