Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The High-Tech World of UTSC

Just by being a member of U of T, you’re eligible for tons of free and discounted software and hardware. From my experience, few people know about these services. Today, you can consider yourself one of the lucky ones.

First, UTSC’s IITS provides tech-related information and links to software downloads. For free, you can download an app that allows you to print wirelessly to campus printers from your personal computer. The days of waiting furiously to get a library computer—needing to print an assignment for a class at two o’clock when it’s one fifty already, and there’s some insensitive lowlife watching The Big Bang Theory on the campus computer (“Why can’t he just go home to watch this,” you’re asking yourself, your legs now turning inwards from impatience like you need to pee), and then when you finally get a free computer having to log in which takes another five minutes and your head is hot with anger, and the collective noise of the library, similar in decibel and pitch to that of a Chuck-E Cheese’s at high noon, is making things even worse here for you—well, those days are over.

Also from IITS, you can download for free a Firefox add-on that searches the UTSC Intranet Directory and an installer that properly configures Skype for use with the campus network. From IITS you can download more free software, such as Microsoft Security Essentials (antivirus) and Cisco Jabber (a video conferencing client). IITS also lists recommended specs for a computer for university use.

U of T’s Licensed Software Office allows you to purchase software at special negotiated prices, right from the site (you’ll need to do this on a campus computer). The shipping is also free. The selection includes software useful for classes, such as Statistics and Mathematics packages, as well as software useful for general computing, like Adobe Acrobat, 7-Zip, or antivirus software.

Of course, the U of T bookstore sells software at student prices, including Adobe Photoshop CS6 (only $199; normally over three times that) and Microsoft Office applications. As for hardware, the bookstore promises to beat the prices of any other Apple dealers in the GTA.

Dell offers prices specific to U of T students, promising up to 30% in U of T member program savings and an exclusive financing offer. Go to and use the member ID 2146522 when you check out.

Most of these offers were well-hidden in U of T’s family of websites. These were all that I could find. If there are more hidden goodies out there, in the sprawling complexes of U of T’s online world, leave a tip in the comments.

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