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Messages - OingoBoingo

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Best Laptop
« on: March 24, 2007, 06:41:45 PM »
Lenovo has a sale on Thinkpads right now. 15% off I think. Goes until 4-2-07.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Best Ultraportable Laptop Notebook for law school?
« on: March 24, 2007, 03:57:37 PM »

No one thought bittrsweet was hot for intelligently talking about PCs in addition to looking hot? Man, I'm a dork. :(

that's the best compliment yet!

on a different note, what are people's experiences with tablets? i know four years ago when i was considering them they were not particularly sturdy, but i'm sure that's changed.

at the same time, i wonder how much i'd really use it. i think i just like new gadgets :-\

My friend who is a HUGE computer geek (runs fedora, owns his own web hosting company, and basically controls the internet at our school) just got the new toshiba tablet - the r400. It is AMAZING. Perfect response, understands even his terribly awful handwriting. His brother had the older version, so he knew how it worked and he was almost 100% positive he would like it. Since it is the one that I want for law school... i keep trying to get him to let me borrow his. Too bad computer people are incredibly posessive...

I'm the same way though, can't blame him...

Tablets are getting better and sturdier. I like being able to draw diagrams in my notes, so I definitely want one for LS. I wouldn't get a gateway though... Fujitsu, Toshiba and Lenovo are the best I think. I don't think HP's new tablet is awful either.

I know of 0 other law students at my school (T14) who have a tablet. I can confidently tell you that it would be a complete waste of money.

so becuase you know 0 other law students at your school who have a tablet you can confidently tell someone that tablets are a waste of money?

Sounds pretty conclusionary to me. I must be missing something? It seems like you would have to at least base your opinion off of at least 1 person's account?


We have a couple of Ave Maria transfers this year. There biggest complaint leaving iis the uncertainty of the future of the school. IMHO the school founder is nuts for moving the school so soon after acheiving accreditation. I have heard rumours that the move itself could threaten accreditation.

Ave Maria is a risky move.


I'm not pregnant, but hoping to be in about two weeks when we finish our first IVF cycle.

Originally, I was supposed to be done by now and would have been due in early November, so I figured I'd have to defer one year. Now, however, the IVF process has been slooooow and I wouldn't be due until mid-December. Finals are about a week later.

I'm beginning to think that NOT deferring would be the best option. I'm going PT, so I start in the summer. I'd be able to get through almost all of fall term, and could take my fall finals during the break between fall/spring. Spring doesn't start until the hypothetical baby would be almost two months old. I'd be off work entirely from December 1-early May, so I'd actually be able to finish the entire Spring term without working at all.

I'm looking into a couple of different work options, one of which is only 30 hours per week. I'm going to school full-time right now, and working 60-80 hours per week, so I'm not overly concerned about the time in class. I'm really just hoping to hear from others who have had babies around this time frame and how it worked out for them. I sort of feel like if I can juggle these work hours and full-time school and all of the medical stuff for IVF, being home with a baby and going to part-time school for a semester would be cake! But, maybe I'm missing something.


It is doable :)

We had our first child at the end of November. We too, went through the rigors of IVF. My Mother in law was a huge help to my wife and I - had she not been there for the first 3 weeks, I am not sure what we would have done.

I am not working at all this 1L year. Next year will probably be different. My wife is lucky enough to have a job she can do from home - so that helps.

Let me know if you have any specific questions,


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Best Ultraportable Laptop Notebook for law school?
« on: March 06, 2007, 08:08:49 PM »
i have a 2.2 pound sony vaio from four years ago (PCG-4A1L). i love the fact that it's ultra-small. sony's notoriously have battery issues (i think they even placed a recall) and mine drained pretty early in the game. i think that the computer is a bit overpriced, but i've been really happy with it. you eventually get used to the smallness of the screen, and honestly as long as you have an external monitor for when you're home watching movies, etc, it's not a big deal. i do notice that boys have problems with the keyboard. i have small hands so it's perfect for me.

i'm thinking about buying a new ultraportable before law school. one issue i know i'm having right now is that running multiple programs gets sloooooooooow. i really think that if i'm going to have a laptop for the next few years i should go with the intel core duo processor, but the smallest ultraportables don't have it yet. i don't want to go bigger after having my current laptop. guess i'm spoiled.

i did read about the panasonic R6 which looks HOT and does have the core duo, 1 GB RAM and 120 gig hard drive i want. buuuuut, i don't know anything about panasonics and this laptop is brand-spanking-new, not even released in the US. if anyone has any info/opinions, let me know.

