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Student FAQs

Macintosh Tips

The Macintosh computers and the PCs in the Computing Areas at CUMC have many of the same software programs. On the Macs this includes Microsoft's Word, Excel and PowerPoint, SPSS, Adobe Acrobat, Firefox and Safari. Both the Macs and the PCs run Symantec Endpoint Protection for antivirus and security protection. If you are normally a PC user, don't hesitate to sit down at an available Mac. The FAQs below will give you basic information about using a Mac, please contact the CUMC IT Service Desk on the 2nd floor of the Hammer Building if you have further questions.

How do I log on to the Macs at the Library?

There is no password to log on to the Macs, just use the default log on name that appears and hit the enter key on the keyboard.

How do I access programs on the Macs?

If you do not see a program's icon in the "dock" at the bottom of the computer screen, select "Go" and then "Applications" from the top of the screen to browse the full list of software installed on the Mac.

How do I access the CD/DVD drive?

Press the "Eject" button on the keyboard to open the disc tray. To remove a disc, press the same button or use the mouse to click and hold on the CD/DVD icon on the desktop, then drag it to the trash can icon on the dock. None of the files on the disc will be deleted by dragging the icon to the trash.

How do I save files to a CD or DVD?

  1. Insert a writable disc into the Mac's disc slot
  2. The CD or DVD will show up on the desktop. Drag any files you'd like to save to the disc's icon.
  3. Choose File - Burn Disc when you are done dragging all the files you'd like to save.
  4. Drag the disc's icon to the Trash on the dock or hit the Eject key on the keyboard to remove.

After you have finished saving files be sure to open at least few of them to make sure they have copied properly!
Files saved on a Mac CD or DVD can normally be read on a PC and vice versa, as long as there is a compatible program (i.e. Word, web browser, image viewing program) to open the file.

Should I buy a Mac or a PC to use while I'm a student at CUMC?

Both types of systems have their pros and cons. It's best to check with the individual program you're enrolled in at CUMC to find out if there is required software you'll be using that aren't compatible with either systems.
Most standard programs (word processing, spreadsheet, email and Internet browsing) are cross compatible on this campus.
Please see our Computer and Software Discounts page for recommendations and discounts available on a variety of computing resources for Columbia University Medical Center Students.

Are there Columbia licensed software programs for Macs?

The Columbia Medical Center has licensed, Mac compatible versions of Microsoft Office and Symantec Endpoint programs. Please see our Computers and Software page for a complete list of available programs and information on obtaining them.

What about using VMWare, Parallels or Apple's Boot Camp on a Mac to run Windows compatible programs?

While many Windows programs run via a virtual Operating System emulator without problem, CUMC IT does not support or troubleshoot issues with virtual OSs and their installed programs. Please understand that any use of these are at your own risk.

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Last updated 5/18/2017