So you want to buy a computer?

Based on an Appendix from the Report to Senate, CCCP 1993/94
The following is a guide for students coming to Brock University. It should be noted that you do not need your own computer, as you can use the computers provided by Brock University for your courses. Specialized facilities, such as laser printing, are also available at Brock.

The following is intended as a guide only and should not be considered an endorsement by the University of any system or product

Personal computers

If you are unsure of what to buy, or of what version is needed, please consult with faculty or staff in your proposed Department. Consult Brock Micro (in the Bookstore) for available software, hardware and pricing. Note also that enhancements, such as larger, higher resolution monitors, might be good for games or esthetics, but are not considered essential.


                Macintosh             PC or compatible 
Model         LC III or LC 475       486 DLC/DX 33 MHz
Memory        4 MB minimum           4 MB minimum
Hard Disk     80 MB as a minimum     170-245 MB
Floppy Disk   3.5" high density      3.5" high density
Monitor       Performa Plus          14" SVGA
Ports         Standard               2 serial, 1 parallel
Mouse         Standard               Required for Windows
Keyboard      Apple Extended         101 enhanced
Modem         External 14.4K bps     Internal 14.4K bps
Printer       Apple StyleWriter II   Canon BJ200
	or    HP DeskWriter 520      HP DeskJet 520


                      Macintosh           PC or compatible 
Operating System   System 7 (included)  DOS 6.2 and Windows 3.1
Word Processing*   Microsoft Word       Microsoft Word or WordPerfect
Communications**   Versaterm            ProComm Plus
Presentation       Microsoft PowerPoint Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet*       Microsoft Excel      Microsoft Excel
Language Compiler  Metrowerks Modula-2  Logitech Modula-2
                   Symantec C++         Symantec C++

 * - may be included as part of an integrated package such as Microsoft Works
** - or the software supplied with the modem
These suggestions are based on sales trends at Brock Micro, as of May 1994. Their September 1994 prices for sample configurations are available here.

Unix workstations

Science students and others planning to use computers extensively at Brock and afterwards may want to consider purchasing a Unix workstation. Currently, there are two interesting possibilities:
  1. PC + Linux (more here) : a 486 (or better) PC with at least 8MB of RAM is a good candidate for turning into a Unix workstation. If purchasing, you may want to consider a better-than-ususal disk controller (SCSI), a CD-ROM drive, and an Ethernet controller (twisted pair) if you are planning to use the computer on campus. Linux is public-domain, but you may find it convenient to buy a CD-ROM with Linux on it. Additional public-domain software can be downloaded via anonymous ftp from spartan.

    Estimated total price: $3,500 - $4,000

  2. SGI Indy: Silicon Graphics educational discounts are applicable for student purchases (the details are still under negotiation). Thus some students may want to consider buying a SGI Indy PC, with and a number of software packages licensed to Brock University, as well as an extensive selection of public-domain software.

    Estimated total price: $7,500

It may be possible to arrange for a network connection in the student residences (the policy is currently under consideration).

Students are urged to contact Unix Support Services for further details:

Mike Grau, x4004,
James Whybra, x3843,