Lab Technology FAQs

Technology

Policies & Procedures

Printing & Plotting

What software can I find in the labs?

Software is updated each semester as requested by faculty members. The computer labs have all software programs that are required in College of Design courses. The software does vary between the McNeal and Rapson Hall labs. Lists of software titles available in each of the lab rooms can be found on the Software List.

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What technology do I need to be successful at the College of Design?

The College has laptop technology requirements that aim to provide students with sufficient techology to be successful in college programs. See the Computer Standards document for more information.

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What technology does the college provide?

The College of Design offers several fully equipped computer labs. The computer labs in Rapson Hall 71 and McNeal Hall 69 are 24-hour access working labs for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in CDes classes. After hours access is via U-card access at the lab doors.

For more information on hardware and software in the labs, see the Hardware and Software page. For information on lab printing, see the Printing and Plotting page.

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Where can I learn and/or buy these programs?

The College of Design offers several courses that cover design software used in the College programs. Additionally, all University faculty, staff, and students have access to Lynda.com, a resource that includes training videos and courses on a wide variety of software.

Software can be purchased through the University with significant savings. Visit the Bookstores on campus or the Bookstore's MTech website for more information.

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Who can use the college computer labs?

The College of Design computer labs are limited access. Use of these labs is limited to students currently enrolled in College of Design classes as well as College faculty and staff.

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How do I use the college computer labs?

Eligible users of the computer labs can log in to the computers with their University credentials. This is the same password used to access email and other University resources online.

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How can I request a change in software or equipment?

The job of keeping the College of Design computer labs up-to-date and synchronized is complicated. However, as an academic facility, the need to be flexible and adaptable is also important. With these things in mind, the college has established a change policy for the computer labs that provides a regular cycle for updates and improvements to the computer labs and allows for College departments and instructors to request changes. Please see the Software Change Policy on the Policies page for more information on requesting software changes. For other changes, please contact the Academic Technology Resources Coordinator listed on the About the Labs page.

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How can I reserve a lab for class use?

Rapson Hall room 33 and McNeal Hall room 305 are available for reservation. Please see the Lab Reservations page for more information.

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Is there a place for me to store files?

All data stored on lab computers will be wiped upon reboot. Students may store data in their Google Drive space or on external drives. Course instructors may request storage space for classes by contacting central OIT at help@umn.edu or 612-301-4357.

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How much will my print jobs cost?

Please see the Printing and Plotting page for current prices.

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Are there other printing options outside of the College of Design?

Yes. There are public computer labs on campus, and University Printing Services or commercial print shops are also a possibility. However, all of these options typically result in a much higher cost than printing available through the College of Design.

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How do I print in the labs?

See the Printing and Plotting page for information on how to print as well as current prices.

The lab attendants at the front desk in each lab are also available for questions or assistance with printing.

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Why do I have to provide a course name to the lab attendants when printing?

We require course name when submitting a print job to the lab attendants as part of an initiative to track how much students are spending out-of-pocket for printing. Collection of this information ensures accurate metrics to inform future printing decisions.

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What happens if my print job is not printed correctly?

You will need to see a lab attendant as soon as you notice a printing error. If the error is a result of a printer problem or other problem not resulting from user action, the lab attendant will re-print your document free of charge. Common printer problems include paper jams, ink splatters, or stripes.

In other cases, printing errors are the result of inexperience: the line weights or colors did not turn out as desired, or the page setup is not set correctly and the page is clipped. It is expected that in learning to control printers, students will make trial prints at their own expense. It is the responsibility of the user to make these trials as effective and inexpensive as possible. Re-prints will not be issued for setting or layout problems.

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How can I minimize printing costs?

There are many things that lab users can do to reduce their printing costs without impacting their design activities.

Print Preview

This is a great feature offered by most programs at the computer labs. Print preview allows you to see how your pages will look prior to printing. Mistakes can often be seen and corrected before a single piece of paper is used.

Print Double-Sided

Double-sided (duplex) printing reduces waste and all of our laser printers have this feature available. Please see a lab attendant for assistance with double-sided printing.

Print Multiple Pages to a Single Sheet

Virtually all applications allow you to print more than one page to a single sheet. Doing so allows a document that might normally require 20 sheets to be printed on five sheets with four pages per sheet. This is an excellent option if you happen to be printing out notes for class.

Print Only What You Need

If you don't need an entire document, identify which pages you need using the "print preview" feature and then selectively print only those pages.

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How will I pay for my prints?

Students pay for prints using their GopherGOLD account (which is accessed via your UCard). This allows students to easily manage funds online and have real time access to their account. For more information about the GopherGOLD program, visit the UCard Office website.

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Where do I go with questions about UCard charges?

All inquiries about charges made on your GopherGOLD account must be taken up with the UCard Office.