Frequently Asked Questions concerning computing services provided to the Department of Physics and Astronomy
Many computing resources can be found online:
Email to is the best way to contact our office. Walk-ins to DRL-2E6 or DRL-3N5 between 9AM and 5PM as well as phone calls to 215-898-8148 are also welcome.
1. What free software is available from the university?
Site Licensed and free software for both on-campus and off-campus use, and for both university-owned and personally owned PC and Macintosh computers is available online at the Office of Software Licensing website. Software commonly included in this category is anti-virus, web browsers, file transfer programs, and email clients. The mathematics program Maple is also available for install on university-owned computers. Contact to confirm eligibility and borrow the install disk.
2. What software is available at a discount from the University?
The Office of Software Licensing website lists terms and pricing of software packages available for purchase by university funds for use on university-owned computers. Software for purchase by both departmental and personal funds is available from the Computer Connection in the bookstore.
3. I need an Ethernet cable in my office, or I need a longer cable than the one in my office.
SAS Computing provides Ethernet cables free of charge for on-campus use. If your current cable is too short, please bring it to DRL-2E6 to exchange it for a longer cable.
4. I can’t connect my computer to the network.
Instructions for connecting can be found online at these websites: Wireless Wired
We also have fliers available with wireless and wired connectivity information on the outside of our 2e6 office door. If you still cannot connect, please contact us for assistance.
5. Can I get a static IP address in DRL?
If you need to connect to the computer remotely, a static IP is recommended.
Please email requesting a Static IP address or stop by DRL-3N5 to make your request.
6. What printers are available? Is color printing available?
Department use printers, locations, and configuration instructions for black and white laser printing are available here. There are no department-wide color printers for general use.
7. Can I get a physics.upenn.edu email address?
If you have a address, email sent to will also reach your SAS email account. To use physics.upenn.edu as your outgoing email address, just configure it in your email client.
8. Am I eligible for an SAS Allocations computer?
Please contact to determine Allocations eligibility.
9. Do you know where I can recycle my printer toner/ink cartridges?
Any empty toner or inkjet cartridges that you have (including home use) you can drop off at DRL-2E6 during office hours and we will take care of recycling them through the university's printer cartridge recycling program.
10. Is there a color printer available for me to use?
Unfortunately there are no color printers available for departmental use. An often used alternative by members of the department is the SEAS Copy Center, which can be reached at 215-898-8115.
11. Is there a public scanner available for me to use?
Yes. The copier in the copy room (DRL-2E2) can also function as a scanner, for more information please see this link.
12. Can I have a mailing list set up for my class/group/project?
Yes. If your list's purpose is for a class, these are automatically created by the registrar. For more information please see our class mailing list page.
If you need another mailing list set up, one can be set up on the SAS Mailman list server. Just email to request that a list be created. You should also include what you would like the list to be named. The list name should be non-PennKey compliant (so, longer than 8 characters or including a dash).