Frequently Asked Questions
by CNIT Students

    Computer Labs

  1. Wireless on Campus

  2. Software - Free and Discounted

  3. CCSF E-mail Account

  4. CCSF Hills Server Account

  5. Password Reset

  6. Associate Science (A.S.) Degree

  7. Industry Certifications

  8. C.N.I.T. Academic Certificates

  9. Job Information

  10. Clubs

  11. Special Events

  12. C.N.I.T. Alumni/Sponsors/Partners


Where are the computer labs located on the Ocean campus?

There are 3 CNIT department open computer labs located in Science Hall rooms 37, 211, and 214. There are also general use computer labs available in Batmale Hall room 301 (ACRC) and in the Rosenberg Library room 207 (Learning Assistance Center - LAC).
2. What types of activities can I do at each computer lab?
Science 37 A+ test preparation
Microsoft Office 2007 (no printing)
MyITLab (for CNIT 100 students)
Wireless setup for CCSF Downtown, Evans, and Ocean campuses
Science 211 Computer hardware installation and troubleshooting practice
MSDNAA - Microsoft free software downloads for CNIT students
Science 214

Installation and troubleshooting practice for Windows OS including Vista, XP, Server 2003 (reserved for students enrolled in CNIT 101, 102, 335, 340, 341 only)

Ethical hacking practice (reserved for students enrolled in CNIT 123 and CNIT 124 only)

ACRC 126 PCs and 48 Macs, printing capability, general computer use, Office 2003, MyITLab and Windows Vista in PC Lab 2 and the south Concourse
LAC General PC computer use, printing capability, ESL practice files and software

3. What hours is each computer lab open?

S37 hours,   S211 hours,   S214 hours,   ACRC hours,   LAC hours

4. What do I need to do to get free wireless access at the Ocean Campus?

5. Where are the wireless hotspots on the Ocean campus?

6. What software deals are available for CNIT students?
      (NOTE: You will need a CCSF e-mail account)

MSDNAA - free downloads of Microsoft products for CNIT students only
Microsoft Office 2007 (PC & Mac) - extremely deep discount for all CCSF students
Adobe software - extremely deep discount for all CCSF students
McAfee Antivirus software - instructions for free download of virus protection software for PC and Mac
Secure Shell FTP Client - look for sshSecureShellClient-3.2.9.exe near the bottom of the list

7. How do I download the MSDNAA software?

In order to obtain this free software, you will need to obtain your login information - username and password to the MSDNAA website. Your login information has been sent to your CCSF e-mail account. This free software is only offered once. If you received this offer in the past, you will not find a new e-mail each semester from MSDNAA. Only new CNIT students receive the MSDNAA e-mail.

Please note: With some of the Microsoft software you have the option to receive a CD (for a small fee - approx. $12) or to download from the Web for free. You can only receive 1 copy. If you want to receive a CD DO NOT download. Instead you should choose the receive CD option first and then enter your credit card number. Here are the instructions.

Since many of these applications are very large, we recommend you stop by S211 during open lab times (see above for lab hours). S211 had a very quick Internet connection that will enable to download the software in a matter of minutes instead of many hours. All you need to do is bring a half dozen CD-R disks to the lab.

8. How do I obtain a CCSF e-mail account?

All CCSF credit students automatically receive a special CCSF e-mail account through gmail. Your account will look like If you do not know your username and password to this special CCSF gmail account, you can find it through your CCSF WebSTARS account. Once you log in, go to your Personal Information. Your gmail account username and password can be found there near the bottom of the page.

You can ask your instructor for help with this or go to ACRC in Batmale Hall room 301.

Here is another source of information on obtaining a CCSF e-mail account.

9. Where on the Internet do I go to log into my CCSF e-mail account?

Click on the following link: CCSF e-mail account login

10. How do I obtain a CCSF hills server account?

CNIT students who require server hosting and other access to a server to complete their course work are automatically given a hills server account. Ask your instructor if his/her class qualifies you for a hills server account. Your username is the same as your username for your CCSF gmail account (see #8 above to obtain your gmail username).

11. What is my CCSF hills server account password?

The first time you log into your hills account, your password will be your birthday in the following format: mmmddyy. mmm is the first 3 letters of the month you were born in. dd is the 2 digit day. yy is the 2 digit year.

E-mail Password
September 3, 1985 sep0385
June 18, 1979 jun1879
February 7, 1967 feb0767
May 23, 1980 may2380

On your first login you will be prompted to change your password from your birthday (as stated above) to something new of your own choosing.

12. Where on the Internet do I go to log into my CCSF hills server account?

For PC users it is recommended that you log into your CCSF hills server account through a secure shell. You can obtain SSH Secure Shell Client and SSH Secure File Tranfer Client at Scroll down to the file sshSecureShellClient-3.2.9.exe. Please ask your instructor for help.

For Mac OSX users a secure telnet program is integrated in the system. You can find this program called TERMINAL in the application folder. Open this program, it will give you a window running UNIX. Please ask your instructor for help.

13. How do I get my hills server password reset?

Since every 100 days you are required to change your password, it is very likely that you will forget your latest password. You have 3 chances to get into your hills account. If you make 3 failed attempts, you will automatically be locked out of your account and you will need your password reset. There is only 1 place to go to get your password reset --> ACRC. Please see the hours above (#3). Your instructor does not have administrative rights to hills and therefore can not reset your password for you. You may ask your instructor for help on this but he/she may advise you to go to ACRC.

