Any PC that you use a CAC reader with requires the middleware. This enables the PC/Windows Operating System and the reader to communicate with each other. The middleware formerly used by the Army has been ActivCard Gold and Netsign. On 24 October 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), U.S. Army, and U.S. Air Force chose ActivIdentity's ActivClient 6.0 as its smart card desktop client software. Government PCs will eventually have the new middleware installed as part of the Army Golden Master software image. Please contact your local system administrator, IMO, or DOIM for more information on obtaining the CAC middleware for your government PC.
ActivClient 6.0 supports the following Operating Systems:
* Windows 2000 Professional with SP3 or SP4 * Windows XP Home Edition with SP2 * Windows XP Professional with no Service Pack, SP1, or SP2 * Windows 2000 Server with SP3 or SP4 * Windows 2003 Server with no Service Pack and SP1, or Windows Server 2003 R2
ActiveClient can be downloaded through AKO's CAC resource page.
Note: unlike NetSign, ActiveClient can be used with Firefox browser.
There are many different varities of CAC readers available. You can visit: https://militarycac.com/usbreaders.htm to find several different USB type models (these are the most common & least expensive).
Complete installation instructions for all Operating systems including Windows 7 can be found at https://militarycac.com
ActivClient 6.2 is available in both 32 bit and 64 bit and also Linux if you need it.
This year (2012) ActivClient 7.0 for windows came out but you should know that ActivClient 6.2 64 bit works on Windows 7 machines. Some people have issues with their newer models and this version was released for that reason.
Another real critical issue is in installation. When you get the file to install do NOT choose "typical". Choose "custom". When you do, you will see some files 'red x'd" out. Choose those to install as well as the rest of the files. These are the advanced configuration files and will allow you to easily change your certificates and reset your smart card.
CAC readers come in all shapes and sizes and price ranges but I would never buy a used one as the reader maybe defective and let's face it, you can get one from my store or many others for less than $20 typically. Also, laptops may already have the readers installed!
A great source for help is militarycac.com and CW3 Danberry. The guy is a nice guy and an expert at anything to do with ActivClient
@rivenbar121. You can find all known CAC readers starting at: http://militarycac.com/purchase.htm from there you will select whether you want a USB, keyboard, laptop, or desktop type reader. the next page lists vendors all currently known CAC readers with vendors where you can purchase them from.
@TheWiseChief, interesting. Those SpamBots are getting good. All the ones I used to get on my site wanted to sell me drugs and manhood stuff. This one actually looked like a person asking for assistance. All is well with me, how about you?