12 PAC: Computers and Technology
USF Health

Computers and Technology


The school requires that each student own a laptop and color laser printer, plus have high-speed internet access at home (Cable Modem, DSL, FIOS, etc.).  The school recommends that you purchase or own a Dell brand laptop.  The benefit to owning a Dell computer is that the school can do on-site repairs of your laptop if necessary and can provide you with a free loaner computer (COM students only) to use while your computer is being repaired.  Other brands of laptops will not be able to be repaired onsite and must be shipped to an authorized service center.

You DO NOT need to purchase a new laptop for school, and may use any brand of laptop you wish whether it be an older laptop running Windows XP, a Macintosh computer running OsX, a PC running Linux, or a brand-new computer running Windows Vista.  The school will be providing a recommended Dell PC that you may purchase through them, but it is your choice on what and where to purchase your computer. You just have to have a laptop to use while in class, on campus, in coffee shops, or at home.

Note: when purchasing a new laptop, it may be several WEEKS before you actually receive your laptop if you customize one online.  Check with your retailer about any delays so that you may ensure you have your laptop ready by August 10, 2009 (Orientation Day)


Get connected to the USF Health email system!  Create a new USF Health computer account and gain access to email and other network resources while on and off campus.  Do this after you have created your Oasis Account and obtained your U#.  https://hsccf.hsc.usf.edu/support_desk/account_request_pg_2.cfm .

You can access email via two methods. 

  • Microsoft Outlook: this is the preferred method, and allows you to utilize all of the functionality of Microsoft Outlook (contacts, calendar, email, todo lists, etc.) while connected to the Internet or offline.  Use your USF Health ID to log in, your USF Health password, and the following server: "COMEXCHANGE.hscnet.hsc.usf.edu", when configuring your Exchange Email Account inside of Outlook.
  • Web Browser: you can access your email using http://mail.hsc.usf.edu/ whenever you are outside the secured USF network.  This provides a simple interface to Outlook email, but is not as convenient as Microsoft Outlook the program



It is required that you install Antivirus software on your computer. You can obtain FREE antivirus and antispyware software from the internet. Here are some suggestions:

Antivirus (only install one)

-Avast! Antivirus FREE Home Edition: http://www.avast.com/eng/download-avast-home.html

-School-supplied McAfee Virus Scan: http://health.usf.edu/is/download/mcafee_virus_scan.htm

-Any other antivirus software you may own


-Spybot Search and Destroy FREE: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/mirrors

-Windows Defender FREE: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/winfamily/defender

-Any other anti-spyware software you may already own

Microsoft Office 2007/2008:

To access class documentation (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook), you will need a copy of Microsoft Office 2007 (Windows) or Microsoft Office 2008 (Macintosh), which can be purchased for about $89(Windows)/$62(Macintosh), which is a significant savings over purchasing outside of campus, at the Undergraduate Student Bookstore Computer Shop located in the Marshall Center.   Also included with Office 2007 is OneNote (Windows only) which provides a single program to handle all of your note taking and supports Tablet PCs (hand written notes). 

While you can use older versions of Office, you will obtain benefit from the newer version in terms of ease-of use and compatibility.  If you need to utilize older versions of office, be sure to download and install the Office Compatibility Pack so that you can open files produced by Office 2007/2008.  Open Office (free office for Windows, Macintosh, Linux) can work with Word/Excel/PowerPoint files, but it is recommended to purchase the inexpensive student version of Office 2007/2008 for your classwork

BitTorrent and other file-sharing networks:

The university actively scans for people using BitTorrent and other file sharing network software while you are connected on campus. DO NOT utilize such software to violate copyright as this is unprofessional conduct which may result in disciplinary action by the College of Medicine and the university.

Accessing the University network:

While you are on campus, you can login to the Internet using the school's USFHEALTH wireless network.  Just browse for wireless networks and select the USFHEALTH network. You will need to login using your hscnet username and password. This will provide an internet connection like at home.

To access the secure portion of the network (to access Microsoft Office Email directly and to access other secured resources), you will need to navigate to the following URL either while on the campus wireless network or elsewhere on the Internet (worldwide): https://remoteaccess.health.usf.edu/.  This will provide a seure VPN (virtual private network) link to campus and will allow you to access secured resources.

Note: you can access your email using http://mail.hsc.usf.edu/ whenever you are outside the secured USF network.  This provides a simple interface to Outlook email, but is not as convenient as Microsoft Outlook the program.