14. How do I get my Insight password reset?

If you forget your password, you should first try clicking on "Lost Password" on the login screen. Your password will be e-mailed to your e-mail address on file. If you do not receive your password via e-mail, then you can try the insight help desk at 415-452-5689, which is available during limited hours at the start of each semester. Another option is to complete the Insight Technical Requiest Form. If those options do not work, then you can e-mail your instructor. Your instructor does not have the ability to reset your Insight password, but he/she may be able to contact the person who can. This may take a few days.

15. What are the requirements for the A.S. degree in C.N.I.T.?

Completion of the required General Education courses + 21 units of CNIT courses with a grade of C or better. The 21 units of CNIT courses is made up of 12 core course units and 9 elective units.

The 12 core coure units are CNIT 103, 106 or 201, 131, and 120.
The 9 elective units are specific to your CNIT option, which you personally pick.

16. What are the C.N.I.T. options for the A.S. degree?

Computer Technical Support
Internet and Web Development Techniques
Network Security
Wireless Networks
Cisco Networking
Microsoft Windows

17. Which CCSF counselors can provide me with more guidance on the A.S. degree?

You should setup an appointment with any of the Continuing Student Counseling Department (CSCD) counselors. They will be able to provide you with the general ed, elective, and major classes needed, as well as provide you with the official paperwork required to complete in order to declare your degree. There are specific deadlines for the paperwork that must be completed. Therefore, you will want to meet with a counselor to guide you through the requirements and the paperwork as soon as you are considering an A.S. degree in CNIT.

18. What are industry certifications?

Industry certifications have been developed by technology vendors such as Microsoft, Cisco, Oracle, and Novell and by vendor neutral companies such as CompTIA. An industry certification is earned after successful completion of one or more standardized exams, which can be taken at testing centers around the world. The industry certifications were created to help verify an employee's or potential employee's technical knowledge. Passing an industry cerification exam clearly states to a recruiter or manager that the person infront of him/her has at least a certain level of knowledge in Microsoft products or Cisco products or computer repair. With all being equal an individual with an industry certification is more likely to be hired over an individual without one. Furthermore, an individual with an industry certification tends to earn slightly more than an individual without one. At some companies an idividual who passes an industry certification exam automatically earns a pay increase.

19. Which industry certifications do C.N.I.T. classes prepare students for?

CompTIA: A+, DHTI+, Network+, Security+

20. Where can I take the industry certification exams?

CompTIA exams can be taken through either Pearson Vue or Prometric test centers.
Cisco exams can be taken through Pearson Vue test centers.
Microsoft exams can be taken through Prometric test centers.

21. What academic certificates does the C.N.I.T. department offer?

Computer Technical Support
Computer Technician
Ditial Home Technology Integration
Fundamentals of Netowrking
Windows Networking
Wireless Networking
Network Security
Routing and Switching (Cisco)
Advanced Routing and Switching (Cisco)
Web Site Development Techniques
E-Commerce Systems Development
LAMP Fundamentals
LAMP Administration

The following link has the specific course requirements for each of the CNIT certificates listed above.

22. What is the difference between an industry certification and a C.N.I.T. academic certificate?

CNIT academic certificates are earned after the successful completion with a grade of C or better of the required CNIT courses. Industry certifications are earned after the succssful completion of an examination developed or approved by CompTIA, Cisco, or Microsoft. These exams are given at a special testing center (see number 19 above). CNIT courses help prepare students to take the industry certification exams but an industry certification is not earned until the successful completion of the exam at the testing center.

23. Do you know of any job vacancies?

Comcast currently has hundreds of job openings in the Bay Area. Follow the requirements on Comcast's website to submit your application and then e-mail a note to We can help get your resume to the top of the pile.

24. How much can I make?

ComputerWorld's 2007 Salary Survey: Staff and Entry-level Positions
2007 InfoWorld Compensation Survey: By the numbers
CertMag's 2006 Salary Survey
2006 Salary by industry certification

25. What clubs does the C.N.I.T. department support?

The CNIT department supports 2 clubs: I.E.E.E. (Institute of Eletrical and Electronics Engineers but pronounced eye-triple-E) and W.I.S.E. (Women in Science and Engineering)

IEEE is one of the world's leading professional associations for the advancement of technology with over 370,000 members worldwide. IEEE is a leading authority on areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics among others. Members rely on IEEE as a source of technical and professional information, resources and services.

WISE was founded at CCSF to encourage and inspire women pursuing the sciences and engineering, and to build a supportive community to exchange information and resources.

26. When do CNIT supported clubs meet?

WISE meets every 2nd and 4th Friday at 3:30 p.m. in Science Hall room 133.

27. When is the C.N.I.T. academic certificate and A.S. degree ceremony/party?

The Fall 2009 CNIT academic cerfiticate and A.S. degree ceremony/party will be on ???, December ??, 2009 from 5:00 - 6:00 p.m. in Science Hall room 37. Family, friends, and alumni are invited to this celebration. Please R.S.V.P. to Cherron Hunter via e-mail at or by phone at (415) 452-5323.

28. What major technology conferences are hosted in San Francisco?

Feb - Macworld Expo
Mar - Game Developers Conference
May - Web2.0 Expo
Aug - LinuxWorld Conference & Expo
Aug - Search Engine Strategies
Aug - VMWorld
Sep - Intel Developer Forum
Oct - Oracle OpenWorld
Nov - VoiceCon

29. How do I get on the C.N.I.T. alumni list?

Please send an e-mail to

Subject: CNIT Alumni List
Body --> My name is ??? and I would like to be added to the CNIT alumni list.

30. Who do I contact if I would like to donate, sponsor, or partner with the C.N.I.T. department?

Please send an e-mail to or contact the Department Chair directly.

Last Updated: September 7, 2009