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Computer Buying Guide (for personal computers on campus)

Even though they have 24 hour access to campus computer labs, students often bring personal computers to use in their rooms and other network access areas on campus. Each dorm room has at least 2 network connections providing access to email and the Internet. Salem provides instructions on how to...

Even though they have 24 hour access to campus computer labs, students often bring personal computers to use in their rooms and other network access areas on campus.

Each dorm room has at least 2 network connections providing access to email and the Internet. Salem provides instructions on how to connect Macintosh or Windows computers to the network. Written instructions are available in the dorms the day freshmen arrive on campus and all year in the Registrar's Office.

Fogle Flats apartments use wireless connections for network access. If you do not have wireless capability, Salem IT staff can install a wireless card in your PC.  This is done free of charge on computers that have Windows 2000 or XP. When you request the card, you will be asked to sign an agreement in which you accept responsibility for the return of the card, and absolve the IT staff of any problems that occur after installation. If the card is not returned, the student will be charged for it. Students who have any other operating system must have a wireless card already installed. IT staff must configure all wireless cards whether owned by Salem or owned by the student. Cards should have 128 bit encryption.


Students are responsible for bringing their computers in good working order, with network cards installed, a surge protector, and an up-to-date anti virus program.  You will also need one Category 5 network cable 6'-20' in length. Cables are sold on the day freshmen arrive on campus and all year in Science 104. Salem is responsible only for providing a working data connection. We do not install network cards or provide repair service for student owned computers.

Faculty, Staff and Student Educational Discounts
Students with personal computers may purchase software from: Students and Educators.

Salem purchases software from this vendor regularly and they have very competitive prices.

Recommended minimum PC system:

  • 1GHz Pentium processor
  • Windows XP or Vista
  • 512 MB RAM (2GB recommended for Vista)
  • 40 GB Hard Drive
  • 4 MB video memory
  • 24x CD ROM Drive
  • Color monitor with 1024 x 768 resolution
  • 2 Button Mouse
  • Standard 101 Keyboard
  • Ethernet or wireless 802.11b/g capability
  • Surge Protector
  • Virus Protection with active subscription

Recommended minimum Macintosh system:

  • 800 MHz PowerPC G4, iMac, or iBook
  • 256 MB RAM
  • 2 MB video memory
  • 10 GB Hard Drive
  • 24x CD ROM Drive
  • 15" Color Monitor with 800x600 resolution
  • Apple Built-in Ethernet
  • Mac OS 9.1 or above
  • Surge Protector
  • Virus Protection - required

For hardware purchases, get special student discounts on a new Macintosh from Apple Computer. CDW-G offers student discounts through their On Campus portal and Dell provides discounts for students, faculty, and staff.