Computing FAQ

Computing Accounts Explained

Students: A student computer account provides 24/7 access to the Computer Labs, access to studio computers, scanners, and printers/plotters that are distributed throughout Wurster. Setting up a computing account is done by first creating a CalNet identity, and getting a campus id card. Once the Cal1card and identity has been obtained, go to the Student Technology Center in 477 (south) Wurster Hall to sign up and pay fees. The staff will create a computer account, print account, and set up access to building and other facilities. CED's computing account allows 24/7 access to Computer Labs and all equipment in those labs and studios, plus access to the Rendering Farm,  Cloud Printing, and access to the PaperCut print system.

Staff Computing: Please contact Campus Shared Services.

Faculty Computing: Please use CED's Help Desk to contact our Faculty IT support person.

I have a computer account, why can I not log into the computers?

If you are not able to logon to your new CED computer account it is most probably due to a CalNet sync problem. CalNet stores passphrases in two independent secure systems and attempts to keep them synchronized but sometimes they get out of sync. Go here and follow the easy steps to sync your passphrase: Upon completion you should  get a message that says "Congratulations...".  You should then be able to login to the CED lab and studio computers. If you still encounter problems logging in after syncing, then please go to the Student Technology Center, room 477 south,  for further assistance. 

Link to free or low-cost software available to students?

Links to Campus and vendor free software: Campus Provided Software and Educational Software Downloads.

What software is available on the lab computers?

The computers in the CED labs and studios have a large selection of specialized software taught in CED classes.  Click here to view the entire software catalog offered on the computer labs.

Where to go for a CED computer or Wurster-related system problem?

Student Personal Devices: For your own personal devices (laptops, phones, etc.), campus assistance for students is located: Student Technology Services, on the 4th Floor of the Moffitt Library, or you can contact the Student Help desk via (510) 642-HELP (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) or email

CED-suppported Student Equipment or Systems: For network, printing or student computer problems in the Labs, Studios, and lounges, submit a Help Desk ticket. If you are reporting an issue related to the Studios, please indicate which floor, which computer or printer/plotter, and describe the problem with enough detail that we can come to the area prepared to fix the problem.

CED Staff: Please contact Campus Shared Services.

CED Faculty: Please use CED's Help Desk to contact CED's Faculty IT support person.

Can I get on-line training?

Some online training is available for software and we have added links to the most often requested ones.

Students: How to choose a Laptop?

  • Decide what applications you are most likely to use: the suites (Adobe, ESRI (GIS), AutoDesk) or individual packages like Rhino or Maya. Go to those specific websites and search on “system requirements”. This will lead you to links that detail what your computer system should be in order to adequately operate their software.
  • If you decide on a Mac, just know that some software only run on Windows so you will need to "Window-ize" your Mac with BootCamp or VMWare or Parallels.
  • Make sure your network/wireless card is a combo, capable of 2.4 and 5 gHz wireless connections. Do not get a less expensive 2.4 gHz wireless card as you will experience network issues.
  • Add as much memory as you can afford.
  • Consider purchasing a more expensive solid state hard drive for speed.
  • Have a flash drive or external harddrive for when you create things in the Computer Lab you want to work on from your Laptop.
  • Sign up for a cloud drive solution and keep your data on the cloud - Campus offers BOX.

When does my CalNet accounts expire?

Once no longer eligible for a CalNet identiry, such as when you graduate, there is a grace period that will allow you to continue to access limited services (such as bMail and bCal). You will receive an email notifying you that your account is about to expire and what needs to be done to move or continue your accounts. A sample of expiration dates are below, but here is a link to the full list of  current grace periods.

Faculty, Staff, Emeriti, PostDocs: 90 days

Students: 274 days

CED Retirees: 30 days, but enroll with the Retirement Center retiree bMail services