Mount Holyoke tries really hard to keep up with the latest technology—and succeeds. All the software you should ever need for basic computing tasks, as well as some software that’s just cool, is available on public computers. The people who work in Technology Support and Repair are competent, and they are readily available to answer student questions. You don’t technically need your own computer, but many bring their own if they can. If you have a laptop, you’ll be able to take advantage of the wireless network and various data ports around campus for a little more flexibility in where you work, but you’ll also have to be more careful about thieves—it's a bad idea to leave a laptop unattended, even in the library and, sometimes, even in your room. If you’d like to try the laptop lifestyle but don’t have one of your own, you can borrow one from the library’s circulation desk.
The College has a high-speed network, but one frequently fraught with problems of slowness. The data connection is shared by the other Five Colleges, and it runs through UMass before connecting to the outside world, so problems can and do happen at any one of these junctures. The network administrators are diligent about fixing problems, but it can be very annoying to have the network suddenly go down just when you need it for research (or a hard-earned break from research). In genereal, public computer labs are accessible. However, you are less likely to find a computer during finals, as people will camp out in labs and defend their claim to machines with articles of clothing, books, and papers that remain there for hours, although their owners have disappeared. Residence hall labs are slightly less predictable, as they don’t get maintained as often and may contain printers that are perpetually out of ink.