FAQ - ECU Student Computer Purchase Program

Can I run Windows on a Mac?

Do I need to purchase a warranty?

Does ECU recommend iPads, netbooks, smartphones or tablets?

How do I connect to the Internet on campus?

How will I use my computer?

My Department does not have a specific recommendation. Which computer should I choose?

Should I purchase a laptop instead of a desktop?

Should I shop around?

What do I need to know about printing?

What software will I need?

What type of computer do I need?

Where can I find assistance?

Why Lenovo, Apple and Dell?

Why should I purchase a computer from ECU?

 

Can I run Windows on a Mac?

With an application like Boot Camp or Parallels, Macintosh computers can run the Windows operating system. Boot Camp is free with macOS, but you cannot run both Windows and macOS at the same time. Parallels allows both operating systems to run at once. Parallels is available for a fee.

To use one of these applications, you will also have to install a copy of Microsoft Windows on your Mac (see the software section below on how to get a FREE OS upgrade through ECU). While these applications do work, be aware that neither Microsoft nor Apple officially supports the running of Windows on a Mac computer. Check with your department before making this decision.

Do I need to purchase a warranty?

Three-year warranties are recommended for all computers. Accidental damage insurance is also highly recommended. Having warranty protection with a local service provider insures you have minimal time without your computer should there be a problem and also helps with unplanned costs. Check with the Dowdy Student Stores’ Tech Deck team for available options.

Does ECU recommend iPads, netbooks, smartphones or tablets?

Although popular, we recommend smartphones and tablets as a second computing device rather than a main computer.

Smartphones are widely used to check email and Canvas assignments. We recommend both iPhones and Android-based devices but only offer limited support for any mobile device. Please note that users are generally pointed back to the service provider for most assistance.

Netbooks are small, lightweight laptops. They are also good as a second device (great for taking class notes and surfing the web), but they usually have limited processing power. The small screen size of the netbook is not as friendly when working on class assignments.

How do I connect to the Internet on campus?

Wired Access. All ECU residence halls except Greene have wired network access in every room. Computers need a standard Ethernet cable to connect. A computer must be running a currently supported operating system (Windows Vista/7/8/10 or Macintosh OS X 10.8 or higher).

Wireless Access. Your computer needs a standard 802.11(b, g, n, or ac) wireless card to access wireless. ECU maintains two wireless networks:

The eduroam network service is available in residence halls, all buildings and some campus outdoor spaces as well as off campus wherever the service is available (NC State campus, for example). Each wireless device must onboard (connect) to the eduroam service. Begin the process at onboard.ecu.edu.

The ecu-wifi network is used to connect internet-ready devices such as smart TVs and other multimedia equipment not supported by the eduroam network. Please be aware that devices like personal wireless routers are not permitted to connect to either network.

Cell service has also been expanded (2019) to many buildings and outside areas on campus.

How will I use my computer?

All students use online resources to register for classes, pay tuition, purchase a parking pass and more. Many campus classes involve a combination of face-to-face meetings with online participation, or you may be enrolled in a completely online program. Most students, whether campus or DE, use Canvas, ECU’s online learning management system, to retrieve and submit assignments, access class resources, take quizzes and check grades. Your instructors, the Financial Aid Office and others communicate with you through email. Class assignments might include meeting online and chat through Microsoft Teams collaboration tool.

Most assignments and other coursework are completed using Microsoft Office. You are eligible for 5 computer downloads (Mac or Windows) or you can create and edit Word, PowerPoint and Excel files through your browser within OneDrive cloud storage (part of Microsoft 365 subscription). Several departments also have specific software packages to complete assignments. All students should consult with their academic advisor before choosing a computer.

My Department does not have a specific recommendation. Which computer should I choose?

Any of the ECU-recommended, basic computer configurations will meet your needs. ECU makes every effort to ensure that commonly-used student applications (email, Canvas, Banner, etc.) run on both the Windows and Mac platforms. However, we cannot guarantee that every software application required by an instructor will run on both platforms. There are rare occasions when applications only run on a PC. However, on-campus computer labs and the virtual computing lab often have software to complete assignmants.

Should I purchase a laptop instead of a desktop?

