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Thread: New Laptop: Suggestions?

  1. #51
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Also, with a new laptop I would consider going with some sort of encryption scheme, either whole disk or a separate partition with your important stuff on it - especially in a college setting.

    www.truecrypt.org
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  2. #52
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Another question for Jr, if I may.

    How much would he like/need a larger monitor for his dorm room if he gets the Apple laptop as proposed? Would a college student prefer to have one or would it just be a needless place to hang dirty t-shirts. (I'm thinking of gifts for friends/family to consider)

    At IU, what printer would be good? What about the small single sheet but highly portable type? I have several printers sitting around that are good but drink ink like mad...nobody will ever get me to give up my Canon prnters ever again.

    and LA........as a music major, does he keep the sortware that is installed or go to the school for the Microsoft stuff? I think you mentioned that earlier but I can't locate the answer.
    hopping on a plane, so ill answer in a bit.
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  3. #53
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Another question for Jr, if I may.

    How much would he like/need a larger monitor for his dorm room if he gets the Apple laptop as proposed? Would a college student prefer to have one or would it just be a needless place to hang dirty t-shirts. (I'm thinking of gifts for friends/family to consider)

    At IU, what printer would be good? What about the small single sheet but highly portable type? I have several printers sitting around that are good but drink ink like mad...nobody will ever get me to give up my Canon prnters ever again.

    and LA........as a music major, does he keep the sortware that is installed or go to the school for the Microsoft stuff? I think you mentioned that earlier but I can't locate the answer.
    Macs come with so much bundled software that it will make your head spin. So there will be no need to purchase software (other than maybe the Microsoft office student addition, but only if he really needs it).

    One day he might want to set up a sound program called "pro tools" but that can wait until after he's taken a sound recording class.

    I also say no to the external monitor. He's going to spend very little time in his room.

    Yes to a small (cheap) black and white printer, but get one with a paper tray. Technically there are printers all over the place on campus, but this is one convenience he'll really need and use.
    “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” - Winston Churchill

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    I also say no to the external monitor. He's going to spend very little time in his room.
    I'm gonna edit this a bit - are you considering buying him a TV to take to school? You might think about a small - 19-25" - flat panel monitor instead of a stand-alone TV. Make sure you check on compatibility. I haven't set one up for this but it can't be too hard.
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    Macs come with so much bundled software that it will make your head spin. So there will be no need to purchase software (other than maybe the Microsoft office student addition, but only if he really needs it).

    One day he might want to set up a sound program called "pro tools" but that can wait until after he's taken a sound recording class.

    I also say no to the external monitor. He's going to spend very little time in his room.

    Yes to a small (cheap) black and white printer, but get one with a paper tray. Technically there are printers all over the place on campus, but this is one convenience he'll really need and use.
    I'm not that impressed with the bundled software that came with my new MacBook. A lot of this stuff I don't use.

    If that is what drove the cost of this abomination up so high, I would gladly uninstall the applications for a partial refund. (Which I highly doubt was the cause of the price.)

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
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    Also, with a new laptop I would consider going with some sort of encryption scheme, either whole disk or a separate partition with your important stuff on it - especially in a college setting.

    www.truecrypt.org
    Just get a PC with Windows Vista Ultimate. It has built-in drive encryption with BitLocker.

  7. #57
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    I'm not that impressed with the bundled software that came with my new MacBook. A lot of this stuff I don't use.

    If that is what drove the cost of this abomination up so high, I would gladly uninstall the applications for a partial refund. (Which I highly doubt was the cause of the price.)
    Your experience with the macbook was bizarre and unfortunate. But I would not call that machine or any of the new uni-body macs an abomination.

    I wonder if you would have received better equipment and service from Lenovo, HP or Sony at the same price point?

