Here are just the basics; you can find out more on the college website, or contact our Computing Officer (Ollie Barnard) or the College IT Helpdesk.

1. There are 3 main computer rooms – Library Mezzanine, Library 3rd Floor and Fisher Building.

2. The public computers can be accessed using your PWF password. If you haven’t already collected your login before arriving, you will have to go to one of these computers to initially pick up the password in your first few days. You should do this as quickly as possible as you otherwise won’t have any way of accessing your email.

3. Printing is charged at 3p per A4 sheet (b/w) and 25p per A4 sheet (colour). You pre-pay for credit through the University and top up when you need to.

4. The John’s Computing Department is located in Forecourt. You can contact them via email or in person during their office hours, 14:15-16:30, Mon – Fri. They normally only provide a limited amount of support for problems with students’ personal computers, but they are a useful point of contact if something seems to be wrong with the college network.  This year in freshers’ week we’re hoping to run some technical drop-in help sessions so check the timetable when you arrive to see when you can turn up for help.

5. If you are bringing your own computer, it might be worth buying a network cable for connecting it (non-crossed-over UTP/Cat5e Ethernet cable, generally known as “a network cable” in shops), St John’s College will provide Freshers with free network cables at the Reception Centre on your first day. Some laptops may not have an ethernet port (e.g. some Macbooks), so make sure you have an adapter if that is the case.

6. If you have any immediate computing-related problems (you just accidentally deleted that essay that is due tomorrow etc.), you can contact the JCR Computing Officer, Ollie. Do note though that the Computing Officer is only a student as well and might not always be reachable or in a position to offer help!



Email is the most widely used method of communication both for official and not-so-official messages in Cambridge, and you will find yourself using it on a daily basis. If the thought of having to deal with all this computer stuff gives you the creeps, don’t fear – there will be help and introductory training in using the Cambridge computing facilities available during Freshers’ Week.



Moodle is an online system that colleges and departments use to publicise and distribute information. You will probably be asked to get things off Moodle at various points over the year, so it is worth familiarising yourself with it. It’s a really great system, and you’ll end up finding it an invaluable resource for work and lecture material. Again, watch out for the computing leaflet in Freshers’ Week.



You will be given an overwhelming number of login names and passwords in your first days at St John’s, and it can sometimes be hard to remember which ones you use for what (plus you have to remember the passwords themselves!), so here’s a quick list of the most common ones:

  • PWF (public workstation facility) login: This is what you use for the public computers in college or in other places in the University.
  • Raven login: This is used for authenticating you to various University webpages, including CamTools.
  • Hermes login: This is for your email account, and you can use it to log into Hermes Webmail or for your email program to download your email.
  • Network login: This is used when connecting your computer to the college network, and also for the wireless network in college. The username will be the same as for the other systems, but the password is a numerical password which you cannot change, so make sure you’ve got it written down somewhere.

Your username for all of these will be your CRSid, which is a sequence of letters (your initials) followed by some number, but the passwords for all of these can be different.

Click here for more information from the UIS



  • Did you know that Microsoft Office is free for Cambridge students? Look here for more information!
  • Here’s how to recover that word document you deleted
  • Google Docs is really useful if you’re working on something important : saving all the time and backing things up is difficult to remember so let Google do it for you
  • Here is your eduroam login
  • Here’s how to print to the college library from your laptop
  • Keep all of your passwords safe and don’t tell them to anyone. The network password that you get in Fresher’s Week is important, without it you wont be able to connect to the John’s network so keep that safe!
  • Get into the habit of checking your emails regularly, you will be expected to do this here as you will receive a lot of important information via email
  • It’s also important to login to the college website regularly and check for any important notices on there