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Hardware Recommendations

Almost any new computer purchased today from one of the leading computer manufacturers (IBM, Apple, Dell, Compaq, Gateway, etc.) should be more than adequate for basic student use on campus. If your specific needs are more demanding (for example, if you use computer graphics development software, video capture, etc.), then you'll want to make sure that you purchase a faster system that has more memory and storage space. Please check with your appropriate advisor to determine if you require a faster system.

If you intend to connect your computer to ResNet, you need to purchase a computer that is designated "Ethernet Ready". If your computer is not Ethernet Ready then you will not be able to access network-based services. Ethernet Ready computers must include either an Ethernet card or a wireless network card.

Windows Computers

We currently use the Windows XP Professional & Windows 7 Enterprise operating systems on campus. We also use Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). We recommend, if possible, using compatible software. This way, if something happens to your personal computer, you can easily use a computer center.

Below you will find MINIMUM and RECOMMENDED computer specifications for personal computing (particularly laptops) at Western Connecticut State University. These specifications should be used as a guide when making decisions on what type of computer to bring to WCSU. MINIMUM specifications are for those who are choosing not to buy a new computer and want to bring an existing one to WCSU. RECOMMENDED specifications are for those who are choosing to purchase a new computer and need guidance on which specifications to go with. As a rule of thumb, if you are buying a new laptop, most, if not all, specifications will be fine. However, these guidelines will provide you with a good starting point and reference.

Operating System MINIMUM
Windows XP Professional SP2
Windows XP Home SP3
Vista Home Premium SP2
Vista Home Basic SP2
Vista Business SP2
Vista Ultimate SP2
Windows 7 Home Premium
Windows 7 Professional
Windows 7 Ultimate
Mac OS X 10.4.11 (Tiger)
Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
Productivity Tools Microsoft Office 2007/2010 Microsoft Office for Mac 2004/2008
Windows Emulation Software N/A Parallels Desktop for Mac or VMware Fusion
Processor Type MINIMUM
XP: Intel Core Duo or Atom
VISTA: Intel Core Duo
Intel Core i5 or i7 Processor
1.8 GHz PowerPC G5
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz or higher
Hard Drive MINIMUM
100 GB
250-500 GB
100 GB
250-500 GB
Graphics Card MINIMUM
128 MB Video memory
256 MB Video Memory or higher
Integrated card
NVIDIA GeForce 320M or higher
Specialized Software See your academic department See your academic department

A note on Netbooks: Netbooks are becoming increasingly popular computing devices. If you are considering buying a Netbook, it is advised to stay with Intel Atom processors. Also consider maximizing the amount of RAM and hard drive space. Netbooks are suitable for basic internet browsing and word-processing but are not recommended for students whose needs are greater than these basic functions.

Free Microsoft Software for Students!

Through WestConn’s Campus Agreement Student Option with Microsoft, all undergraduate and graduate students, full-time or part-time can receive free Microsoft software. [Learn more here]

Residence Hall Students:

If you are using ResNet, your computer must be up to date with all the latest security updates. You must also have an active, up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computer. We recommend that you set your anti-virus software to automatically update at least once a week, if not daily. Currently, ResNet supports many anti-virus software packages; view the full list of supported virus clients. Please visit for list of available free anti-virus tools and software. For more information on protecting your personal computer, please go to the Information and System Security webpage.

WCSU Weather Information

Current Conditions in Danbury

Current Conditions

55.1° F
Feels like N/A°

Wind: 7MPH from the S
Humidity: N/A%
Pressure: 30 in.
Dew Point: N/A° F

Emergency / Weather Alert Information

The Emergency / Weather Alert will be posted on the WCSU home page any time an emergency or bad weather causes a delay, cancellation or early closing of the university.

Weather Alert Example

 Visit the Emergency / Weather Alert page

Greater Danbury 5-Day Forecast

Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Slight chance for a morning shower, partly sunny and pleasant.
Partly sunny and pleasant.
Mostly cloudy, chance for some showers.
Chance for morning rain then some afternoon sunshine.
Mostly sunny and mild.
36° / 59° 34° / 56° 36° / 43° 39° / 54° 33° / 54°