College Life: Invest in a laptop

Today we present Intern Julia’s third installment in her series on back-to-school preparations.

Have you ever lost a notebook or a folder the day before an exam? Do you find yourself recycling pounds of notebooks at the end of the semester? Is there always that one irritating classmate who never goes to class, and then shows up before a test begging for you to Xerox your notes for him?

Taking notes on your laptop eliminates all these problems. If you make sure to backup all your files on an external hard drive or online storage system, you’ll never have to worry about losing your notes at the last minute. You’ll save trees, and you can say goodbye to spirals that eventually warp into wicked metal spikes that get tangled together and slash up your Ultimate Frisbee hand. You also can e-mail the irritating kid your notes, and, in the college bartering system, now he owes you a good turn if you ever happen to miss class yourself.

A laptop at school also eliminates the need for a physical CD collection and a phone in your room with the help of services like Skype. You also can set up an account with Picasa or Flickr and keep all of your photos online instead of littering what little surface area you have.

Get yourself a good lock for your laptop for when it’s in your dorm room, and choose one that is light so that it’s easy to carry with you. A cord that is at least five feet long is also good because you’re not always going to have a fully charged battery and you won’t want to trip people coming into class late. I also suggest that you buy a major brand of computer so that it will be simple to find someone to help you when you inevitably run into technical problems.

Finally, be sure to check out The Unofficial Apple Weblog’s article “Back to School: collecting and organizing information” for many great programs to keep your work organized this year. A number of the programs mentioned in the article have PC counterparts, so don’t be fooled by the site name. The article is a must-read roundup.

50 Comments for “College Life: Invest in a laptop”

  1. posted by gypsypacker on

    I had a problem with unauthorized data transfer/download on appleweblog.

  2. posted by Jess on

    I wish laptops had been more affordable when I went to university, I look back and laugh now at the thought of me and my dad lugging a great big pc tower and 19 inch CRT monitor up 4 flights of stairs each term! Although even then I took the sensible decision of mp3ing my entire cd collection but that was partly to stop friends wandering off with my cds and me having to chase them to get them back!

  3. posted by Spencer on

    University students may actually do better by looking at the MSI Wind, ASUS Eee, Acer Aspire One, or the soon to be released Dell E – collectively known as “netbooks”, they are smaller, lighter and, most importantly; CHEAPER than conventional laptops (the ones listed range from $300-600, and 1.9-2.6 lbs)

    They’re designed to handle all the basic tasks a student performs, such as word processing, internet, skype, &c., whilst being light enough to carry everywhere, small enough to fit in any bag, and cheap enough to afford.

    Another incredibly important thing to remember is the cruciality of backing up your data, especially as a student. I have heard horror stories of people losing 20,000 word theses just before they’re due to failed hard drives or stolen laptops.

    Wikipedia has a good comparison chart of the currently available netbooks, for those interested.

  4. posted by Tyler Braddy on

    One of the unfortunate things is that university profs – at least down here at UGA – still object to laptops in the classroom in certain instances. Some teachers have made the jump into the 21st century, but some still see them as idle nuisances and thus won’t let their students have them in the classroom.

  5. posted by marc on

    As a graduate student, often teaching undergrads I have to disagree with this.
    Firstly, laptops in the classroom are distracting to the professor as well as the
    students. For every 1 student taking notes, there are 4-5 surfing the web and chatting. Secondly, for classes such as math, physics, etc, there is NO way you
    can take notes efficiently with a laptop. (Even if you are the fastest latex’er
    in the world, you WILL fall behind). Finally, many finals allow “open notebook”
    midterms, quizzes and exams. Clearly, you could print out the data, however, I
    have found that students have a harder time locating the necessary information when this way. This type advice is one of the “in theory”
    recommendations. I do believe in laptops for college, just not in the classroom.

  6. posted by Christina on

    Tyler, though I allow laptops in my classroom, I can see why some profs might object. Many students will surf the web instead of listening. It hasn’t been a problem for me yet, since I teach small classes and walk around the room a lot. I have more problems with students who have PDAs, cell phones, and mp3 players. I’ve started docking students points if I see them texting in class.

