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New Student Registration Frequently Asked Questions

A document made with the top questions from New Student Registration 2016.

Q. Do I need a router?

A. Probably not. Every Residence Hall will have full wireless by the end of the Summer. If you have a device such as a Smart TV, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast, or a handheld gaming console, then yes. The reason you would want a router would be because most devices are not meant to be connected to the business level security we use on the Wi-Fi that requires a username as well as a password to log in. If you have multiple wired devices (Xbox 360/One, PS3/4, Wii/ Wii U with adapter, and a computer) a switch may be useful.

Q. Solid-State Harddrives or Regular Harddrives?

A. Solid-state harddrives are easily the fastest and can change a boot-up time from around a minute to 5 seconds, but they have a downside. If you get a Solid-state, you will get much less space for your dollar, but the speed is unmatched.

For a regular drive, you can get a lot of storage pretty cheaply, but it’s going to be slow in comparison. What we recommend, is that if you want speed from your computer, to get the solid-state, and if you need the storage, get an external drive.

Q. General Recommendations for Computers (Desktops, Laptops, Etc.)

A. It depends on how the computer will be used. Laptops are going to be the portable option that still lets you use all the normal programs. Some students use a Chromebook or tablet to take notes with, but they won’t be able to work for most other software. The manufacturer doesn’t matter that much, as every company makes bad laptops, and also make good laptops, it’s less about who’s making them and more about the price range.

Q. Apple or PC?

A. More often than not, this is more up to personal preference than anything else. If your student is going into engineering, check the question about specific major needs for more information on this. The ITS Helpdesk supports both Windows and Mac OS, and there is a case for both. In the end, it’s up to what you want.

Q. What kind of computer does my student need? They are a [insert area of study here] major.

A. It depends on how your student intends on using their computer. If your student uses computer labs for their major-specific programs or uses the Virtual machines, the requirements won’t be anything special. Every department has at least one lab that will have the specialized software, and the Bear’s Den has a fair amount of software as well. We also have a Virtual Desktop that students can connect to, which allows the student to use campus software as if they were on a campus computer, as long as they have an internet connection. Every student gets access to the virtual Bear’s Den, and depending on what classes they are enrolled in, they will get access to others (such as EMS or BILSA).

Suggested Generic Laptop Specs


Storage Space


i5 or lower, depending on use.

500 GB+ depending on personal use

8 GB

If your student needs the software on their own personal computer, then there will be special requirements. This is primarily a concern for students in Engineering, as that will require Windows or a workaround as many programs don’t have a Mac version. There are workarounds for Mac owners, but they are harder to implement. There are some specs we recommend for this. Software Engineering is exempt; they mostly just need Windows.

Engineering Students Suggested Laptop Specs



Suggested Operating System

Intel i5 or i7 or equivalent (AMD FX8350)

8 GB




Q. What is the ITS Knowledgebase?

A. The knowledgebase has answers and guides for a lot of our common procedures such as adding the campus email to your phone and how to access your free Office 365. The knowledgebase is always being updated and growing as things change. You can get to the knowledgebase at

Q. How Do I Access the Virtual Desktops?

A. Go to and search “Virtual Desktop” and there is a document for installing it for Windows and one for installing it on Macs. That will have full instructions on it.

Q. What is WISC software, and How Do I Access It?

A. WISC Software is a program with all the UW system Colleges to offer students discounts. You can access it at: and you only need a student username and password to use it.

Q. What Cell Service Provider Should I Have?

A. Not AT&T, they don’t get access here. No matter what the salesmen says, the range extenders do not work here. For an example of AT&T on campus, one of our workers had it. He would only get voicemail when he went to Dubuque, and his texts were a week late.

Q. Do I Need to Bring a Printer?

A. No, most people that bring printers end up taking them back home in our experience. We have over 200+ printers that students can access on campus, and there is one at the front desk of every residence hall. There is a charge that can be found here.

A. Yes, most of the people that work the Resource Fair desk are students. When we are hiring there will be posters all over campus in the Academic buildings, and there will be a post on our official Facebook page, UW-Platteville ITS Helpdesk. We tend to hire towards the end of the semesters.


Make whatever changes are needed,likely with the wording. This is something I wrote up quickly to try and have a unified answer for things. The answers are based off of me working with Josh at NSR for 4 years, so they are as Josh-like as possible, with the exception of some engineering specs that Chris W. wouldn't not include. I'm aware the part of how to get to the KB, on the KB, isn't helpful, but if this is a print-off for future NSRs, that would be useful.

Keywords:NSR,New Student Registration,Questions,Routers,Cell,WISC,   Doc ID:65264
Owner:Joshua S.Group:UW Platteville
Created:2016-07-20 07:28 CSTUpdated:2019-05-29 12:12 CST
Sites:UW Platteville
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