The College strongly encourages you to bring a Windows-based PC or Macintosh computer to campus with you. Laptop computers are recommended for flexibility and convenience, and can be used in your residence and in classrooms.
As a Hampshire student, you can purchase computers and software at an academic discount. We’ve set up a web portal for computer and software purchases at http://www.hampshire.edu/techdiscounts. Log in using your HampNet login, and follow the links to the Dell or Apple websites for educational personal purchases. We have recommended bundles on the Apple and Dell sites that contain a laptop, case, lock, and an ethernet cable. You can also order items a la carte if you prefer.
Please note that this year the bundles no longer include Microsoft Office. Many of our students have been very happy with Open Office, a Microsoft-compatible application suite that is available as a free download. You can still purchase a student version of Microsoft Office, if you prefer, through Apple or Dell when you order your computer. For questions about computer purchases, please contact Asha Kinney.
The College requires that you have up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer. We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials, which can be installed for free here.
Planning to Work in Video, Sound, Animation, Digital Photography or Design? This part's for you.
Most media classes at Hampshire run on Macintosh computers. You can use a PC, but you will probably experience some problems moving back and forth. Another thing to consider is that, in our experience, a student’s first year is usually not the best time to purchase a high-end computer for media work. Technology and our own desires change too fast to make the machine you purchase now truly useful to you for your Division III work later. It may make more sense to use something basic your first year and save your money for later. We do recommend you have your own external firewire (not USB) hard drive, but that too can wait until during your first semester. If you have more questions, please see our Advanced Media web pages or email John Gunther, manager for advanced media, at firstname.lastname@example.org. And again, this is only applicable to students planning to work in film, video, etc.
Minimum Supported and Recommended Computer Configurations
In order to take full advantage of the available services on campus, you will need:
|Minimum Supported Configuration||Recommended Configuration|
|Intel Core 2 (PC and Mac)||Intel Core 2 Duo processor (PC or Mac)|
|Memory: 512 MB||Memory: 4 GB or higher|
|Hard drive: 20 GB||Hard drive: 160 GB or higher|
|Built-in Ethernet or Ethernet card||CDRW/DVD drive|
|Windows XP Home or Professional||802.11 b/g/n wireless card|
|Mac OS 10.3||Built-in Ethernet or Ethernet card|
|Windows XP Professional or Windows 7|
|Mac OS 10.5|
|3 year extended warranty|
|Supported Software and Web browsers|
|Adobe Acrobat Reader 8.x or higher||Internet Explorer 6 or higher|
|Microsoft Office Suite||Firefox 3 or higher|
|Hampshire College Webmail||Safari 3 or higher|
|Open Office (www.openoffice.org)|
What Else Should You Bring With Your Computer?
The IT staff provide support for systems that meet at least the minimum configuration. Support includes assisting with troubleshooting and resolving software or hardware related problems and providing basic instruction on use. At this time, there is no official staff support for Linux, but there are local Linux users groups that provide support.
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