  7. posted by Battra92 on

    Laptops are all well and good but they are no substitute for pen(cil) and paper for notetaking. In some of my computer science classes (mostly programming ones) I could keep up with pico running in a full screen terminal on my Macbook but all my other classes (Math, economics etc.) I survived with graph paper notebooks.

    Check and see if your college has a laptop program. I worked at the helpdesk for my school and if you bought the laptop from us, you could get it serviced if you spilled an entire pot of coffee on it and then threw it out the window.

  8. posted by allen on

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obi.....tterer-20/

    A mini-powerstrip/surge protector i would think of as necessary, as well.

    If you, as a student, are going to buy a laptop that is over US$1000, then PLEASE, get some kind of protection plan: Laptops break, espeically when you use them as hard as students do.

    Alternativly, i like Spencer’s idea of getting one of the “netbooks” (god, i hate that name), which lots of companies are making. Lenovo is coming out with one that has a 80 gig HDD for only US$400.

    Some private schools basically require the students to use laptops. My good friend went to MSOE (milwaukee school of engineering), and as part of them paying for tuition, they HAD to buy a laptop, and a specific model at that. That way, the professors knew that everyone could run the same software.

  9. posted by soham on

    How about a tablet pc, gives you the advantage of writing in pen and paper with the flex of accessing it anytime. Also onenote flexibility on instant search should help a lot

  10. posted by consumer_q on

    Fortunately, I finished my schoolin’ before laptops overran the classroom.
    The few that were in my classes drove me crazy with the damned tap tap tapping. During lowlight presentations or films the lit computer screens were very distracting as well.

    If I was in school today, I would buy a digital pen for notetaking. Probably the Pulse ( http://livescribe.com/ ). It is a real pen, records all penstrokes and will OCR them, and has a built-in voice recorder that syncs the recording with the notes taken. Win only s’ware at the moment, but Mac is on the horizon.

    No noise, no distraction, same digital benefit as typing, plus the original handwritten hard copy as a backup.

  11. posted by John on

    I completely agree with marc’s comment. I would add that the psychology of taking notes with pen and paper is different than that of typing on a laptop. You use more of your right brain when you have a pen in your hand than when your fingers are on a keyboard. With pen and paper you’ll sometimes draw diagrams, arrows, etc. that capture an idea far better than typing a paragraph of prose. (In theory you could make drawings on a laptop, especially with a tablet PC, but nobody is going to do that during a lecture.)

  12. posted by Stella on

    As an undergraduate student, I sometimes take notes with my laptop, but feel bad because the constant *tap-tap-tap* of the keys might be irritating to some students. With regards to being a distraction however, I’ve found that most students will either ignore you, or watch last night’s episode of The Office with you.

  13. posted by Gretchen on

    I agree with the pro-handwriting commenters. I myself have tried both methods and found that I did much better in classes in which I took handwritten notes. There has even been research done that indicates that people comprehend and recall teaching better when they hand write their notes. It would depend on the class, but with the cost of college these days, I’ll put up with some cluttery notebooks for a better grade.

  14. posted by Tania on

    LOL! Man, I couldn’t even pretend to have afforded a laptop in college. I was on academic scholarship, some parental assistance and me working several part-time jobs. I was so stoked and proud when I finally saved enough to buy that used Mac SE (yep – dated myself there but that’s OK) you couldn’t tell me anything. But running out to just “buy” a laptop to take notes?

    Not all of us come from those kinds of means.

  15. posted by timgray on

    Having recently experienced this… Unless your student is going into college for Computer Science and It work get an Apple.

    you can get office for it, vmware to run the windows stuff and they have 70% less problems with spyware and viruses.

    A cheapie $590.00 laptop will cost $2100.00 in the next 2 years in service, spyware and virus cleanings, etc…

    Get em a mac. It solved all the computer problems my daughter had. No more calls for money to get it fixed, no more, “my laptop is acting funny” calls… They just work.

