One Princeton professor started his first lecture by saying, "Princeton students have the worldwide reputation of being both voracious readers and avid writers." He then proceeded to assign several thousand pages of reading for the semester in addition to three papers and a final exam. While this course is definitely the exception rather than the rule, it emphasizes the role of Princeton's workload on the average student's daily life. Many students will find themselves using computers for the whole of their classowork, printing over 700 pages to campus printers, free-of-charge, and reading many reserve readings on laptops rather than waiting in line in the library's Reserve Room.
The University provides students with access to 24-hour computer support resources, including residential computer consultants who live in the dorms and are able to help students work out computer problems, such as a virus, before they have to bring their computers to a technician. For students who opt not to bring a computer, however, all hope is not lost. There are 24-hour computer clusters all over campus. Generally, the computer labs are not crowded except around major deadlines, such as the infamous "Dean's Date," the deadline at the end of the semester for all written work. Some students will hide in the clusters during these intense periods leaving only to eat and shower. For normal assignments, the cluster computers are more than adequate. Students can even save work to a personal, password-protected network drive, which allows them to work on different computers across campus. Short of giving computers away to students, it is hard to believe that the University's computer system could get much better.