Computer Support Services
Computer Support Services (CSS) is the College’s IT department, responsible for maintaining the computers, printers, and software applications within the five computer labs on the 2nd floor of COM, as well as the computer lab in Room 321 and the lab within the Communications Research Center (CRC) located at 704 Commonwealth Avenue.
CSS also maintains the college-purchased computer systems and software applications used by the faculty and staff of COM, as well as a number of servers handling printing, file sharing, class websites, and other services related to coursework within the building.
Please take note that there are certain things that CSS does not take care of:
- Servicing personal computers (especially laptops)
- Media Support for Registrar-controlled classrooms
- Software not purchased by Computer Support Services
- Tutoring or instruction for software-related coursework
- Problems related to OIT-provided services (ACS e-mail, Wi-Fi) that extend beyond COM-purchased hardware and software
Frequently Asked Questions
As of Spring 2009 all camera reservations for classes that go on in Computer Support Services computer labs are now handled by the TV Workshop on the 3rd floor. The TV workshop is located at in the southwest corner of the third floor, accessible via the COM stairwell across from Warren Towers/Computer Science building (the Hinsdale Street entrance). You can call the TV workshop at 617-353-3453.
Unfortunately, we don’t have them available. Our best advice is to A) purchase one from the nearest computer hardware vendor, or B) Transfer your project to another computer that has a VGA output port via USB or e-mail it to a classmate.
The Mac Pro workstations in Rooms 206 and 211 are accessed using class-based user accounts, not your Kerberos account (the one you log into the Student Link with, etc.). This means that if you don’t have a class that meets in room 206 or 211, you don’t have access to those labs.
First, check the availability of the room you need by going to the appropriate lab’s web page. Also note that 206 and 211 have the same suite of software, so you can work in either one or the other – it won’t matter which of the two labs you’re in, you’ll be able to get to your class-based file share. The same is true for Room 209 and 214 – each has the same software suite. Room 208 has the same suite of Adobe software as the Mac labs, but the video editing software is different (208 has Premiere), and 208 also does not have Quark.
Second, if no room is available at all for you to use, there are still a couple of options. The Common Cluster at Mugar Memorial Library has most of the software used in the COM computer labs (although it does not have video or audio editing software). In addition, Adobe products have a 30-day trial version download – if there isn’t enough lab time available at the end of the semester, you can download and install the software you need at home for the 30 day trial period to get you through the end of the semester.
At this time, there is no other free color laser printing facility on campus. The FedEx/Kinkos printing facility on the western side of Warren towers handles color printing, as does CFA’s print shop.
Unfortunately, there’s not much we can do. During high-traffic days, just one of our computer labs can put out over 2,500 pages in less than 12 hours – that’s a lot of printing. There can be several reasons for this delayed printing:
- Students printing out class reading assignments from CourseInfo or other places (usually PDF files) that can be upwards of 50 or 60 pages apiece. These large jobs, PDFs especially, can take several minutes to print and if they aren’t created right, take a long time for the printer to process.
- Students printing out Adobe Photoshop Documents, Adobe Illustrator files, Quark files, and uncompressed TIFF images or other large, uncompressed or unflattened files. These printers will take a long time to process these large uncompressed files and may take upwards of 5 or 10 minutes to print a single page. We ask any students printing from Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign or Quark to please export their file to .JPG or .PDF format before sending to the printer – it will go through a great deal faster.
- Often, when a student sends a print job to the printer and it doesn’t come out quickly, they presume the job “didn’t go through” and try to print it again. We ask that students please do not do this – by sending it again, it won’t get through any faster, and you’ve now made the print queue even longer for the next person trying to print.
- As a general rule, we recommend that if you have a paper or other print job that has to be turned in, you should not count on being able to get into a COM computer lab and printing it out without a delay.