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  1. #11
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by insanejoker View Post
    I got a macbook for school. Never again. I'm sure the macbook airs and whatnot are better than the average macbook (which is still overpriced IMO), but if you're going to spend that much money try to get as much bang for your buck as you can. Another downfall I've seen with macs, is once your OS version is outdated, a lot of hardware and software will not be compatible (such as printers and scanners). PC's have just stopped support for Windows XP, and it's been around for 12 years. When I had my macbook my OS wasn't compatible with some softwares within 3 years (originally bought in 2007). It's not expensive to upgrade, but it can be a pain to constantly be upgrading every time a new one comes out. If you're going with a Mac, I highly recommend buying their protection on it, because replacing Apple products is not always cheap, though if you're lucky they'll do it for free.
    In all fairness, Microsoft had planned to drop XP much sooner than they did, but development issues and a focus on security updates for Windows XP due to things like the Blaster worm caused Longhorn (Vista) to get pushed back tremendously. Since Vista's release, we've already seen 7 come out 2 years later, and 8 come out 3 years later after that. Vista was dropped like a rock by software developers almost as soon as Windows 7 was released, and focus on Windows 7 only continues today because of consumer backlash against Windows 8. Whereas a machine released with Vista on it might not be able to run 8, a 64-bit machine released with OS X Leopard will run OS X Mavericks, making the software support argument pretty moot. In my experience, most software being developed right now is using 10.6 or 10.7 as a base for compatibility unless they're specifically using features from Mountain Lion or Mavericks. It's also highly likely that future OS updates will be released for free.

    It's also a pain in the ass to mess with the Mac's hardware, and if you try that and tell them, the employees might not be nice to you. A friend opened up her iMac after the graphics card burnt out to see if she could replace it, but it was fused to the motherboard. So instead she took out the hard drive and took out her files and whatnot. Apple employees treated her like she was stupid for opening it, and said replacing the motherboard would cost as much as the iMac itself.
    This is true of most laptops and all-in-ones, with few exceptions. With replacement parts like motherboards, it may seem like the price is extremely high (and it is), but when the computer's initial run is complete, they generally stop manufacturing replacement parts for them, meaning what they have in their warehouse is all that's left. Speaking from experience, this is again true of most laptops and all-in-ones. Parts to a specific model of computer are always insanely expensive to replace with new parts. Rolling the dice on eBay is one way around it.

    For my macbook I upgraded the memory from 1gb to a whopping 2gb (it was amazing). Check the limitations on upgrades.
    Apple says mine caps out at 8GB, but I stuffed 16GB in and it's fine. They're usually talking about what you can get out of the factory at the time of release when they talk about maximum memory size.
    Last edited by Runefox; 03-09-2014 at 02:19 PM.

  2. #12
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by irick View Post
    Though, just a bit of additional advice. You really might want to consider getting a desktop.
    Especially going into college. A desktop is going to give you a much better development environment and it's going to last you longer than a laptop. If I were you, I might kit out a decent desktop and grab a chromebook for note taking/remoting into your desktop.
    You can't drag a desktop to the library or a study group. School and business is where laptops really do make a lot of sense.
         
       
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  3. #13
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by piņardilla View Post
    You can't drag a desktop to the library or a study group. School and business is where laptops really do make a lot of sense.
    Well he does have a point with the Chromebook, but in reality I doubt a Chromebook would be appropriate there. You can't actually store files on one, not to mention support for things like networked printers (I'm pretty sure I didn't see an option for that when I was playing around with ChromeOS; Just Cloud Print). I just personally don't see a Chromebook as a viable option in scenarios where you'd have to do actual work on them.

  4. #14
    Regular irick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Runefox View Post
    Well he does have a point with the Chromebook, but in reality I doubt a Chromebook would be appropriate there. You can't actually store files on one, not to mention support for things like networked printers (I'm pretty sure I didn't see an option for that when I was playing around with ChromeOS; Just Cloud Print). I just personally don't see a Chromebook as a viable option in scenarios where you'd have to do actual work on them.
    Your working knowlege of ChromeOS is a bit outdated. There is now a local file system, support for USB mass storage and there are offline viewers for documents and the like.

    As for printing, it's not a concern on modern campuses. Most universities and colleges don't let students hook up directly to the printers because... well... printers are computers and are rather exploitable resources if unfettered access is allowed. Instead they typically let you log onto a provided computer with your student ID so that their system can keep you to your school provided print quota.

    If you are talking about his personal printer: if it's hooked up to his desktop it doesn't mater. This sort of set up (Good desktop, cheep netbook with ssh and basic shell access for remoting/notes) is what best worked for me as a computer science student.
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  5. #15
    Premium User Runefox's Avatar


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    I think at that point then, it'd come down to OP's preference as to whether they'd like to carry around a less capable but lighter weight laptop that's dependent on a home PC or a single computer that they do all their work on. For me, I'd prefer both, but not everyone really has space for a desktop at home, or wants to run it all the time for electricity concerns.

  6. #16
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    Well... I guess it's about time I replied to this haha. I went on vacation the day after I made this thread and forgot all about it x3. Thank you all for your replies so far, I really do appreciate it!

    Anyhow, I'll probably be working mostly in java, C++, maybe a small amount of python as well for the first little while. After that, well we'll see what happens. The University I'm attending does recommend a strong processor, and of course anything else to improve the system's memory will be a perk. I think I'll stick to a laptop to just keep all my work in one place (while potentially backing it up onto something else for safety here and there). I'm also staying in residence, and so a desktop isn't really an option.
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  7. #17
    Retired Staff piņardilla's Avatar

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    Some new information that's come out since this thread was started: Intel's putting out a "Haswell Refresh" line of chips with a modest clock speed improvement over the existing Haswell line that should start coming out in the back-to-school season, and a lot of notebooks have been getting updated with NVidia 8XX series GPUs which are a considerable improvement over their 7XX counterparts. If you haven't bought one already I'd suggest playing the waiting game until just before you start school.
         
       
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  8. #18
    I'd get a mac for school so I wouldn't be distracted from all the Windows games out there. My sister used her mac all the way from start to end for college. I got some expensive gaming peripherals and I didn't even finish my first year before I went into the workforce :B

  9. #19
    Senior Saiko's Avatar
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    If you're doing C++ and Python, then I strongly recommend an Asus Zenbook with Linux either dual-booted or in place of Windows. That's the setup I've used for over a year now, and it's worked excellently for school, personal, and enterprise development.

    Even with just Windows and not Linux, the model is wonderfully easy to pack around and such: http://www.amazon.com/Zenbook-UX31LA...dp_ob_title_ce . Note that I have an older 128 GB Windows 7 model, and there are a lot of variations on that. I'll let you figure out which specifications are best for your tastes.

 

 

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