|Student Computing Handbook|
Buying a Computer
You will most likely find life at Olin without your own computer to be a difficult one. Nearly every aspect of your academic program will have an online or digital component to it. While a student computer lab is located in Simon Hall, the demand for computers far exceeds the supply. We strongly encourage all students to have their own computer when they arrive at Olin.
These recommendations are for all Olin students! Although only full-time MBA program are required to have a laptop, these systems are recommended and available to all Olin students.
We recommend Dell Latitude laptops. You can order discounted, pre-configured systems online at the Dell Premier web site.
Olin Computer Recommendations/Requirements
We strongly encourage students to acquire a laptop computer rather than a desktop for use at Olin. Laptop units now rival desktops in performance while still being competitive on price. With a laptop you can be productive no matter where you are, connecting to the campus network from Simon Hall, the Knight Center, and many other locations on campus, including the South Forty for students in residence halls. Wireless networking is available throughout Simon Hall. Please see the Wireless Network page for more information.
These recommended specifications are provided as a guideline:
- Intel Core i5 or i7
- 4 GB RAM
- 250 GB SATA hard drive or more
- DVD+RW/-RW drive (DVD & CD writer)
- 10/100/1000 Ethernet
- 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless Ethernet
- Windows 7 Pro or Ultimate (You can upgrade from a Home version of Windows 7 via the Microsoft Software program.)
- 3 Year warranty with onsite service
- USB Flash Drive (8 GB or larger)
- Microsoft Office 2010 -- Do NOT buy with your laptop! All Business students can acquire Office 2010 for only the cost of the media. How to order your software.
- AntiVirus Software -- We recommend Microsoft Security Essentials.
Purchasing Your Computer
We strongly recommend that you purchase your computer through our direct purchase program with Dell Computer. We have arranged special pricing through Dell for their Latitude E6410 and E4310 laptops. The systems are ready to order as configured, or you can use it as a starting point and adjust the configuration to meet your specific requirements.
Access the Dell Premier web site for these systems, as well as access to discounted pricing on all Dell laptop and desktop systems. The recommended system can be purchased by clicking the appropriate links on the Dell site.
Do NOT buy your copy of Office with your laptop. All students pursuing a business degree (BSBA, MBA, MACC, MSFIN, etc.) are eligible for Microsoft Office pro 2010 licenses at no cost. The only charge is for the media to install the software. See the Microsoft Software for Students for more information about this program.
Full-time MBA students should have their system with them when they arrive on campus. Make sure you order your system early!
Olin has standardized on Dell systems for our internal use and have found them to be high quality systems at competitive prices. Students who do purchase the recommended system will receive limited support from the Olin Information Services group. Information Service is not able to provide support for other models or systems from other manufacturers.
We recommend that you purchase a DVD±RW optical drive with your system. With this type of drive, you will be able to both read and write CDs (capacity of up to 700 MB) and DVDs (up to 4.7 GB).
Olin's network infrastructure is able to support 100BaseT connections.
Wireless access is available throughout Simon Hall and at the Knight Center. A wireless network card that conforms to the 802.11b/g/a standard will let you take advantage of this capability. At this time we do not support 802.11n, but we expect the University will start deploying that over the next year. Please see the Wireless Network page for more information.
Computers do fail at times, and laptops are more susceptible due to their portability. it is important to have a warranty that covers as much of your time here at Olin. Onsite service is important as well, as shipping it off for repairs will leave you without a system for several days at best.
Dell offers an option called Complete Care with their warranty. Dell's CompleteCare provides repair or replacement of your Latitude notebook for any damage that is caused by accidents or other incidents beyond your reasonable control. CompleteCare helps protect your notebook against the rough and tumble world of mobile computing. The combination of CompleteCare and Dell's rugged, high quality notebooks can provide outstanding investment protection. This service is a supplement to Dell's Three Year Limited Warranty/Service Plan and covers non-intentional, accidental damage for three years. Damage caused by intentional acts, fire, theft, or loss is not covered under CompleteCare.
USB Flash Drive
Because floppy drives are rapidly disappearing from computers, including our new computer lab systems, you might want to get a USB flash drive (aka thumb drive, pen drive, key drive, memory key. USB flash drives:
- Plug into any USB port (PC or Mac)
- Come in various sizes (1 GB, 4 GB, 8 GB, etc.)
- Require no drivers.
- Are durable. (No more getting stuck in floppy drives!)
- Fit on your key ring or in your pocket.
Several online merchants (Buy.com, Amazon, etc.) as well as local retailers (Best Buy, etc.) carry these devices, and they're reasonably priced.
What about Macs?
We have standardized on PCs and Microsoft Windows. We recommend that students do the same.
If you decide to use a Mac, please keep in mind that we do not guarantee the same level of support that we do for a Windows system. Also realize that some software used in the program may only be available on for Windows.
We strongly recommend that everyone with a Mac purchase the following software for use on their Mac:
Vware Fusion Discounted pricing available from the VMware Academic Store. Virtual Windows PC on your Mac so you can run Windows software. Windows Vista Upgrade License provided at no charge through Microsoft Software Program. Small charge for media and license key. Required if you want to use VMware Fusion. Microsoft Office 2008 License provided at no charge through Microsoft Software Program. Small charge for media and license key. Files are compatible with Office on Windows.
Questions or Comments?
If you have any questions about these configurations, purchasing a computer, or have other questions, please contact Scott Ladewig, Manager of Networking & Operations via email (email@example.com).