Got Tech Anxiety? New Northwestern IMCers?

“Oh my goodness! Medill sent me a long list of required hardware and software to buy! How can I manage all these?”

Hold on, hold your breath new students. Let me give you some real idea on what you need for IMC program

  • Hardware:
    • Laptop: You absolutely need one. The recommended list seems complicated, but the main idea is “get a laptop you like, get a laptop that works.” Some additional suggestion includes:
      • Our data intensive program will make your laptop work on several SPSS or SAS projects. Make sure your laptop processor meets the standard
      • You definitely need wireless connection
      • What if you are a loyal Mac user? Feel free to be one still! The major problem you may encounter is our IT staff has limited knowledge about Mac. Also, some software, such as SPSS, may not be so compatible on Mac.
      • Some classes introduce students to run Second Life, which requires higher system requirement. It is highly recommended, but not a must.
    • Do I need an earphone, a microphone, a webcam for my laptop? No one got killed when he/she does not have one.
    • Do I need an iPod, a digital camera, and/or a DV? These help IMC students on producing several projects, but you will still survive if you don’t have them. Additionally, most projects students worked on were group projects. Chances are…at least one of your team member gets something for you to borrow!

  • Software:
    • System: Mac, Microsoft XP, Microsoft Vista all work fine. Feel comfortable to use the system running in your native language.
    • You must have:
      • MS Office- doesn’t matter if it is 2003 or 2007 version.
      • SPSS- we use versions from 11 to 16. Everyone survives.
    • If you have this, your life may become even easier:
      • Windows Movie Maker or other video editing software
    • What skills do I need regarding software?
      • SPSS: Don’t panic! Professors here are so nice and they will teach you how.
      • Excel: Unfamiliar with it? Take some time to google on “Excel Tutorial,” you will find this helpful.
      • Powerpoint: For numerous projects you may work on, you have to be good friend with it.
      • If you also know how to use video editing software like Windows Movie Maker, photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop or some more, you will enjoy your fantastic IMC life!

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