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University students experiences?

 
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 1:14 am    Post subject: University students experiences? Reply with quote

I'm trying to figure out how to go about coputer purchasing for University next year and was wondering, MacBook Pro 13", MacBook Pro 15", Mac mini and Lenovo laptop (loaded with Linux), or iMac. Based on your experiences what did you use more, a laptop or a desktop.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 4:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lots of paper and I was researching water cooled pencils. Some of those professors really knew how to work those sliding black boards!

Then I had my Mac Plus at home, and a friend had a printer.

Hope that helps! Smile

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Fox
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't been a student for quite a few years, but what I notice at my own university is that almost all students seem to have laptops. The usual size is 13" or 15", with fewer carrying 17" or netbooks in the halls (wireless available everywhere) or in classes. If it were me, I would buy a 13" laptop (MacBook Pro or MacBook), and have a 20" LCD monitor at home or in the dorm that I could hook it up to. The MacBook/Pros are sufficiently powerful to do pretty much anything that would be thrown at you in school, and the 13" is the perfect size to carry around in a backpack (in its own nylon sleeve), and battery life is good enough to get you through a day without needing to plug it in. If you're interested in running Linux as well as the OSX, you have two good free choices (BootCamp and VirtualBox) and one good inexpensive choice (VMware Fusion). The latter is a particularly good choice if you want to move files quickly between OSes (whether OSX to and from Linux or Windows).

If you don't plan to use OSX at all, it would be hard to argue that the extra cost of a MacBook/Pro over an equivalent PC is worth it, but I would still look at a 13" laptop.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

what courses are you doing ? As I think you need to consider what you'll be using it for.

I was a computing student up until this week, so I was doing a lot of coding and the 13"screen is just too shallow for me. It doesn't allow you to see enough lines of code. I decided against 17" due to cost and portability and so I settled on the 15" which I used mainly at work and Uni, also having an iMac with dual monitors I tended to use that when at home.

I also kept all my Uni files inside my dropbox account which ensured all my files were kept in sync between the iMac and MBP. Even if you only have one computer I would still consider using dropbox as it is automatically providing you with an offsite backup of your files. You machine could be stolen, lost break etc and its reassuring to know your files are safe.

I would have been lost without the MBP through Uni.

If I could only have had one machine it would have been the 15" MBP but I would have bought a second monitor to hook up to it at home as also suggested above. If your not doing any coding then a 13" may be perfect.


On a side note, I also used the MBP to take notes in all my lectures using OmniOutliner Pro to record the audio of the lecture whilst I typed various notes into the outline. Its really handy to be able to re-listen to them when your revising etc. I would also use my phone to grab any images off screens etc to accompany the notes and then drag them into the outline later. Circus Ponies Notebook is another worth checking if you don't like OmniOutliner. I just found the audio recording wasn't as clear as when I used OmniOutliner. You could run the trial version of both to see if that’s changed.

If you settle on a windows machine check out Microsoft OneNote for doing the above. Its an amazing product, nothing on the mac compares to it in my opinion.
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Bandit Bill
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd say laptop by far. You are going to have a ton of work to do but you still need a bit of a social life. You can take the laptop anywhere and get a bit of both. ie. type a paper while at a coffee shop, meet some hot chicks.

You're still going to have a home computer aren't you?
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dungeon92
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bandit Bill wrote:
I'd say laptop by far. You are going to have a ton of work to do but you still need a bit of a social life. You can take the laptop anywhere and get a bit of both. ie. type a paper while at a coffee shop, meet some hot chicks.

You're still going to have a home computer aren't you?


I'm going to S&T where the student body is roughly 1/4 female, then again people who went their after WWII said the number of women could be counted on one hand, even if you lost a couple fingers during the war.
Though being portable might be useful for the Trap and Skeet Club, Catholic Newman Center, S&T Gaming Association, and Academic Competition Team events.
I think I'll go for a 15" MBP and build a nicer desktop for gaming, Linux foolery, et cetera.
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"When history is forgotten people don't realize when it repeats."

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