    Anyway, the iLife suite is nothing short of astoundingly powerful and useful. iPhoto, iMovie, iWeb, iChat, Mail, TextEdit, iTunes, Calendar, Addressbook, Preview and Garageband to name just a few. All of them are very easy to use and very useful to a student in the arts.
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  8. #58
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    I own two macs, and like them both. And so I must say, LA:

    - TextEdit? Seriously? Why not pimp Microsoft WordPad while you're at it? I mean, it's a solid text editor but nothing to write home about. What is it that sets it apart from any other text editor? If I had to choose between Gedit, Wordpad, AbiWord, and TextEdit, I'd probably take TextEdit third out of the four.
    - iPhoto gets immediately replaced with Picasa on my machines. Piece of crap categorization system that you can't opt out of? Epic fail.
    - Mail gets immediately replaced by Thunderbird (although I only use it for backup, since GMail kicks the crap out of every off-cloud mail service I've ever seen). Solid implementation, but unimportant.
    - iCal is the same as Mail, both positive and negative
    - Garageband's a pretty nice program, if you're using it.
    - I *HATE* the new iMovie with a passion. I downloaded the old iMovie HD immediately.
    - You totally missed the nicest program in the iLife suite... iDVD. Dead simple, and pretty powerful for a free tool. I've done a ton of stuff with that, and it's not easily replaced.

    BUT... The very best thing about the Mac is Expose. Not even close. Everything else is pretty standard, but Expose is the only thing I really miss when I have to work on a Windows machine. And Quicksilver, although that's not by Apple and there are supposedly Windows equivalents.

    On my Mac, I tend to miss Paint.NET. It's not photoshop, but then I can usually open it, finish my project, and close it before Photoshop is done loading. It's simple, powerful, and free. I wish iLife included a basic photo editor.
    Last edited by Anthem; 04-18-2009 at 11:12 PM.
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  9. #59
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Hicks, I've got to say this: I really think Shade is nuts. I've owned several Toshibas and they've been awesome. I just saw a new one that my mother-in-law got direct from Toshiba, and I love it. It's an L355, and it has my favorite trackpad I've ever used. Yes, more than my last-gen Macbook Pro (which has been my favorite up until today), and yes, more than the current MacBook/MBP trackpads (which I actually don't like much). She paid $750 for it and got it direct from Toshiba.

    http://www.toshibadirect.com/td/b2c/home.to

    If I was buying a Windows machine today, I'd buy that in a heartbeat. Beautiful screen, fully loaded, 17" but not nearly as bulky as I expected. Really nice.
    Last edited by Anthem; 04-18-2009 at 11:02 PM.
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  10. #60
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug View Post
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    Get as much as RAM as you can.

    Sometimes it's cheaper to get the minumum amount from Dell/HP/Whoever and buy a couple of new sticks from Crucial, NewEgg, Frys, etc.
    And by "sometimes" you mean "pretty much universally."

    I completely agree, though. Maxing out ram is relatively cheap and a VERY effective way to up performance.
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  11. #61
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anthem View Post
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    I own two macs, and like them both. And so I must say, LA:

    - TextEdit? Seriously? Why not pimp Microsoft WordPad while you're at it? I mean, it's a solid text editor but nothing to write home about. What is it that sets it apart from any other text editor? If I had to choose between Gedit, Wordpad, AbiWord, and TextEdit, I'd probably take TextEdit third out of the four.
    - iPhoto gets immediately replaced with Picasa on my machines. Piece of crap categorization system that you can't opt out of? Epic fail.
    - Mail gets immediately replaced by Thunderbird (although I only use it for backup, since GMail kicks the crap out of every off-cloud mail service I've ever seen). Solid implementation, but unimportant.
    - iCal is the same as Mail, both positive and negative
    - Garageband's a pretty nice program, if you're using it.
    - I *HATE* the new iMovie with a passion. I downloaded the old iMovie HD immediately.
    - You totally missed the nicest program in the iLife suite... iDVD. Dead simple, and pretty powerful for a free tool. I've done a ton of stuff with that, and it's not easily replaced.

    BUT... The very best thing about the Mac is Expose. Not even close. Everything else is pretty standard, but Expose is the only thing I really miss when I have to work on a Windows machine. And Quicksilver, although that's not by Apple and there are supposedly Windows equivalents.

    On my Mac, I tend to miss Paint.NET. It's not photoshop, but then I can usually open it, finish my project, and close it before Photoshop is done loading. It's simple, powerful, and free. I wish iLife included a basic photo editor.
    I didn't say that they were perfect, just useful.

