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Written by Mayra Sheikh
Caltech probably has a lot of computers, and students have access to most of them. The residence houses on campus provide Internet connections, and cable is provided for those living in college-owned, off-campus housing. The computers there run either Windows or UNIX, and there are a few Macs (some houses have a separate lab for the Macs). The house labs have a budget, and new computers, monitors, and printers are bought on a regular basis. Every house also has a student ITS (Internet Technology Services) representative who oversees the labs and helps students with any problems they may have. Students have 24-hour access to all the labs in their houses, which also have printers, so students need not worry about paper, toner, or ink cartridges.
Unfortunately, the off-campus students don't have such printing luxuries. Many students also have access to departmental computer labs where they can gain access to computers or technology within their department. Every research group has its own set of computers and printers located all over campus in field-specific buildings. These labs also have software that is field-specific and extremely useful for students. Having access to departmental labs is a privilege that many Techers enjoy. There are also computers on campus that everyone can access. These computers are located in Caltech's libraries (see the Facilities section for more information). Caltech is a research-oriented school, and having access to a computer at all times is handy. Students prefer to have their own computers because a good portion of the homework here requires the use of a computer, whether it is a math program or something to prepare a spreadsheet with. Some students here even like to build computers!
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