Getting yourself connected with campus technology is an important piece in your educational experiences at CU-Boulder. The university recommends that all students have a computer if financially feasible. Sometimes it's not that easy to figure out exactly what you'll need, and that's why OIT has devised this recommended shopping list of everything you might need for computing at CU-Boulder.
OIT has devised a set of minimum configuration recommendations for student computer ownership. Visit our other Recommendation pages for students to make sure your computer is properly equipped for the academic ride you're about to take. Please remember that the wireless network on campus is available in many locations for students who have a laptop computer.
The Buffalo Chip (owned and operated by the CU Book Store) has special academic pricing arrangements with Apple, Dell, and HP. The computer you purchase through the Buffalo Chip will meet the minimum configuration recommendations and is designed for academic use. To simplify your computer purchase, OIT recommends you purchase your computer through the Buffalo Chip's web site at www.cubookstore.com/computers.
Computers can also be purchased at any computer retailer, just be sure to check with our minimum configuration recommendations before purchasing a computer at www.colorado.edu/oit/recommendations.
Internet connectivity is important for your education. It allows you to send and receive email, log into CUConnect, and conduct research for classes. Students living in the residence halls and university apartments (family housing and Bear Creek) have access to the university's high-speed Ethernet connection. To connect, each residence hall and university apartment student must have:
√ A CAT5/6 cable - A 25-foot cable is strongly recommended for easy connection to the ResNet Ethernet jack in the residence hall rooms and family housing residences.
√ A 10/100 Ethernet card - Many computers have integrated Ethernet capability, however if yours does not, you can purchase one at the Buffalo Chip.
Both the Ethernet cable and the Ethernet card can be purchased at the Buffalo Chip.
As a CU-Boulder student, you will have access to UCB Wireless access to connect to the Internet. UCB Wireless can be found in most university buildings on main campus and residence halls. One-time registration with your IdentiKey is required to use wireless on campus. In addition, students are prohibited from using their own wireless access points in the residence halls or university apartments (family housing and Bear Creek). Visit our UCB Wireless site for information about connecting to UCB Wireless, as well as using a secure connection with wireless networking. If you are looking to buy a wireless card, it is recommended that you buy a Wi-Fi certified 802.11g/n wireless card. But know that 802.11b cards are still compatible with CU's wireless network. Whether the card is a "G", "N", or "B" card, the most important requirement is that the card be Wi-Fi certified.
Black and white and color printing is available in various computer labs around campus to all students at CU-Boulder. In addition, you can also print to these labs remotely from your residence hall room or university apartment (family housing and Bear Creek) and through wireless connections on campus. Learn more about printing. Through Student Printing and Scanning, after a set quota of prints at no charge has been exceeded, there is a fee assessed, paid with your Buff OneCard. Depending on the printing needs of each student, the cost to print on campus through the labs is often significantly less than purchasing a printer and the consumables for that printer. However, bringing your own printer is an option.
If you are bringing a printer to the residence halls and university apartments, OIT recommends USB wired printers. Wireless printers are not recommended.
Clickers are handheld devices that allow students to respond to in-class concept questions, and are an increasingly popular teaching tool at CU-Boulder. Clickers are becoming more standardized on-campus, but it is highly recommended that you wait to buy any clicker before attending your classes and getting direction from your instructor. Learn more about CUClickers, OIT's supported clicker solution and the solution most used on campus.
Surge protectors not only provide extra outlets for you to plug your computer, monitor, and printer into, they protect your technology from the consequences of a power surge. Surge protectors, which are relatively inexpensive, can be purchased at the Buffalo Chip and at many other computer retailers.
If you are bringing a TV to campus for your residence hall room or university apartment (family housing and Bear Creek), make sure you bring or purchase a coax (TV) cable, because these are not provided for you. You can purchase the recommended 25-foot coax cables at the Buffalo Chip as well as at other retailers.
Remember, when your computer is connected to the Internet it is vulnerable to Internet attacks, worms, and viruses. It is essential that you've installed all the updates to your operating system and that you have a current antivirus program loaded on your computer before connecting to the campus network. CU-Boulder offers antivirus software at no charge. Once you have an IdentiKey or your computer is connected to the CU-Boulder network, you can download this software for no charge. Please protect yourself by keeping your computer's antivirus software up-to-date with any needed patches and disabling file sharing. CU-Boulder reserves the right to deny or revoke network access if your computer is compromised or found to be vulnerable. Learn more about IT Security.
The CU Book Store offers computer hardware, software and accessories, a wide range of calculators, and electronic goods at affordable prices. Macintosh and Windows/PC-computers and products are available, many at educational prices for students. Software licenses for Microsoft and Adobe products are also available to CU-Boulder students through the CU Book Store at significant savings over the box version. Located conveniently in the CU Book Store, the CU Book Store is partnered with Apple and Dell. Also, the CU Bookstore sells OIT approved products. For purchasing information, location, and hours of operation, visit the CU Book Store's technology website.
Throughout your entire educational experience at CU-Boulder, the IT Service Center is your one-start contact point for help with computing and on-campus phone services. Along with a well equipped walk-in center open Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., the IT Service Center provides over the phone support at 303-735-HELP (4357) Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., as well as help via email at email@example.com. The IT Service Center is located on the first floor of the Telecommunication Center.
Representatives from OIT will be present at Orientation to answer any questions you might have about purchasing computers, connecting to the Internet, telephones for on-campus residents, email accounts, and getting support for everything technology related.