College Services

Technology Buyer's Guide: Peripherals & Accessories

Additional Requirements

  • Security Cable. With any laptop purchase, invest in a security cable and use it every time your computer will be out of your sight. Find one with a combination lock, and you won't have to worry about losing a key.
  • Virus Protection. Every computer should have virus protection installed and configured to automatically update—both Windows and Macintosh systems! We recommend simpler tools that focus on virus protection rather than more complex products providing comprehensive Internet security or system management functions.

Other Items You May Consider

Nothing else is required to complete your digital studio, but we often get questions about the following items.

Other Software

You will be writing papers and submitting them to your instructors electronically, and CCAD has standardized on Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite formats for these documents. The easiest way to make sure your documents support these formats is to purchase Microsoft Office Home and Student software (available for either Mac or Windows for under $150). However, there are some alternatives.

The CCAD GoMail email account supplied for each student includes free access to Google Docs — online word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools. When connected to the Internet, you can write, edit, save, and download files compatible with Microsoft Word for submission to your instructors.

When shopping for computers, you often will see systems including an office application suite that is not compatible with Microsoft Office, such as WordPerfect Office, Microsoft Works, or iWork. By default, these applications use file formats your faculty members will not be able to open. These are not recommended alternatives — we don't want you to miss a deadline because you forgot to convert the file into a format your instructor could open.

Education pricing for software can provide significant savings over retail prices.

Pressure-Sensitive Graphic Tablets

If you have an interest in digital drawing or painting, you might consider a Wacom Tablet. Small and affordable, these allow you to translate your hand drawing skills directly into the digital world. Wacom tablets use a patented battery-free cordless stylus, and we have been using them on campus for years.

Living On Campus?

Resident students should also bring a Category 5, 5e, or 6 Ethernet Network Cable to connect their computer to the wired network port in their bedroom. A 25-foot cable is recommended for residents in the Schottenstein Residence Hall, and a 10- or 15-foot cable for those living in the Design Square Apartments. Wireless is also provided, but cannot match the speed of a wired connection.


Scanners are not needed by most students, since flatbed and transparency scanners are available in the library, classroom areas, and open-access labs for student use.


Black & white laser prints are available from college computers in the library, classrooms, and open-access labso.

Basic Canon color laser prints are available for 25¢ in Kinney Hall outside of the Helpdesk and outside of the Supply Store. There is an additional Canon color laser printer in Crane on the 2nd floor balcony.

For high quality color printing, please come to the Digital Print Lab next to the Help Desk in Kinney Hall. There are 7 Epson Stylus 4900 inkjet printers available for students to print for free. Inkjet paper is available in the CCAD Supply Store in Kinney Hall or you can bring your own inkjet paper. Helpdesk assistants are on hand to help check your paper and also with printing setup questions.

For large format high quality printing the Digital Print Lab provides 2 large format roll printers.  These printers use special papers that are charged by the inch and may be paid for at the Supply Store in Kinney Hall.

Students do not need to have their own printers, but a low-cost photo quality printer may save time and allow you to find and correct mistakes that may not be otherwise noticed or fixed. If you do decide to bring a printer, get a USB cable to connect it directly to your computer, and do not share the printer on the network (wired or wireless).

Three brands stand out for color output and support for both Macintosh and Windows computers: Canon, Epson, and HP. Each company has different devices to choose from:

  • Standard color inkjet printers which use four ink colors,
  • Photo color printers which deliver higher quality with six or more ink colors,
  • Multi-function devices that provide standard or photo printing plus a scanner and copier.

What Not To Bring

Here are some items you should not bring to campus.

  • Wireless Access Points, Routers, or Switches — To avoid conflicts and maintain network performance for everyone, we do not permit unauthorized network devices or wireless networks.
  • Web, File, Print, or other Servers, including network-attached hard drives or printers. Sharing services must also be turned off on your laptop. Devices connected to CCAD networks are not accessible outside our network.

Information Technology Contact: 614.222.6174


 August 6, 2015