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Messages - OingoBoingo

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51
A question for the technically savvy:

The University of Miami recommends buying a laptop with at least 2.0 GHz of processor speed.  Most of the computers I have been looking at with dual core processors only operate at 1.7 or so.  Does this number really matter?  Also, anyone have comments on the AMD Turion 64 dual core x2s?  VS the Intel model?

I'm guessing that's an old recommendation. Ignore it. So much hsa changed with processors clock speed isn't really an issue. A 2.4ghz Pentium IV is slower than even the old 1.7ghz Pentium M which was a single core (and a 1.7ghz core 2 duo will kill a 2.4ghz Pentium IV). Actually, about 75% of the time having two cores is no better than one core really, but the rest of the stuff (cache size for one) has changed so that they are noticeably faster.

I can attest to this as my old X41 tablet with a 1.5 GHZ Pentium M could play WMV HD video and 720p Quicktime HD video flawlessly while with wife's 3 year old Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ could not play either. Needless to say, the recent Intel CPUs can do so very much more with less "speed."

Oingo

52
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Lenovo vs. thoseotherguys
« on: May 23, 2007, 11:19:56 PM »
jeeebus :o

i know dells arent up to par as a thinkpad (consistently up to par, though mine has been fine 2.5 yrs in)....but i can literally get 2 dell laptops with similar performance for how much you paid for your thinkpad.  No flame.....but just trying to put it into perspective.  i know the thinkpad lovers r gonna hate me....but cmon.  if you just backup your important data on an external or something...you should be ok. 

Dell only sells two models with similar specs, the 630 and 830, and both are more expensive.

here we go....i know that those who already bought it will feel the need to point out every reason that their thinkpad is better than a dell, despite the fact that during ls, you will need no where near the computing power that some of these laptops boast.  If you can wing it, more power to you. 

So let me rephrase. You can get a dell that will perform above and beyond what is needed for law school.  2 of them depending on how above and beyond you want.  Now i agree that thinkpads seeem to be more reliable consistently than Dells.  I say seems because i had a thinkpad R40? about 2.5 yrs ago that had its motherboard crap out.  I needed a computer immediately so thats when i bought my current laptop Dell 700m and got it within 2 days.  IBM fixed the mobo after a few weeks..  Sold the thinkpad on ebay since i had no need for two, and the 700m was lighter.  I bring this up to show that no laptop is beyond malfunctioning (albeit some are more prone than others).  So this brings me to my original point....why not just get a cheaper dell (with a 3 yr full-warrenty), still for a little over 1/2 of what 1 thinkpad costs?  Thinkpads are pretty sweet though....



I can attest from surviving 1L year that a couple of days or even a week without my laptop would be too much. I had two classes this past semester (crim law) where the prof just basically spat out an unabiguous outline each and every class but spoke so fast that there is no freaking way your able to write quick enough to keep up.

I mention this because the logic of holding a Dell or some other brand with a 3 year warranty in the same or similar light as a Thinkpad similarly situated is faulty. That admittingly steep increase in price buys you a machine that will spend less time being repaired but also is a, tangible and intangible, better deal. I can't put a price on being able to type on a keyboard that doesn't flex or sound tinny or simply has keys that fall off after typically heavy law school use. My X41 tablet was fine in this regard - had my needs not changed (read: feeble Centrino processor and slow hard drive unable to support specific programs) I would still be using it.

Oingo

53
Quote
IMHO the LED display is the only thing worth the wait. Santa Rosa is overrated. I do agree however that waiting doesn't hurt as Apple rarely, if ever lately, changes their prices.

Even if there was no LED upgrade or even Santa Rosa, the spec boost would be worth it, IMO. Unless the laptop is required *now* why not wait and get slightly more disk space and perhaps a marginally faster processor for the same price? It's been over half a year since an update to the MacBook Pro, I believe. I never understand why people are so eager to buy right before an update...

I don't know that I am disagreeing with you necessarily - most people just want to know whether the computer will meet their needs. I think it is fair to say that most people will not care whether Santa Rosa or an LED display is there before they purchase. Nor should they really - the Macbook Pro is already an impressive machine to begin with. Your point about getting marginally better specs is taken but really, this means even less to your average computer buyer.

Oingo

54
Quote
All right, I'm about to pull the trigger on a MacBook Pro 15" and I need some advice.

Ignore those who said not to wait. Unless you absolutely must have the laptop now - unlikely, as school won't start for several months and you're posting here anyway - you should hold off. The Santa Rosa update (perhaps with LED display...) is coming in late June; my bet would be for a WWDC announcement.

IMHO the LED display is the only thing worth the wait. Santa Rosa is overrated. I do agree however that waiting doesn't hurt as Apple rarely, if ever lately, changes their prices.

Oingo

55
To anyone buying a macbook pro, I'd hold off as long as possible.  Rumors are that an update is just around the corner...

True, but the new platform, Santa Rosa, has not (at least on the PC side) realized any gains which are making any sort of meaningful performance related difference(s). It wouldn't stop me from pulling the trigger.