  16. posted by Chef on

    @timgray

    “A cheapie $590.00 laptop will cost $2100.00 in the next 2 years in service, spyware and virus cleanings, etc…”
    really???

    Let me tell you about a new concept called freeware. Learn a little, save a lot. Mac’s are all image. Hope you enjoyed paying more for less. If you really love the Mac OS, buy it. Just don’t buy the Mac hardware because their commercials make you feel good about yourself.

  17. posted by verily on

    I am really confused by the $2100 in service statement. I don’t think I’ve spent more than $300 on it (AppleCare Protection Plan) and my computer is more than 3 years old. Granted, I use OpenOffice and I can get some retail software for free legally thanks to my job…but even that software doesn’t top $500.

  18. posted by laura on

    Sounds like Chef is a PC user. Ahh…to each their own.

    I for one am all for notetaking in class the old fashioned way, but I have to admit that if you can, a laptop at college is the way to go. Takes up less space in the dorm, is easy to move between semesters and years and you can take it to the library or the quad or your dorm’s lounge to work. It’s a nice way to go.

  19. posted by ElaineMc on

    I’d second one of the low-end, lost-cost, low-weight laptops for students.

    I have an EEE PC (the tiny little 2G, Linux-driven) which I bought specifically for work and class. I don’t use it to take notes, but I do use it to transcribe them in between classes (I personally learn more thoroughly that way– it’s an instant review.), for scheduling, for light reading (literally thousands of free books out there), for internet use, and for general prep work and brainstorming.

    The usefulness is mostly in its size: at 2lbs, it’s much easier than its 9lb predecessor, and its dimensions let it fit in my usual bag (or a purse!) rather than requiring more money for a case. It’s not a powerhouse; the portability is what makes it useful.

  20. posted by timgray on

    $2100 is what is spent at “geek squad” and other “pc repair places” to fix a Windows PC when it get’s messed up with the latest spyware or other junk (total spent over 2 years by her and me because I did not want to waste a weekend fixing her laptop). She was running lots of freeware antispy and anti virus programs (those slow the pc down)

    PC support is EXPENSIVE. This is why a el-cheapo windows laptop costs more. She cant get someone to fix it for free, heck the uni teech department charges her $79.00 to simply open the thing and tell her what is wrong.

    She is not a IT expert, defragging, removing spyware, and repairing a windows install is outside her abilities.

  21. posted by Michael@ Awareness * Connection on

    Dear god do I wish I’d had one of those when I was in school. It was Apple IIe computers half way across the campus with programs on floppy disks. Right before that it was the Brother typewriter. I am much better suited to delete without burning through correction tape. At least I’m able to appreciate the laptops for what they do now.

    @marc as annoying as that is, if those students want to burn through their tuition money and not learn anything..better career opportunities for the rest of them. “Just do it quietly and don’t disturb anyone else. It’s your money,” is my thought.

  22. posted by Marion on

    As a college student, laptops can be an incredibly useful note-taking tool. I took a humanities class where the professor used a lot of maps, images of artwork, and diagrams in her lecture slides. Having a laptop connected to the school’s wireless network let me do a quick Google image search of the caption, and I could include a lot of useful information I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to study from (this professor did not post her lecture slides online).

    That said, I use graph paper for all my economics, math, and computer science classes.

  23. posted by Mary Sue on

    I have a G4 iBook and a 2GB Surf EEE PC. The EEE is my traveling computer; it goes to coffee shops and restaurants and on vacation with me. I use SD cards as my main data storage, so anything I write out and about on the EEE can easily be transfered from the card to the iBook. Although, if I had internet access whilst out and about, I usually write directly to Google Docs and save a backup copy on the SD card.

    I love my iBook for long periods of gaming and internet surfing on the couch, but the EEE weighs less in my bag, and its price ($300) makes me worry marginally less about it disappearing. Yeah, so the hard drive’s only 2G? I purchased an 8G thumb drive for $14 last week. Storage is cheap.

