The computer requirement at Virginia Tech exists but is often superseded by college-wide or departmental requirements. The tablet requirement of the College of Engineering is perhaps the most well-known and controversial of these requirements.
College of Engineering
The tablet requirement came into effect in the fall of 2006. There was strong opposition at its instantiation by various student groups such as the Student Technology Council, the Linux and Unix Users Group, and the Macintosh Users Group and faculty. The requirement was introduced against the advice and opinion of the Computer Science faculty. Although Microsoft Windows is required, the required version consistently lags the latest release.
The software bundle is a required purchase of all engineering students and includes the Microsoft Campus Agreement, LabView, MATLAB, and PDF Annotator. Despite an overwhelmingly successful pilot Macintosh tablet program put together by the Student Technology Council and the Macintosh Users Group, the software requirements have rarely changed; the most recent was a $50 addition for PDF Annotator, a less featurful knockoff of Jarnal.