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ITS FAQ - NSR 2020 (Platteville campus)

The ITS Help Desk receives a number of questions from new students each year. We love it; that’s what we are here for! However, for your convenience, we have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions for Platteville campus students.

To see information specific to the Baraboo Sauk County and Richland Branch Campuses, see ITS FAQ - NSR 2020 (Branch campuses)

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 The mobile version, KB4U, is available free for Android or iOS. Tech support at your fingertips!

Computer Recommendations

Q. What kind of computer do I need? I am a/an [insert area of study here] major.

A. It is less about your major and more upon 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

 Processor RAM 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 STEM programs. That software will require Windows or a workaround, as many do not offer a Mac version. 

The College of EMS provides additional computer recommendations for their students. please see their SharePoint page for more information.

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 quality and price of components. 

Q. Mac or Windows?

A. More often than not, this depends on personal preference. If you are in an 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. Solid-State Drive (SSD) or Hard Disk Drive (HDD)?

A. SSDs are faster than regular drives 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. 

Additional Hardware

Q. Do I need a printer?

A. No, there are many printing stations all over campus. Each student is allotted $3 in printing 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 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. 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 for purchasing software for students are in the ITS Knowledge Base. All software can also be reached using the virtual desktop on your personal computer.

Q. How do I access the virtual desktop?

A. Instructions for both Windows and Mac are posted in the ITS Knowledge Base. Go to and search "virtual" or just click here.

Cell Service

Q. What cell service provider should I have?

A. In our experience Verizon and US Cellular services work well in our geographic area.

Student Employment

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 website.

Getting Tech Support

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.

Phone: 608.342.1400

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.

Summer hours
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  You may also visit the Help Desk on the first floor of the Karrmann Library.

Keywords:frequently asked questions new student registration apple pc computers recommendations router software specs knowledge base virtual desktop cell service printer hiring hire students dell computer   Doc ID:82886
Owner:Joshua S.Group:UW Platteville
Created:2018-06-13 08:29 CSTUpdated:2020-08-19 12:32 CST
Sites:UW Platteville
Feedback:  1   1