  24. posted by Imrcly on

    Being a college student that also works full time I love my notebook. I have had several different sizes and brands and have come to love my mac. I started school with a huge desktop that stuck me at home or hand writing papers. I purchased a cheap 17 inch notebook to augment it and found myself trying to keep information between it and my desktop the same. I replaced it with a not as cheap 15inch notebook that I used for school and work and found myself replacing everything I did with my desktop with it but did not have the power to game. I upgraded that to a new mac book pro and will not be going back to a desktop. you just have to keep in mind that no one wants to lug a huge computer around a long with books. Look for the smallest(in size) computer that will fill all your needs. If that is a netbook that is great some people will never play games and rather have awesome battery life and small size. Some people want a desktop replacement that can do everything and still go with you.

  25. posted by adora on

    It only works if you are in one of those major that use only English text materials. Wouldn’t work with math, physics, engineering, art or architecture… Taking notes on laptop requires a linear structure. It is good only if your lecture is organized like a book.

    Like what marc says, most students with laptops are not taking notes. From my experience as T.A., except for law school, students who take notes with laptop score much lower on average than the ones who take notes with paper. It is not the laptop’s fault, it is the owners’.

    There is also some cognitive advantage over the hand’s movements with actual letters that helps memorize the materials.

  26. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on

    As a former teacher, I can chime in and say that it is actually against the law for a professor to NOT allow a laptop in the classroom. It violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. You MUST allow laptops. My idea was always if I couldn’t be more entertaining than YouTube or Facebook than I was doing something wrong.

  27. posted by consumer_q on

    “It violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. You MUST allow laptops.”

    Does that mean the university must also allow dogs into the classroom, regardless if they are service dogs or not? Or, are laptops like service animals with allowance only mandatory under certain circumstances and for specific individuals to fulfill the ADA?

  28. posted by marc on

    I dont care if students goof off and hurt themselves, but annoying other students
    is a no no. Youtube clips, chatting, tap tap tapping, etc is all very distracting to students paying attention. My rule is students can do whatever they want in class
    as long as they do not bother others. (eat, sleep, read, do other work). If others are bothered, step 1 is asking the student to move to the back of the room. Step 2 is asking him/her to leave.

    @Eric: For the ADA, I must allow students with physical disabilities to use laptops,
    as for others students I need not. The same goes for exams. For the latter, especially, no laptops are allowed without special circumstances. As for being
    entertaining, I could put on a clown costume and dance around and many students
    will find chatting about last night’s party more interesting.

  29. posted by Chris Bell on

    Google “ADEONA” for free “Laptop LOJAK”. This will tell you where your laptop is in case it gets stolen.

  30. posted by Sarah on

    Note taking aside, TV tuner cards are a good investment. They cost about the same as a small TV, yet enable you to use your hard drive as a DVR.

  31. posted by Rebee on

    Marc is right. As a student who has tried both methods, I can definitely say that the one I prefer is handwriting my notes. I can remember what’s on the page better and remember WHERE it is on the page. Math and science aside, I’m so visual I’m always putting diagrams and such in my notes, so even in a history class I prefer handwritten notes. And more than that, it really is difficult not to get distracted, especially when the class is boring but you NEED to pay attention. Computers are great – I’m a CS major after all – but when it comes to notes, you just can’t beat a plain, old-fashioned notebook.

  32. posted by battra92 on

    @Chef I agree 100% and I own a Macbook – but more for the Unix side of things than the “It just works.” Apple uses a bit iffy hardware and quite frankly if I could do it over again I’d probably just buy a laptop that coule run Ubuntu (using a wireless card actually supported) and then I’d be a lot better off money wise.

    By the way, Laptops are one of the most stolen items on college campuses. Be sure to have some form of protection for that too. Granted I was a commuter so I didn’t have that problem but still.

  33. posted by Michelle on

    Netbooks are worth looking into, but with their portability comes the inevitable small screen (usually no more than 10 inches diagonal) and cramped keyboard. Workable for pounding out e-mails and tweets, probably not as comfortable for slogging through an entire term paper. You’ll probably still want a monitor and keyboard for your dorm room desk.

