Many questions about computers are answered on the Orientation site.
Here are a few additional tips:
- Laptop computers really are fragile. Buy a "sleeve" so that your student can safely carry the computer around in a backpack—and emphasize that having a computer juggling around unprotected can do as much damage as dropping it!
- Remind your student that drinks (of any kind) and computers don't mix, particularly if you have a laptop. While none of us expect to spill our coffee on our laptop, we are, after all, human.
- Remind your student to back up work--- and pictures. Hard drives do break. Each student has a shared drive on the university servers that is automatically backed up. Unfortunately, sometimes we all need to learn the hard way, but that doesn't mean parents shouldn't try to help them avoid costly mistakes!
- Illegally downloading music can be extremely expensive! Students have been fined thousands of dollars and can lose their computing privileges on campus. TALK TO YOUR STUDENT ABOUT THIS. While no one thinks that they are the ones who will get caught, they are gambling with a lot of money!
- Make certain the student brings the back-up discs for programs on the computer.
- If there are warrantees (extended warrantees on laptops may be worth it), make sure the student brings them along.