Technical Help - Useful Software

Here is the TopicBox list of useful software a typical computer will need to display ALL the sites we link to correctly.

Up-to-date Web Browser

You seem to be using browser Unknown ? to look at this website, on a Unknown computer.

Basically any recent web browser will be fine. Internet Explorer version 7+ is OK - anything before this is out of date and contains serious security flaws. Our recommendation is that you use the Firefox web browser. Firefox is faster than Internet Explorer, is updated regularly, is developed freely by a large group of software professionals and is Open Source software. Click here to visit the Firefox download page.

Adobe Flash

Lots of the activities we link to need the Adobe Flash plug-in. You already have the plug-in on this computer.
You can check to see if Flash can be updated here.

Adobe PDF Reader (Acrobat)

We don't link to many PDF files. But this is useful to have anyway. We can't reliably check to see if you have it already. Download the software here. But the Adobe PDF Reader is a fairly large download, it runs quite slowly on older machines and so some people prefer to use a lightweight alternative like the Foxit PDF Reader (Windows only - MacOS has PDF support built in).


This is not the same as javascript. Java is another plug-in that allows quite a few of our more complex sites to work. We can't reliably check to see if you have it installed, so head over to to make sure you are running the latest copy.

Often the Java plug-in takes a while to load when you visit a Java site for the first time, but if you are patient it will get there.

Media Codecs

We don't link to many media files, but if you download and install a 'codec pack' then you will be able to play virtually any music or video file using your usual media player software.

MacOS - download Perian

Windows PC - download K-Lite Codec Pack

Office Software

Some of the sites we link to supply PowerPoint or Word documents. These are often created using Microsoft Office software. You don't need this software to open the files though. You can open PowerPoint, Word and Excel files using the excellent OpenOffice or LibreOffice software. You only need this software if you do not already have some type of Office software installed.

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