    Also, forgive the shameless plug: I review laptops for a living and am very close to completing a round-up of all the laptops that will be on Best Buy’s shelves during the back-to-school buying season. If you’re interested, click on my name above and you’ll see the complete list of reviews.

  34. posted by cdelphine on

    I don’t use my laptop to take notes in class but I am very glad that I have a laptop and not a desktop.

  35. posted by empty on

    I teach at an academic medical center and our students are required to have laptops, which of course they bring to class for taking notes. This is less useful in, say, organic chemistry than many other courses, but still handy as an addition to paper notes even in this circumstance. Macs are a poor choice, however, as they don’t run many of the programs we use, although PC emulation is a possibility–most people find, however, that this is an expensive way of getting what you need.

    The netbooks in particular are awesome for notes on clinical rounds. For lectures, it is my choice as an instructor whether or not to book a room with wireless internet access, or whether or not to leave it on if it’s provided. If you’re not a compelling enough instructor to keep your students’ attention away from the web, you can always shut down the wireless. Personally I haven’t had a problem.

    We are considering switching out the electronic personal response pads we use for quizzes and feedback for laptops and mobile phones that allow texting; the only issue right now is whether our students would be burdened by the costs of extra text messages on their phones. I am little shocked by some instructors’ hostility toward laptops and other mobile devices in class. Technology is so integrated into our students’ lives that it would be crazy not to take advantage of it (and I suspect this failure is part of the reason some students prefer alternative activities). Because of it, I don’t worry about collecting papers because my students submit their assignments to the online course management system, I don’t worry about grading quizzes because the response pads immediately upload their answers to their accounts and grade them (simultaneously taking attendance), I never have to worry about printing out a syllabus, etc. As part of our campus sustainability initiative we’re trying to eliminate paper from the classroom and our students’ laptops are a big part of that.

  36. posted by Michael on

    @timgray

    lol. PC support is expensive? Mac’s by definition are expensive. Your $590 PC is comparable to a $1800 mac. If defragging is beyond one’s abilities, I’d advise them to stay off the internet (maybe even remove the network card), lest they get an email from an African diplomat offering them money:(

    Computers are like real life, you don’t get viruses/spyware if you don’t associate with the seedy parts of town.

    I find that people who use PC’s are better at fixing computer problems. And yes, mac’s have their share of problems…they just don’t know what to do when it happens.

    Back on point though, tablets are the way to go for note taking. The handwriting recognition converts your scribbles into searchable text and you can draw graphs and figures to your hearts content. When the prof tries to go back and change what he wrote, it’s much easier on a computer. Battery life/turn on time are the main drawbacks. Keep your files short though, if you create an extended file (months of writing in the same file) it may overrun the memory and cause slow operation or a crash.

  37. posted by Lori on

    I can’t take effective notes on a laptop. I’m a kinesthetic learner; the actual motion of the notetaking is enough to stick most of it in my brain, and I use lots of arrows and circles and other meaningful doodles. Many times I don’t even have to look back at what I actually wrote.

    I find the screens very distracting in a lecture situation, much as I find TVs distracting in restaurants and bars. But that’s me. If you can take effective notes that way, go for it.

  38. posted by jes on

    Until I read Marion’s post I, like consumer_q, would of suggested the digital pen. Now I’ll split the difference & join the others saying a tablet is the way to go. (For if I had to get a new laptop, I’d definitely be gunning for a tablet.)

    As for for PC’s being hard and Mac’s being easy, don’t they say similar things about the paths to heaven and hell. :D (Currently using PC’s but have used Mac’s & Linux/Unix.)

    Found these PC vs Mac commercials spoof’s quite entertaining as I was crafting my comment: http://www.youtube.com/view_pl.....DC7559526D.

