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 Laptops and Textbooks

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PostSubject: Laptops and Textbooks   Mon Feb 14, 2011 10:17 pm

I have a couple of questions about laptops for university.

How important have you found the portability of your laptop to be?

I'm looking at the Macbook Air but some say it not meant to be a primary computer. I literary do nothing beyond web browsing and office documents but I was wondering about the computer programs used in iSci. What are all the programs you have needed to use in iSci, particularly the most demanding ones? And could a Macbook Air handle them? First hand experience would be awesome! I know there are a bazillion topics like this floating around but I just wanted to see what you guys thought. Smile

In regard to textbooks, this is going back awhile, but I think I remember the list for iSci including mandatory textbooks and some suggested ones that you don't ABSOLUTELY have to have. Do you suggest getting the textbooks that are not mandatory?

Thanks a ton.

Adam
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James SeongJun Han
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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:02 am

hey,
Regarding laptops, yes having a laptop would be preferable. I think all iScis do have a laptop. Whether you have hp or macbook, it wouldn't really matter. When you come to iSci, you will have to use several softwares such as Maple (but they'll teach you so don't worry).

In terms of textbook, I wouldn't worry about it yet. But yeah some suggested textbooks are helpful, but you don't need it. I only have mandatory textbooks and im doing fine Smile

James
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Tue Feb 15, 2011 1:35 pm

I would not suggest getting a Macbook Air, I could imagine some programs that you need for 2nd year like pymol are fairly demanding and I don't think it'd be great. In terms of portability, I think it's pretty important in terms of battery life, since I don't have to carry a charger around campus, but that's really just a preference. In terms of weight/size it really comes down on personal preference and whether you mind carrying around your laptop.
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Wed Feb 16, 2011 9:51 pm

Touching on the textbooks... agree with James. Don't worry about it yet!

You will use some textbooks more than others, this is something that you need to determine by talking to the professor, understanding the course expectations, and judging your own knowledge of the subject.
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Piotr Roztocki

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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Thu Feb 24, 2011 9:42 pm

Hey Adam, this questions strikes close to home because I used to be a Laptop Sales Rep in Best Buy. I would say a laptop is a necessity in university, but you should be looking at your needs and using them to zone in on a model and not the other way around.
I'm not sure whether or not you're planning to live on residence, and that can be a substantial factor. I'm a commuter myself, and my 16'' hulk of a Toshiba proved to be less than an ideal choice. That said, it can survive the dents. The Macs around here which I thought to be made of impenetrable aluminum aren't always so lucky.
If you're partial to the Physics concentration, you'll most likely get involved in programming at some point, so enough drive space for a Linux disk partition may not be a bad idea. A really good thing to do is maybe buy your laptop a bit into the year, after you know your needs better. Or you could buy it a year early and get used to it, like I did. There's no right answer.
Sorry if I made you more confused. I second Nicholas's argument, battery life is a pretty cool thing to have.
As for textbooks, it's nothing to worry about. I only have the mandatory + the geology text which is optional, and even that hasn't proved particularly useful (Dr. Eyles has excellent slides). All the best with applications!
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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:16 am

Thanks for the replies.

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D.J. Fernandes



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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Wed Jun 22, 2011 2:02 pm

yes laptops are needed. Not just for work, but watching TV shows (which i did a lot of when i came to university for some reason).
I recommend having a windows OS. Not that i have anything against Mac, its just easier to find bootleg (AHEM i mean completely legal AHEM) versions of several programs that you may find useful in university. All programs you need for iSci are free (except for two if i remember correctly: maple (on practically every library computer) and N2B).
If you decided to go into comp-sci or phys, it would be useful to get a linix OS as well (ubuntu, mandriva, etc).




The mandatory books you should have simply because the professor will ask you to read from it and there may be content in the book that will be covered by the test but not discussed in lectures. The suggested book are usually just extra stuff to help you understand concepts or apply them to real life. They may be useful to have as future references. With that said, ISci usually has copies of their required and supplementary textbooks in the iStudy (our exclusive study space) for reference (IOW cant be taken out of the iStudy).

I never bought any supplementary books and i was fine. In fact, for some elective I did not even get the mandatory books and I was fine.
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Yohan Yee

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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:42 pm

Ditto on Darren's statement that Windows or Linux is best...Linux especially if you're into math/physics, or just want to do more fun things with your computer!
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Nicholas Pun



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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:57 pm

aren't you supposed to be out in the field yohan? I'm gonna go tell Dr. Chow-Fraser about this internet access!
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Yohan Yee

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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Fri Jun 24, 2011 8:58 pm

Aha, I got back early! Fieldwork is awesome though!
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Prateek Gupta
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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:06 am

FIELDWORK!!! so jealous. i'm in scarborough now yohan lol. visit me tomorrow morning man.
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D.J. Fernandes



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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:31 pm

Yohan: "...just want to do more fun things with your computer"
too many innuendos, too little time
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David Yun



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PostSubject: Re: Laptops and Textbooks   Sun Apr 01, 2012 12:01 am

Adam,

I would suggest getting a Macbook pro. As for textbooks, you should probably get chem and physics, but I found I didn't use the others as often. You may be able to get by without some of them.
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