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College of Arts & Sciences
Computing and Information Technology


Computing FAQ's

Here you will find answers to many of the frequently asked questions we receive at the Help Desk. If your question is not represented here, you can call the Help Desk at 777-7840 or email your question to Classroom Support.

General Questions

Q: Who uses the Computing Center?
A: The Computing Center is managed by the College of Arts & Sciences for the instructional use and general computing needs of faculty, staff and students of the College of Arts & Sciences, as well as those students taking classes in the College.

Q: What are the Computer Lab's hours?
A: Our operating hours during Fall and Spring semester are:
- Monday - Thursday: 7:45am to 9:00pm
- Friday: 7:45am to 5:00pm
- Sunday: 4:00pm to 8:00pm
The lab is closed most holidays and operates on a reduced schedule during
the Summer. Please visit our website or give the Help Desk a call at 777-7840
if you have a question about our hours.

Q: Does it cost anything to use a computer?
A: No, there is no charge for using a computer, scanner, etc. Please note that the lab resources are only for non-profit / educational use. Click here for information on printing costs.

Q: How do I login to the computer?
A: Your login name and password are the same username and password you use to login to Blackboard. If you do not know your login name, login to VIP, click the "Technology" link, then select "Show Me" Network Username. Here you will see your Username and have an opportunity to set or change your password.

Q: How do I use my student e-mail account?
A: Login to a workstation, launch a web browser (i.e. Internet Explorer) and go to Office 365 Enter your network username and password (that you discovered in VIP) and click "Log On".

Q: If I save my work on a lab computer, how long will it remain on that workstation?
A: If you are using one of our Dell computers, your files will remain until you logout of the machine when your session is over. Your files will remain on the Macintosh workstations when you logout, but will be deleted throughout the semester when we re-image the lab. We recommend not using our computers as long-term storage devices and suggest that you invest in a USB flash drive, portable hard drive, or burn your files to a CD or DVD. Most of these items are for sale at the Help Desk.

Q: Do you have to reserve a computer?
A: The lab is open to general use by students, faculty and staff of the University. However, our labs also serve as classrooms that are scheduled during each semester. If you notice that a class is in session, feel free to sit in the last few rows of the lab and quietly use the computer. Class schedules are posted at the back of each of the labs, and posted online.

Q: Can I connect my laptop wirelessly in the lab?
A: Yes, there is a wireless hotspot in our lab, and you may connect your laptop to the internet. Click here for information about Wireless @ USC and instructions to connect your laptop. You will not be able to print in the lab once connected to the wireless network.

Q: It's lunch time, and I haven't eaten. Can I bring my food and drink in the lab?
A: Food and beverages are prohibited in the lab. You may leave items on a table provided outside of the lab, and retrieve them when you have finished using the lab facilities.


Printing Questions

Q: How do I print?
A: Printouts made to the Black and White laser printers and Color printers will be automatically debited from your Carolina Card general fund account through CS Print. Money can be deposited to your Carolina Card online at vip.sc.edu and will be credited within 5 minutes. If you have any questions about CS Print, please see a Help Desk staff member, other printouts can be paid Carolina Card.

Q: Where do printouts come out?
A: The printers are located behind the Help Desk of our main lab. Please see someone at the Help Desk to retrieve your print job.

Q: How much does a print out cost?
A: Please refer to our price guide for information about printing costs. It varies from printer and size of output. Black and white laser printouts are .10/page if paid for with Carolina Card.

Q: How do I pay for my printouts?
A: You can pay with Carolina Card (with money in the General Fund Account) for print jobs made in our lab. and for supplies sold at the Help Desk.

Q: Does the lab do I.O.U's?
A: All printouts must be paid for at the time of printing.

Q: Do I have to pay for everything I printout?
A: Yes, you are responsible for paying for all printouts that you make. This is the only way for us to keep costs within reason. Do a "Print Preview" before sending the job to print. You may also ask for assistance at the Help Desk.

Q: Is there a print limit?
A: All printouts are to be used for non-profit / educational use. Color printer output is limited to 10 copies. We are not a high volume production print shop. Printing must be done within reason, and volume copies must be done at a commercial print shop. It is against state law to use the computers, printers or software programs of the University of South Carolina for any commercial / profit purposes. Suspected violators will be reported to campus police for investigation.

Q: Can I print large format, such as a poster? What is the minimum cost?
A: We have two large format printers, capable of printing to 42" by any length. You can print to these printers from most programs, primarily utilized by PowerPoint, Photoshop and Illustrator. Handouts are available to instruct on the printing process from these applications. There is a minimum charge of $4 to plot.

Q: Can I use my own paper?
A: We cannot print on paper that you provide on our printers. If you require special paper for printing (i.e. rag paper for thesis / dissertation or a letterhead) you will need to use a commercial printing company. You may print out an original here on our paper and then have the commercial printing company photocopy it to your specialty paper.


Hardware Questions

Q: What hardware, besides computers, is available for use?
A: Our lab is equipped with scanners, VCR's and DVD decks for importing video and various other hardware devices and peripherals that may be checked out. Most scanners are equipped with OCR software that will allow text to be edited upon a successful scan. 

Q: How do I burn a DVD/ CD? What DVD is recommended?
A: All of our computers, Mac and PC, have DVD/CD burners. Our older Mac G5 towers (in room 001) are capable of burning DVD-R's with a rated burn speed of 8x or lower. They will also burn DVD+R's of any speed. All other Mac's and PC's will burn DVD-R's of any speed. We sell blank CD's and DVD's at the Help Desk.

Q: Where do I plug in my USB flash drive?
A: All computers are equipped with multiple ports for inserting USB devices. Most workstations have a USB cable that is attached to the table for more convenient access to the ports.


Software Questions

Q: If I have a question about how to use a piece of software, who should I contact?
A: If you are taking a class that is using a particular software package, use your professor as a first resource contact. Most questions can be easily answered in online help or forums as well. We have an applications specialist on staff, and other staff members knowledgeable in different programs. Handouts are also available on many of the questions that arise frequently about our software.