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Messages - jomolungma

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Incoming 1Ls / Re: Sony Vaio?
« on: April 06, 2005, 03:37:46 PM »
There's another thread on laptops here

However, as to the Winbook, I just have to say buyer beware.  There are a lot of companies that sell computers, both desktops and laptops.  There are only a few companies that manufacture parts.  Most resellers sell the same hardware with a different label, different service package, different software package and slightly different hardware package.  One company may substitute a cheap hard drive in place of an expensive one, or skimp on the optical drive. So what's the difference in the end?  Well, it's really the quality of hardware and the service package in my opinion.  Most computers out there, given the state of hardware these days, will blow your mind.  However, only the good quality stuff will last in the long run (and that's not a 100% guarantee).  Because it's not a guarantee, the service is equally important.  Companies like Winbook or Averatec have a tough time gaining a foothold because they can't compete with Dell or Gateway in the service department.  They just don't have the size or capital to do it.  Their computers can compete in tech, but if something breaks... look out.  So, buyer beware.

Just as an aside, there is a Circuit City a block from my office and a CompUSA in my building.  I go to each every week or so just to see what's on the shelves.  Circuit City has a deal going right now on Vaios if anyone is interested.  And I have to agree that the new S series, and even the FS series, are beautiful machines that have everything it takes, tech wise, to rock.  I'm just a little skittish on Sony because of past experience with other Sony electronics and the Sony-centric philosophy (like having a Memory Stick slot instead of an SD slot).  I don't buy Apple for the same reason - even though the PowerBook is incredible, it's a closed, largely proprietary system.  Windows isn't the best in a lot of ways, but the largest amount of manufacturers support it and there are widely adopted hardware standards if you need to augment your system.  Sony closes that opening a bit and I'm not too keen on that.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Laptops
« on: April 06, 2005, 10:09:06 AM »
word of caution on software and OS purchases - check if your school's IT dept has software available... a lot of schools have education licenses that allow them to give you copies of things like MS Office for free use, or very very low cost... you should also check with them and make sure what you are about to buy will work with their systems, like their wireless network and so on...

as for the smaller, cheaper laptops... these days there are a lot out there... i don't know much about the 700m or the dv1000... HP had a horrible reputation for years, but since the Compaq merger it's increased... Dell's are hit and miss... a buddy of mine's crapped out within two weeks of purchase, but he got a replacement right away and that one has been fine... Averatec (sp?) is a brand I've seen a lot of in the stores and in reviews... they keep their costs low by often going with AMD processors... might be worth a look if you're in need of saving dough

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Laptops
« on: April 06, 2005, 04:33:14 AM »
Some interesting opinions here

Incoming 1Ls / Re: OFFICIAL "I am going to ______ in the Fall" Thread
« on: April 05, 2005, 04:13:11 PM »

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Working weekends during 1L or just borrow more?
« on: April 05, 2005, 04:10:49 PM »
PT and night school is different - I work with three law students, all going to night school.  they work 9-5, then class at night 4 nights a week.  their lives suck, but the material is spread out over 4 years instead of 3.  one of them did very well his first semester at Hofstra, an A and an A-, so working and night school can be done.  I sure as heck wouldn't recommend doing it during full-time studies though.

As for working as a 2L or 3L, I've heard it can be done and may be necessary if cash is an issue.  However, I would think one might benefit more by filling that extra time with an internship or externship, an opportunity to build a network of job possibilities and get some practical experience.  You might not get paid, but the experience will pay for itself down the road.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Sony Vaio?
« on: April 05, 2005, 04:06:33 PM »
it's all about what does it for you - my wife has a Compaq Presario 700 laptop that she bought 4 years ago - still does the job today after 4 years of PhD work and one heck of a lot of typing, though without built in wireless and a relatively small hard drive and slow processor it won't cut it for my law school needs, but it works.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Sony Vaio?
« on: April 05, 2005, 02:37:10 PM »
Most major laptop sellers have a good warranty plan, with on-site... it'll just cost you more at different places...

