Topics Map > Campus Services
Topics Map > OS & Desktop Software
Topics Map > Technology Purchasing
ITS FAQ - NSR 2020 (Platteville campus)
ITS frequently asked questions for students planning to attend classes on the Platteville campus
Q. Do I need a router?
A. Probably not. Every Residence Hall has full wireless access. If you have a device such as a Smart TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or a handheld gaming console, then a router will be necessary. If you have multiple wired devices (Xbox 360/One, PS3/4, Nintendo Switch/Wii U with adapter, and/or a computer), a router may be useful.
Q. Solid-state hard drives or regular hard drives?
A. Solid-state hard drives are easily the fastest and can change boot-up time from around a minute to five seconds. However, a solid-state drive provides much less storage space for your dollar. With a regular hard drive, you can get a lot of storage cheaply, but it will be slow in comparison. If you want speed from your computer, we recommend you get the solid state. If you decide you need more storage later, you can get an external drive.
Q. General recommendations for computers (desktops, laptops, etc.)?
A. It all depends how you will use the device. A laptop is a portable option that still lets you use all the standard programs. A tablet or Chromebook is good for taking notes, but they won't be able to support most campus software. As for manufacturer, every company makes both bad and good computers. It is less about who's making them and more about the price range.
Q. Mac or Windows?
A. More often than not, this depends on personal preference. If you are in the engineering program, see the question below about specific major needs for more information. The ITS Help Desk supports both Windows and Mac OS, and there is a case for both. In the end, it is really up to you.
Q. What kind of computer do I need? I am a/an [insert area of study here] major.
A. It depends on how you intend to use your computer. If you use computer labs or virtual machines for major-specific programs, the requirements for your personal device will be standard. ITS maintains a virtual desktop environment that students can connect to anywhere there is an internet connection. The virtual desktop allows you to use campus software on your personal device as if you are on a campus computer.
Suggested generic laptop specs
|| Operating System
|| Storage Space
| Intel i5 or equivalent
(AMD Ryzen 3)
| 8 GB
|| Mac, Windows, Linux
|| 500 GB+
If you need special software installed on your own personal
computer, there will be special requirements. This is primarily a concern for
students in engineering. That software will require Windows or a workaround,
as many do not offer a Mac version.
Suggested laptop specs for engineering students, including Computer Science and Software Engineering, Cybersecurity, and Data Science
|| Operating System
|| Storage Space
|| Graphics Card|
| Intel i7 (6+ cores) or AMD Ryzen 7
|| 8 GB or more
|| Windows 64 it
|| 256 GB SSD (sold State Drive) or more
|| Intel UHD Graphics or equivalent (GeForce MX 250)|
Q. What is the ITS Knowledge Base?
A. The ITS Knowledge Base contains information and guides for many campus systems and procedures. You can access it at kb.uwplatt.edu. The mobile version, KB4U, is available free for Android or iOS. Tech support at your fingertips!
Q. How do I access the virtual desktop?
A. Instructions for both Windows and Mac are posted in the ITS Knowledge Base. Go to kb.uwplatt.edu and search "virtual" or just click here
Q. What software is available to me as a student?
A. As part of your Office 365 account, you have access to five free MS Office licenses to use on personal devices as long as you are enrolled at UW-Platteville. Additionally, you are eligible to purchase software at reduced prices through the WISC Software Catalog. Details are posted online at https://campus.uwplatt.edu/help-desk/purchasing-technology
Q. What cell service provider should I have?
A. In our experience Verizon and US Cellular service works well in our geographic area.
Q. Do I need a printer?
A. No, there are many printing stations all over campus. Each student is allotted $3 in Passport funds per fall and spring semester for printing. Accounts are charged $0.04/page for black and white and $0.10/page for color. Charges over $3 are the student's responsibility. Unused allotments do not carry over to the next term. See full details at Policy - Student Printing Policy and Procedures
Q. Do you hire students?
A. Yes, we do! We typically hire in spring for the following summer and academic year. Watch for posters, check out our Facebook page (UW-Platteville ITS Help Desk
), and monitor the Handshake
Q. How can I get in contact with you?
A. The ITS Help Desk is located on the 1st floor of the Karrmann Library on the Platteville campus. Stop by, or feel free to contact us by phone or email.
Academic year hours
Monday through Thursday: 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
In addition, a lab consultant is available in the Bears Den computer lab in the Student Center for limited hours in the early morning and evening as well as on the weekend. Check the Help Desk website for specific times.
Monday through Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed
If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 608.342.1400 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.