Information Technology

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I need to bring a computer?

No. However, Cedar Crest strongly recommends that you bring a computer with you. More than 80% of incoming students arrive on Cedar Crest’s campus with a computer. You will use e-mail to communicate with faculty, staff and classmates. You will use a browser to access campus curricular and administrative resources and to perform course research. Word processing will be used for writing assignments and to organize notes. Some courses require the use of a spreadsheet program, powerpoint, or database software (all these are components of Microsoft Office). Your computer will be an essential tool in learning and communicating! Many students immediately begin to accumulate an electronic portfolio of their work. Your computer can also be your stereo and your TV for watching movies. If you are not able to bring your own computer, or if you choose not to, there are 7 student-accessible computer labs accross campus, as well as public-accessible computers in the Cressman Library. Additionally, each Residence Hall has its own computer lab.

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What type of computer (desktop vs. laptop) is best?

Laptops are small and light enough to carry to classes for notes, the library for research, elsewhere on campus, or home to work on assignments. Unlike the desktop, portables require less space to use – important in residence halls. Consider where you will want to use your computer when deciding between a desktop and a laptop. Note that the majority of buildings on campus are wireless throughout. Be certain you are comfortable with the video display, keyboard and mouse. Type at least one page of text as a test drive. Desktop computers are larger and weigh more than a portable, but are generally less expensive. They have more computing power for a given price.

Please note: Campus drop-off service is provided by our preferred vendor for student repairs for laptops. Desktop computers require scheduled pick-up or onsite drop-off for repair.

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Should I buy a PC or a Mac?

The computing environment at Cedar Crest College is Windows based. The majority of our students choose a PC. However, if you prefer a Mac, it is imperative that you have OS X and Microsoft Office for Macintosh. No matter what your decision, College provided computers will be available in a lab environment for you to complete assignments that may require the other platform.

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Should I buy a brand name or a home-built computer?

Buying brand name is highly recommended. Manufacturers of brand name computers, such as Dell, absorb the costs of testing computer components for compatibility, performance, and reliability. The manufacturer is then able to sell computers built with standardized high-quality components and provide service and support for their systems worldwide.

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What specifications does my computer need to meet?

The Office of Information Technology provides detailed computer specification guidelines for both desktops and laptops, which can be downloaded below. These guidelines take into account the life-cycle of computers, which is typically three years, and have been increased slightly to help ensure that your computer will still perform well in your fourth year at Cedar Crest College. Recommended Computer Specifications

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Should I buy a warranty and service contract for my computer?

Yes. Any computer used at Cedar Crest College should have a service contract that includes on-site (in your residence hall room) service for at least the first year. A service contract with a minimum of a 2-year extended warranty is highly recommended.

If this option is not available, or if you prefer not to purchase a service contract, the College is partnered with a local company, IntegraOne, that offers onsite pick-up support to student-owned computers. For more information, visit the IT tab on My CedarCrest.

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Can I bring an older computer on campus?

Yes, however, it should meet the minimum specifications and recommendations discussed throughout this FAQ. If these specifications and recommendations are not met, your computer may work but it may not perform as robustly as a newer computer. If you have specific questions about whether your current computer will be adequate, please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 610-606-4635 or helpdesk@cedarcrest.edu.

If bringing a computer you already own, it should not be more than two years old and at a minimum have:

Windows Computers

  • Windows XP Professional or Windows 7
  • Intel Pentium Dual Core, 2.2 GHz or higher
  • 2 GB Memory (RAM) or higher
  • 80 GB Hard Drive or higher
  • 10/100 Ethernet Wired Network card
  • 802.11g Wireless Network card (laptop)
  • Internet Explorer 8 or higher
  • Antivirus

Macintosh Computers

  • OS X 10.6 – Snow Leopard or higher
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz or higher
  • 2 GB Memory (RAM) or higher
  • 80 GB Hard Drive or higher
  • 10/100 Ethernet Wired Network card
  • 802.11g Wireless Network card (laptop)
  • Safari 5 or higher
  • Antivirus

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What requirements does my computer need to meet to be able to connect to the campus network?

You need the following to connect to the campus local area network (LAN):

  • an Ethernet port: The Ethernet port enables your computer to "talk" to the LAN. It is located on the back of your computer and is typically labeled with a symbol. It looks like a telephone jack except that it is slightly larger. If your computer does not have an Ethernet port, an add-on Ethernet card will be required. They are available at most computer stores. Download our Recommended Specifications sheet for specifics.
  • a CAT-5 network cable: The network cable connects the Ethernet port on your computer to the network port on the wall located next to the telephone jack. It looks like a telephone cable except that it is much thicker and the connectors are slightly bigger. Network cables suitable for most room configurations are available at the campus bookstore for a nominal fee and at most computer stores.
  • a supported operating system: The operating system is the software that "runs" your computer and allows other software to be installed and used. See below.

