Brown University


Technology Center Frequently Asked Questions

Purchasing from the Tech Center
1. Should I buy a laptop or desktop?
2. Should I buy a Mac or PC?
3. Can I run Windows on a Mac and how is it done?
4. Are there any current student promotions?
5. Can the Brown Bookstore Technology Center serve all my technology needs?
6. Can I purchase a mobile phone?
7. Can I special order computers/custom configurations?
8. Do students/faculty/staff receive discounts?
9. How do I get Microsoft Office?
Advantages
10. What are the advantages of buying my technology products at the Bookstore Tech Center?
Support/Service & Repair
11. My computer isn't working, what should I do?
12. Where can I get my computer serviced?
13. When are service and repair technicians available to consult with?
14. Internet access - wired or wireless?
Warranty Questions
15. What does my warranty cover?
16. How long does a laptop battery last? When should I consider replacing mine?
Recycling

17. Can I recycle my electronic equipment and ink cartridges at the Bookstore?
Hours of Operation
18.What are the Technology Center's hours of operation?


Should I buy a laptop or desktop?

Laptops are more popular among college students than desktops because of the portability and flexibility they provide. Students can take laptops to the library, classes, and study places such as the Bookstore. However, if portability is not a necessity, than a desktop with a wide large screen is a great option and generally will cost less.

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Should I buy a Mac or PC?

Given today's operating systems, in ease of use and simplicity, both Macs and PCs are favored by students. A student’s familiarity with a particular operating platform and personal preference should govern their decision. Brown's internal systems are platform-independent and CIS supports both flavors of hardware and software.
Students should check with their individual department field of study for specific requirements.

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Can I run Windows on a Mac and how is it done?

Yes you can. Macs come with the utility "Boot Camp," which allows the installation of Windows, to make the system a dual boot system. Other software such as Parallels and VMware are also available which allow one to switch between the Mac and Windows operating system.

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Are there any current student promotions?

In conjunction with its major academic suppliers, the Tech Center frequently is able to offer special promotions on computers and technology items. Before you make your purchase make sure to check with the Tech Center staff or this website for current deals. For the latest events and promotions, select tab “Events & Promotions.”

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Can the Technology Center serve all my technology needs?

The Tech Center is home to all your technology needs from computers, peripherals, software, and computer related supplies and accessories. We stock the most frequently requested products, but our online store provides access to over 250,000 products.  The Tech center also hosts tech events and exhibits throughout the year.

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Can I purchase a mobile phone?

While we do not sell mobile phones or repair broken phones, we do offer a large selection of cables, chargers, and cases for a majority of mobile phones, including the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy.

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Can you special order computers/custom configurations?

Yes, you can custom build any computer, from any manufacturer, and we can get an educationally priced quote for you in 1-3 business days. Either e-mail us your cart/specs to bookstore_techcenter@brown.edu, or stop by the Tech Center with a print-out.

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Do students/faculty/staff receive discounts?

Select school supplies, which are available in the Tech Center, are eligible for a removal of sales tax if you show your Brown ID at the time of purchase. All computers and tablets in the Technology Center are already reduced to education pricing, and thus do not have any further discounts.

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How do I get Microsoft Office?

Microsoft Office - and other programs - are available for free to all Brown students, faculty, and staff on the Brown CIS software catalog. We do sell Office for other customers, including Office 365 subscriptions and the full Office suite for both Mac and PC.

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What are the advantages of buying my technology at the Bookstore Tech Center?

Free annual maintenance check with computer purchase
- Diagnostics for malware, viruses, trojans, etc.
- Hard drive, memory, system board analysis
- CPU, CPU fans cooling status
- External & internal physical cleaning
Free setup assistance
Free Microsoft Office for Brown Students
(Setup Assistance Available)
Access to certified expert tech resources
Free one-on-one tech support
On campus service & repair

- Authorized Apple & Dell warranty service
- In/Out-of warranty service for all brands
- Safeware accidental protection: purchase and service available in Tech Center
Guaranteed academic pricing and discounts. We generally also beat pricing of other online and local stores; if you find a better price let us know and we will work with our distributors to beat or match the price.

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My computer isn't working, what should I do?

Check your warranty status first. For Macs, go to https://selfsolve.apple.com/agreementWarrantyDynamic.do and type in your serial number. For Dell, go to http://www.dell.com/support/home/us/en/19/Products/?app=warranty and type in your service tag number. Or, if you have Safeware, locate your ESP contract number, which is e-mailed to you when you register your computer.

The Service & Repair counter in the Tech Center is open Monday-Friday from 9-5. When you check in your computer, make sure you bring your charger as well, as we cannot start without it. Most diagnostics are completed within 1-3 business days, and it only costs $45 for the diagnostic. Once the diagnostic is completed, we will call you with an update on your system. Additional work after the diagnostic typically takes an additional 1-3 business days based on current workload, difficulty of repair, and delivery of needed parts.