    And most students can write every term paper for their entire undergrad in textedit without ever needing to buy Word.
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  12. #62
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Thanks for all of the advice, guys. I've gotten plenty and I greatly appreciate your time and knowledge. Now it's just up to me to make some choices.

    With that said.... I'm starting to back off. Why?

    Well..... here's the deal. This would essentially be (at least a chunk of the cost) my birthday gift in a couple of weeks. That's partially what set this in motion, but the other was this: With some of the work I do, it would be convenient and more efficient to us a Windows laptop instead of the ibook G4 I currently use. Right now I type on-location notes to myself on the G4, then have to email or tranfer them to my home PC, then hand-copy the notes (though there aren't many, it's still annoying and time-consuming) to a DIFFERENT program I use to type up transcriptions.

    If I got a Windows laptop, I could type the notes in the same program I use at home to make the transcriptions, and in fact could simply just use that laptop itself to do the transcriptions once I get home. No transferring or copying needed.

    That'd be pretty nice. However, other than that, I don't REALLY need a new/Windows laptop.

    So I'm wondering if I would be better off putting up with the moderate annoyance of my current situation and instead of getting a laptop to address that, get my first Heywoode/DukeDynamite quality camera and lense to take with me to Pacer games next year and to use on anything my heart desires before then.

    I'm somewhat torn, but at the same time getting the camera would be new territory for me and provide new "abilities" I've not had before (I've never had that nice of a camera; just point and clicks).

    Any thoughts?

  13. #63
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    And most students can write every term paper for their entire undergrad in textedit without ever needing to buy Word.
    Wordpad (not Word) is entirely free and it's included on every Windows computer.

    But I was overcritical of your main point, which I shouldn't have been. I agree that the bundled software on Macs is very solid. It really helps with the value equation buying a Mac.
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  14. #64
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    If you can stand it, Hicks, I'd limp along with the existing laptop and go with the camera instead.
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    textedit doesn't have a word count feature, which makes it a huge failure for college students writing term papers.
    You, Never? Did the Kenosha Kid?

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Thanks for all of the advice, guys. I've gotten plenty and I greatly appreciate your time and knowledge. Now it's just up to me to make some choices.

    With that said.... I'm starting to back off. Why?

    Well..... here's the deal. This would essentially be (at least a chunk of the cost) my birthday gift in a couple of weeks. That's partially what set this in motion, but the other was this: With some of the work I do, it would be convenient and more efficient to us a Windows laptop instead of the ibook G4 I currently use. Right now I type on-location notes to myself on the G4, then have to email or tranfer them to my home PC, then hand-copy the notes (though there aren't many, it's still annoying and time-consuming) to a DIFFERENT program I use to type up transcriptions.

    If I got a Windows laptop, I could type the notes in the same program I use at home to make the transcriptions, and in fact could simply just use that laptop itself to do the transcriptions once I get home. No transferring or copying needed.

    That'd be pretty nice. However, other than that, I don't REALLY need a new/Windows laptop.

    So I'm wondering if I would be better off putting up with the moderate annoyance of my current situation and instead of getting a laptop to address that, get my first Heywoode/DukeDynamite quality camera and lense to take with me to Pacer games next year and to use on anything my heart desires before then.

    I'm somewhat torn, but at the same time getting the camera would be new territory for me and provide new "abilities" I've not had before (I've never had that nice of a camera; just point and clicks).

    Any thoughts?
    OH - that changes everything.

    If that's your situation, I'd get the camera every day of the week and twice on sundays.

    While we're on that road, I also recommend that you get a Canon. Several other posters will back me up on this.

    One last thought: please consider taking a photography class at a local community arts center or college. You'll gain years of trial-and-error experience in a matter of weeks. Very, very worth it. You'll instantly be better than most amateur photogs out there.
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  17. #67
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    While we're on that road, I also recommend that you get a Canon. Several other posters will back me up on this.
    I can't speak definitively, since we've only owned one DSLR. But after many reviews and research, we went with a Canon and have never regretted it.

