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Notebooks Laptop for uni - is it useful?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by alextwo, 23 Aug 2005.

  1. alextwo

    alextwo <a href="http://forums.bit-tech.net/showpost.php?p

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    OK, I'm off to uni in September to do elec. eng. I'm going to be bringing my desktop PC with me but I'm not sure if I should get a laptop as well. I'm sure there's plenty of other folk on here that are off to uni soon / already there so what are you guys doing?
     
  2. ajack

    ajack rox

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    I got one today - think it should be fairly useful, even if it's just doing work somewhere quiet or on the bed.
     
  3. neillyb

    neillyb New Member

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    I had the chance to get a laptop, but instead I'm going to go for a lovely TFT monitor. I'd use my desktop PC more, it's better and more comfortable to sit at and use, what with the large Saitek keyboard and Razer gaming mouse - a TFT that's easier on the eyes than this 19" CRT I have at the moment (althought it's still pretty good.)

    Overall, I chose not to because I didn't think I'd use it that much - would you?
     
  4. da-dude

    da-dude New Member

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    people doing IT based courses or things similar would get lots of use out of one, but seeing as youve already got a pc, i wouldnt think its important for you to get a laptop for your first year
    but if you do, theres large student discounts on certain laptops iirc, check your uni website
     
  5. Mister_Tad

    Mister_Tad Will work for nuts Super Moderator

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    i did a computer science degree and had a laptop and a desktop throughout, i used it once or twice at uni, but i never "needed" to use it and could have gotten on fine without it

    I did use it the odd time to do work when i was away from home, but would have gotten on just fine without one
     
  6. Cookie Monster

    Cookie Monster Well-Known Member

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    I bought a laptop to do my Computing degree on and without it I would have been lost as the college network was poop there was so much stuff we needed to do and have access to which was either blocked or none existant.

    for example you couldnt run .exe (understandable really) but hard to do when theres programming as part of the course. the network wouldnt even let us change the paths to ../images/01.gif when web designing we had to type in the whole path.

    I say get one if your going to get the use out of it, but how much computing work is involved in the course? you could just wait till after it starts and ask the lecturer if you need one.
     
  7. guy

    guy New Member

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    CE here, although im a freshman and have no real computer classes just general ed, I have used my lappy quite a bit just to pass time between classes and get stuff done on some of the longer breaks i have.
     
  8. eek

    eek CAMRA ***.

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    I've just completed my 3rd year of CS and have never had the need to use a laptop... I do all my work on my desktop and all is well

    I can't really think of any real reason why you would need one for your first year - later years possibly if you're doing a team based project and want portability
     
  9. Lovah

    Lovah Apple and Canon fanboy

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    Hi,

    I brought my desktop computer (PC) to college aswell. But bought myself a Powerbook a few months later.

    It's very easy as you can bring it back home in weekends, or to school.

    L
     
  10. Xiachunyi

    Xiachunyi New Member

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    I bought a laptop for college and I rarely ever take it outside of my dorm room.

    I have a computer science class and the professor told us that you do not need a laptop since if there was a request for it, "everyone would be required to have one." Not everyonehas enough money to buy one so really obtaining one just for the purpose of class work is, in my opinion, useless.

    It works great in the library if you have to do research, study, or type a report - but they provide computers for that and you could always utilize a USB drive. Note-taking is an ify since I take notes on paper and then later, transcribe them over to the computer. It helps with remembering the notes too since you must make sense of what you are typing and add notes if need be.

    My suggestion would be to first stick with a desktop and see how many instances you will actually need a laptop. There may be feelings of "envy" or something of that nomenclature but keep in mind that you can often do without.
     
  11. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    Hell Yes!
    I wouldnt have used it in my first and second years but im glad i bought one for my third and 4th years when i needed to do project work with friends, or i'd work in the library with wireless on. Also, train journeys + lappy = teh win because you can just stick on a movie or listen to music. Oooor, turn it on, put it in your backpack with your headphones plugged in and you have your harddisk full of music whilst you walk.

    If you're ONLY taking a lappy - invest in a few hundred gig external harddisk for a) backup and b) download storage.
     
  12. SteveyG

    SteveyG Electromodder

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    You won't need a laptop for Electronic Engineering. I've hardly used my desktop PC at all for actual work while at uni...

    However they're useful for watching films on the train etc.
     
  13. Kipman725

    Kipman725 When did I get a custom title!?!

