Computers are a necessary tool at Brown. All papers, research, and communication revolve around having access to computers. The Center for Information Technology helps students adapt their own computers for use in the University network. Every Brown student has a University e-mail account, server space, and full access to most of the University’s computer software and hardware. All of this is in addition to the electronic research tools available through JOSIAH, the library Web site server. The CIT also holds free group and individual training sessions to help students use specific software that the University makes available through their network. Network security is high, which has the positive effect of keeping viruses and junk mail away from people’s inboxes, but also has essentially cut off illegal file sharing on the University’s network.
While many students get by without a computer, the majority of students either bring a computer or purchase one from the Brown bookstore’s computer center or a private company soon after they arrive. The fact that most students have their own computer decreases the traffic at the clusters at all but the busiest times of the year. If you are buying a new computer, a laptop is your best bet—it takes up less space in the cramped freshman rooms and gives you the freedom to bring your computer to any of your favorite study spots. Brown’s wireless network also gives students the chance to access the Internet with their laptop in certain places on campus. In general, Brown’s computers offer more resources than most students could ever desire, and the school continues to expand its computing facilities, taking advantage of new technology as it becomes available.