How do I know if my computer is adequate to perform properly?
2.0 GHz or higher
XP (SP 3 or higher), Vista (SP 2 or higher) or Windows 7
1 GB or higher for XP,
3.5 or higher
Physical or onboard
* If you plan to receive only (for example, in a distance learning session), almost any PC purchased within the last three years should work.
** If you bought your PC within the last five years, you almost certainly have graphics acceleration.
What is the next step if my computer meets the requirements?
It will be necessary to check your bandwidth. Go to http://www.speedtest.net/
Is there another step?
Yes, it is necessary to do one more test. Click here: System Compatibility Test
Can I use a Mac?
You can only use a Mac if there is a parallel windows program installed. Most of the newer Macs can be configured this way.
That’s all for now. Once you meet the requirements, you can sign up for a class or private instruction. We will email access codes and instructions on how to set up your learning room.
Will I need any other equipment?
If you sign up for a regular class, a camera and sound system will be sent to you. If you wish to sign up for private lessons for an extended time, it will be necessary to purchase the camera and sound system. The about $100.00 USD. This equipment can be used for any application requiring a webcam.
What if I already have a webcam or one is built in to my computer?
Using the equipment described above will produce the best results.
Will I receive anything else?
Yes. About a week before the class begins you receive a packet containing necessities for the course. This will include drawings, transfer designs, metal practice plates, and some tools. There will also be a list of general tools that you will need to provide. If you are taking a stone setting course then all the practice rings will be supplied along with stones for the project. You can buy extra stones or use genuine diamonds and gold or platinum rings if you choose.
How long will the course be?
A regular course will be scheduled over a two week period. The sessions will last between three to four hours and will meet every other day. Support time will be scheduled on the off days when you are practicing. This will give you between 16 and 24 hours of instruction and demos. The off days are for you to practice what was covered in a lesson at your leisure for as much time as you care to devote. We feel this is a better way to help you learn and retain what was learned. It also allows you to work through troubled areas so you can have a better foundation if questions were to arise.
Can I record the sessions?
Yes the sessions can be recorded. They will be saved to your hard drive and can be played back only using the communicator software we use for the class.
Is there support available after a course is finished?
Yes, you can buy time in one hour increments that can be used any time after your course. These short sessions can be scheduled with your instructor in advance, and at times that work for you.
What if I want to get individual instruction instead of a course?
Individual instruction is available. You can select a project to work on and the instructor can design lessons suited for your individual needs. This kind of instruction is flexible and can be set up on an agreed upon schedule each week for whatever amount of time you choose. We have students who pay a monthly fee for this type of instruction and sign up for their desired length of time – ranging from as little as one month in a year one year to up to six months or more in a single year. It requires an initial one-time fee and then payment at the beginning of each month.
What if I sign up for a year but I can’t complete for some reason?
It’s not a problem as long as you inform the instructor two weeks in advance of the monthly payment due date. The initial start up fee is not refundable.
What if I get sick or have an emergency and have to miss a session or sessions?
If this happens, you need to inform the instructor and the time may be made up later. In case of a long term illness or emergency, you can cancel the instruction completely. Even if you decide you don’t want to continue it’s not a problem. We just ask that if possible let us know so we can schedule others who could be waiting.
It’s not our goal to get you signed into something you can’t get out of. We would rather that you enjoy and continue because it’s a good experience.
What if the instructor must miss a scheduled session?We will make an effort to have someone substitute for them if possible, or the time can be made up later. If the absence is for an extended period, we will apply your payment to other sessions, or refund your payment, if requested.