CCI 2015 distribution: tech shop roomAs the new semester begins, Carolina’s recent arrivals appear to have a lot in common with predecessor cohorts of undergraduate students, at least in terms of their computer desires.

80+ percent buy from CCI

Final numbers won’t be in until late September or early October, but Information Technology Services’ Carolina Computing Initiative (CCI) appears “to be on the path toward the same 60-40 split between Apple and Lenovo, respectively, and it looks like more than 80 percent of the incoming undergraduate students will once again choose to participate in the CCI program,” said David Eckert, Manager of CCI, Computer Repair Center and Dispatch Service.

“Just like last year, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is the most often selected model and the T series (T450) is the second most selected,” he said.

As CCI distributed computers over the summer break, CCI staff members and student employees primarily encountered students who were delighted to get their own laptop or to update from their existing technology.

“Mostly, everyone is just excited to have a new laptop to learn how to use,” said Angie Potiny, ITS Drop-Off Consultant.

CCI aims to ensure that Carolina students, faculty and staff have easy access to high-quality and affordable technology and can use it effectively. At the center of the initiative is the requirement that undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill own laptop computers that meet University specifications.

Students explain their reactions

“I’m upgrading from a 7-year old HP so I’m pretty excited about this Mac,” said a student who was purchasing the 13-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Retina display.

“This is great,” said a buyer of a 13-inch MacBook Pro. “I haven’t had a laptop since seventh grade.”

CCI received much positive feedback about how quickly students were able to get through the computer setup and on to the rest of orientation, Potiny said. “One incoming first-year told us, ‘This is better than Best Buy!’”

Setup was easier with eduroam

Setup, she added, went even more smoothly after the University switched on July 14 to a new onboarding process for the eduroam wireless network. ITS is phasing out the UNC-Secure wireless network in favor of eduroam on October 16.

“Since there are fewer steps involved,” Potiny said, “it makes it easier for the self-service style formula we have for incoming students, and our proctors can spend more time talking about our services and Carolina instead of resolving snags in the process. Incoming students usually spend 10 to 12 minutes in our room from opening the laptop box to packaging it back up.”