As well as having familiarity with computers, entering students are strongly advised to ensure that they have home access to a personal computer and an Internet connection, both with adequate resources for their level of study. While UFV computer labs are open outside of class time, they may be crowded, and are not open on Sundays, holiday weekends, or after 11pm on weeknights. In addition, some CIS courses may require specialized environments not available in general UFV labs.
Having your own computer and Internet access allows you to work from home at any time of day or night, and will allow you to work faster and learn more. If you can afford it, cable or ADSL high speed Internet access makes life much easier.
You may consult the CIS department or the Computer Information Systems Student Association (CISSA) for hardware and software recommendations. In general, do not spend more money than you need to, as hardware tends to get cheaper and faster every year. A used PC may be quite adequate for the first few semesters.
Do spend some money on a good quality large (17" or larger) high-resolution monitor, as you will be spending many hours in front of it, and a good one should outlast several computers. Make sure you test a monitor before buying, by sitting in front of it and running typical applications, looking for flicker, colour accuracy, and sharp focus all over the screen, including the corners. Small black text on a white background in a word processor is one good test.
More information on what kind of computer to buy.