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Information Technology
New Gloucester ME

Mac? PC? Who Cares?

Josh Vickerson on Monday, 25 March 2013. Posted in Computing

While I served as an ambassador for the Computer Science department, a common question from parents was, "What kind of computer do I need to buy for my child?" A valid question.

The answer is, however, what ever kind you want. It literally doesn't matter. As long as it will run any required software for your major, you can have any kind you want.

We have the usual groups - your Mac fanboys, your Mac haters, the Linux purists - but for the most part no one really cares. Most of us here seem to get it. It doesn't matter what computer you use as long as it works for you.

One of the best things about RIT is the level of technical literacy everywhere (duh, the T in RIT). Officially, RIT will support any PC and Mac personally owned by any student, faculty or staff member at a glorious place called Resnet, located in Nathaniel Rochester Hall. I'm biased because I work there, but we really are a great bunch of people who can help you with almost anything on your computer, no matter what kind you own.

So while considering what type of computer to buy for freshman year, just relax. Think about what you want out of it, not which type you "should" have. RIT isn't a Mac or PC campus, it's a computing campus. Sure, photo and design majors will (for the most part) all have a Mac for software reasons, but even many of them will put Windows on it with Bootcamp.

Personally, when replacing my old laptop for the start of this year, I decided on a MacBook Air due to its high quality build and design, and the fact that it weighs less than 3lbs. It's insanely easy to carry around campus. Plenty of students have custom desktops, though. It's more common for among gamers, but if you're one of the many students who needs to use 3D modeling software, a desktop might be what you want. Need something light and cheap to bring to class? Buy a Chromebook to go with that powerhouse desktop.

More to the point, think about what you want and need from your computer(s). Forget about what's "in" on campus. We've got it all. Regardless of what you have, the overwhelming likelihood is that no one but you is going to care.