Center for Information Technology

Computers and Mobile Devices

We know that you may bring a wide variety of technological gadgets to campus with you—computers, mobile devices, and more—and we strive to support you getting as many of these devices connected as we can.

Faculty and Staff Computer Assignments

CIT provides computers to faculty and staff who are employed at least half time by the college. You‘ll need an ObieID to continue, so make sure you‘ve got that first. Then, log in to the CIT Tech Support Portal and fill out the New Computer Request Form . This form will allow you to choose whether you would like a desktop or laptop, Mac or Windows, and any additional software you will require. 

You should submit this form as soon as you accept your job offer. Once we receive this form, we begin our process of assigning you a computer, setting it up, and scheduling a delivery time with you.

If you have startup, grant, or research funds that you‘d like to use for technology and need additional assistance, send an email to to discuss your research requirements.

Student Computer Recommendations

New students often ask us for recommendations on what computer to buy. While there‘s no right answer, we do have general suggestions.

A typical laptop lasts around five years. Always choose a computer that will run the latest operating system release available at the time that you purchase it. A laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) is ideal because SSDs have no moving parts. Laptops tend to get bumped around a lot. SSDs are also much faster than regular spinning hard drives. We also recommend purchasing a computer with at least 16 Gb of RAM (also called memory).

If your computer is an Apple or professional-grade HP and it has a serious hardware failure like a crashed hard drive, CIT can either repair your computer on site or facilitate the repair with the manufacturer. If you have another brand, you’ll need to contact the manufacturer directly for assistance.

Who uses what?

Neither Windows nor Macintosh operating systems are required for any discipline at Oberlin, but you’ll find that there are trends in some departments.

Students in the conservatory generally use Apple computers as do those in the art, cinema studies, and chemistry programs.

Students in biology, geology, neuroscience, economics, and psychology often favor Windows.

If you’re on the fence about which system to purchase, contact the CIT Help Desk or reach out to a faculty member in your discipline to see whether software that you’ll find in your area of study works well on your desired operating system.

What if I don't have a laptop?

There are several open-use computer labs on campus that students may use if they do not bring a computer to college or need access to Windows or Mac-specific software that their computer does not support.

Mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) Devices

CIT supports a wide variety of devices on our network, including mobile devices and game consoles.

Most IoT devices like the Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Sonos speakers are designed for home use as opposed to enterprise networks. As a result, they will either need advanced configuration, will not work with our network, or they will cause interference with our wireless network. 

Check out the chart on the CIT Tech Support Portal to see if your device will work on campus and if so, how to configure it properly. While academic support is our primary concern, we will try to help with these kinds of devices if we are able.