Toshibas are nice in this regard. I think a couple of people have gotten the R200's. Not to be a Lenovo hack but is the X60 too big of a laptop for you? J/C becuase it has a nice combination of size/performance. I wouldn't get anything less than Core2Duo and 2 gigs RAM if I was spending money at this point.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Best Ultraportable Laptop Notebook for law school?
« on: March 06, 2007, 03:14:34 PM »
My main choices will be: tablet vs. regular ultraportable; Panasonic Toughbook vs. Lenovo (IBM). The Toughbooks are awesome, you can spill and entire soda into one, hose it down with regular water, and be good to go. And drive over some of them with a truck. Granted, I probably wouldn't end up with one of those models, but I think most all of them have shock-resistant hard drives that can be dropped up to 3 feet, and seem pretty much indestructible with everyday use. But WOW are they expensive.

Lenovo is a more financially reasonable choice, I think, but I'm concerned about the pointing stick rather than touchpad. I actually really like touchpads, so it would take some serious getting used to. I wish I knew someone who had one I could play with for awhile to decide whether it's something I could live with or if it would drive me nuts.

I'm still torn on the tablet issue, though. I've had lots of situations recently where I thought a tablet PC would be great to have, and I'm sure that when I'm in school there will be even more instances of this. But I'm still not completely convinced that it's worth the extra cost. I'm sure I'll dither about it until August or so unless some amazing deal comes along before then.

I'd wait - the best deals last year occured in the summer months. The other upside of waiting is that it will be easier to get a Lenovo X60 tablet in the configuration you want in the least amount of time. Just trust me on the fact that the Lenovo tablet is the best one in the market.

As for the benefits of the tablet form factor - well that has been a mixed bag for me. I have the X41 tablet - using the pen to navigate is much more natural than using a mouse. Filling out and then signing PDF documents printing them out and saving them for future faxing or use has become old hat.

Was it worth the premium? It depends - I could have bought a notebook X60s with the money I spent on the X41 tablet. The performance issues of the X41 have been at times frustrating to say the least. I hear the X60 tablet is well over twice as fast as the X41, so that helps. The rub in the case of the X60 tablet is price. You will probably have to spend $2500 to get a system that will perform well with Vista. Since the X41 tablet I bought was near the end of its product life, I spent about $1000 less.

At $2500, I'd think long and hard about which situations the tablet form factor would benefit you. Since cost wasn't heavily factored into my desicion, the calculus was different.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Who sells affordable,sturdy study desk?
« on: February 28, 2007, 07:33:08 PM »
First of all, let me say "Wassup!" to Matthies. There, done - Listen to this guy - he knows of what he speaks :)

As for advice, if it hasn't already been mentioned, puruse Craigslist before dropping any money anywhere else. Most of the supplies to make Matthies idea work are there. If that doesn't pan out, there are plenty of good desks that come up from time to time.

We just bought a really nice teacher's desk from Craiglist. The thing is pretty deep and holds an incredible amount of junk. It will be a pain to move but alas a joy before we have to. I can fit most if not all my night's reading on it.



Do you have any experience with tablet PCs? I was considering the prospect of getting a Thinkpad Tablet, I think they are x41s. Tablets seem that they would be convienent for a law school student, but I can't find any students with them to verify this. Folding the screen and reading it like a book, and being able to markup files with notes sounds really useful. I've had friends in IT who tried tablets when they first came out. At first they loved them but as time went on they liked them less and less and cited the biggest issue is the software that recognizes your writing. That was then, I'm not sure if tablet PCs have made any strides since then.


I have an X41 tablet. So far so good. It has done well as a tablet but has forced me to comprimise a bit on the notebook side. Th e comprimise in this case is performance. This problem was fixed with the release of the X60 tablet a few months ago.

The tablet form factor is one which should be more popular than it actually is. In combination with Onenote 2007, I pretty much have an ideal computer for most note taking situations. I cannot tell you how much easier it was to keep track of cross and counter claim action in civ pro by use of diagrams throughout my typewritten notes.

