Before you access the network, you should have the latest security updates for your operating system.
As a Columbia University affiliate, you can install Symantec Endpoint Protection for free.
Whatever your needs, we recommend that you purchase a computer which meets Energy Star requirements.
You should purchase as much memory (RAM) and hard drive space as you can comfortably afford, as these impact the life of your computer and the long-term efficiency more significantly than processor speed.
Desktops are usually cheaper, easier to repair/upgrade and harder to steal. Some are ultraportables, designed to be as light as possible (less than 4 pounds).
This results in increased cost, decreased durability and fewer capabilities (for example, smaller screen, smaller hard drive, and shorter battery life).A 4-6 pound laptop might sound like nothing but it’s heavier than it seems and the laptop weight itself doesn’t include the additional weight and inconvenience of the power supply, laptop bag and possible extra battery—not to mention your books.The choice of platform (Windows, Mac, Linux) is essentially a matter of personal preference.Several of the professional schools, including the Law School, have their own specific requirements or recommendations.If you are a student or faculty member of a professional schools, please speak to their IT department directly for further information.Many games, statistical analysis and programming tools are available solely for the Windows operating system.Audio/video editing can be done on both platforms but Apple computers tend to have the edge in stability and functionality.You should consider getting an extended warranty with your computer as protection for future hardware or operating system issues.This is strongly suggested if you are buying a laptop or if the standard warranty period is one year or less.If you are already familiar with one platform, there is no particular reason to switch.Your school may have more specific criteria, so check with your academic advisor before deciding.