About the Macintosh

As you read the Freeman School's notebook computer specifications, you quickly notice that Microsoft Windows is required. Notebook computer specifications are based on software required in the classroom and for research. Many of the computer programs required for use throughout the curriculum are available for Windows only, such as SPSS and Markstrat. And some classes use Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) in Excel or use programs that require VBA, such as Crystal Ball. VBA is available only in the Windows version of Microsoft Office, thus the requirement for the Windows operating system and Microsoft Office for Windows.

"What about a Macintosh?"
While we can appreciate the Macintosh and its operating system, you will need to run Windows and Office for Windows on the Macintosh in order to use the required software for the courses in your curriculum. If you prefer the Macintosh, simply ensure that you are also running the Windows operating system and Office for Windows in order to support the software required for your courses.

Run Windows on your Macintosh
You can easily work around the software incompatibilities and comply with your course software requirements by running Windows and Office for Windows on your Macintosh.  One option is to use virtualization programs called "Parallels" or "VMware Fusion" that allows you to run Windows and Macintosh applications side-by-side.  Another option is to partition your Macintosh hard disk using Boot Camp and switch between running the Mac OS and the Windows operating system.  (We recommend the Parallels approach which provides all of the functionality that you will need with much less complexity.) Both of these options require the purchase of a full copy of Windows operating system.  Office 2013 for Windows can be downloaded at no charge to Tulane students. Students can purchase Parallels and Windows at great discounts from the Technology Connection, Tulane's on-campus computer store or students can purchase VMware Fusion at eAcademy On The Hub.

The Parallels approach.  If you are running RAM-consuming applications in your Windows virtual machine, make sure you keep at least 50% of total RAM allocated to Mac OS (if you have more than 8GB of RAM on your Mac, leave at least 4GB of RAM for Mac OS). To find out how much RAM you have on your Mac click the Apple logo in the top left corner of the screen -> About This Mac.  We recommend having 8 GB or more of RAM.

Purchase and install Parallels and then install your copy of Windows and Office for Windows. 

The Boot Camp approach.  Complete documentation for Boot Camp is available within the Mac OS; search for "Boot Camp" under Help.  Note that partitioning, installing, and configuring these products can be challenging, so be sure to print and refer to the Boot Camp technical documentation before taking on this task.

  • Purchase a full license of Microsoft Windows. (Windows XP is not supported)
  • Download free Microsoft Office 2013 (for Windows).
  • Use Boot Camp to partition your Macintosh drive and install the Windows operating system. Search for "boot camp" in the Finder for complete information and instructions.
  • After Windows is installed, boot into Windows and install the Microsoft Office (for Windows) software.
  • Note that no help or support is available for preparing your Macintosh to run Windows from Boot Camp or VMware Fusion.

Macintosh video output
Our classrooms are equipped with industry-standard 15-pin VGA connectors to accommodate notebook computer video projection.  The Macintosh video output uses a non-standard connector that requires a Macintosh VGA Video Adapter to connect to the classroom projectors. Macintosh accessories are available from the Technology Connection, Tulane's on-campus computer store, and from the Apple Store at www.apple.com.

Macintosh and the Virtual Computer Classroom

Last Updated 8/7/15
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