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Bringing A Computer to Hampshire

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.

Computer Purchasing
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 Log in using your HampNet login, and follow the links to the Dell or Apple websites for educational personal purchases. While we don't recommend any particular laptop model, we do recommend getting a lock, a case, and an extended warranty. For questions about computer purchases, please contact Rae Ann Wentworth.

Anti-Virus Software
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 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: 1 GB Memory: 4 GB or higher
Hard drive: 80 GB Hard drive: 160 GB or higher
Built-in Ethernet or Ethernet card CDRW/DVD drive
Windows XP 802.11 b/g/n wireless card
Mac OS 10.5 Built-in Ethernet or Ethernet card
  Windows 7
  Mac OS 10.8
  3 year extended warranty

Supported Software and Web browsers
Adobe Acrobat Reader Hampshire College Webmail
Microsoft Office Suite Firefox
Libre Office ( Safari

What Else Should You Bring With Your Computer?

  • If you are bringing a laptop, we strongly recommend that you acquire and use a laptop lock.
  • Be sure to bring your original operating system and software discs with you. If you encounter a problem and we need to help you reinstall your system, we’ll need the legal copies to do so.


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.

Did you know?
Download Software

You can download free software from Hampshire.


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Contact Us

Information Technology
Harold F. Johnson Library Center
Hampshire College
893 West Street
Amherst, MA 01002
Fax 413.559.5419

© 2014 Hampshire College 893 West Street Amherst, MA 01002 . 413.549.4600