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Ben



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PostSubject: laptops   Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:13 pm

So i need to buy a laptop for uni. do u guys have any recommendations for what are some necessary requirements for a laptop for isci. The main factors obviously are RAM, hard drive, processor, and video card. Thanks
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Scot Brown

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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Fri Jul 30, 2010 10:46 pm

nothing too specific. you shouldn't need more than a word processor, presentation software, and wireless internet capabilities. the most computation heavy programs I anticipate us using in undergrad (on our own machines) are Stellarium and Maple, both of which aren't too bad in terms of CPU usage. in our year we have a vast range of computers, ranging from small netbooks to mac book pros. it is up to you.


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whatever you want
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Fri Jul 30, 2010 11:02 pm

^^agree

an important factor for me was a blu-ray player, and a screen big enough to watch tv/movies on. if you're a gamer look into a good video card too. otherwise anything is good, find one that you feel comfortable with the keyboard, because you'll be doing a lot of typing!!
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Jyssika Russell



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:15 am

As someone who sells laptops to students, here are a couple of tips:

Size: make sure you are comfortable carrying it around a bit, cause you will be taking it to and from the library often. i.e. a 13"-15.6" works well

Hard Drive size: you will be introduced to DC++ this year, which will give you instant access to terabytes upon terabytes of movies and tv. Either have a large HDD to stock up, or, even better, bring a external Hard drive.

Brand: really doesn't matter

Processor: The new Core i3 processor is really nice for students, keep an eye out for it in laptops

Some tips on buying a laptop:
As a Future Shop/Best Buy insider, I know that deals will get much better after August 15. Thats when a lot of new promos are launching, so its the best time to go out and make the purchase.

Most places will offer a good deal on a printer with a computer. Do it, you'll need it. Laser printers work really well, and have lower cost overall.

Also, if you are buying a lot of stuff, especially an extended warranty/product service plan, at either future shop or best buy, HECKLE THEM FOR A DEAL. These companies are encouraging their employees to give deals/discounts, so don't be afraid to ask!

One more thing: As Scot said, this year we had computers ranging from netbooks to macbook pros. I was the person using the netbook (as a complement to my more powerful desktop) and I found it really couldnt handle some of the stuff iSci required. It became VERY slow when I was editing some of our large group documents, and I ended up upgrading to a Macbook Pro this summer. Just remember that a netbook and laptop are not the same thing. I HIGHLY recommend going with a full laptop, maybe with a small screen size, both as a person who has used a netbook for school before, and as someone who sells computers daily.



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Scot Brown

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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Wed Aug 04, 2010 6:16 am

What jyssika said.
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Ryan Hopkins



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Wed Aug 04, 2010 1:03 pm

Question: It's sort of related, but based on what you guys experienced last year, will we be taking notes during class on our computer or with a pen and paper?
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Wed Aug 04, 2010 2:41 pm

it varies, but obviously with math oriented classes i think 99% of us take notes by hand (not jyssika though with her fancy bamboo tablet). For classes like bio/chem which are less math oriented I like to use the computer cuz you can follow along with the powerpoint that they usually give to us prior to class. That being said i think slightly more ppl still take notes by hand for those classes. In the end it's just personal preference.

For computers, buying online with dell/lenovo will almost always be cheaper than buying from futureshop and you will get just what you need. Dell is just stupidly cheap though some may say it has suspect quality. Lenovo can be more expensive but if you wait for an online sale (25-30% off are waht you're looking for) the laptops are fairly competitively priced. And with lenovo you know that you'll be getting a product that is durable and reliable
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Wed Aug 04, 2010 4:35 pm

For your question Ryan, I agree with Nick.

Personally, I took a lot of notes first semester pen and paper... I later found it much easier (for me individually) to take notes on the computer... it made things A LOT easier to organize (for example one lecture can be useful to both the biology exam, and for reference on the cancer project.. or a lecture might have content in two different areas). I was then able to make duplicates easier on the computer and place them in two different folders... I could then also have the slideshow presentation and the associated notes in the same folder, which kept things tidier.

Though, the same process can be done with pen and paper (can print off slideshows and make handwritten notes on the presentations themselves... and rewriting the same note, and summarizing them which helps with studying). whichever method suits you is on personal preferences, experiment with both first year to find your best fit.

Edit: ^As nick said, for math and physics as well, I kept all my notes handwritten... I just don't like bothering with making equations on Word, (though if you're good with writing equations, drawing graphs, etc. on a computer, or have a tablet, go right ahead)... sometimes I like doing both, having handwritten notes for equations/graphs, and then a computer to type out the theory (I did this for chemistry). once again, find your preference!
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Jyssika Russell



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Thu Aug 05, 2010 1:37 am

The program OneNote is great for both research projects and notetaking in class. It comes with Office Home&student (both 2007 and 2010)It really allows you to organize your notes easily and neatly, which can definitely be a challenge with paper.

Paper is easier in the short term, but when it came to studying for exams, i found it really helped having all my stuff digitized.
In either case, you have to remember that you have to work to keep organized. That one note from bio that you just forgot to put in its proper place may just have that one piece of info you need.

I used a tablet with OneNote to also write all my math notes and physics notes. It worked pretty well, but i did have to carry my tablet around, and the notes didnt look quite as neat as if i were writing on paper. Also, if your laptop battery dies, you're SOL.
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Ben



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:11 pm

Which do you guys think is better: for a bout the same price, an MSI i5 with 4GB RAM and 320 GB HD or a Gateway i3 with 4GB RAM and 500GB HD
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:13 pm

lol i5 for sure hard drives are way too cheap nowadays, they shouldn't even factor into your decision unless they're below 160gb
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Fahim Naeem



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Sat Aug 14, 2010 2:46 pm

i5 all the way
320 GB harddrive is big enough
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Natalie Perna



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:12 pm

I got used to using OneNote last year and it is amazing for keeping notes organized. I couldn't go without it. Also, I went with a Dell, and I've had some issues with it. It just hasn't really been the greatest and I don't think I'll go with Dell again. I agree with Nick. I got it for really cheap, but it probably wasn't worth it.
I was at Walmart today and they actually have some really good deals. They had an Acer with 4GB Ram + i3 processor, only $598. Also, it seems silly, but I would definitely go with an Acer if I were choosing my laptop now that has the number pad on the keyboard.
I never knew how much it meant to me until it was gone. Crying or Very sad
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Fri Aug 20, 2010 1:30 pm

lol that's really funny natalie (about the number pad), I actually have a dell, but i bought it from the small business part of their site, I've had to replace hte keybaord myself once ($30) (some keys stopped working...randomly...I tried cleaning out hte kyeboard but that didn't work...) but other htan that it's been fine for me. and yeah acers are reallly cheap too.
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Natalie Perna



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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Sat Aug 21, 2010 1:34 pm

Yeah, that reminds me. Apparently the support for "small business" laptops from Dell is better than the "Home" ones. My wireless card is pretty bad on any public networks (I think it's just particularily weak when I'm far from the router) but they said that they couldn't help me because "Home" laptops are only meant to be used on your "Home" network and since my wireless is alright (still slow, but alright) at my house they wouldn't do much about it. Anyways, I'm going to wait and see how it is at Mac, but I'll probably buy a new wireless card because it's constantly dropping my connection.
That's just me though, brand probably doesn't matter much, I've just been turned a little bit anti-Dell from one bad experience.
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Scot Brown

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PostSubject: Re: laptops   Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:02 pm

the only good thing from dell is high performance monitors funnily enough. even though their computers are ABYSMAL, their desktop monitors are really efficient, have a great refresh rate and are relatively cheap.
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