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5 College Senior

Technology: The internet is generally super fast and there is an abundance of computer labs for students to work on. There are many clusters on campus and you can honestly survive without your own computer. The network is reliable and there is definitely wireless access. Printing is available in many places and I survived freshman year without a printer. The printing quota generally doesn't run out, as you have $40 and each page costs $.05. I had over $10 left over during my first semester.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Student

Technology: Good availability of computing clusters.

4 College Sophomore

Technology: Without a computer you can get by in pretty much all your classes unless you are a CS/ECE major. There are plenty of computers available to you 24 hours a day. The network is fast but a lot of times acts weird for a few minutes and the internet stops working. Wireless everywhere on campus. Don't need your own printer, quota is usually more than enough.

1 person found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Technology: The printing system here is very high tech

2 people found this useful Report
4 College Freshman

Technology: I love the computer clusters all around the campus. However, the network doesn't seem the best as expected.


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Student Author OverviewWhat's this?

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Computers are a hallowed item at Carnegie Mellon. It is not because there is a shortage of computer space—quite the opposite actually. It is because Carnegie Mellon runs on computer and Internet systems. There are public computer clusters in almost every building on campus, and wherever there is a computer station, there is a printer nearby. Some stations are notoriously busier than others because they are more convenient. Do not try using the printers in the University Center during peak class hours because usually there is either someone printing a 70-page document for his or her next class, or the printer was already used so much that it's out of ink. The biggest complaint about the computing services is probably the wireless Internet. It is supposed to work within all of the confines of campus, including the cut and near the fence—two popular places to hang outside between classes when the weather is nice. Wireless is pretty slow in these areas, if it works at all. Inside, you usually won't have a problem getting a connection, though random sections of dormitories have been known to lose wireless for unbearable periods of time (from a few days to a few weeks).

On the positive side, students rant and rave about the wired Internet connection because through it they get access to CMU's file-sharing database, which is great for collaborating on class projects from their own rooms. Overall, students will be set with any computer needs, to the point where some students get away without having one. However, unless you want to spent most of your college career with dedicated programmers in a computer cluster, it is probably a good idea to bring one to school. Leave the printer, though—that's just a waste of cash.

Facts & Statistics

Wireless Access
Everywhere on campus! Any building that is Carnegie Mellon-owned, and the spaces in between have wireless (although the outdoors wireless can be spotty).
24-Hour Labs?
All Clusters are open 24 hours each day, except Hunt Library lower level, the Music Technology Center, and CFA 321. You will need a student ID card to access the clusters located in academic buildings after 10 pm.
Charged to Print?
Students are allotted $40 of "free" printing a semester. Black and white printing is 5 cents per page. Color printing is 70 cents per page in Hunt or Mellon libraries or 75 cents per page in the College of Fine Arts or Wean Math and Sciences building.
Special Software & Hardware Discounts
Depending on which school or computer cluster you are in, there is 70-plus licensed software at your disposal. For purchase, there are special discounts on Microsoft Office 2010 (Windows), Microsoft Office 2011 (Mac), MSDNAA, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

Student Polls

Rate computers on the following subjects    Based on 125 responses

Very weak
  • Availability of computer labs
  • Campus tech support
  • Free/discounted software
  • Number of computer labs
  • Printing cost/quota limits
  • Reliability of network
  • Speed of network
  • Technology in classrooms and labs
  • Wireless availability

How necessary is it to bring your own computer?    Based on 98 responses

  • 5% Don't waste your money; there are plenty of computers to use on campus.
  • 24% Not necessary for school work but relatively important for socializing and entertainment.
  • 70% Extremely important, especially when the labs are crowded during semester crunch times.
  • 0% The school supplies each student with their own laptop.
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