Additional Information on Student Laptops

Apple-Mac OS X and systems running Linux or other Operating Systems

Many of the software packages used in ECE are available for both Windows and Mac OS X. Where possible, The University and ECE try to provide students with the opportunity to obtain Mac OS X versions of required software packages (e.g., Microsoft Office, MATLAB), and may be able to make such software available at similar discounts to the Windows versions of the software. However, some software packages required by ECE courses run only under the Windows platform. ECE students with Mac OS X and/or Linux operating systems will most likely find it necessary to obtain and install an additional copy of Windows for their system. ECE recommends that students use virtualization environments that permit both operating systems to run simultaneously, although dual-boot solutions such as Apple's Boot Camp software will also work.

Using Online Versions - Remote Windows Desktops (AppD)

Electrical and Computer Engineering, in a cooperative with Cockrell School of Engineering and all other engineering departments, now provide a new virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).  Students and Faculty can access these Windows virtual machines from various operating systems or devices.  For more information on the service and a complete list of software available on the virtual machines, please visit the AppD page.

Virtualization Tools

Virtualization software is available from several sources. Two of the best options are the Virtual Box product from Oracle corporation and VMware Fusion. Using virtualization software, a student essentially operates two distinct computer environments on the same laptop. The original Mac OS X operating system still continues to be the primary operating system, while Windows can be installed and run as a guest operating system inside a virtual machine.

Windows Licensing for Virtual Machines

It is important to note that students must still have a Windows license in order to run Windows on a virtual machine. Windows licenses and the installation DVDs are available for purchase at the Camputer Store in FAC 109, or via a free download from the Microsoft DreamSpark Program. More information on the DreamSpark Program can be found at the Cockrell School of Engineering site.  Note that students must have a full Windows license to install on a virtual machine (not an "upgrade").