I am an international student that will be attending KU this fall.
I plan on buying a laptop once I arrive there, so can anybody recommend what type of computer would be best for me?
I want to major in computer science.
When I was in high school, te school gave every student a MacBook for a year and I really loved every aspect of it, so I am planning of buying a MacBook once I arrive. Or do you recommend I choose Windows instead?</p>
<p>If you’ve used a MacBook and loved it, and you can afford one, then sure go for it. I prefer PCs myself, but really any laptop they sell will do everything you need it to do on the computer science side, so choose one based on your budget/personal preferences.</p>
<p>zman took the words out of my mouth. If you get a Windows laptop, install a Linux partition on it (or us a USB Linux-on-a-thumb-drive). If you get a Mac laptop (shudder) take advantage of its UNIXness. Get comfortable editing code in emacs and using the command line terminal.</p>
<p>Thanks for your advices!
To be honest, I didn’t know about the UNIX interface of Macs. I have a budget of $1500 for a laptop so i believe I can afford a Mac. But I also very good refences of Dell computers, so Iam still deciding. As you sy there will not be much diference I think it may just depebd oj my preferences ^^</p>
<p>Consider what the instructional computers for CS courses at your school use in terms of OS. If your own computer can run the same or similar OS, then you have more capability of doing programming assignments when not connected to the instructional computers (you can do them off-line, then connect to upload them and do final testing on the instructional computers).</p>
<p>Consider size. Laptops with larger screens and keyboards are more convenient to use, but less portable and more expensive. If you get a smaller laptop, you may want to consider getting a larger monitor for when you are using it at home. You may also want to get a regular keyboard and mouse for home use.</p>
<p>Don’t forget to back up your data often enough, since laptops sometimes get lost, damaged, or stolen.</p>
<p>You should be able to find a good laptop for less than $1,500, even in the “business” lines of laptop models which are designed for better reliability.</p>
<p>Definitely choose Windows. And if you’re a CS major, usually you use the university computers anyway for your UNIX stuff, or you can remotely connect to to them with a program called MobaXTerm. It’s free and you basically get emacs, UNIX, Eclipse, etc…all editing programs on the university computer is accessible if you connect to it indirectly like this.</p>
<p>Do not spend money on any programs yet, wait until you get to college and your professor explains how you need to do assignments. It’s different from university to university.</p>
<p>I think Dell is not very good…
Rather, the Sony Vaio E Series!</p>
<p>-CS major, doing programming in Java (Eclipse) now mostly. But very familiar with UNIX, emacs</p>
<p>It really depends on what subjects you want to focus in. If you want to get into graphics/animation, then you’ll want to get a laptop with a decent graphics card. If you want to get into data-mining, computer vision, or any other computer science field that requires a lot of computational power, you’ll want to get a laptop with a powerful processor (it’s not fun waiting for your low power netbook to finish factorizing a huge matrix). If you want to get into embedded systems, you’ll probably want a computer that will allow you to do some linux development (through a VM or a dual boot configuration or whatever).</p>
<p>Thank you for your answers!
I would like to get focus (I am now talking about my plans after graduating) on the development of graphic engines for videogames, 3D modeling, and maye design of new controler systems and AI. I may not start working on it this year, but I would like to get to know the field. As you say it depends on what CS courses I may tka this semester: Programming I and Digital Logic Design.
Now I have bad news, for me of course. My father will be spending more than expected the following months, so my budget for a laptop has been reduced to $700 (maybe $800 but I dont feel to encourage of it). I think now a MacBook is out of the question, so what would you recommend? Should I aim to an i7 processor or focus on graphics (I just hope money allows me to it)?</p>
<p>Um, I think that for the real-time graphics that a an undergrad is going to be doing, a videocard from 2005 should suffice because nothing you do is going to be very taxing graphically as an undergrad. However, I would make sure I had a card that I could do GPU programming on, as that is the big new thing in high-performance computing and you may want to go into that field. Source: my supercomputer expert physics professor.</p>