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Frequently Asked Questions

This page is designed to answer questions that come up most frequently about The Hartt School computer system requirement.  If your question is not listed here please submit it to rellis@hartford.edu

Why is an Apple laptop computer required for certain Hartt majors?

  • The Hartt School is committed to the integration of technology into the performing arts teaching/learning process so that students learn the arts more effectively and also become competent with practical computer technology.
  • The Hartt School has chosen Apple laptops because we need to be able to give adequate support and training.  MIDI and digital audio software systems (at the professional level we use and teach) are complex and require the right combination of hardware, operating system, application software and configuration to work smoothly.  Music students will find that specific software applications are required for their respective major.  These applications (including Finale, Logic Pro, Pro Tools, Max/MSP, Metasynth as well as many others that are utilized in various course offerings) often work more efficiently on the Mac operating system and many are only offered in Mac versions.

Why is such a powerful computer chosen for my major?  Will I really need all that computational power?

  •   We chose these powerful systems for two important reasons.
  1. If the students are going to keep these machines for their four year undergraduate education then they need to stay relevant and capable of handling the types of tasks that the students will be required to perform throughout this time.  The computer is more likely stay relevant and capable if it is the most powerful machine now.  Within two years a lesser machine runs the risk of not being able to perform the complex media based tasks students are demanding of modern day computers.
  2. Many students will be required to record, edit and publish their own movies, DVDs, CDs and websites.  It takes a great deal of  processing power to accomplish these tasks in a timely manner.  Media formats continue to develop.  Currently all Macbook Pros come with Double-Layer burning DVD drives.  This format is a mainstay in the DVD movie industry and also has great uses or data storage.

This is an expensive purchase.  Is there financial aid available to help offset the cost?

  • The financial aid department at the University of Hartford has been notified of the computer requirement at The Hartt School.  They are adding this cost to Hartt student's financial need packages so that students will be considered for the appropriate scholarships and loans.  In order to get the full amount for the computer you must specify with your loan provider that you would like a Fall disbursement.  Otherwise the loan amount may be broken up in two payments, one in the Fall and one in the Spring.  For further details on financial aid please visit:  Financial Aid

What kind of accessories are available?  What do you recommend?

  • The University of Hartford's bookstore has put together some cost effective and useful accessory bundles for our students.  Many of these packages include external hard drives, additional cables, carrying cases, sleeves, etc.  These can't be purchased online though.  You must visit the store.
  • Typically I recommend purchasing a sturdy case, an ethernet cable, external hard drive (for backing up), and media as needed (such as blank DVD and CD media).  A thumb drive can be handy.

Why is Applecare necessary?  What is it?

  • Applecare is the Apple branded warranty service that essentially covers diagnosis and repair of hardware failures. A one year Applecare comes standard on every new Mac computer. In order to extend this warranty past the one year mark you have to pay an additional fee.  Without this warranty the student would be responsible for paying to have hardware fixed and/or replaced which can become very costly.

Will Applecare cover accidental damage or theft?

  • Applecare will not cover accidental damage or theft.  To cover these kinds of losses you will want to check with your Home Owner's Insurance or Renter's Insurance.  Most Insurance companies have a computer policy you can buy for a little extra that will cover  your computer equipment.  If you are interested in an insurance policy specifically for your laptop equipment you can find a number of them online.  In doing a recent Google search using the terms "laptop" and "insurance" the following sites came up.

What is Blackboard ?

  • Blackboard is a virtual environment in which Faculty and students can communicate and disseminate information online.  Many faculty are using Blackboard as a backup repository where students can access the syllabus and assignments that were handed out in class.  Other faculty are using Blackboard to host online forum discussions, chats, virtual classrooms as well as a media repository for audio and video files that may be required for class.  Blackboard is a constantly developing environment and its uses will expand as the technology evolves.

Who is available to help me with my computer when I have problems?

  • Typically your teacher will be the first point of contact when it comes to troubleshooting issues within a particular program.  If they can't help you fix the problem, or the problem is hardware in nature, then the Performing Arts Technology Specialist will be available (by appointment only) to help troubleshoot and fix most issues (this excludes hardware fixes).


      To keep from voiding your Applecare warranty you will be advised to take your computer to the nearest Apple Store for any Hardware repairs.


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