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Student Computing
 

Computer and Software Discounts for Students

CUMC students can receive discounts on computing equipment and software, with some programs available for free under a Columbia site license. Please review all information before making a purchase or installing software to insure that any compatibility needs are met.

Computers and Equipment
Columbia's Computer Discounts page has links to discounted pricing available through Apple, Dell, and other vendors.
  • Use links for Personal Purchase or Individuals for student discounts from specific vendors.
  • A UNI login is required to access pricing information and place orders.
  • Select the link for Purchasing's Preferred Vendors List for other vendors by category or name.
If you own an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch, see the iDevice Equipment page for information about discounts on repairs.

Compatibility Requirements and Guidelines
Be sure to check with your school or program in advance to see if they have special requirements. CUMC IT is not able to track and provide compatibility information for all departments, divisions, schools and programs, however the following links provide standard direction:
  • The Operating System Compatibility and Support page lists currently supported operating systems and known issues. Note that virtual environments (i.e. Windows on Boot Camp), Linux/UNIX, and beta, trial or newly released OS versions are not fully supported by CUMC IT.
  • Students must review Student Computer Support by CUMC IT to be sure they understand technical support policies and requirements.
Example Hardware Specifications
Computers purchased recently (within the past year or two) typically have recommended features. Other configuration choices such as hard drive size, amount of memory and CPU speed should at least meet the minimum needs for the operating system and programs you plan to use and can therefore vary. To assist, we've listed suggested hardware configurations here.

Laptop Windows 8.1 Macintosh OS 10.9
Processor 3.2 Ghz Intel Core i7 2.5 Ghz dual-core Intel Core i5
Memory/RAM 8 GB 4 GB
Hard Disk Drive 320 GB 512 GB SATA
Removable Media Storage Drive 8x DVD+/-RW 8x SuperDrive
Networking 802.11b/g for wireless and ethernet port or adapter 802.11n for wireless and ethernet port or adapter
Residential housing may only provide wireless access but wired/ethernet capabilities are recommended if you will be using the computer for research or work under a CUMC department or division.
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day and complete damage recovery AppleCare Protection Plan
Encryption compatibility Intel vPro technology enabled; TPM 1.2 (BitLocker compatible) FileVault 2 compatible (OS 10.7 or higher)


Desktop Windows 8.1 Macintosh OS 10.9
Processor 3.2 Ghz Intel Core i7 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5
RAM 8 GB 8 GB
Hard Disk Drive 350 GB SATA 500 GB
Removable Media Storage Drive 8x DVD+/-RW 8x SuperDrive
Networking Ethernet port or adapter Ethernet port or adapter
Residential housing may only provide wireless access but wired/ethernet capabilities are recommended if you will be using the computer for research or work under a CUMC department or division.
Monitor 22" Flat Panel 21.5” Display
Warranty 3 year onsite next business day and complete damage recovery AppleCare Protection Plan
Encryption compatibility Intel vPro technology enabled; TPM 1.2 (BitLocker compatible) FileVault 2 compatible (OS 10.7 or higher)

Software
Columbia University and the Medical Center have purchased a number of site licenses for software programs, allowing them to be used on student computers for free or at a discount. We've consolidated a list of available software with links to their download and installation instructions.

  • IMPORTANT: some programs and versions listed below or on the Columbia University Software and Downloads page are not part of the CUMC IT supported Standard Software package and are listed as a courtesy only.
  • Most programs have versions for both Windows and Macintosh based computers, be sure to read any documentation provided regarding compatibility.
  • A UNI and password may be required to access software downloads.
  • For information about CUMC programs not listed below see the Applications and Access page.

Office Productivity, Security and Operating System Upgrades

  • Microsoft Office
    Free, full versions of the Office Suite for Windows and Macintosh are available through the Microsoft Student Software Portal. For CUMC students we currently recommend using Office 2013 on Windows and 2011 on Macintosh. Be sure to read all information on the portal carefully so you are aware of licensing, compatibility and installation instructions.
    Office 365, the subscription required to edit or create files via the Office Mobile app on tablets, is not part of the Columbia site license. Students can still receive a discount on Office 365 by going to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/university/
  • Microsoft Windows upgrades
    Upgrades for Professional editions of Windows are also available through the Microsoft Student Software Portal. Before upgrading be sure to review all information on the portal, as well as CUMC IT Operating System and Student Support policies.
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP)
    SEP Version 12 is the latest version for Windows 8, 7, Vista, and Macintosh OS X. It provides both antivirus and antispyware functions. Please read installation and configuration instructions carefully; you may need to uninstall any existing antivirus programs on your computer prior to installing Symantec/Norton to avoid conflicts.
  • PhoneHome
    This security program for Windows and Macintosh computers runs in the background and can track your computer by its attempts to go online if you report it lost or stolen. For additional information about how PhoneHome works and using it with PBA encryption please click here.
  • Encryption Recommendations
    Different programs are recommended based on your access and use of sensitive data.
  • Winzip Pro
    Software for Windows that can encrypt, compress and decompress files in .zip format.
  • WinSCP (Windows), Cyberduck and Fugu (Mac)
    Secure file transfer programs with a graphical user interface that can be used to connect to CUNIX (space on the Columbia servers).
  • PuTTY or Mac OS X Terminal
    Command line programs that can be used to connect to CUNIX.
  • VPN
    VPN provides an encrypted connection or "tunnel" to the campus network when accessing on-campus resources from off-campus computers. Please note that most web based resources including E-Journals and PubMed do not require VPN; you will be prompted to log in with your UNI when accessing the web site from off campus.

Bibliographic and Statistical Software
Statistical programs are not free for students but typically offer a discount. Bibliographic software is typically free under the Columbia University site license.

  • Endnote
    The Health Sciences Library also provides classes on using Endnote, please see links on the Library Classes and Assistance page for details and registration information.
  • Reference Manager
  • Procite
  • SAS and SPSS
    CUMC students may purchase licenses and software at a discount by following linked instructions.
  • Other Mathematical/Statistical Software
    Information on Columbia licensing and discounts for Stata, Matlab, and Mathematica. CUMC students looking for SAS or SPSS should follow information above rather than what is linked on the CUIT (Morningside IT) Mathematical/Statistical Software page.

Additional Software

  • Aperio ePathViewer for iPhone or iPad
    View eSlide images on your iPhone or iPad; to download visit www.aperio.com, or search the App Store for "Aperio" or "ePathviewer". The download now contains an in-application purchase to access viewing additional eSlides through custom URLs such as the Physicians and Surgeons Histology and Pathology slides.

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Last updated 5/21/2014