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Computing Requirements


Purchasing a Computer

Can I use my existing computer?

Every semester, faculty and students use programs that are more sophisticated than those used in previous years. These more sophisticated applications require faster computers. In general, the newer the computer, the better its owner will be able to make use PCOM’s network.

Make sure your computer has at least one or both of the following:

  • At least 10/100Base-T Ethernet capability, either built-in or a network interface card (NIC) for high speed access to the campus network and the Internet from study rooms and the library.
  • A Wireless Networking Adapter (either built-in or a PC card) that conforms to the IEEE 802.11b/g standard. Assistance for accessing PCOM’S Wireless network is available in the computer lab located on the second floor of Evans Hall or in the MIS Department located in Suite 334 of Rowland Hall.

When should I purchase a computer?

Technology changes rapidly, each of these options listed below match different financial needs.

  • Students can use computers in the computer labs their first year, waiting until their second year to purchase a computer.
  • Students can bring an older computer to start, upgrading to a new computer during their second or third year at the PCOM. This is not advisable.
  • Students can purchase the basic version of the fastest computer they can afford, and add extra memory, a sound card and speakers, a DVD drive, a larger monitor, and/or a printer over time.
  • Students can purchase inexpensive computers their first year, planning to upgrade their entire systems during their career at PCOM.

Which computer should I purchase?

Before you purchase a system, we'd urge you to examine how you'd use that computer. Your work habits, possible fields of study, and interests should shape your decision.

  • Decide between Apple Macintosh or a Windows systems. The platform should match your interests? In general both will work on PCOM’s Network.
  • Decide whether a laptop computer or a desktop computer is more appropriate for your work habits.
  • Desktop computers are generally less expensive but require that you do your work in one location. Laptop computers allow students to compute on the go, connecting to the campus network from a number of network jacks in the Library, or via the wireless network in the classrooms, study areas, computer labs, and other locations.
  • Budget for software as well as hardware. Word processing and spreadsheet software can be purchased with most systems; however, you may also need other software for communications, graphics, and specialized projects. PCOM’s Book Store offers discounts on software.
  • Be aware that unauthorized copying of licensed software is illegal.

These are the minimum requirements for connecting to PCOM'S Network

If you are planning on buying a computer to use for the next three or more years, we would recommend that the computer you select meet the following minimum specifications:

Processor Intel Core duo 2.0Ghz Processor or higher
Operating System Microsoft Windows 7 Home or Macintosh OSX106 X" Snow Leopard
Office Suite Microsoft Office 2010 for Windows or Microsoft Office 2011 for Mac
Memory (Ram) 2 GB of RAM 4 or better
Storage 200 GB Hard Disk or better
Monitor For desktop, 17, 19, or 22 inch wide screen display
Optical Drive 6xDVD/+RW Drive or better
Mouse Wireless or connected for desktop
Keyboard Wireless or connected for desktop

Happy Computing!