Warren Wilson College, Asheville, North
Carolina

Technology at Warren Wilson College

Frequently Asked Questions and
Frequently Given Answers

Q: What type of computer should I bring to Warren Wilson?
A: The quick answer is bring what you are comfortable using.

Q: OK, what's the longer answer?
A: We recommend any PC running Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 or a Macintosh running OS 10.5 or newer. They should have at least 2 gigabytes of memory and a 120 gigabyte or larger hard drive.

Q: Should I bring a laptop or a desktop computer?
A: We are neutral on this one. Both offer advantages and disadvantages. Laptops offer portability and a small footprint on your desk, but generally speaking you will pay more for less computer. Desktops offer more "bang for the buck," but they take up more space in your room. That said, more students are bringing laptops than desktops these days. As this time, we do not recommend students bring a netbook, tablet, or other limited device such as an iPad as their sole means of computing.

Q: Do you have any special deals with hardware vendors?
A: No, we are not large enough to get special deals for our students. Our best advice is to shop around on the web and in your home town to see what is offered. Some vendors such as Apple offer educational discounts to students, and you will often see back-to-school specials throughout the summer. Check vendors' web sites to see what deals they have on the computer you want.

Q: Is there wireless on campus?
A: Yes. There are wireless access points everywhere on campus. In addition, all residence halls with the exception of the three Schafer dorms and the Village dorms also have wired ethernet ports in each room.

Q: Can I set up my own wireless network in my room?
A: No, we do not allow access points in rooms due to their potential to disrupt the network. Unauthorized access points will be removed from the network. Also, multicast wireless devices such as the Apple TV are not allowed on the network.

Q: Is there anything else I should consider?
A: A printer in your room is a nice thing to have, though everyone receives an allotment of lab print usage as well. You may find a CDRW/DVD useful (most computers come with one installed). A USB flash drive will come in handy as well for moving data around.

Before you put your computer on the network we urge you to contact us for a quick checkup to be sure you have the latest security updates and up-to-date antivirus software. If you need antivirus software for your PC we are licensed to install it for you at no charge. These steps will protect both you and the campus network from downtime. Infected computers that are flooding the network will have their connectivity cut off until such time as they are cleaned.

For students bringing technology to use in their rooms, we generally recommend they also bring a surge suppressor (i.e. power strip) that has a surge rating of 1100 joules or higher. Many students purchase a portable flash drive for easy transport of documents, but we do offer 4Gb of network storage to each user.

Q: Do I have to bring a computer?
A: Most students bring their own computers, but we also have several computer labs on campus, the largest and most used of which is located in the Bannerman Technology Center. In Bannerman we have 30 publicly available computers. The Biology Department has a lab containing 10 iMac computers, each of which also runs Windows XP Professional using Virtual PC. Chemistry has a lab with 10 PCs. In Jensen Building there is an 18-seat PC classroom, and Spidel has a 9-seat PC classroom. Labs other than Bannerman are teaching labs and often used by classes, but Bannerman is always available during open hours and has a help desk staffed by Computing Services crew members any time we are open.

Q: Which would be...?
A: Monday through Thursday 8:00 am until 11:00 pm, Friday 8:00 am until 5:30 pm, Saturday 1:00 pm until 5:30 pm, and Sunday 1:00 pm until 11:00 pm.

Q: What about productivity software?
A: Any of the office suites on the market will do the job for you in most cases. Contact us for details on discounts on certain Microsoft Products that are available through an independent college consortium of which we are a member.

Q: I'm on a tight budget. Is there a free office suite available?
A: Yes there is. OpenOffice for Windows and Linux computers and NeoOffice for Mac OS X are freely available for download. Both support the Microsoft Office file formats if that is an issue for you.

Q: Whom do I call with questions?
A: The Computing Services Manager is David Harper, and you can start with him. JT Wagner is the Help Desk Coordinator, Sloan Poe is the Network Systems Administrator, and there is a host of talented students on the Computing Services Crew. You can reach Computing Services at extension 3094 or by sending e-mail to helpdesk@warren-wilson.edu.

Computing Services Home Page

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