    Quote Originally Posted by LA
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    One last thought: please consider taking a photography class at a local community arts center or college. You'll gain years of trial-and-error experience in a matter of weeks. Very, very worth it. You'll instantly be better than most amateur photogs out there.
    Agreed.
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Los Angeles View Post
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    OH - that changes everything.

    If that's your situation, I'd get the camera every day of the week and twice on sundays.

    While we're on that road, I also recommend that you get a Canon. Several other posters will back me up on this.

    One last thought: please consider taking a photography class at a local community arts center or college. You'll gain years of trial-and-error experience in a matter of weeks. Very, very worth it. You'll instantly be better than most amateur photogs out there.
    IUPUI has a few entry level digital photography classes. I took one this past fall. Learned some stuff.

    Have a Canon Rebel XTi. Love it.

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    w00t a camera!

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Which one do you and Heywoode have, Duke?

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    We both have the same Canon EOS Rebel XT DSLR.

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Okay, I'm going with a camera.

    I know I want a Canon, but past that, I'm totally green to this level of cameras.

    What kind of shots are ideal for when you don't attach a lense?

    Which lense would I want for Pacer games? If it matters, keep in mind I usually sit in the first row of the balcony level.

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hicks View Post
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    Okay, I'm going with a camera.

    I know I want a Canon, but past that, I'm totally green to this level of cameras.

    What kind of shots are ideal for when you don't attach a lense?

    Which lense would I want for Pacer games? If it matters, keep in mind I usually sit in the first row of the balcony level.

    Thanks!
    First off, with most SLRs if not all, you need a lens. Depending on where you buy, they come with up to a 18-55mm lens. This is the one you would want to use for snapshots.

    Like heywoode and myself, we also have invested in a 75-300mm lens. I haven't tried it from the balcony, but it gets close. I also used it last Wednesday in the lower level, against heywoode's recommendations. And we all know how that turned out.

    The body, you can get a kit at Best Buy which comes with a lens or two, a bag and other accessories. I would try a mom-and-pop camera shop, or find a friend who has a friend with a camera they don't use. Buying used is never a bad thing for your first camera, because if you lose interest in photography, you aren't out that much money. I would stay away from eBay, though.

    Here is the lens. I got mine at Meijer in Carmel for less than $200.
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

    The Digital Picture is a good site to help you determine what is right for you. There are consumer reviews and other information you may find valuable with determining your purchase. This page also gives you an idea on what other lenses your camera can hold, unfortunately, Conseco Fieldhouse doesn't permit the larger lenses without a press-pass.

    This is heywoode's and my camera.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...XT-Review.aspx
    Last edited by duke dynamite; 04-20-2009 at 10:51 AM.

  24. #74
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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by duke dynamite View Post
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    First off, with most SLRs if not all, you need a lens. Depending on where you buy, they come with up to a 18-55mm lens. This is the one you would want to use for snapshots.

    Like heywoode and myself, we also have invested in a 75-300mm lens. I haven't tried it from the balcony, but it gets close. I also used it last Wednesday in the lower level, against heywoode's recommendations. And we all know how that turned out.

    The body, you can get a kit at Best Buy which comes with a lens or two, a bag and other accessories. I would try a mom-and-pop camera shop, or find a friend who has a friend with a camera they don't use. Buying used is never a bad thing for your first camera, because if you lose interest in photography, you aren't out that much money. I would stay away from eBay, though.

    Here is the lens. I got mine at Meijer in Carmel for less than $200.
    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

    The Digital Picture is a good site to help you determine what is right for you. There are consumer reviews and other information you may find valuable with determining your purchase. This page also gives you an idea on what other lenses your camera can hold, unfortunately, Conseco Fieldhouse doesn't permit the larger lenses without a press-pass.

    This is heywoode's and my camera.

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...XT-Review.aspx

    Pentax K-1000 with a Vivitar 28-210 lens. Thankie very much.
    If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around..

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    Default Re: New Laptop: Suggestions?

    Quote Originally Posted by indygeezer View Post
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    Pentax K-1000 with a Vivitar 28-210 lens. Thankie very much.
    Film is inefficient.

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