The minimal requirements are that it has at least 500Mb hard drive and runs the 486 CPU. You are encouraged to try to get a stronger machine (something in the order of P75Mhz or P90Mhz) with a bigger hard driver (e.g. 1.2 Gb). You will have the use of a video display and keyboard in the lab, so you do not need to purchase or bring a video display, keyboard, or mouse.
You may purchase the WearComp from various vendors. Make sure that you mention that you are from Professor Mann's ece385 class at the University of Toronto in order to get the best price possible; because we know there will be a number of people coming in, we were able to negotiate a better price for you. Also, be certain that your textbook comes with network support: the textbook should either have an on-board ethernet or you could buy the network card (they are anywhere between 5 and 20CA$).
In buying a "keyer" keyboard, you should first look at the Choose a keyer keyboard section.
Note that this "keyer" keyboard is a very simple keyboard you will buy to learn how keyboards work, and it does not need to be a fullsize keyboard. A fullsize keyboard costs much more (e.g. $10 to $15) but a small keyboard is a lot cheaper (e.g. 25 cents to $2) and is sufficient to learn the concepts of how keyboards work.
Note: We've bought quite a few bar graph displays and DIP switches which turned out to be defective. You might want to test them before you buy as most places won't allow you to exchange them. Alternatively, buy more than you need just to be sure. It's possible that you might burn some out yourself. Also, it's a good idea to buy extra LED's and resistors; they're cheap, and tend to burn out fairly easily.
Additional note: Make sure that the IC's are "LS". Vendors may try to substitute "HC", this would be OK, but "HC" devices can be damaged or destroyed by static electricity. If you want to use "HC", follow guidelines for static sensitive equipment. Under NO circumstances accept "normal" TTL devices (ie. ones without letter codes after the "74"), their drive current requirements exceed the ISA specification and may make the computer work unreliably. The last thing you want when debugging your circut is questionable equipment.
You can contact the lead TAs: (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org) or the prof. (immediately after class is a good time) if you have questions about these labs. Some of the TAs will also make appearances in the class, and can also answer questions right after class.