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Messages - OingoBoingo

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91
marlinspike,

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.

Thoughts?

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.

Oingo

92
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).

Oingo

93
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?
Oingo

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 :)

Oingo

94
I haven't read this thread, but I can fairly safely say that if I am not the biggest computer nerd on these forums, I am probably somewhere in the top 10. I just wanted to throw out that for doing actual work, you can never go wrong with a Thinkpad (Lenovo bought IBM's PC division a couple of years ago, so www.lenovo.com) T or X series. For gaming, yes there are some better computers out there, but for working nothing beats the Thinkpad T and X series laptops (and for photo editing nothing beats a Thinkpad T series with the flexview screen, and for a Tablet PC nothing beats the X series, and even for gaming a T60 with the x1400 or better video card is pretty darn good). I convinced one friend to buy an X series, his boss saw it, now they might be getting them for the entire firm, that's how good they are.

Thinkpads do cost a little more than many other brands, but that is because they are built on the philosophy that people are smart enough to pay more money to get higher quality (i.e. they are the anti-Walmart and anti-Dell). Lenovo often runs some very good hard to find sales (and sometimes very good easy to find sales), so my recommendation is to call in your order via phone rather than configure online (though first configure online to know what you want and what the normal price is). Their phone reps are on a commission (though they aren't pushy like on-commission Best Buy salespeople), so if you tell them you need a better price, they do what they can to find you one.

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?

Oingo

95
A friend of mine dropped his 17 inch HP about a foot and a half onto the desk (accidently of course). It broke his DVD drive door - it will not shut anymore. It's funny now to watch it swing open everytime he moves it around his desk :)

Oingo

96
If people need to go on the cheap I'd recommend the Dell Latitude series. The biggest comment that I hear is "You can really tell the different between it and the Inspiron. It doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart when I pick it up!" And so on.

Dare I post again...

I have a Dell Latitude... and thus stems my hatred from computers. I hate it with a passion... and their customer service is no more bearable than the computer...

No experience with Dell customer service. Lenovo ain't exactly winning me over either (their customer service people are RUDE). People seem to hate the Indian call centers but aside from some understandable issues comprehending a word or two, I have never ever had a Indian based CS rep treat me poorly on the phone. Happens all the time with Lenovo's Atlanta CS reps.

To each his or her own.

Oingo

PS. Small and lite is simply the best way to go. You look silly in class if you have a 17 inch bohemoth.

97
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Can you use a Mac in law school?
« on: January 13, 2007, 10:43:29 PM »
The answer as everyone else has responded is it depends on the software your school is using. Secure exam has MAC and PC versions. From what I understand from our IT people, secure exam actually runs BETTER on the mac OS-X platform than windows. They have had several issues with the software running on windows platforms but none that I know of running on OS-X.

Oingo

98
Incoming 1Ls / Re: Two questions - computer and note-taking
« on: January 10, 2007, 09:38:57 PM »
Have you considered a convertable Tablet PC? Gateway, Toshiba and Lenovo are the most popular manufacturers. I used a Lenovo X41 Tbalet this past semester. The tablet writing function was VERY helpful reproducing our discussions surrounding counter and cross claims in regards to diversity and supplemental jurisdiction. My notes wouldn't make much sense without the diagrams and the diagrams are much harder to make with a touchpad or mouse.

Oingo

99
Incoming 1Ls / Re: questions about 1L LIFE
« on: January 07, 2007, 05:32:00 PM »
I have several questions about 1L LIFE.

1) how many hours do you study each day?
2) any time for leisure activities?
3) is it really that intense?

Sounds like you're really stressing out. I read a great guide that helped me get through first and second year. It's called Law School 101 and it was written by an attorney who wanted to give people a head's up about what to expect and how to deal with it. Just a suggestion in case you're having a hard time. It really helped me and my friends.

Holy hell!! I wish that I could wave a wand and make all the damn trolls shilling for their own products go away.

True dat. True.

Oingo

100
Incoming 1Ls / Re: questions about 1L LIFE
« on: January 07, 2007, 05:28:42 PM »
1) I spent the first few weeks of last semester at school from 0730 am to 830pm. I can't truly say I spent every second studying but I did avoid to a great degree socializing for long periods. This was hard as there was some pressure to fit into a "group" - something similar to what I felt some 15 years ago in high school, with some of the clique factor thrown in there. It wasn't until the last month of the semester that I setled into a study group. I reccomend waiting till at least the first month or so to see if a study group others any benefits.

2) Yes, but that time was spent with my family rather than any law school friends. If you don't have family then I can see how NOT being part of a group could make your life "lonely." The prospective, from outsiders, was important to the degree that it helped me chill out on a daily basis.

3) Here is where I feel duped. Yes, as others have said it was intense when we had a paper due. At St Thomas we have the twist of having midterms which add strees a month into law school. You don't see the fruits of the stress until finals period come. Midterms give you some confidence, the best benefit being that you have an actual understanding of what you professor's expectations are answer wise. Plus, since they were worth anywhere from 10-30 percent of our grade they reduce some of the stress of finals period. The reason why i feel duped is that, despite all that you may hear in this forum and elsewhere, law school just isn't as "crazy" as people have made it out to be. If you strike a balance between your pursuits and understand that law school is just one of them, you simply should be fine in this regard.

Oingo

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