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OT - laptops for college.


CEB

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I am buying a laptop for my oldest child and he will take this to college next year.

 

How do students typically connect to the net from their dorm rooms? Is there USB or some sort of hardwire connection or will I need to get some sort of wireless transceiver that plug into the USB port?

 

Or does this vari a lot on a campus by campus basis.

 

Thanks

 

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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It'll be all wireless these days, certainly on my campus, and has been for many years.

Most modern laptops have built in wifi adaptors, so unless he has a really old laptop with no Internal wifi receiver (even then you can get a USB one to remedy that) I think your son will be fine :)

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Both of my son's colleges are wireless, and I think most are now since students can connect pretty much anywhere on campus. I doubt there is a laptop made today that doesn't have wireless capability built in.

 

Also, figure out what your child's needs will be. If they will mostly be using word processing and other software that doesn't require a powerful computer they may be better off with a netbook for taking notes and carrying around campus etc. and maybe a monitor and full size keyboard in their room.

 

Good Luck.

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Thanks.

 

His plans right now are to go to ISU - Normal for 3 years and Uof Champaign for 2 years. Double major Physics from ISU and Engineering U of I. But who knows. I think I changed my major 3 times, once before I moved in to the dorm for the first time.

"It doesn't have to be difficult to be cool" - Mitch Towne

 

"A great musician can bring tears to your eyes!!!

So can a auto Mechanic." - Stokes Hunt

 

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Thanks.

 

His plans right now are to go to ISU - Normal for 3 years and Uof Champaign for 2 years. Double major Physics from ISU and Engineering U of I. But who knows. I think I changed my major 3 times, once before I moved in to the dorm for the first time.

Better check with the school. ISU's RESNET dormitory networks are actually semi-famous because back in 2008 they were used as the basis for a Carnegie Mellon study on student P2P use. Back then the dorms provided a wired connection in every room; no wireless. But that may have changed since then and they may now provide wireless access.

 

Larry.

 

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His plans right now are to go to ISU - Normal for 3 years and Uof Champaign for 2 years. Double major Physics from ISU and Engineering U of I. But who knows. I think I changed my major 3 times, once before I moved in to the dorm for the first time.

Physics and Engineering? Definitely check with the school to make sure he doesn't need a more powerful computer than for simply Internet and word processing.

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I think all college campuses these days are gigantic wifi hotspots. But don't worry - all modern laptops come with both wifi and a network jack if it's needed.

 

If your student is a double physics and engineering major, it almost a certainty that he (or she) will already have their computer picked out. You're not going to have to shop for this at all - until the end when you pay for it :laugh:

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Just started studying for a second B.S. in electrical engineering, and just bought a netbook ($228--wiped me out for the month). All of above is right IME (I'm 35 BTW, so not a "traditional" student) -- count on WiFi. And, from what I see, many students use netbooks -- and I can see why. Their fingers are tiny (not like my fat fingers used to keyboards), and they have access to labs or a cheap, but more powerful computer desktop at "home"/"dorm." Also, books are seriously heavy -- and I'm a keyboard player used to carrying heavy shit around. More than a few of those in a shoulder bag and you won't be walking more than a few miles in comfort and ease.

 

WiFi is the rule, though. I just bought an Acer Aspire One -- cheapest I could fine, and I can still type on it and get on line. Almost fits in a jacket pocket.

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