Bringing your computer to Berkshire
The Technology Department supports the connection of both Windows and
Mac systems on the Berkshire School Network (BSN). The following
sections outline our requirements and recommendations regarding student
computers, how to prepare your computer for the BSN before arriving on
campus, and what to expect when you connect to the BSN.
- Windows XP SP3, Vista SP1, or Windows7
- 512MB of RAM for Windows XP
- 1GB of RAM for Windows Vista and Windows 7
- Internet Explorer 8 or Mozilla Firefox 3.6
- 1GB of RAM or more for Windows XP, 2GB of RAM or more for Vista and Windows 7
- Mac OSX 10.5 or greater
- 1GB of RAM
- Apple Safari or Mozilla Firefox 3.6
Recommendations for all student laptops:
- 160GB or larger hard disk
- Laptops should be large enough to work on comfortably for
extended periods of time and small enough to easily carry around campus
as needed. We find that laptops with 13” screens strike the best
- Laptops should have a rated battery life of 6 hours or more.
- We recommend purchasing a 3-year, on-site warranty, if possible.
Accidental damage warranties may also be a prudent investment if
available. If purchased outside of North America, ensure that your
warranty will allow for service from a US-based provider.
- The operating system on student laptops should be able to display in English.
Other items and considerations:
- Berkshire School provides all current students with a copy of
the latest Microsoft Office suite, so families need not purchase it.
- Bring an Ethernet cable, 15ft. or longer. In
Crispin-Gordon-Rose and MacMillan dorms, a 25ft. cable will offer the
most flexibility in room layout, as the Ethernet jack is only available
where the desk is located when you arrive.
- Bring all disks and paperwork that came with your computer. This will help us help you if your computer is in need of service.
- Bring a case or protective sleeve for your laptop.
- Consider purchasing a locking cable to secure your laptop.
- A personal printer can be convenient at times, but printing to
the school’s high-volume printers is more cost-effective, efficient, and
environmentally sustainable. Many teachers accept assignment
submissions via e-mail and/or our online course management system,
reducing the need for printing.
Preparing Your Computer
- To ensure your computer will connect quickly and easily to the
BSN when you arrive at Berkshire, take the time to perform the following
steps before leaving for school.
- Get the latest updates for your operating system. (How-to: Windows | Mac)
- Remove any anti-virus and anti-spyware software that is currently installed on your computer. (How-to: Windows | Mac)
- Download and install Berkshire's managed Sophos anti-virus software onto your computer. (How-to: Windows | Mac)
- Students and Parents must read Berkshire's "Policies
Governing the Use of Technology" document and return a signed acceptance
form before students may access the BSN.
- When you first attempt to connect to Berkshire's wired or
wireless networks and access the internet through a web-browser, you
will be prompted to login with the username and password that is
provided to you at registration. Once the system accepts your login,
your computer will be quarantined while your system is tested to ensure
that your computer has been prepared as described above. If your system
fails the test, you will be prompted to fix the issue(s) that are
causing your computer to fail. Your computer will have extremely
limited network and internet access until your computer passes the