This is general advice about the type of computers students should consider to support their studies in computer science. Included is advice on: laptops, OS, and GitHub.
This is often a common question from students new to the program and making the correct laptop choice can allow for a higher level of productivity. However, often the best choice depends on the individual. But here are some things to think about:
The majority of the work done in the Department of Computer Science is done using open source tools. This means Linux, but you can do Ok with a OSX, Chromebook, or Windows machine. It is just incrementally more hassle.
GitHub is an archival resource that is currently very popular. The resource provides versioning options for your software and tools for examining the state of your repository. The are also other features, like the ability to host webpages.
There are two important points to remember about using GitHub, first is do not make any of your assignments public during a course semester and second be sure to ask your professor if you can use GitHub during a course. On the first point, if you make your programs public, then you are allowing others in a course the ability to plagiarize your work and you could be considered complicit in their misdeeds. On the second point, instructors often have reasons for why they ask students to do what they wish, do not do something that makes your life easier assuming that this will be allowed. Always ask the instructor teaching a course what are their desires in regards to GitHub.
If and when you do use GitHub, be sure to get a full account, allowing you to make your repositories private if you wish. This is free to students (see GitHub on availability,) otherwise you are advised to pay the small monthly fee.