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Author Topic: new university student
masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 17:12      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi i'm an international student hoping to attend the Florida International University.
I have two questions:

1) I know most computer computers use the same brands of parts to make their laptops so technically no computer company is better than the other (thats minus the gaming gods voodoo falcon northwest and alienware but then alienware doesn't count since they're now owned by dell). Now that we've established that, the contenders for a university pc are HP Dell Lenovo Sony ACER and other nonhighend brands....WHICH ONE HAS THE BEST SUPPORT???

2) I have been playing with the idea of taping my classes then transferring it to laptop/ipod and listening them over but i'm not sure what voice recorder is good for a budget of USD$200?

thank you for any time taken to answer and i'm sure many others are looking for these answers at this moment.

Posts: 8 | From: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 17:48      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Dell probably has the best support of the ones you've mentioned, but that does not mean they make the most reliable laptops [Smile]

I like HP myself, but I don't call support unless something needs to be replaced.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 12, 2008 17:57      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I'd recommend you a mid-end MacBook which costs $1199(with educational discount) and has quite good features, compared to others of the same price.
Apple support is known to be great, and it seems your prospect university has a Custom Apple Store, so it's nice.

I have a cheapo $25 1GB Thumbdrive/MP3 player that works just fine for me as a recorder. I've used it in a couple of lectures and it did its job, so I guess you won't need to spend too much in a voice recorder.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 18:03      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Apple support is good for *consumers.* In this case, that's applicable.

Apple support is *horrendous* for IT departments.

/me hates Apple right now...

Please ignore the fact that I'm writing this post on my MacBook. [Smile]

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masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 18:10      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
my only reason for being against apple is having to totally relearn everything....i know apples are 100000% more reliable but it costs a lot more and it would require me relearning programs since i've been a Win user forever...also my problem with being an apple is for the exact same price i could be getting a high end pc with 4gb ram and 320gb HD...

from my customisation toying around over the past few days i've seen that for the same price DELL comes out infront ALIENWARE comes out for quality at about 800US more HP comes out a little more say 200Us for the same but from what i've seen in reviews HP support has become trash...a mac wouldn't even come close to a PC in anything but reliability..but for the price......WHY NOT BUY AN ALIENWARE?

and i don't even know how alienware's pcs are since dell owns em...i have an old alienware the ones right before the takeover

Posts: 8 | From: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines | Registered: Apr 2008  |  IP: Logged
masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 18:14      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
also my brother put out a valid thought today when he reminded me where i live ....(lets call this middleofnowhereisland)the only support i'll get is dell...but i don't intend to use my laptop at home only in florida....my pc is pretty much all i use at home so i gave my old alienware to my sister...

so in the end....it comes down to what has the best support in florida so that if my pc goes BOOM who would run quickest...who woudl be up at 3AM???lol

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 18:18      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Another vote for Dell support being very good.

When the screen on my Dell laptop died, they had it replaced within 18 hours, it would have been quicker, but I made a later appointment because the first time they offered was inconvenient for me.

Oh, and the technician arrived at exactly the time he said he would.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 19:17      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by iWanToUseaMac:
I'd recommend you a mid-end MacBook which costs $1199(with educational discount)

Macs are expensive? Relearning interfaces? Did you know you can install Windows on them? Why did I quote myself? [crazy]

UPDATE:

I couldn't find your university in the Dell University site. So I'll compare prices based on the regular Dell Store.

An XPS M1330 with similar specs and size as the mid-end MacBook costs $1373 which is even higher than the the aforementioned MacBook without educational discount, plus, you don't get software value for a media suite like iLife. You could also add iWork (that supports Office 2007) and make the prices even, and still lacking of software value from the Dell.

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Posts: 1356 | From: BogotŠ, Colombia | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged
masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 12, 2008 21:58      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
well you're right if you compare it to the XPS 1530 but wrong compared to the inspiron.
i'm interested in using about 2300 for a laptop so i'll be buying as near high end as i can so it will be viable for anything necessary...such as video editting and autocad.
i've actually checked out macbook pro only never really checked the macbook because 13 inches always seemed very small but thank you for bringing this up and i'll try to tweak around with the apple and dell sites til i decide at 2000-2300 i think that the dell 1530 is better than the apple but at 13-1500 which is the correct prices i should be looking for a university laptop the apple is better.

does anyone have any suggestions about the voice recorder thing? anyone into journalism should have come across this question but i've been scouring the CNN and BBC sites for someone mentioning what they use and there's nothing right now.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted April 12, 2008 22:10      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I made a short googling and found that Olympus is the dominant brand for digital voice recorders. Still it's a very small market segment.
Review for Olympus Digital Voice Recorder WS-321M from PC Mag

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2008 09:39      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For reliability, Lenovo laptops are your best choice.

Avoid Mac. They're overpriced. Their only upside is resale price.

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masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2008 16:18      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
does lenovo have a lot of american repair shops?
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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2008 16:27      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Why do you need to have a repair shop nearby?

Are you expecting this brand new laptop to break beyond your capabilities of repair that quickly?