I most frequently use the pen to edit my notes. Pciking up paragraphs and sentances, moving the around, changing them up - all seem much more intuitive using the pen. Web surfing also seems more natural. If you spring for an X60, you can purchases it with Multitouch technology which allows you to use your finger or pen to point, click, write and move things around.

My caveat purely has to do with the abysmal 4200 RPM drive in the X41. I would reccomond staying away from it. Rather, get an X60 tablet. I really would not recoomend any other Tablet PC becuase most others incur a high weight penalty for the sometimes increased performance. Low weight is what makes the X41?X60 series so nice.


Incoming 1Ls / Re: Microsoft OneNote - yay or nay?
« on: February 11, 2007, 11:37:30 AM »
I have elements flags, case cite flags, "code" flags (for code based classes like civ pro), and question flags to flag questions I need to ask the professor. Then, at the end, I can run a report of all the stuff with elements this semester in, say, property and get all the elements of gifts, or list of all the cases, in the order we used them, and a one line holding of why that case matters. I didn't do it last semester, but I think it might make studying easier.

Oh wow. I wish I were that organized within Onenote. I used 2003 last semester, just not to that extent. This semester I ran with 2007 because it has better "inking" support (for tablet PC's) plus the interface just feels NICER. The best feature in the new "Full screen" mode that allows you to have a blank sheet fill up the screen with the most relevant tools up top. Even the way the notebook panel is reorganized helps you better visually navigate.

Right now in each notebook I have a "class notes" and "exam outline" section. I usually assimilate whatever we learn in class together with my casebriefs (sometimes hort or long depending if I think I will be called on!) and move the interesting stuff to the exam outline section.

This worked out well for me last semester. With ON 2007 this process is a bit easier becuase class diagrams and scribbling can be integrated easier (that will only make sense to those using a tablet pc).


Yes, but as an X41 Tablet owner I can tell you that Lenovo's customer service people stink. Meh, but then again, who actually has good customer service anyway?

In what way would you say they stink? Of every computer manufacturer out there, I would say they are far and away the best. For one, it's US based so you don't have issues understanding the person on the other end, and every experience I have had with them has been a good one.

I'd be curious to hear in what way you feel they stink (I handle MANY computers, so I've had my fair share of dealing with customer service people, and I wonder if it's something I missed, or something that was truly bad but never happened to me). They will even give a person a new computer (much better than the one they had before) quite often. Their support is still handled by IBM btw.

I have had the opportunity to speak, on three ocassions, with the CS reps in Atlanta. The biggest problem I have with them is that they tend to condescend their customers. When you challenge, in a very nonconfrontational way, the assumptions they have to save your time, and ultimately theirs, you get treated poorly.

To give an example, I recently had the door to my PC card slot fall off. No big problem (I thought). I figured that either they could send me a replacement and I'd fix it or they could come do it themselves (I have a on-site warranty).

The phone menu that you are required to navigate to get to speak with someone was the first pain. It required 4 separate phone calls, and a total of 25 mins navigating the menus before I could even get on the call queue. Then I spent another 2 evenings (yes I said two) because, after waiting 90 mins with a screaming newborn, I had had enough. I called again the next evening, this time only wasting an hour.

I then spent 30 mins with the lady who eventually took my call. She spent 20 of those thirty minutes quite sure that I needed a cover for the memory expansion slot in the computer. I really, really tried to calmly explain that it was the PC CARD slot and not the memory slot. This is where "condescend" comes in - becuase she kept insisting that I was te one confused. It wasn't until she got an actual picture/schematic of the computer that she realized what "PC Card" slot meant. I waited for 2 weeks for the part to come in and the technician to come to my house to find.....

She ordered the wrong part. Yup, a memory card door.

So I had wait another 2 weeks before the right part arrived and that was smak dab in the middle of my contracts and Civ Pro finals. I was simply too much to ask for me to waste an afternoon at home waiting for the techician. So I tried to get them to install it AFTER the exam was finished. A reasonable request, no? Well, apparently it was too much to ask.  The part got sent back to Atlanta and I still had a broken PC Card door.

In fact I still do. I am afraid at this point to even call them again. I might actually, lose my mind. With the way Law School is sometimes, pretty much anything can send you over the edge :)


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