Computer Purchasing Guidelines The following are some basic recommended specifications for optimal performance that will help you choose a system if you are planning to purchase a new computer. Windows: Microprocessor Monitor Hard disk drive Random access memory (RAM) CD-RW/DVD-ROM Removable storage device - large files Modem Ethernet Card Wireless Software & miscellaneous Pentium 4 or P-4 HT Microprocessor Macintosh: PowerMac G4 or G5 series 17 inch (desktop) or 12" color active matrix (laptop) 30 gigabytes, as large as you can afford 512MB 48x speed 250Mb. ZIP Drive or 256Mb Jump Drive 56 kbs 10/100 Mbs 802.11b or 802.11g • cables to connect all components • software: Windows emulation software, application software such as MS Word minimally, or Microsoft Office Suite. Sound card no purchase necessary - sound is built-in ink-jet (slower and cheaper) or laser (faster and more expensive) 17 inch (desktop) or 12" color active matrix Monitor (laptop) 30 gigabytes, as large as you can afford 512MB 48x speed 250Mb. ZIP Drive or 256Mb Jump Drive 56 kbs) 10/100 Mbs 802.11b or 802.11g • cables to connect all components • software: Windows system software and applications software such as MS Word, minimally, or Microsoft Office Suite. Hard disk drive Random access memory (RAM) CD-RW/DVD-ROM Removable storage device - large files Modem Ethernet Card Wireless Software & miscellaneous Sound card Printer recommended for use with instructional CDs that have audio ink-jet (slower and cheaper) or laser (faster Printer and more expensive) Desktops versus Laptops versus PDAs The choice of whether to purchase a desktop or laptop system should be based upon your sense of how you will be using your computer system. If you wish to get the most "bang for the buck" you’ll probably want to consider a desktop system. Dollar for dollar, you can get more computing power and expandability with a desktop. This is particularly important if you ever intend upon adding peripheral devices such as a scanner. If you plan on carrying your computer system with you, the obvious choice will be to purchase a laptop system. If you decide to buy a laptop, we recommend that you purchase it with a built-in ethernet card and a wireless card. Handheld PDAs are increasing in popularity in medicine. We recommend that you do not purchase a PDA unless 1) you already have either a desktop or laptop system, and 2) have some very specific personal or professional uses for a PDA. Given that this technology is rapidly changing, any need for a PDA during your clinical years would be better served by waiting until then to purchase a system. Most computer systems are sold as complete system packages including computer, monitor, keyboard, modem, cables, and software. Many vendors have a series of systems to choose from, and which can be customized. For example, one common way to customize a pre-packaged system is to add extra random access memory (e.g., from 512 MB to 1000 MB); another is to add a printer. Many systems are "multimedia" with speakers and other hardware, which are ready to play CD-ROMs to their best effect. A Few Words about Software Any system you purchase should come with software pre-installed. These include the operating system (Macintosh or Windows), and at least word processing software. We strongly recommend that if you purchase a Windows PC, that you also purchase and have installed Windows XP-Pro instead of XP-Home on the computer. The following are examples of programs we use and support at MSU and that you should have on your computer: Windows XP-Pro operating systems: (If you own or are going to purchase a Macintosh, we recommend that you also purchase and install a Windows XP-Pro emulation software package on your system. There are several programs and CDs that are only available for the Windows operating system that will be useful to you.) Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) All of these can be purchased at a discount from the MSU Computer Store. Netscape, Internet Explorer, Firefox or Safari web browser Purchase Options There are several ways to purchase a computer system: As an MSU student, you qualify to purchase a computer through our MSU Computer Store (http://cstore.msu.edu/; telephone (517) 432-0700). Another way is via mail order of which there are many reputable dealers (e.g., Dell, Gateway, MacWarehouse, etc.). A third way is via a discount office-supply store or computer retailer. It is a good idea first to talk with someone knowledgeable about computers with whom you can communicate clearly before you purchase a system. If necessary, they can "hold your hand" as you begin to learn about the technology, and explain some of the vocabulary and options to you. For this reason, we highly recommend that you identify a computer user whom you trust and who can help you. This should not be a salesperson, and would best be a colleague at school.
Pages to are hidden for
"computer_hardware"Please download to view full document