Help Topic Detail

Student Computer Purchase Recommendations

On-Campus Students | Online Students | Pharmacy Students

Students find having a personal computer while attending Fisher beneficial for academic and personal use. The Office of Information Technology provides the following buying guidelines:

  1. Pharmacy students are required to have a laptop. Recommended specifications are the same as for on-campus students (outlined below).
  2. Online students need to have a computer, webcam and headset w/microphone.
  3. For all other programs, computers are recommended but not required.

All students can purchase a computer through GovConnection or through Apple.

What software does the College recommend?

Microsoft Office 365

Fisher provides Microsoft Office 365 to students at not charge while they are enrolled at the college.  Students can download and install Office 365 by visiting: MS Office 365 for students website.

Many new computers come with a trial version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works suite pre-installed. Please be advised that Fisher faculty use Microsoft Office and many require that you turn in documents electronically. Microsoft Office may not read files created in Microsoft Works or other Office Productivity Suites (i.e. Apple iWork).


I want to have my own computer, should I buy a desktop computer or a laptop?

We suggest you let your budget be your guide. Although most students are not required to have a laptop (except Pharmacy students), they are increasingly popular, offering conveniences in space savings and portability. Fisher provides wireless across campus making it very easy to connect to network resources in all campus buildings.


On-Campus Students

What specifications should my computer meet?

Item

Minimum Recommended

Recommended

Operating System

PC: Microsoft Windows 7

PC: Microsoft Windows 8

Mac: OS 10.7 (Lion)

Mac: OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

Processor

PC: Intel Core 2 Series or
Equivalent

PC: Intel Core i Series or
Equivalent

Mac: Intel Core 2 Series

Mac: Intel Core i Series

Memory (RAM)

PC or Mac: 4 GB

PC or Mac: 4+ GB

Hard Drive

250 GB

500+ GB

CD/DVD Drive

DVD-ROM Drive

DVD-RW Drive

Networking Card

10/100 Network Interface Card (NIC)

10/100/1000 Network Interface Card (NIC)

Wireless Card

802.11g (if a laptop)

802.11n wireless NIC
(if a laptop)

Connections to the campus network in the residence halls are provided via wired LAN and Wireless LAN (802.11 b/g/n). Please be advised that connection of wireless access points and cable/DSL routers are prohibited in residence halls. Cable internet or DSL are encouraged for students living off campus.

St. John Fisher College has a wireless network available to students in all campus buildings including the residence halls and academic corridor.

Additional Components

OIT strongly recommends that you purchase a USB flash ("thumb", "jump") drive, to transport your files between your computer and campus computers. We recommend you purchase a major brand name flash drive. We do not recommend any USB drives that advertise "U3" capability, as those require extra software to function properly.

Flash drives and other components such as web cams and speakers are available at GovConnection and the campus bookstore.

What software does the College recommend?

We encourage compatibility with the software we provide in our labs. We have standardized on Microsoft Windows 7 and the Microsoft Office 2013: Outlook, Word, Excel, Publisher, PowerPoint, Access (and Project for those involved in project management).

Microsoft Office 365

Fisher provides Microsoft Office 365 to students at not charge while they are enrolled at the college.  Students can download and install Office 365 by visiting: MS Office 365 for students website.

Many new computers come with a trial version of Microsoft Office or Microsoft Works suite pre-installed. Please be advised that Fisher faculty use Microsoft Office and many require that you turn in documents electronically. Microsoft Office may not read files created in Microsoft Works or other Office Productivity Suites (i.e. Apple iWork).

Google Apps

Students at SJFC have access to Google's suite of collaboration applications called Google Apps for Education.  Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive (online file storage), Documents (similar to Microsoft Word), Spreadsheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), Slides (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint), and Sites (shared workspaces).  Information about Google Apps is available at Google Apps Learning Center.

Symantec Anti-Virus End Point Protection

In addition, we require all computers on campus, including student computers in the dorms or on our network with a laptop, to have anti-virus software installed. The College provides Symantec Anti-Virus End Point Protection software at no expense to current students. Symantec Anti-Virus can be downloaded by visiting the OIT Student Resources page. It is the student's responsibility to install and regularly update their anti-virus software.

Faculty have standardized on Blackboard as the tool for interacting with their classes on the web, so you will need a current web browser. We recommend Microsoft Internet Explorer 9.0 or Firefox. Other browsers such as Netscape, Mozilla, Opera, or Safari are also acceptable, but may not provide full functionality to campus resources.