In the event of a liquid spill on your computer, DO NOT use it. Bring your computer and charger to the Service & Repair counter as soon as possible. Use of your computer after a spilling event can cause further damage without any immediate indication.

The IT Help Desk, located in 115 Waterman St, is also open 8:30am-midnight Monday-Friday, and is available for immediate software assistance.

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Where can I get my computer serviced?

The Bookstore Tech Center maintains a complete Service & Repair Center, managed by certified technicians. For schedule of services please check the Service page.  We are authorized to perform warranty service for Apple, Dell and other major brands.
Services provided include:
- Diagnostics
- Hardware repair and replacement
- Laptop screen replacement
- Mac and Windows OS repair and reinstallation
- Computer Upgrades - OS, memory, hard drive, video card and more . . .
- New computer setup assistance
- Software installation assistance
- Data recovery and backup
Fee schedule and turn around time:
- Posted at service center
- Normal estimated turn around time ranges 1 hr. to 3 days, depending on work-in-progress, queues, required work, and parts ETA if needed.

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When are service and repair technicians available to consult with?

Our service and repair technicians are available to offer in-person assistance Monday-Friday from 9-5.

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Internet access - wired or wireless?

On campus, wireless internet access is available in most locations. Wired access is provided in the dorms.
Verizon currently has a special deal for Brown students, staff and faculty. It’s 50/50/50 or 50 Mbs download, 50 Mbs upload speeds for $50 per month, no contract, plus you get a $20 Bookstore gift card.  For more information on internet access on campus visit Brown’s CIS website or visit the Verizon Store at 216 Thayer St. next to Starbucks, which can also meet all your iPhone and Android needs.

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What does my warranty cover?

Depending on the type of warranty you purchased and the length of coverage, your warranty may vary. Most computers come with a 1-year manufacturer warranty that covers defects and failures, in addition to included peripherals. Both Apple and Dell offer extended warranties (Applecare is an additional 2-years, Dell offers 3-5 year protection plans) that include over the phone and online support directly from the manufacturer, as well as extended repair coverage from service providers such as the Tech Center. However, neither warranty plans include coverage for accidental damage.

The Tech Center offers accidental damage coverage from Safeware, which comes in 2 and 4 year support options, varying in total coverage cost, that will cover all repairs including accidental damage such as cracked screens, liquid damage, mechanical failures, power surges, etc. For example, 2-year coverage for systems costing less than $999 is only $99.

NO WARRANTY, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, COVERS BATTERY REPLACEMENTS AFTER THE FIRST YEAR.

If you're unsure of your warranty status or the options available to you under your warranty, you can go to the manufacturer/provider's website, or come to the Tech Center's Service and Repair counter for more info.

Warranty Websites
Dell: http://www.dell.com/learn/us/en/19/solutions/limited-hardware-warranties
Apple: http://manuals.info.apple.com/MANUALS/0/MA5/en_US/AppleCare_Protection_Plan_Getting_Started_Guide.pdf

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How long does a laptop battery last? When should I consider replacing mine?

Under any type of laptop warranty - including Dell’s Complete Care warranty, AppleCare, Lenovo, etc. - the battery is treated as a consumable item. The coverage is usually one year, unless otherwise stated.

All rechargeable batteries wear out with time and usage. As time and cumulative use increase, the performance will degrade. For the typical user, noticeable reduction in run time generally will be observed after 18 to 24 months. For a power user, reduction in run time generally may be experienced prior to 18 months. We recommend buying a new battery when the run time does not meet your needs.

Dell’s specific Complete Care warranty is a great warranty. It covers items not covered under the standard warranty, such as coverage for accidental damage resulting from drops and liquid spills. Savings can be significant if the accident results in a cracked screen or shorted out system board.

The below links contain info on laptop battery life from Dell, Apple, and Lenovo's websites.
Dell: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/global.aspx/batteries_sitelet/en/batteries_faq?c=us&l=en&cs=19#faq1
Apple: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1446#Servicing (this webpage also includes information about optimizing battery life, troubleshooting your battery, and how the battery works)
Lenovo: http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/warrantylookup/warrantypolicy_pc

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Can I recycle my electronic equipment and ink cartridges at the Bookstore?

Yes we recycle. The Bookstore Tech Center now offers a trade-in/recycling program for Macs, tablets, and smartphones. Get a Gift Certificate for your device when you recycle it, and put it towards your new technology purchase at the Tech Center. Visit BrownTechCenter.Tradeitin.net for more information or to get started.
We also recycle ink cartridges through our partnership with Cartridge World. We also stock compatible ink and toner cartridges from Cartridge World, which typically result in a 30% savings over the name brand.

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What are the Technology Center's hours of operation?

The Technology Center is open Monday-Friday from 9-6, and from 10-6 on Saturday and Sunday.

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