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Laptop for CMU?

ihs76ihs76 Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
edited March 2010 in Carnegie Mellon University
Maybe this is covered in the Big Packet that is yet to arrive but maybe we can get more information here?

I have heard some schools recommend purchasing laptops through the school so that the computers can be preloaded with school specific stuff? Is this true for CMU?

Son will be in physical sciences, not computer sciences. Any specific recommendations? Can you tell I don't know much about this?
Post edited by ihs76 on

Replies to: Laptop for CMU?

  • CahierCahier Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    laptops bought from the university don't come with anything special.
    as soon as you get your andrew id(you get it soon after you pay your deposit) you should be able download software for free under my.cmu.edu > computing > . something like that. nothing too exciting or anything absolutely necessary, an example would be like Fetch, an ftp client for mac.
  • ihs76ihs76 Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks. We'd like to purchase one now rather than wait for fall so that helps.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime Posts: 5,208- Senior Member
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    I would wait until later in the summer when laptops will be going on sale everywhere. Also, later you buy the computer the later in their college career it'll last.

    I also wouldn't even recommend buying a laptop for them if they've already got a desktop for their dorm. Most of my friends at CMU didn't have one as there are computer clusters open 24/7 in almost every building on campus. Computers with bigger monitors, more RAM, space, and speed than any laptop you buy will have.
  • ihs76ihs76 Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
    RacinReaver: His desktop is dying. So we thought we'd switch him to a laptop sooner rather than later. Interesting about most of your friends not having one. Seems like every college we visited, everyone was sitting around with a laptop. We thought it was quite 'de rigueur' for students to have one.
  • kk3473kk3473 Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    Both my son and daughter prefer laptops. When they leave campus for Christmas and spring break, their laptops go with them. All of their favorites, facebook info, email info, and files are at their instant disposal. I got them 15" laptops. I once had a 17" laptop, but found that too bulky and heavy to lug around during trips.
  • kk3473kk3473 Posts: 17Registered User New Member
    And another thing. CMU requires an anti-virus program on student computers. CMU provides Norton anti-virus at no charge. Start at Software for New Affiliates - Computing Services - Carnegie Mellon University to download software and server certificates.

    Also, the CMU bookstore sells Microsoft Office for both Windows and Mac for $30. The program is only good for installation on a single computer. The bookstore will mail you the program if you want to install it into the student's computer before arriving at CMU.
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    RacinReaver: His desktop is dying. So we thought we'd switch him to a laptop sooner rather than later. Interesting about most of your friends not having one. Seems like every college we visited, everyone was sitting around with a laptop. We thought it was quite 'de rigueur' for students to have one.

    I think that might be a bit due to some sample bias. People using computer clusters or their own PCs won't be out sitting in coffee shops and public areas using their computers. ;)

    I know people that absolutely love using their laptop and never ever touch a desktop, but I also know a ton of people that prefer the benefits of a desktop. I actually had a pretty decent laptop when I was in undergrad, but I found it just to be a hassle to carry around since I preferred to do homework in my department's computer lab where all the software I needed was provided, we had nice cubicles to work in, and it was a lot more conducive to work than near the Starbucks in Hunt Library.

    I also really like not having a laptop here in grad school since it helps me delineate when and where I do work. If I had all of my work supplies on my personal laptop it would feel like I was always on the clock. Before I had my office I had to do all of my homework here in my apartment, and I'd always feel stressed since there was always more homework than I could get done. Once I got an office and a separate computer to do my work on, when I went home, I wasn't working. It meant I could enjoy watching TV for a little while, take the time to cook a good meal, or sleep without that blinking light reminding me I had a huge problem set due by 5 the next day.
  • CahierCahier Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    Okay majority has some sort of potable device.
    It is true that some students have a desktop but most of them have at least a netbook to supplement them.

    Its somewhat popular among students who do a lot of coding to have a laptop and an addition display. (Lifehacker says it increases productivity)

    It is true that there are clusters but it is still not convenient in the least especially if you are going to do homework that requires a computer, such as programming.

    Also do not do not do not install that Norton Anti Virus crap especially if you have a mac. They make you go through a process to secure your computer and they give you a link and such but you dont actually have to install it. Because if you do its ridiculous to uninstall.
  • LongPrimeLongPrime Posts: 5,208- Senior Member
    laptop for those who must fly and drive more than a couple of hours from CMU.

    DS uses a laptop for CAD work. MacBook Pro, lower speed, now 1yo, for his work as staff in CS, Udub, and in his business doing CAD. Laptop 4yrs at CMU mechE plus CS grad school.
  • ihs76ihs76 Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
    Interesting point from RacinReaver about being able to leave (school)work elsewhere. It is true though that when I was in college (pre-computer days), work in the form of books was always nearby. Just the way of life in college (and some jobs).

    Son will be almost across the country so we'll do the laptop route. MacBook Pro seems to be the way to go from what I can tell. Early HS graduation present, I think.

    Good info on the Norton anti virus. Thanks.
  • Tony Montana OSTTony Montana OST Posts: 141Registered User Junior Member
    Don't buy a laptop through computing services, you can do better elsewhere (they might have deals on macs though)

    personally I'd look into a W or T series thinkpad on ebay with a minimum 3yr warranty, otherwise buy direct from Lenovo
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Posts: 6,598Registered User Senior Member
    I think Mac gives a 10% student discount or something of the sort, so be sure to look into that if you're going to the dark side.
  • ihs76ihs76 Posts: 1,513Registered User Senior Member
    I think it's $100 or something similar.

    The Dark Side always has its attractions ;)
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