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What operating system do I need to connect to the campus network?

The campus network will support the following Windows versions: Windows XP Pro, Vista/7, and Mac OS X (10.2.8 minimum, 10.4 recommended).

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What software will I need for my computer?

In addition to the operating system, you will need one of the following office productivity suites:

  • Microsoft Office Professional 2007 or newer
  • Microsoft Office 2004 or newer for Mac

Each version of the office productivity suite includes software for word processing, spreadsheet modeling, and presentation graphics.

Anti-Virus Software:

Cedar Crest College provides Sophos AntiVirus software to all students, faculty, and staff free of charge. To download the software, visit the IT tab on My CedarCrest.

Please Note: This software is offered as a courtesy. Installation and support of the product is not provided by Information Technology. Students are still responsible for updating their own virus definitions.

Course Specific Software:

The College provides access to course-specific software in the computer labs. However, if a student wishes to purchase their own copy, several companies offer discounts to Cedar Crest Students for Microsoft Office as well as other course-specific software. More information about these companies can be found under the Technology Discounts link in the left column.

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What access do I have to the campus network from off-campus?

All web-based services, including the Cedar Crest College web site, WebAccess Mail, My CedarCrest, and Online Classes are available to off-campus users. To access these resources, you will need to contract with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) of your choice. There is no installation support available for off-campus users.

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Does Cedar Crest College provide an Internet connection for off-campus students?

No. Students living off-campus must contract individually with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) for a connection to the Internet. Once connected to the Internet, you can access all of Cedar Crest College's online resources. There is no installation support available for off-campus users.

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Can I connect to the internet using a wireless access point on campus?

Yes, most buldings on campus have wireless throughout. You will need a 802.11b/g wireless card to access our wireless network. Click below to see the full list of wireless availability on campus.

Wireless on Campus

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Can I set up my own wireless access point in my residence hall room?

No. It could prevent other students in your residence hall from accessing the LAN from their computers. Only wireless access points provided by the College may be used. Information Technology reserves the right to take down any wireless access point if it causes interference with campus wireless or any other officially sanctioned college service operating in the 2.4 GHz spectrum.

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Does Cedar Crest College have an arrangement with certain computer companies for students to purchase computers at a reduced rate?

Yes. Students can purchase through Dell, Lenovo, or Mac and receive a discounted rate on new computers. More information about these companies can be found in the left column above. Many computer vendors offer educational discounts to students. If you prefer a different brand, we recommend you check the vendor’s Web site and inquire about discounts available to you.

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Should I bring a printer?

Students can print from their rooms to the residence hall lab printer via Web Print. However, students may choose to bring their own inket printers.

For more information on campus print quota and Web Print, click here.

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What else should I bring with me to campus?

  1. Your operating system and application software CDs and network card software, along with your product registration numbers. You never know when you will need to re-install software!
  2. 3-prong grounding power adapter.
  3. Surge protecting power strip.
  4. Warranty contact information in case you have a problem with your computer that needs to be repaired.
  5. Blank CDs or a USB flash drive for document storage.

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Does Cedar Crest provide support for student computers?

Cedar Crest has partnered with IntegraONE from Allentown to provide student and employee support for personally owned computers. IntegraONE’s computer support offers a service enhancement to provide full support beyond the troubleshooting that Information Technology currently provides to students. This expansion of computer support now covers software, hardware, and malware on any manufacture of computer. IntegraONE is an authorized repair and warranty center for HP, Lenovo, IBM, and Apple so that service may be free of charge depending on the issue and warranty on the computer. If not covered by warranty or service agreement, this service is offered at the reduced rate of $85/hour ($50 minimum).

Students and employees requesting service must complete the form located under the IT tab on My CedarCrest. IntegraONE will contact each requester to discuss the situation, and to arrange a drop-off time. Laptop computers can be dropped off at the Information Technology Helpdesk for pick-up by IntegraONE. Customers with desktop computers must schedule a pick-up time from IntegraOne directly, or they can drop it off at IntegraOne’s service department.

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My printer/scanner/digital camera is broken. Can you help?

Information Technology does not provide support or supplies for student-owned peripherals such as printers. We may be able to recommend a course of action if one of your peripherals is in need of repair.

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