Home Computing Environment


Home Computing Environment

Please note that the School requires that prior to enrolling and starting the INFO 203 course  all incoming students have computer access in their homes with the following minimum hardware, as well as home internet access:

  • Processor:
    For PCs: Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9, Itanium, Xeon, or AMD APU/Fusion (Bulldozer, Piledriver, Excavator, Steamroller, Bobcat, Jaguar, Puma or Zen/Ryzen).
    For Macs: Intel-based processors (Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, Core i9), or Apple M1/M2/M3 ARM processors (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max, M2, M3).
  • Operating System:
    • For PC users:  Windows 10 or Windows 11.   IMPORTANT NOTE:  Windows 10 will reach “end of life” on October 14, 2025.   Users will need to upgrade to Windows 11 prior to that date.  
    • For Mac users:  v12 (Monterey) or v13 (Ventura) or v14 (Sonoma)
    • Chromebooks: Please note that Chromebooks are NOT supported.
  • RAM: 8.0 GB – 16.0 GB
  • Hard Drive: 100GB or greater. Solid State Drives (SSD) and ”Fusion” drives are acceptable, and are recommended where possible. 
  • Storage and Backup
    • Local Storage:  External hard drives, USB Flash drives, and network-attached storage (NAS) options are strongly recommended.
    • Cloud Storage:  Students may back up course-related materials to their SJSU Google Drive.   For other cloud storage providers, please confirm that the provider has strong security in place to protect your data.    For students using SJSU Google Drive,  you may consider investigating the Google File Stream or Google Backup and Sync applications.   Third-party applications are also available for syncing data to Google Drive.  Important Note:   We strongly recommend maintaining local backups of your data, in addition to any cloud-based backups.   
    • Document Backups:  Students are strongly encouraged to regularly back up critical documents (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF, HTML files, etc).
    • Automating Local Backups:  For Windows users, third-party software programs are available that coordinate automatic backups of data to an external hard drive. For Mac users, the Time Machine feature will allow you to set up automatic data backups to either an external hard drive or a network-attached Time Capsule drive. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: You are responsible for backing up anything you want to save from Canvas and other systems. If you have course work on Senna or another system, you are responsible for saving that. We strongly recommend that you keep extra backup copies of anything that might be needed for your e-Portfolio and that you back them up using one or more types of removable media.   Additionally, you may back them up to cloud storage.

  • Audio: Integrated onboard audio or internal sound card or external USB sound card.   External speakers recommended.
  • Headsets: Students are required to have a headset with a microphone. USB or Bluetooth headsets are strongly recommended.
  • Printing: Local or networked printer (inkjet or laserjet).
  • Internet Connectivity: Access to a high-speed connection is required. Minimum requirement: 1.5 Mbps downstream.   Recommended:   3 Mbps downstream, or greater.  You can check your connectivity speed here
  • Two Factor Authentication: As of Spring 2021, students taking the program will be required to have a smartphone that supports the free DUO Mobile App for two factor authentication login to the one.SJSU portal.
  • Network Hardware: Any appropriate hardware for whatever type of Internet connection you have. For example: DSL modem, Cable-modem, Ethernet adapter, Mobile broadband card, MiFi (cellular WiFi base station), WiMAX modem, satellite dish, etc.

MacOS Catalina

The School of Information has reviewed macOS Catalina (v10.15) for issues.   iSchool is now provisionally supporting Catalina. Please read the VERY IMPORTANT notes below regarding known issues under Catalina:

1. End of 32-bit Support:  32-bit applications will NOT run under Catalina.   If you have older versions of applications running on your computer, they may fail to launch after you upgrade to Catalina.   You may want to consult the following site for a list of 32-bit applications that will not run under Catalina:


Technology Literacy Requirements

All students applying for admission to the School of Information must have the computer literacy skills described below. These skills will be assumed in all classes and will not be taught by the iSchool faculty or staff.

Have a working knowledge of the basic functions of a Windows or Mac operating system including the ability to:


Antivirus and Anti-Spyware Software

Antivirus Software

Students and faculty are responsible for installing and maintaining antivirus software on their home computers. It is a mandatory requirement for both students and faculty that they have antivirus software installed on their home computers, and that they keep their virus definitions up to date. 



All students are expected to have an email account at which they can reliably receive communications from their instructors. Students are responsible for any email communications that are missed due to Spam filtering or whitelisting services.

The iSchool strongly discourages the use of “waitlisting” services. Should students choose to use such services, they do so at their own risk and are responsible for any missed communications.


Microsoft Office

Microsoft has various editions that include the core products you will need (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). These editions include: Home and Student, Home and Business, Standard, Professional, Professional Plus, and Professional Academic.

Some Office 365 subscription plans provide access to a desktop Office suite which includes the most current versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. If you choose to use Office 365 as your primary resource, then please make sure that you obtain a subscription plan which includes access to the desktop applications.