  39. posted by Malthusan on

    I’ll chime in on the side of pen/paper note-taking. I allow them in my classes, but I don’t encourage them for a variety of reasons. As has been mentioned, they’re often a distraction, both for other students and for me. Furthermore, they encourage transcription rather than note-taking. A good typist can transcribe an entire lecture in real-time, but, what good does that do? There’s no time for reflection or thought when you’re busy trying to capture every word. Pen/paper requires students to listen, think, and write — three activities that are fundamental to learning. Good notes aren’t a word-for-word reproduction of the material presented in a class; they’re a synthesis of the material that is taken and the ideas and connections they inspire. Obviously, a good note-taker will be able to do this on a laptop as well, perhaps even faster, but I’m not sure one can learn to be a good note taker solely on a laptop/computer.

    Outside of class, however, a laptop can be a fantastic tool and resource.

    Also, and this is just me being contrary, I’m a teacher, not an entertainer. I’m interested in and excited about what I’m teaching, but I’m not a clown or a stand-up comic, and my job isn’t to provide another source of entertainment. My job is to teach and to help students learn, and if it’s boring sometimes, well, learning’s freakin’ hard (otherwise there wouldn’t be so many idiots around) and it requires some commitment on the part of the student to make any progress.

  40. posted by Malthusan on

    Err…to clarify, I allow laptops in my class, but I don’t encourage them. Heh. Nothing like posting a rant online to teach one some humility.

  41. Avatar of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    I really have to disagree with the lot of you who say that teaching isn’t about the students. If an instructor cannot motivate a student to learn, then the teacher has failed to do his or her job. It takes an insane amount of energy to be a student-focused teacher, but it is the only type of instructor a student deserves.

    Teaching is like any other industry. You have a client who hires you for your services. If you fail to deliver the product to the client’s specifications, then you have failed to do your job and should lose the account. You should do everything in your power to deliver the product: work long hours, seek out the best materials, present the information in the best way for the audience, etc. Shotty products are shotty products, regardless of if they are in an ivory tower.

  42. posted by Samantha on

    I’m an undergraduate and I’ve found that one of the benefits of a laptop is being able to take it to a quiet place to do work. Especially when it comes to writing papers. I still take notes the old fashioned way though, because it works better for me.

  43. posted by gypsypacker on

    I have the Lenovo with the 80GB hard drive. It is a business model which cost me $700 last Xmas and it is now on Tiger Direct for $400. I’ve dropped it, hit its little corners, and it is apparently indestructible except for a “fan error ” warning.

    Now, the bad(?) news–Lenovo is coming out with a 160 GB/2GB memory mini-computer in September, for $500. Sounds great, if it’s as tough as its cousin.

    Best way to take notes is with a digital voice recorder with USB, then transcribe later. Find the textbook online if you can, then use Notepad to cut and paste study topics etc.

  44. posted by Erin on

    I’ve got to agree with the anti-laptop crowd. I’m in engineering and none of my core classes have type-able notes. There are too many equations and sketches.
    When I have taken electives like history and philosophy, then you get people taking notes on their laptops because it’s just words. But as others have said, most of them are watching youtube and are looking at facebook, even in the front row. It’s very distracting (some even have sound!)
    These types of classes are held in old buildings with old lecture halls that are not set up for laptops, so you see people fighting over outlets or sitting on the floor to get close enough to one. The long chords going across the room are a pain, and the set-up / break-down time takes away from class. The laptop people start packing up early because they can’t just stand up and go when the bell rings. Also, the seats are very close together and you can’t get around people when they have a laptop on the tiny little flip-out desk.

  45. posted by Mander on

    I tried to take notes on my laptop when I first got one, but it just got to be too much of a hassle. Too heavy, too noisy, not enough battery life, and too big to fit on the desk. My undergraduate university had a lot of old-fashioned classrooms with tiny little half-desks attached to the chairs, which just about fit a normal sized paper notebook, but I got tired of even that and started using half-size spiral notebooks. If I had a good tablet PC that would work like paper, I might try that, but they were just too expensive for my feeble budget. Something like a digital clipboard would be cool (http://www.coolest-gadgets.com.....clipboard/), but like many others, the act of taking notes is actually more important for me than what the notes say. I tend not to remember the actual words that I wrote down in a lecture, but what the lecturer was saying at the time that I wrote on a particular spot on the page.

