Computing Services

Recommended Laptop/Desktop Purchases


Available to Union students and employees


Union students and employees are eligible to purchase discounted computers and accessories.


Students: Special deal for Microsoft Office!


Some sources:

o   Be sure to use the Member ID on that page

o   During the online ordering processing, you will be asked for an e-mail address. Any valid e-mail address is OK. It does not have to be a address.

o   You may also order at 1-800-695-8133

o   Microsoft Office for Windows will be useful

o   1-800-MY-APPLE

o   Appleís active promotions (if any) are listed at

o   Consider adding Microsoft Office for Mac (Student/Home Edition)

o   Unionís account representative is Noah Cage


o   1-866-282-6931



1.      Is there any technology all Union students are required to have?

           Students are welcome to use the labs provided on the Jackson and Germantown campuses. Many students have a personally-owned laptop or desktop.

           Any student needing to create/modify/save a document using a university computer will need a USB drive (also called a thumb drive or flash drive).

           If you are bringing computer equipment for use in a resident apartment, be sure to get a power strip with surge protection.

           If you plan to use the wired network connection in a resident apartment, you will need an Ethernet network cable. You can get one at Walmart, Target, etc.

2.      Is there any preference for Windows vs. Mac?

           About 90% of Unionís university-owned equipment is Windows-based and about 10% is Mac-based. Some academic departments use one platform exclusively, while others have a mix of both. If you are fairly sure what your major will be, you may want to contact members of your academic department in case they have recommendations for hardware or software. You can find a list of departments and employees at

3.      Are there computer options beyond the recommended Apple and Dell systems?

           Yes. You may configure other systems at each site or purchase another brand.

           If you buy from another company, be sure to ask about academic discounting and about the computerís warranty options/costs.

4.      Will my existing computer be OK for use in Unionís residence complexes?

           See for details.

5.      Are there payment options other than those offered by the companies?

           Students: Contact Unionís Student Financial Planning office (731-661-5015) to determine if a computer purchase can be covered by financial aid.

           Employees: Contact Unionís Human Resources office (731-661-5220) regarding payroll deduction for personally-owned technology purchases.

6.      When will I get my Union computer/network accounts?

           Students: Your accounts are generally created within two working days of your class enrollment in the universityís student database. Use of your accounts is explained through the student orientation process or a handout you may have received during registration. You may also see

           Employees: Your network account is generally created just before employment begins. Use of the account is generally explained in a handout received from Unionís HR office during employee orientation.

7.      If I want to purchase before I have a Union network account or Union ID, what can I do?

           Incoming students who what to purchase from any academic hardware/software supplier may obtain verification of Union enrollment at Union Station (731-661-5000).

8.      What free software is available?

           Free anti-virus software is available for PCs at and for newer Macs at

           As alternatives for Windows-based word processing, spreadsheets, etc., see For Mac-based tools, see . Web-based tools are available at . Union makes no recommendation for or against these tools. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) may be required for some homework submissions.

           Employees: Contact the employee helpdesk (Jackson: x3300 or 731-661-5525; Germantown: 901-312-1926) about free software for home use.

9.      How do I reduce problems with my personally-owned computer?

           Periodically install security patches on a PC via the Start menu using All Programs, Windows Update; on a Mac, go to the Apple menu and select Software Updates.

           See question 8 for free anti-virus software. Be sure to keep your anti-virus software up to date.

           If you are using Unionís Blackboard system (, be sure to run the Check Browser feature at the top right of the initial web page. This will check for supported browsers, the correct version of Java, pop-up allowances, etc. required for the proper operation of Blackboard.

10.  How can I get support for my personally-owned computer in the event of a problem?

           Computing Services can help connect a studentís computer to the wired network in the residence complexes; call x5585 (731-661-5585) for help. (Note: Unionís Computing Services is not able to provide general technical support for personally-owned equipment.)

           If your computer is having hardware problems and is under warranty, contact the company from which you purchased it.

           After the warranty period, there are two options:

o   contact local computer stores for help;

o   contact the local student chapter of ACM (Association for Computing Machinery); they offer technical support for a nominal fee; contact Dr. Max Li at 731-661-5577 or or in office C-48.

11.  What policies apply to use of technology at Union?



Updated July 14, 2010