in my opinion you have a few things to consider...

price - 'nuff said, if you can't afford it, don't buy it
performance - decide what you NEED it for and buy to that... don't get techno envy and end up with a 15lb desktop replacement that plays games quick as lightning if that's not what you want
comfort - if you are going to type your notes in class you'll want a laptop you can type on.  most ultra-portables have keyboards that would make a normal hand ache, let alone a large one.  go to the store, try some keyboards out.  of course, if you aren't going to be typing a lot, this might not mean that much to you
looks - in my opinion this absolutely does not matter.  who cares what it looks like, this isn't a fashion contest... again, beware of techno envy... if it does what you need and the price is right, who cares if it's all black or blue and silver
reliabilitythis can be an important factor.  you want to buy from a company that makes a product that shouldn't break under normal use and that will have a good plan in place should it break.  you don't want to be without your laptop, even for a day, if that's your primary source of studying.  you should act responsibly as well.  make backups, carry a USB key, sync with a desktop if you can.  these are things that will help should a tragedy befall your laptop

all this said, after doing my own research i think the IBM ThinkPad T42/43 is the best for me.  the reputation of the ThinkPad is very high.  IBM scores quite well on customer surveys with PC Magazine in terms of customer support and satisfaction.  i happen to find it's look pretty powerful, but like i said, it doesn't matter much.  IBM has stayed pretty up to speed with the latest technology, especially for a business-type laptop.  Battery life is very good, as is overall features and performance.  And the keyboard is very comfortable for my hands.  The only thing holding me back is price.  The Dells and Gateways of the laptop world crush IBM in terms of price per performance.  If I don't buy a ThinkPad I will probably buy something like an Inspiron 6000. 

The New York Sony store is not that far from me and so I've had a chance to go and test their Vaios.  The Vaio is a nice looking laptop.  It's cost per performance is extremely high in my opinion and it's technology is Sony-centric.  The keyboards are a little flimsy to my hands.  However, the Sony screens are the sweetest things I've ever seen on a laptop.  They really pop.

My biggest recommendation is to do your homework.  Go to PC Magazine and C|Net for reviews.  Flip through some issues of LAPTOP Magazine and MobilePC.  Post questions like the one you did in this thread.  Go to the store and lift them up, type on them, look at them.  Then decide.  The toughest thing in my mind about it is that you will probably be stuck with this laptop for all of law school.  Three years is really long in tech-time.  I've had four desktops in three years.  So be sure that the one you get fits your needs now and for the next few years.

I'll be getting a little over $1K/mo from my GI Bill, but otherwise I'll be all loans.  My wife will start working this year though, so that may help.  I've got a bunch of consumer debt, I'm married to a PhD candidate who hasn't worked in 6 years, and we have almost zero savings.  Pitt still felt I had no financial need.

I have a question for ya'll - is it legal to use a school loan specifically for living expenses to pay your mortgage?  I mean, the money has to go to someone, and why should it go to a landlord and not your equity?

Criminal prosecution at the local, state or federal level.

My biggest concern is not whether I'll enjoy it but if I can afford it!  I may be so deep in debt that I'll have to take a higher salary to survive, but I sure hope not.  It's tough to tell though, lots of lawyers I know have told me that my mind may change during school.  However, I always argue back that while this may be true for recent undergrads who still have no clue what they want to do in life, someone like me whose been working and living for 8 or 9 years since school should know pretty well what their interests are and in what direction they want to head after school.

My wife and I will be married just over a year when school starts, but it will be our first year where both of us are out of the house all day... she's been working on her PhD this year while I've been working 9-5 so next year will be completely different... she'll be working AND wrapping up her PhD, I'll by studying and crying... the best advice I can give is to repeat what another poster said, mutual respect and lots of sex.  Lots of love and understanding as well, and when you do have the time, like post-finals or the summer, spend it wisely (with your spouse)

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