Incoming Student Technology FAQ

Contents

First-year student mailing

An e-mail was sent to all incoming students. This e-mail included much of the same information on this web page, in addition to Gustavus usernames and passwords. If you did not receive this mailing, or have questions or concerns regarding it, please contact the Technology Helpline at 507-933-6111 or helpline@gustavus.edu.

Purchasing a computer

Do I need to bring a computer to campus?

Gustavus does not require students to bring their own computers to campus, however, many choose to. If you are unsure about purchasing a computer, we suggest that you spend some time on campus before making a decision.

Should I get a laptop or a desktop computer?

There are many advantages to bringing a laptop to campus:

  • They are easier to transport, allowing you to take notes in class, or do homework from virtually anywhere. When problems arise, it's much easier to bring a laptop to the Technology Helpline for quick help or virus removal than a bulky desktop machine.
  • With the convenience of the Gustavus Wireless Network, you'll be able to access the Internet anywhere on campus.

On the other hand, laptops have a few disadvantages to desktops:

  • Laptops are often more expensive than a comparable desktop.
  • Their smaller size and portability often make them more prone to theft and damage.
  • Laptops are more difficult to upgrade, therefore making it necessary to replace it sooner.

We suggest that your choice reflect your own lifestyle, habits, and personal preferences.

What kind of computer should I get? Macintosh, Windows, or Linux?

Your platform choice should be determined by your relative comfort level and previous experience with each operating system. Gustavus owns and supports all three platforms, so the decision is completely yours to make.

Are there any computer purchasing programs at Gustavus?

Gustavus does not sell computers to students, but does maintain a relationship with Apple, Inc., Lenovo, HP and Dellallowing students to purchase machines at an educational discount direct from the vendor. Please use the following links to ensure you receive educational pricing.

Note: Almost all vendors have educational discounts for students. All you have to do is ask.

FREE SOFTWARE Microsoft Office 365 is currently available for FREE to download for current Gustavus students on up to 5 computers.

Also, students are able to buy certain software and some hardware at educational discounts from stores and directly from their website such as Adobe Creative Suite (Photoshop, Dreamweaver, InDesign, etc). Remember to always ask for a student discount. You might be asked to supply a student ID or email address.

Do I need to bring a wireless router to campus?

No. Too many wireless access points in a small area can generate a substantial amount of interference, degrading everybody's wireless experience. For best performance, we recommend that students use the college's wireless. It is available in all residence halls.

What are the minimum requirements for the computer I bring to Gustavus?

Before connecting to the campus network, all computers must have current virus protection and up-to-date security updates], along with the following list of minimum requirements:

Requirement Windows Macintosh
Operating System Vista System 10.6 or higher
Networking 10/100 base - T Ethernet card with RJ-45 connector. Wireless access available in most campus spaces.
Anti-Virus Software Microsoft Security Essentials or Windows Defender (free, built into Windows 8)
Current Security Patches Microsoft Update Server Run Software Update

What are the recommended specifications for my computer at Gustavus?

Recommendation Windows Macintosh
Operating System Windows 7 (any variety) Macintosh OS 10.9
RAM 8 GB or higher 8 GB or higher
Connectivity 5GHz Dual Band Wireless N (aka A/B/G/N or A/G/N), Built-in 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
Processor Intel Haswell i5 Intel Haswell i5
Warranty 3 year warranty AppleCare Protection Plan


Generally the "business class" models are more durable and come with longer warranties.

What did students bring to campus in September of 2013?

Roughly 50% of first year students brought a Macintosh computer to campus, and 50% brought a Windows-based computer. The number of Macintosh computers brought to campus has gone up steadily over the last few years.

Students in the fall of 2013 brought mostly laptops to campus, while a small percentage brought desktop computers.

What do I need to connect to the Gustavus network?

For your computer to access the network with a wired connection, you will need an Ethernet card (for all new computers this is standard), and an Ethernet cable. Ethernet cables will be provided to all first-year students—they will be available at the Technology Services office in Olin for free. If you purchase a Macbook Air or other ultrabooks, we have USB-ethernet adapters available for your use to utilize the wired network.