Does the College sell/service computer equipment or software?

Computer Repairs & Service

Due to the variety and number of student computers, we are unable to service student computers. We do provide support and assistance in getting student computers connected to our network and the Internet. It is imperative that the student computer has a current operating system (with all of the latest updates) and that the computer is in good working condition. In addition, at the beginning of the fall semester, we provide on-site assistance with network connections on move-in day for students living in the residence halls.

Purchasing Computers

The Office of Information Technology has partnered with GovConnection to offer select technology products that we have found to be reliable and whose manufacturers provide good service and support. The Student Purchase Online Store is available at GovConnection.com. Fisher does not have a computer store on campus.

For students wishing to purchase a Mac, please visit the Apple Education site or your local Apple Store. We highly recommend that students purchase a 3 or 4 year warranty with their laptop from the manufacturer.

Purchasing Software

The Office of Information Technology has partnered with JourneyEd to provide discounted pricing on select software packages including Microsoft Office. To purchase discounted software please visit our Campus eStore or the College Store.


Online Students

Online Classes Technology Requirements

Hardware Recommendations

We recommend you buy a nationally known computer brand from a vendor you trust to provide warranty service from multiple sites. If possible, you should try to purchase a next-day on-site warranty to ensure your computer is up and running as quickly as possible if there is a problem. Please visit Fisher’s online personal purchase store to view our recommended configurations at GovConnection.com or Apple.com.

We recommend that you dedicate a computer to taking your online program. This will help prevent the computer from having applications or spyware installed that could impact your ability to access your online courses, web conferences, etc.

Recommended Computer Specifications

Item

Minimum Recommended

Recommended

Operating System

PC: Microsoft Windows 7

MAC: OS 10.7 (Lion)

PC: Microsoft Windows 8

MAC: OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion)

Web Browser

Latest Version of Firefox with Java Version 1.7 or higher

Latest Version of Firefox with Java Version 1.7 or higher

Processor

PC: Intel Core 2 Series or Equivalent

Mac: Intel Core 2 Series

PC: Core i Series or Equivalent

Mac: Intel Core i Series

Memory (RAM

PC or Mac: 4 GB

PC or Mac: 4+ GB

Hard Drive

250 GB

500+ GB

CD/DVD Drive

DVD-ROM Drive

DVD-RW Drive

Networking Card

10/100 megabit Network Interface Card (NIC)

10/100/1000 megabit Network Interface Card (NIC)

Wireless Card

802.11g Wireless (if a laptop)

802.11n wireless NIC (If a laptop)

Additional Hardware Requirements

  • High Speed Internet (through cable or DSL) is required for online students.  A wired Ethernet Connection is required when using Blackboard Collaborate.
  • Webcam (Recommended: Microsoft LifeCam Cinema HD Webcam)
  • Headset w/ Microphone (Recommended: Logitech H540 USB Headset)

Software Recommendations

Web Browsers

We recommend the latest version of Firefox with Java Version 1.7 or higher. Other browsers such as Chrome, Opera, or Safari are also acceptable, but may not provide full functionality for all campus resources.

Test your software configuration (http://www.java.com/en/download/installed.jsp)

Microsoft Office 365

Fisher provides Microsoft Office 365 to students at not charge while they are enrolled at the college.  Students can download and install Office 365 by visiting: MS Office 365 for students website.

Google Apps

Students at SJFC have access to Google's suite of collaboration applications called Google Apps for Education.  Google Apps includes Gmail, Calendar, Drive (online file storage), Documents (similar to Microsoft Word), Spreadsheets (similar to Microsoft Excel), Slides (similar to Microsoft PowerPoint), and Sites (shared workspaces).  Information about Google Apps is available at Google Apps Learning Center.

Anti-Virus Software

We highly recommend that you have anti-virus software installed on the computer that you will be using for the online program. The College provides Symantec EndPoint Protection Anti-Virus software at no expense to currently enrolled students. It is the student’s responsibility to install and regularly update their anti-virus software.

Software can be downloaded from the OIT website.

To download Symantec EndPoint Protection:

  1. Go to the: OIT website
  2. From the Services drop down menu, click on For Students. The software download links appear on the right-hand side.
  3. Select the version that is appropriate for your operating system
  4. When prompted, log in with your username and password (same login as email)


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