See also the Nine Things to Know handout!
Before you begin
- You must have your NetID and have set a permanent password in order to follow all the steps.
- If you are completing the orientation on campus, you must register your laptop on the network before you can continue. Do not use the VISITOR network, because it imposes a number of limitations on what you can do. On campus, start a Web browser to go to dukereg.duke.edu and complete the simple registration.
- Never leave your valuable devices unattended. Theft can and does occur, and easy targets invite more risk for everyone.
- You must have current and updated anti-virus software. You will have an opportunity to download such software in this process.
- Be sure that your laptop is set to receive updates to its installed software. On Windows this can be controlled through the Windows Update control panel.
- You should always have a password on your computer. Again, we will provide instructions to do so.
- Do not download or share illegal content such as pirated music, video, etc. Be wary of "peer-to-peer" sharing software since it can be a security risk for your computer and a monetary risk for you.
- Back up your valuable data! Duke makes network storage available, and there are many other ways to create back-ups. Save copies and drafts frequently. Bytes are cheap - your labor is not!
Set a Password
Install antivirus software
Your Windows computer may already have an antivirus program. The two best known virus protection programs are Norton Antivirus, part of the Norton Internet Protection Suite, and McAfee Antivirus. If you have either one of these programs on your computer and it is up-to-date, you do not need to do anything else here.
Windows users should check the icons in the system tray, at the bottom right of your computer. If you have an antivirus program, there should be an icon for its real-time protection function. It should warn you if the virus definitions or anti-virus engine are out-of-date (through a pop-up when you roll over it, or through a symbol on its icons). Alternatively, you can select Start | All Programs and look for a listing such as Norton, Network Associates, or McAfee.
Mac users: Look on the dock, and if you do not see an icon there, open up the applications folder on your hard drive and look. Although there are relatively few Mac viruses, all Mac users should have an up-to-date anti-virus application.If you need to install antivirus software, click here to go to OIT's software download site: Windows Antivirus | Mac antivirus. Note: Duke just changed its anti-virus vendor from McAfee to Norton. We link here to the new Norton software.
Install printing software for student printers
Access your network storage
Check your email account
Check your LAWnet address and your Duke email alias
Log into Sakai
Check your other directory information in ACES
A few other recommended (but optional) steps
- If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can download a copy. Go here to access the Microsoft Office download for students.
- Some faculty members use Corel WordPerfect (for many years the top alternative for legal writing). Follow this link for instructions on how to add the ability to open WordPerfect files on your laptop.
- Microsoft Office does not by default create a "back-up file." Follow the instructions on the linked page to change your Office configuration so that it does.
- Speaking of back-up, you may be interested in an online back-up service. There are very many options available. Duke has a plan with Iron Mountain that you can read about here. Another solution but without any Duke discount is Mozy. You may already be familiar with a syncing storage solution like Dropbox or Box.com. Duke University is actively investigating these services, and we hope to have a recommended solution very soon.