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ITR New Student Questions and Answers

  • This guide describes Neumann University's academic computing programs and provides information on how to select and buy a personal computer for use while at Neumann. The University recommends that each student has personal access to a computer. Computers configured for use in college are different from basic home computers because the needs of higher education are more rigorous.

    1. Do I need my own personal computer to complete my course work?

    No, but over time the computer has become a more vital and necessary educational tool and the importance of computing in all disciplines has grown.


    While Neumann University provides a significant number of computers in public access areas, availability is limited; these are intended to supplement your computer rather than replace it.


    The ability to access a computer to complete work at any time of day or night may be essential to keeping pace with the increasing academic standards within individual courses.

    This Guide describes Neumann University's academic computing programs and provides information on how to select and buy a personal computer for use while at Neumann.


    The University recommends that each student has personal access to a computer.

    Computers configured for use in college are different from basic home computers because the needs of higher education are more rigorous.

    2. What kind of Computer Configuration does Neumann recommend?

    Students are encouraged to purchase Windows computers since that is the supported platform at Neumann.


    In addition, all classroom and lab machines are Windows computers. The Information Technology & Resources (ITR) Office supports the PC platform.


    Macintosh-based users need to be self-sufficient and capable of dealing with all aspects of stand-alone and network complexities - both wired and wireless networking.


    All computers require additional equipment to allow Internet access. Of particular note in these configurations is that all computers are expected to have both modems and Ethernet adapters and notebook computers are expected to have modems and both wired and wireless Ethernet adapters.

    3. How will I use my computer while I'm at Neumann?

    You will use your computer as both a labor saving device and a tool for exploring ideas and to enhance personal communications. You will use it to write reports and presentations, to record and analyze data, simulate lecture demonstrations and laboratory experiments, retrieve bibliographic information and conduct research on the Internet, and much, much more.


    Some of the work on the computer will be assigned to you, but you will also find uses for this educational tool on your own. You will probably use it when you complete your co-op, service learning, and clinical assignments. You will come to depend on it extensively and regard it as a necessity. 

    4. If I already own a computer, do I need to purchase another one?

    Maybe, should you already own a computer that meets or exceeds the "minimum requirement" specifications, you may be able to delay your purchase at this time.

    It is likely, however, that you will have to purchase a more powerful new machine, comparable to those recommended, at some time during your undergraduate study.

    5. What brands of computers does Neumann recommend?

    Dell, and IBM are among the many vendors that sell computers meeting Neumann's recommended specifications. Neumann prefers that you purchase these brands because you can depend on the quality of the goods and after-sale service that they offer. The higher-education contacts below offer special discounts for back-to-school purchase.

    Computer Vendors | Student Software Purchasing

    6. Will a desktop pc or laptop computer be better?

    Notebook computers, because they are portable, make it easy to work anywhere. Further, they will be able to take advantage of the wireless network at Neumann, which enables you to access the campus network and the Internet without wires.


    However, since laptops are so portable it is necessary to be especially careful in being responsible for your belongings. Desktop systems usually offer a lower entry price point.

    7. Am I required to bring my computer to class?

    Neumann doesn't require students to bring a computer to class, however you may want to anyway so that you can take notes, and work on assignments. Usually, if the class requires you to use a computer during class time, your instructor will schedule your class in a room equipped with computers.

    8. How will I use the Internet, Residential Network, and Off Campus connections to communicate with Neuman College?

    Neumann makes extensive use of the Internet and its own network to facilitate communication between students and faculty, for official University correspondence, for research, education and personal use.


    To aid this, the University expects that all students will be able to access the Internet. Students with notebook computers should ensure that their computer includes an Ethernet adapter and perhaps a wireless network card. We recommend desktop computer users should be sure that their computer includes an Ethernet adapter.


    Neumann's Residental Network provides a high-speed network connection for each bed in the residence hall. To use this connection, the computer must have an Ethernet adapter. Neumann recommends that you purchase an Ethernet adapter pre-installed with your computer. If your computer does not already have an Ethernet adapter, Neumann strongly recommends that you get a 3Com Ethernet adapter for your computer.Other brands may work, but we have found that 3Com cards provide the easiest and most trouble-free setup and operation. Linksys & Netgear Ethernet adapters will also work.


    It is our experience that students who bring inexpensive, inferior Ethernet adapters or computers to campus often have connection problems. In most of these cases, the consultants on campus cannot help connect your computer to the campus network. You may spend considerable time and expense attempting to isolate the cause of your connection problem.


    ***For wireless users, Neumann strongly recommends the Agere ORiNOCO World PC Card - Gold. It may also carry the Avaya brand. In our experience, other wireless models do not work as well. The Orinoco card can be bought directly from a variety of online and computer supply stores for around $80.


    ***Off-campus users must have a modem and an account with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) to access the Internet. Neumann has negotiated with DCANet, a local ISP, to offer several service plans, including one that costs just $9.95/month. Neumann recommends using a modem that is compatible with the x.90 standards; these modems operate at speeds up to 56 K-bits-per-second. More information on DCANet service plans is available click here.

    9. Why Should I buy these systems when I see less expensive ones advertised?

    Neumann is working with these recognized vendors to establish price-competitive, pre-configured bundles that meet the standard of quality necessary for use throughout the University during your career here. The same basic systems chassis could be configured with less memory and storage space, slower processors, and poorer quality monitors, with a correspondingly lower price. For the most part, machines with comparable features have comparable prices.

    10. Can I finance my purchase over time?

    Dell and IBM offer installment plans for students attending college. For more information, call the vendors or visit their web sites.

    Computer Vendors

    11. Can I get an extended repair warranty for my new computer?

    Yes, most computers sold today have the option to extend the manufacturer's hardware warranty. It is best to purchase this extended warranty when you are buying the computer system. Some computer vendors will not allow you to purchase an extended repair warranty after you have purchased the equipment. Some extended warranties offered are "on site" coverage and some are "carry in" hardware repair warranties. Before you buy the extended repair service contract, make sure there are computer repair companies near your residence that will honor the service contract once you purchase it.

    12. Should I buy a computer now so I can get used to it before classes begin?

    We encourage all students to familiarize themselves with their computers prior to the start of classes. Buying the computer system early will give you a head start on your academic studies.

    13. Do I need a printer?

    The Neumann Computing Center, provides laser printing. However, Neumann recommends that students purchase their own printers to ensure printer access at any time. A good-quality ink-jet printer can be purchased for less than $100. Neumann has had good success with printers from Lexmark, Hewlett-Packard, Canon, and Epson. Dell, and IBM can sell you a printer with your computer.

    14. Who can I call for more information?

    Please check our web site throughout the year for updated computer hardware, prices and any future program changes. You can also call the Neumann University ITR Help Desk at x5620 if calling from on campus or at 610-558-5620 if calling from off campus.



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