Oingo

56
Thanks -

oh and what's that airport extreme card all about? Does the MacBook Pro not come with a wireless g/n/card installed?

Is this something I'll need?

Okay, the breakdown -

$2047.00
MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 2.16GHz
Part Number: Z0DP
Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
SuperDrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
2.16GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
Accessory Kit
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB


vs.

MacBook Pro, 15-inch, 2.33GHz - $2389.00
Part Number: Z0DQ
Backlit Keyboard/Mac OS - U.S. English
Accessory Kit
2GB 667 DDR2 SDRAM - 2x1GB
MacBook Pro 15-inch Glossy Widescreen Display
160GB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm
2.33GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
SuperDrive 6x (DVD+R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)

Is it worth it?




I think it's worth the extra $300 or so.  Also, you'll need an airport card to use wireless Interent.  I don't know if the MacBook Pros come with them by default.

Not worth it. Go with the 2.16 - you won't miss the difference in speed. I have the exact machine you've priced out and am greatly satisfied (I did however go for the matte rather than glossy screen - personal preference). The absolute must for any computer right now is 2 gbs of ram (which you've accounted for).

Oingo

57
Sorry if this posted somewhere on this thread, thought it would be useful...
http://lawregistrar.blogspot.com/2007/01/secureexam-and-vista-not-so-fast.html

If your school uses SecureExam for its exams on computers, you may or may not want to hold off on that Vista/2007 upgrade.  According to this site and some others, secureexam is suppose to have vista/2007 compatible version in the summer... discuss amongst yourselves.

There is a separate thread dealing with this. I'm too lazy to look it up. What is the big deal anyway? Vista and Office 2007 will have support by the end of the summer. Soon enough for those considering a purchase of either product.

Oingo

Yeah, I was just putting it out there for people to consider what their law school exam software to use.  Oingo, I have been meaning to ask you, what is your favorite oingo boingo song?  I think "not my slave" is their best song.

Without a doubt - "We close our eyes."

Oingo

58
Sorry if this posted somewhere on this thread, thought it would be useful...
http://lawregistrar.blogspot.com/2007/01/secureexam-and-vista-not-so-fast.html

If your school uses SecureExam for its exams on computers, you may or may not want to hold off on that Vista/2007 upgrade.  According to this site and some others, secureexam is suppose to have vista/2007 compatible version in the summer... discuss amongst yourselves.

There is a separate thread dealing with this. I'm too lazy to look it up. What is the big deal anyway? Vista and Office 2007 will have support by the end of the summer. Soon enough for those considering a purchase of either product.

Oingo

59
Zone... if I were going to Boalt I would adopt your stategy too... However, at my TT I'm ready to be swarmed by competition...

Yeah, everyone's told me the same thing: "dude, just enjoy the summer and relax, you'll need it..."

I'm going through the prep program from that book Planet Law School though.

I don't go to a top school, and I strongly advise you to spend the summer doing something fun.

I know it seems reasonable to want to know some law going in, but the truth is that by the time you actually need to know everything (the end of semester when exams roll around), almost everyone (the people that didn't just slack and party, and even some that did) know the same stuff.  There is more than ample time in the semester to learn everything you need to know by exam time.  You don't get extra points for knowing anything first!

So have a fun summer, relax, law school will be here before you know it.  If you must do something this summer, do LEEWS, some people think that it is really helpful.

And perhaps the competition thing is blown out of proportion on these boards.  Unless the school that I go to is completely atypical, the competition is nowhere near as bad as you likely think it will be - most of the people will be pretty chill and most everyone will try to help out as much as they can.  Stay away from the dicks, and you will be fine.

Co-signed. I'm glad I spent last summer relaxing. It definently helps during those rough times in 1L year to think of the summer memories gone by. 1L is tough enough already. Don't make it more so.

Oingo

60
General board for soon-to-be 1Ls / Re: Panasonic Toughbooks
« on: May 10, 2007, 10:29:07 AM »
I'm specifically considering the W5 model, which is a long-battery-life (8-hr), fanless 12.1" ultraportable. The goal is to have a computer that I can confidently stick into a backpack with my books, without a charger, and take on the bumpy public transit and around school for three years with almost no chance of breaking. The main concern is (of course) price. At $2000 I can get the bare bones specs. For around $3000 I can get the specs bumped up to something good, maybe too good.

My school's deal with Dell means I would pay around $1200 or a little more for a Dell Latitude D620. The W5 is so much more expensive compared to this, but with the Dell I am sure it will break sometime during three years even if I baby it, let alone give it the kind of casual treatment I would like. Even with a complete Dell warranty, not having my computer even for a week could be a major disruption.

And that's worth paying MORE THAN DOUBLE the cost of the Dell? Man, I forgot what it's like to be a 1L in waiting. Simple advice - go with the Dell and the 4 year warranty. Or something else like a Thinkpad. What if something technical, not involving any physical force on your part, fails inside your Toughbook? Will the $3000 seem worth it then?

Panasonics aren't especially more reliable than Dells.

Don't be silly

Oingo

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