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masterdoko
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Icon 1 posted April 13, 2008 22:48      Profile for masterdoko     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
give me any pc desktop problem i can fix it

just no experience with a laptop

from what i've read laptops going bad in all the worst times is a regular happening in colleges

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted April 14, 2008 15:13      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by masterdoko:
give me any pc desktop problem i can fix it

just no experience with a laptop

from what i've read laptops going bad in all the worst times is a regular happening in colleges

True, but getting a cheap USB key to back up your most important documents should stop you from not being able to do your work.

Forget about their service, pick the best laptop. Universities have enough geeks and computer repair shops around to help you fix 99% of the problems you have.

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MacManKrisK

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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 07:21      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It should be noted that Lenovo's ThinkPad line is the *direct* descendant of the now-defunct IBM ThinkPad line. IBM sold the patents and designs to Lenovo. For those that are unfamiliar, IBM's ThinkPads were one of the most indestructible *consumer* notebooks out there, second only to the old skool Panasonic ToughBooks. And now Lenovo owns them...

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 15, 2008 08:12      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My last job was a big fan of IBM/Lenovo products.

My personal belief is that Thinkpad quality has begun to suffer from the Lenovo purchase. I have seen failures, and bad building practices that should never happen at the price point of the average Thinkpad.

And the most disappointing thing I noticed is that the keyboards are no longer as 'crisp' as they once were.

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Snaggy

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Icon 3 posted April 15, 2008 17:08      Profile for Snaggy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Uncle Walt has some good advice:

http://ptech.allthingsd.com/20080410/consider-your-needs-then-use-this-guide-to-buying-a-laptop/

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ora
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 03:03      Profile for ora     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I am a lifelong mac fan, writing this on a mac, but don't get a macbook unless you want to run OSX. Yes they run Windows now but bootcamp aint as reliable as a real Windows installation. You can't use repair disks in the same way for instance, and you are in an odd space with drivers.

Dell have good support as stated, i'd get one of them if support is your priority.

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brainisfried
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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 05:52      Profile for brainisfried     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If Macs are popular at your university, get a Mac. Otherwise, I don't have any strong favorites for PC vendors. I usually buy HP. HP's business class notebooks are sturdier than their consumer line. I fix my own notebooks so I avoid tech support as much as humanly possible. Usually when something goes wrong it's just a broken HD, easily swapped out in favor of a bigger and faster drive.

RAM is dirt cheap. If you buy a Mac, buy the least amount of memory possible and swap in two 2GB Crucial DDR2-667 SODIMMs. Unless Macs support DDR2-800. 4GB RAM works great for PCs too if you're running 64-bit Vista but most vendors stupidly stick with 32-bit. That's fixable if you're technically inclined though.

Both AMD and Intel have new notebook platforms coming out in 2-3 months.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted April 16, 2008 08:21      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
XP actually supports 4GB (although it's really 3.5GB for reasons that are too stupid to explain), so there is benefit in having more than 2GB of RAM on a Windows system. If you want more than 3.5GB, however, you do need 64 bit windows.

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Stibbons
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 02:18      Profile for Stibbons   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My £0.02 as a student just finishing a four year degree - unless you need to do some computer intensive work, then go for a cheap workhorse laptop. You can use it to surf the web, do work, chat on MSN etc, yet if it gets nicked/damaged it doesn't really matter. Plus it has lower power usage than a desktop (good for bills), and the lack of powerful graphics means that you won't spend time or cash on the latest and greatest soul sucking games, yet it'll be able to handle the classics like UT and Counterstrike that are played across every campus network ever.

Of course, the other advantage is that it saves beer money.

Sorry guys, but the only time you'll need a mac is if you're an arts student who wants to (and has the time to) sit in a coffee shop looking cool. Otherwise you're paying for the glowing logo.

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 05:29      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by masterdoko:
from what i've read laptops going bad in all the worst times is a regular happening in colleges

It isn't just a college happening. Laptops tend to end their lives in the most uncomfortable ways possible. But I don't blame the laptops, rather their owners.

Think about the life of a laptop. They are tossed into bags running, jostled, forgotten and allowed to build up insane amounts of heat.

Dumped in corners, connected to sub par power sources. Batteries kept at a bare minimum of charge.

And laptops give out warning signs too. Almost the same ones a desktop does. But people wind up being so tethered to their systems that they won't let it go for a few days to be repaired, until it totally shits the bed on them.

One of the more interesting times I have seen this happen, was a guy at my last job had one that started acting up on him. I informed him that he needed to either give it up, or make some serious back-ups now! Rather than give it up, he assured me he would back it up and have it to me when he returned from his business trip. Well he never made those back ups. Ran it nearly the whole trip, until the hard drive began to make Morse Code.

Once that happened, he lost 6 years of tax paperwork, testing data, emails, pictures, etc.

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Callipygous
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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 05:59      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I second Shroomy's last post. Laptops are generally optimised for weight which does not usually equate with robustness, and yet they are treated much worse than desktops, so the most important features that your machine must have are an extended warranty, an external disk, and an automated regular backup routine (this last free with OSX).

Re Dell's after sales service, this now features free pubic hair! (via fakeSteve)

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The Famous Druid

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Icon 1 posted April 17, 2008 14:04      Profile for The Famous Druid     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
Re Dell's after sales service, this now features free pubic hair! (via fakeSteve)

Hate to spoil a good story, but I occasionally have to remove hairs like that from my keyboard. I know what my pubes look like, and I know what my beard looks like, these are beard hairs.

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