- University Life
A majority of faculty and staff use computers running the Microsoft Windows operating system and Microsoft Office applications; however some academic programs emphasize Apple Mac computers. A majority of students utilize Macs as well.
Most information today is shared in file formats that are platform-independent, so there are very few issues that prevent students and faculty using different operating systems from sharing files.
Consult your school, college, or department to find out their requirements and recommendations, if you are unsure whether a Windows or Mac computer will best meet your academic or administrative needs. We will be happy to support you with either decision. Please note that Kogod School of Business requires students have a computer running Windows. More information can be found on the Kogod website.
IMPORTANT: AU has negotiated special prices on certain computer configurations for personal purchase. Links to all the vendor sites are available from the myau.american.edu portal on the TECHNOLOGY page under the GENERAL LINKS list. That section contains links to academic pricing for both Apple and Dell computers.
Any computer bought new during the last few years will probably have enough processing capacity and memory to provide a satisfactory computing experience for most needs, but the specifications outlined in the Related Links section of this page provide useful benchmarks for comparison to the computer you may already own, or one you may buy.
Here are a few items to consider when buying a new computer for use on AU's network:
www.cnet.com is one of many web sites to visit for reviews of computers and accessories. If there is a particular model about which you are interested in reading, you might try entering the make and model with the word "review," into a search engine like www.google.com.
For help with any software-related problem, contact the OIT Help Desk
You may also obtain walk-in assistance at the Technology Support Desk in the Bender Library. For assistance with hardware problems and operating system issues, contact the computer manufacturer if the computer is not owned by the university.