To access the wireless network, you will need a computer with a built-in or external wireless card, and be in range of a wireless signal. All laptops today will have a wireless card pre-installed. It is possible to add a wireless card to a desktop computer, however plugging in your computer to the wired Ethernet will provide you better results.

Software

Things to do BEFORE you get to Gustavus!

  1. If you are a Windows user, make sure your "Windows Updates" are current (visit Windows Update).
  2. If you are a Macintosh user, run Software Update, and apply all critical updates.
  3. Ensure that your machine is protected from viruses by using an Anti-Virus client with up-to-date definitions.
  4. Verify that you have all of the necessary software documentation, serial numbers, and installation CDs. Please bring these to campus with you.
  5. During any transition, it's wise to make backups of any critical data.

Get Microsoft Office Free

At Gustavus, all faculty, staff, and employees use the Microsoft Office Suite for Windows or Macintosh.

Gustavus currently has Microsoft Office 365 available for free for all current active students. Please visit our Office 365 page for more information.

What about Anti-Virus software?

Should I come with an anti-virus product?

It is recommended that you use an anti-virus product before you come to campus.

Does Gustavus provide anti-virus software?

Beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year, Gustavus Technology Services will no longer offer Symantec Endpoint Protection for installation on personally-owned computers. Campus network users (Windows) will still be required to have a functional antivirus program installed on their computer. These programs include Microsoft Security Essentials, Norton, Kaspersky, etc. On Windows 8 machines, the standard Windows Defender program is recommended.

What can I do to protect my computer from spyware?

The best way to avoid getting spyware and adware is by not installing "high-risk" applications like peer to peer music downloading software, and other suspect "freeware," and "shareware" programs.

Use caution when installing software. Make sure your operating system, software and browser plug-ins are all up to date. Use a strong and unique password.

Connecting to the Internet

Which connection method is recommended?

When connecting to the Gustavus network from your residence hall room, we recommend using the "wired" connection. A wired connection is faster and more reliable.

How many wired ports are in each room in the Residence Halls?

This depends on the room that you are assigned. However, in most cases, for first-year students, it will be one per person. The wired ports are the recommended way for connecting your computer to the Internet while in the rooms. It is more reliable and faster than the wireless connections.

Is there wireless in the Residence Halls?

Yes, wireless connectivity is available. However, due to the popularity and physical limitations of this service, the connection will be slower than using your wired connection to the Internet.

Can I bring a wireless router to campus?

No. Gustavus is currently expanding the wireless network to all the residence halls. Using personal wireless routers will interfere with this network, therefore, we do not allow personal wireless routers.

Where else is the wireless network?

For an up-to-date listing of where the GACwireless network is located, please visit Gustavus Wireless Network.

How do I connect to the Gustavus network?

  1. Turn on your computer.
  2. Plug your Ethernet cord into the Ethernet jack on the wall (the wide one).
  3. Plug your Ethernet cord into the computer's Ethernet slot.
  4. Launch a web browser (Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer).
  5. You will be automatically redirected to a registration screen. If not, please type in greg.gac.edu into the URL bar.
  6. Follow the on-screen directions.

You may have to register your computer more than once. You will need to register your computer when you access the wireless network, the wired network, and when you plug your computer into any other buildings' network jacks.

How many networked devices can I register?

You can register as many as you would like.

How do I connect my video game console such as the XBox One or Playstation 4 to the Internet so I can use the online features?

Please call the Technology Helpline to help you register this device on the Gustavus network. You will need to provide the MAC address of your video game console when calling.

Support

Is there anybody to help me connect to the Internet when I come to campus?

Yes, the Technology Helpline is here to help you! To contact us, dial 507-933-6111.

Can the Helpline visit my room and help me connect to the Gustavus network?

During the Fall Orientation for first-year students, the Technology Helpline will visit the Residence Halls, visit your room, and offer connectivity help.

During the rest of the year, the Technology Helpline does not visit students' rooms.

Printing

Do I need a personal printer?

All residence halls are equipped with black and white laser printers in the labs. It is not necessary that you purchase or bring a printer to campus. Please see Printing to set your computer to print to the residence hall printer.

If you need to print in color, color laser printing is available in the Olin Technology Center, the Library, the GIS computer lab in Nobel, and Mattson Hall.

Do I have access to campus owned printers?