  46. posted by LiveLife on

    I’ve had two PC notebooks over the years…only paid the price of the machine and the repair/support plans (which I have yet to use). I retired the old one b/c of an accidental spill…

    Another thing to consider with using a laptop for taking notes is the potential for rsi-repetitive stress injuries.

  47. posted by John on

    I use a Laptop for Taking Notes in all my subjects bar that of maths as for the drawing

    Living in the UK the school brought a Hp Compaq 15″ Which Whieghs with battery under 1kg Surprisingly because of my Special Needs it is the law i use a laptop –
    For Diagrams I use Microsoft Viso amazing unsung piece of office software and i have used viso in maths-
    i would love to use one note but as i do not take the laptop home with me as it is heavy with the 7hr external battery,Network Cat5 Cable and Highly Expensive (Got through three) – Power Chargers I Would Get a Hp My Self if this was not the case – i also own both a laptop and a desk top at home all teachers i have now seem to not mind me using one but the history teachers – seem to have a grunge on all laptop users automatically – i use evernote for Homework sending to home – i use word for my class work and print off and file all my work three mornings a week (trust me it is needed) using a a4 file for each subject as for the revison side sometimes i find my notes to vage but thankfully are school has amazing online revision guides and a VLE (vitual learning enviroment) Which is due to be made active in the altumn in year 8 and year 7 i did use to wonder on the laptop but then i had a crap 3kg dell that finnaly broke the school IT department being to “busy”*cough* to fix it
    i have 6 copies including the school NAS school system,the nas nightly backup,my home laptop,my school laptop,my home backup, and my memorey stick i am pretty well covered unlike a mate of mine who works in analog and only has 1 copy – “clever”
    the school has full coverage of wireless which was usefull today in English instead of quickly typing up a 400 word peom which would of taken 8 minutes took a matter of seconds to find on the net and copy in to onenote to annotate (i only use onenote for anotations

    i have used excel in maths but you don’t learn the correct method and have chosen myself to use paper and pen i am not fixed to use a laptop

    I am pro laptops to people who get along with them (people with special needs) as two people i know who brought net books one acer aspier – stupid move as none of Linux lite works with windows sever and with only pre installed programs – and the other person with a advent (made by Currys) which ran windows and had 160gb hard disk and was compatible)in my opinion Linux is amazing Linux lite is to lite for school and is note also the guy with the Linux lite was not printing off work and homework and relying on his memory stick or removable drive (Teachers hate that Just print it off

    some people get along with laptops that is fine special needs or not
    others do not and should not use them
    special needs or not
    I think i might of just written i article by accident
    still i hope you read

  48. posted by incogneto on

    “Hope you enjoyed paying more for less. If you really love the Mac OS, buy it. Just don’t buy the Mac hardware because their commercials make you feel good about yourself.”
    – Chef

    I don’t quite agree with those comments. I have a Macbook Pro and can personally say that it kicks a$$ when it comes to other notebooks. It runs windows better than a conventional PC as well!

    As for using it in college, the nature of detailed note taking with diagrams may make it unrealistic at this point in time for myself, however no doubt there are courses/degree’s out there that can be effectively done entirely on a laptop.

    See what everyone else in your class is doing and then try out the various methods and see what’s best for yourself. Make sure you settle on something quickly though.

  49. posted by Laptop for taking Notes : Productivity501 on

    [...] posted an article about using a laptop to take notes at college.  I tend to disagree.  It is hard to beat a pen and paper for taking notes.  One thing that is [...]

  50. posted by zaci1 on

    I use a netbook for notetaking, including physics, and mostly its much better for taking large amounts of notes and its easier to add or remove from them when you want as well. Regarding latex i usually just type the code in a program that has an auto-complete mode, and compile it and review for mistakes after a lecture. I use it with Debian.

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