Unix on your laptop
If you use a Mac, you are almost all set. But you will still need X11 and some less
common unix stuff, see below. Since 10.8, X11 no longer comes pre-installed.
On a PC, your best bet is a dual boot system
(CentOS is best, UBUNTU is OK. Avoid Fedora unless you
have it installed already).
Otherwise, follow the link below.
UNIX support group at VT:
Everyone will eventually need LaTex -- for report preparation. Many options are available. I recommend TexMaker (a nice gui front end to Latex) for those
who never used LaTex before. To install LaTex itself http://www.tug.org/mactex/ (for OS X).
Windows users can google out a whole bunch of options too. Please stay away
Everyone will need the latest Mathematica. Available from VT network software.
You do not need Unix to run it.