What computer stuff to get for college?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by BowZinger, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. BowZinger macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Hey all,

    I will be starting college in Sept. and I am going to be buying a macbookpro before I go off. My macbook seems like it is on the way out (just acting weird, constantly does things I tell it not to) anyways I bought it when they first came out and didn't get applecare so no help from Apple.


    What kind of stuff do I need computer wise for college? I am going to major in IT if that makes any kind of difference. I have a basic understanding on what one would need just looking for some input!

    1. I am planning on getting a bag (for books and laptop, not sure what kind yet)
    2. External HD (thinking back up stuff)
    3. Flash Drive
    4. New headphones for Ipod

    ....what else?
  2. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    i would say you're set on hardware looking at what you have listed already. i would wait until summer to buy the stuff as tech drops in price rather quickly. but i would at least check out eyetv for a tv card for the computer, so that you don't have to lug a big tv set in a small dorm room.

    for software, i would get aurora as an alarm clock or a similar app if you don't have it already so you don't miss class. caffeine is also a good app to use to keep the mac awake during a long paper or before an exam, or you're too lazy to get up during a movie when the screen goes dark.
  3. forafireescape macrumors 6502a


    Jan 16, 2008
    You may want to get a mouse and keyboard, depending on whether or not you like the whole trackpad thing. I recommend Schoolhouse - an app that's helped me organize my academic life, basically :)
  4. motulist macrumors 601


    Dec 2, 2003
    I'd suggest you invest some time into trying out lots of different pens to find a pen that you really like. Unless you're a computer science major, you're gonna be using a pen and paper at least as much as you use a computer.
  5. BowZinger thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2007
    Thanks for the replies all, will have to look into the mentioned software!

    I am getting my degree in IT (basically computer science...the university just calls it IT.)
  6. furcalchick macrumors 68020


    Dec 19, 2006
    South Florida
    or a pencil. i'm not really a fan of permanent notes and the such. but otherwise agree on the pencil and paper comments, i find writing notes on computers very cumbersome at best and a nightmare at worst. leave the computer in the dorm room, i say.
  7. kuebby macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2007
    Speakers will be infinitely useful. Either powered speakers or iPod speakers.

    The MBP keyboard is great but I prefer using a real keyboard to type long papers so I got one of the old white ones for like $25 at my campus computer store.

    I also prefer using a mouse to the trackpad but I'm considering going back to the trackpad because the mouse takes up quite a bit of room on my small desk.
  8. faintember macrumors 65816


    Jun 6, 2005
    the ruins of the Cherokee nation
    Mouse and full-size keyboard for writing papers/extended computer use
    Microfiber cloth to clean the MBP screen
    Applecare or other warranty (because things just happen at college)
  9. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
    I would suggest a printer. Personally I would not depend on the printers in the school to be working at all times.

    I would suggest a 3-in-one printer. Scanner, copier, and printer.

    Oh and speakers as already noted. Unless you don't like music, which would be weird.
  10. rhsgolfer33 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 6, 2006
    Agreed. Can't tell you how many times (actually it was only once) having a scanner and photoshop has helped me make some sweet 8.5x11 cheat sheets to use on tests. The copying function is useful when you miss class and want to copy someone else's notes as well.

    Get speakers as someone else suggested. You'll definitely want a keyboard and mouse when your doing long essays or big excel projects. If your an IT major I would probably invest in Windows as well, I don't know what your specific program is, but you could be doing a large amount of work in it. You'll definitely want Microsoft Office (you probably already have it). External HD, a case, maybe a stand to keep the laptop higher depending on what level you like to work at or how high you sit, you probably won't need an external monitor since you're getting a MBP, but if you do a lot of work with different apps open at the same time it is nice (if you have the room). Maybe a laptop lock if there are any good ones out, even a little deterrent is good in a college dorm (remember to lock your dorm door at all times).

    One more tip: I would suggest leaving the laptop at the dorm for your general education classes. I've found (at least for most people) that a laptop is a huge distraction in these classes, most people would rather surf facebook or play games during those boring science, history, math, and english courses. Some classes (like IT classes, some accounting/business classes, etc) you might need it, but in others it really is easier just to take notes by hand, plus (at least for me) I learn the material better when I write it out. But to each their own.
  11. blairwillis macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2005
    Buy a LOCK. A Kensington-type cable lock to lock your MBP down.

    Better yet, buy 2. Keep one at your dorm room desk, full time, and the other in your bag for when you're out and about.

    Also, an extra battery and/or travel power adaptor might be worth it depending on the size of your school and how often you're using it out and about.

    Memories.... I was provided with a Mac Classic when I was in college. Monochrome screen, dot matrix printer, it was sweet. And it was "portable" ha ha. I was one of a handful (literally, maybe a half dozen) people on campus who dialed in to an internet connection. That was "old school" for sure. My classmates were like, "you do what with that computer?"

    Wow, I think I'd love to be in college again.

    MacBooks, iPhones, pr0n.

    Knowing what I know now....

    Dude, I am so going back to college in a few years as a 40 year old. I can't wait to tell my wife.

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