Woohoo and Boo at the same time! Great for the fact that it's time to get back to some mentally stimulating work and boo for the fact that this is the last year for me and the boring classes that seem to consume a lot of time are right around the corner.
For those who are going to be sending kids to college or private schools or who are just looking because their children are begging for a computer of their own; I have some suggestions.
Warning!: First of all, figure out how responsible your child is. If they are careful with their possessions and seem to be on the go all the time; buy a laptop. If they don't fit those two qualities, stick with a desktop because you'll thank yourself a few months down the road.
The only reason for that warning is the fact that laptops can be dropped, stolen, misplaced and spilled on and if any of those happen, life for that computer will cease to exist. A desktop is a bit harder to move, pretty hard to be stolen or misplaced and if a keyboard is spilled on, it can be replaced for a very reasonable price. Warranty plans only cover so much unless you spend extra at companies like Dell for a CompleteCare program.
#1. After you've decided on what kind of computer, pick a brand and budget that works for you. Good laptops for a decent price come from companies like HP, Gateway and Toshiba. The warranties are decent, the computers are good for everyday use and it's hard to beat the $500-900 price tag on one of these laptops. If your student is into design and graphics and overall great appearance, buy a Mac. Remember to apply the desktop/laptop warning above as these computers start $900 and go up quickly! If you are into gaming and lots of modification options, try Dell and use the same warning again and the price range fluxuates as you modify.
BIG NOTE: Almost every university has an agreement with Dell and Apple and sometimes the others companies. Just click on the student area of the websites and you will be asked to select your school and you should recieve a very good discount on almost all products!
#2. The specs! All computers, excluding Mac's, have a standard that should be followed. Desktops should have at least:
-2-3 GB of RAM
-2.0 Ghz Dual Core Processor
-200 GB Hard Drive
-128 bit video card
-if possible, Windows XP.
(This addition will be taken differently but XP has a stronger following and is supported completely by most universities whereas Vista is still in a building block stage.) If you have to pick Vista, choose Home Premium.
For laptops, the same specs would be nice but the price will increase with this kind of setup so at least:
-2 GB of RAM
-150 GB Hard drive
-same video card
-same Windows system.
And Mac's require the same thing but the RAM is a little smaller because of faster processors.
That's the small amount of information. Keep in mind that this is coming from a university IT guy and I would rather have students with computers that can adapt over four years rather than fail after four months!
I have one more quick thing. If you like my blog, you will definately like this new blog I've found about tech, programming and books. Have a look at Mega Voltage! I can only hope this blog develops like is has started: wonderfully!
Enjoy and have a great day!
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