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    laptops are great for working on your bed :)
     
  14. Uncle Psychosis

    Uncle Psychosis Classically Trained

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    You will not *need* a laptop, especially if you have a desktop. Personally I'd stick just with the desktop. In my five years at Uni I can only think of two things it (a laptop) would have been useful for, and note I say useful rather than essential!

    I wouldn't bother, especially not in first year. Save your cash!

    Sam
     
  15. geek1017

    geek1017 New Member

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    I got a refurbished lappy at a discount store a few weeks ago.
    I'm acctually quite impressed with it. I didn't think I could get by without my desktop.
    I just ordered some external cages for my storage HDDs and I think I will be quite happy.
    Main reason I invested in one was because I will be flying to Japan to go to grad school and things are just hella expensive over there. I thought about building a SSF box to take but this lappy takes up less room and has a built in monitor.
    So, portability is what it is usefull for. If you don't plan on carrying around a computer, stick with your desktop. my $0.02
     
  16. udjamaflip

    udjamaflip -

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    I bought a lappy at the beginning of my first year of a Computing Degree, and its been a godsend for those 2hour gaps between lessons. also Team projects, ever tried huddling around a desktop PC in ur room/computer room with 4-6 of you?

    But what a lot have said is true, a uni will never put in a position where u NEED laptop, only where it will make life easier. Which is what they are made to do.

    But i would definately wait, and see if you need it as it doesnt sound like a computer based course.
     
  17. Guest-17499

    Guest-17499 Guest

    just about to start a comp sci course here, im looking at the dell xps 2 as my desktop aint too hot anymore, but it weighs 8.6 pounds, is that a bit heavy do you think? i was hoping to get a gerforce 6800 go
     
  18. stephen2002

    stephen2002 New Member

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    useful? hell yes!

    I think that a laptop in school is incredibly useful. I've had an ultra portable since I was a freshman in high school, and I'm a senior in college right now. I think that I would probably be a different person academically if it were not for the rapid note-taking abilities of the laptop. I know some of people probably have great handwriting, or at least legible handwriting, and have no problem taking notes for an hour straight without hand cramps, but I am not one of them. Taking notes and writing on the computer is just a more natural flow for me; the ability to re-arrange things and insert more comments in a paragraph on the fly makes my notes so much more clean and useful.

    A laptop or some sort of computer I think is essentially for taking notes that require a lot of writing. Now for some classes, like math, they are totally worthless (I still use pencil and paper for that; I don't much care for the Tablets). I have an old Sony mini-laptop (300MHz) as well as a more powerful desktop. I also have a Dell "brick" laptop (1GHz) that I basically don't use anymore since I got the desktop. So portability is essential. I wouldn't get anything over 5lbs. Huge laptops are also pointless in lecture halls where the desks are usually just big enough for a piece of paper.

    I am doing a Visual Arts major (computer graphics) and Comp Sci minor. I have not used my laptop much for programming, but it sure is handy for taking notes. If I had more power in the laptop I would use it instead of the school computers for working on projects in class, as they can be rather sluggish. However, given the choice between portability and power, I would go for portability; especially if you have a desktop already.
     
  19. Uncle Psychosis

    Uncle Psychosis Classically Trained

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    I completely disagree. It's next to impossible to draw add amendments, arrows, links, footnotes etc in a hurry using a laptop. Using a pen and paper it's as easy as it gets! If you want typed notes you can always type them up when you get home, which has the added bonus of being a mini-revision time.

    He's doing electrical engineering, for which read: lots of diagrams, and lots of maths ;)

    Sam
     
  20. eek

    eek CAMRA ***.

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    I agree. If you're lectures just consist of copying plain text of the board then fine but as soon as any diagrams or anything come up you're screwed.

    Doing anything remotely computer sciencey is going to involve a lot of maths - although it is possible to insert forumlae and symbols in Word it is certainly not the quickest thing to do and by the time you've spent 2 mins editing a formula you're gonna be way behind.

    Also, you could simply not take notes. After 3 years in uni and having taken about 30 modules, there was only one (short) module that I ever took notes in. Apart from the fact that I only went to one lecture a week, all our slides/notes are on the net in lovely ps/pdf format! This obvisouly depends on your subject as I beleive it is really only the CS dept that have all their notes online.

    (I did notice that most people were printing off notes in advance and then during lectures all you need to do is make little footnotes etc where needed)
     

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