A laptop’s portability and ECU’s wireless network allows you to access the internet in all buildings on campus and some public outdoor spaces. You can take your computer to class, the library and study sessions. Laptops also make it easy to take your computer home while on breaks or for the weekend.

Should I shop around?

We encourage parents and students to shop around using our recommendations as a checklist to ensure all key components are included. ECU’s Tech Deck at Dowdy Student Stores offers Student Computing Initiative models, which can be purchased with free on-campus support and accidental damage protection and warranty extensions.

What do I need to know about printing?

It is recommended that students have a personal scanner/copier/printer to print class assignments.

However, enrolled students also receive a yearly $30 print allowance for use in computer labs and either library. The Pirate Print service allows a student to send a print job from a personal computers (on or off campus) to one of several printing kiosks on campus.

What software will I need?

Windows Operating System. Enrolled students are eligible to download the Windows 10 operating system FREE OF CHARGE. Visit the Windows for students page for details. This operating system is yours to keep even after you leave ECU. ECU supports Windows 10 and Mac OS X 10.12 or higher.

Microsoft Office. Your Microsoft 365 subscription allows FIVE Office suite downloads. Both Mac and PC versions available.

OneDrive cloud storage also includes Office apps Word, Excel and PowerPoint so you can create and edit documents within your browser. Mobile apps are available. Please note that Outlook mobile is the recommended app for ECU email.

After graduation, you ECU email address transitions to the alumni system, and you also get to keep the 5TB OneDrive cloud storage with the Word, Excel and PowerPoint Office apps. However, the Office download installed on your laptop or desktop computer will no longer work and files will become read-only once you leave ECU. Remember that they can be edited if they are saved to your OneDrive cloud storage!

Campus computer labs. Often, you may need a special program to complete classwork. ECU has campus computer labs with various software available. Printers are also available (see “Print Quota” below).

Virtual Computer Lab (VCL) . ECU maintains an online computer lab where students connect to a remote computer from anywhere through their internet connection. These remote computers are loaded with many specialty software needed for certain classes. This saves you from having to purchase the software. The VCL is available to students enrolled in the current semester only.

There may be additional software required by your instructors. Many software packages are available for purchase through ECU Dowdy Student Store at academic discount pricing.

What type of computer do I need?

Many academic programs require or recommend students have a computer. Some departments may require a laptop you can bring to class or a system that is able to run specific software. For example, you may need a high-end video card or a minimum amount of RAM.

All students should consult with their advisor before choosing a computer. See the latest computer and program recommendations.

Where can I find assistance?

ECU’s IT Help Desk is available during business and evening hours to provide phone assistance for common computing issues. Call 252.328.9866 | 800.340.7081.

Pirate Techs Student Computing Support Center has two locations: Joyner Library 1101 and Main Campus Student Center 139. Services include software troubleshooting, virus/spyware removal, network troubleshooting, and is a full service repair center for Dell, Lenovo, and Apple computers covered under warranty.

Why Lenovo, Apple and Dell?

Lenovo, Apple and Dell have the highest satisfaction rating by laptop owners based on industry surveys conducted by independent sources like PC Magazine, and they are leaders in the field of education, working with more universities than other computer companies. They also offer the best pricing on the computer models selected by ECU, with prices below normal educational discounts. ECU’s partnership with them has been very successful and beneficial for our students.

Why should I purchase a computer from ECU?

Laptops recommended through the Student Computing Initiative program are specifically configured to meet your needs as an ECU student AND have FREE on-campus warranty support. Extensive planning goes into the selection of the computer configuration to insure the models meet the demands of your academic needs. Vendors are chosen based on the highest standards of performance, pricing and customer satisfaction. Pirate Techs staff provide complete on-campus support, including under-warranty repair.

Benefits of purchasing a Student Computing Initiative recommended computer:

  • On-campus warranty support
  • Assurance that the computer will be compatible with ECU network and systems
  • Special discount pricing and profits are returned to the university for scholarships and support
  • Assurance that the computer meets the recommendations of ECU academic departments

Details

Article ID: 67203
Created
Wed 6/12/19 10:24 AM
Modified
Thu 7/9/20 11:41 AM