Yes, there are printers in the Residence Halls that are available for you to print to from your personal computer in your room. Here are instructions on configuring your personal computer to print to the printer in your building.

Are there any fees for printing in computer labs at Gustavus?

Students are given 600 "printing units" per academic year at no charge on all college-owned printers. One printing unit is defined as one side of an 8.5" x 11" page on a black and white printer. A single side of an 8.5" x 11" page printed on a color printer counts as 4 units.

Any printing that exceeds the initial 600 units will be charged to the student at a rate of $0.05 per printing unit. This equates to $0.05 per 8.5" x 11" side on a black and white printer, and $0.20 per 8.5" x 11" side on a color printer.

Discounts are given for duplex printing.

In Olin, Mattson, and the Library, 11 x 17 printing is also available.

Black and white 11" x 17" is rates are 2 units ($0.10) per side, while color 11" x 17" are 8 units ($0.40) per side.

Other

When do I find out my username and password for my Gustavus e-mail account?

Gustavus usernames and passwords are sent out via a secondary e-mail address. If you do not receive this information, or have questions or problems, please contact the Technology Helpline.

Can I configure my Gustavus e-mail on my iPhone or Android?

Yes, definitely. Please visit Apple Mobile Mail or Smartphone (Device) Settings for Email and Gustavus Google Calendar.

Where can I go to check my Gustavus e-mail?

https://webmail.gac.edu or visit the main Gustavus page and click Current Students.

Is there an online storage space for me to save my files?

Yes, every student has an online storage space that they can access from anywhere. This includes anywhere that you have web access around the world. This is referred to your Home Directory or Z-Drive.

You can also utilize the Gustavus Google Apps for Education Google Drive cloud storage. You can access your Gustavus Google Drive at https://docs.google.edu. This website utilizes your Gustavus e-mail username and password.

Do I need a USB flash drive?

USB flash drives or thumb drives, while unnecessary, are a convenient way to transport data between computers. We would recommend a flash drive that is at least 4 GB. If you use one, please make sure to remove it from lab computers when you are done. Also it is a great idea to save a file on the flash drive with contact information, just in case it is lost.

Gustavus also offers network storage for each student commonly referred to as a Home Directory. This is the preferred way of saving papers, pictures, or other documents that you want to make sure are safe.

Are the classrooms technology-enhanced?

Currently, there are 87 technology-enhanced classrooms complete with a projector, wireless networking, laptop hookup, and DVD/VCR player hookups. Most of these classrooms have a classroom computer, while classrooms in our newest building, Beck Hall, requires faculty and students to use a laptop to connect to the projector. Each year, the number of this type of classroom continues to rise.

What personal information can I view online - my grades, class schedules, degree progress, transcripts, or other information?

As a student, you will be able to check all of this by logging into WebAdvisor with your Gustavus username and WebAdvisor Password. This password is different than your Gustavus email password.

How does Gustavus manage e-mail spam?

By default, all accounts are set up to use the Gustavus spam filtering service. This system will detect SPAM and place it in a mail folder on your account called Filtered_by_GAC. To increase or decrease your filtering sensitivity, please visit: http://gustavus.edu/go/myaccount.

Is there a way to find contact information for faculty, staff, and other students?

Yes, we have an online directory found at https://gustavus.edu/search/. Faculty and staff information does not require a log-in. Student information is only available to those who have a Gustavus username and password.

Can I create and host a web page through Gustavus?

Yes, you can have a personal homepage by creating web pages from a variety of different programs and placing them in the "www-docs" folder in your Home Directory. This files will be available as your website at the following link - http://homepages.gac.edu/~username.

What public access for computing is available to students, parents, and guests of the college? Are there any Internet cafes?

There are computers for public use in the Library, Campus Center, Student Union, and parents can log in as a guest in the Residence Halls' computer labs. There is guest wireless access located all around campus if you bring your own computer. Please connect to the GustieGuest wireless network and open a web browser. You will be re-directed to a guest registration page. Please fill out the form and click submit. You should then be able to have wireless connectivity. If you aren't redirected, please visit http://greg.gac.edu

Where are the computer labs?

We have computer labs in all of the residence halls (except Arbor View apartments), and most academic buildings. There are also computers located in the Campus Center and Student Union for students, faculty, staff, and guests of the College.

See also