Best Law School Laptop for the Money

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Thu May 13, 2010 10:37 pm

kalvano wrote:So they aren't bad, but they aren't good enough to recommend without the purchase of an extended warranty?


It goes for all notebooks. If the Squaretrade reliability statistics mean anything, Dell's failure rates hover right around the industry average. The average notebook has a 20% chance of having reliability issues. Then there's the 10% of notebook owners who get into accidents (e.g. spills, drops, getting run over by car, etc). Notebooks are naturally more prone to fail than desktops. There's the usual quality control issue to consider as well as whether the manufacturer will cover it. You generally won't have failure issues with desktops as they're not moved around all the time as notebooks are and my guess is their parts are more resilient. It's just when you toss all these miniaturized parts into one tight package that problems start cropping up. IMO this is for all brands.


I hear that Dell's doing better these days than usual in terms of warranty support. They actually send technicians to your house if you pay for their pro-warranty support. My SOB story as from late 2008, so I'm personally a little bit wary of believing that they've improved that much. Kudos to them for making premium notebooks like the Vostro 3300 and the Adamo. But I'd wait a little longer before deciding to buy from them.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Fri May 14, 2010 2:14 am

I have not been impressed with Dell hardware in a very long time. They can be nice to work with in a corporate environment, because for business clients they really will bend over backwards w/onsite service etc. So you can get next-day replacements. Not so much for the rest of us.....

My XPS Gen2 still holds the title for 'worst laptop I've ever owned.'A $2K+ gaming laptop that overheats so badly that it can't play games (or run PowerPoint) for more than 5 minutes w/o whitescreening and rebooting and slowly cooks the hard drives put it in it to failure? Hilarious!

Eventually, I had to swap out the GPU to make that very expensive machine minimally usable. That was not an easy thing to do.

At least now it runs Office w/o burning my thighs or rebooting unpredictably.
Last edited by Duralex on Fri May 14, 2010 9:49 am, edited 1 time in total.

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superflush
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby superflush » Fri May 14, 2010 4:11 am

Chupavida, yea I agree about a new iPod Touch in September (I thing I said that earlier)
Fwiw, they've made some minor refreshes other than those you've mentioned, such as bringing back the matte option (Anti-Glare) in August of 2009 for the 15inch MBP.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Fri May 14, 2010 5:06 am

Quick heads up:


If you don't pay state taxes and missed the Macbook Pro 13 $1,049 after $100 mail-in rebate deal, here's an even better deal at Fry's.

http://www.frys.com/product/6238000

$999.00

$8.95 for ground shipping or in-store pickup is optional.

barkingbug
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby barkingbug » Fri May 14, 2010 9:53 am

burvowski wrote:http://www.walmart.com/ip/HP-G62-149wm-Biscotti-i5-4-250-15.6/14205764?sourceid=34423585411408564819

Walmart offers the 5.5-lb. HP G62-149WM Intel Core i5 2.26GHz 15.6" Widescreen Notebook, model no. WQ434UA#ABA, for $598 with free shipping. That's $50 below our mention from two weeks ago and the lowest total price we've seen for any Core i5-equipped G62 laptop. Sales tax is added where applicable. Features include an Intel Core i5-430M 2.26GHz dual-core processor, 15.6" 1366x768 LED-backlit widescreen LCD, 4GB RAM, 250GB 7200 rpm hard drive, dual layer DVD burner with LightScribe, 802.11n wireless, webcam, flash card reader, HDMI output, 6-cell battery, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

That does seem like a hell of a deal.

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MC Southstar
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby MC Southstar » Fri May 14, 2010 9:54 am

HP is crap. Buy Asian or Apple.

In terms of value for LS laptop, macbook is not worth it though. If you only need a computer to do simple shit, then you don't need to shell out the money for a macbook. If you really care about aesthetics and image and you have money to throw around (aka you're probably a sheltered 'artist') then macbooks are pretty solid machinery.

barkingbug
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby barkingbug » Fri May 14, 2010 10:08 am

zeth006 wrote:
barkingbug wrote:
zeth006 wrote: In case you missed my point, it's that you're putting way too much premium on the processor.


They are all naming schemes... but how is paying hundreds of dollars less placing too big a premium? And if an i5 2.53 is going to be obsolete in three years, when will the MBP's be obsolete? Two? The extra pound means nothing to me, but that is just personal preference. The T410 does include the option of a free 9 cell.

Honestly, I was leaning towards MBP for some of the reasons you highlighted, but cannot yet rationalize the cost differential... I am using that $1,099 MBP as a benchmark. I don't agree with everything you said, but I do agree that an SSD is preferable. I would certainly prefer a 128 SSD to the 500/7200 HDD. I will hold out another month or two to see if the option surfaces.


:lol: But "premium" in that sentence isn't meant to be misdefined as "price." "Premium" in that sentence is defined as "importance." Also you're not really that much more for a MBP 13. Even at full retail before your typical promotions like one I got in one or even student promotions, you really get what you pay for. I paid $1,049 after a rebate. For just a little more money over a T410, I got a sweetass touchpad with tons of gestures you won't find on a PC laptop, lower weight, more thinness, solid build construction, one the best screen displays, long battery life, the best customer service around town, and a near-immunity to viruses.

I've gotta say that I love the touchpad. It doesn't take the typical 2-button approach. The entire touchpad itself is a gigantic button. That leaves plenty of touchpad space to allow for 1, 2, 3, and 4 finger gestures. It easily dwarfs my Asus's touchpad and allows me to navigate easily without needing a mouse.

And about processors, you're missing the point again. ALL PROCESSORS get obsolete within 1 year of release! I stated such an obvious fact because you had the nerve to declare that the i5-520m would be the "norm" in 3 years. Sorry bro, but as I stated earlier, Intel's always revamping its processor lines. There's no way in hell they're holding onto it as long as AMD's always hunting for ways to play catch-up and leapfrog. If you're into tech news, stay tuned for Sandy Bridge. Even Mac fanboys are listening in closely for it. Some of the more gung-ho fans are waiting for the 22nm die shrink which will certainly make things cool and leave room for more transistors. It's all part of Moore's Law, friend! Our processors won't be a norm in 3 years because, well, there is never a norm! :lol:

Once again, each to his own. The MBP 13 doesn't rely on a 9-cell battery life for 10 hour battery life. :mrgreen: Maybe I should start carrying extra tanks of gas in my future car instead of just buying car
with lower mileage.

But anyhoo. Here's by cost breakdown of how much extra I'd pay to get these on a hypothetical T410. Note this doesn't include everything. Just a few factors.

Screen - $100-150 - I'd gladly pay extra to keep a 10:6 display that has excellent color reproduction, better viewing angles, and high ranges of customizable brightness.

Touchpad - I'd pay $200 in a blink of an eye for what it allows me to do.

Customer service - I'm not a big fan of trusting big-name PC companies for customer service. Someone listed his experiences with Dell. These CSRs literally read from the script. Genius bar people don't.

So.

Screen: $100-150

Touchpad: $200

Customer service: Priceless

Can you read minds now? I made the point that a faster processor is preferable to a slower one, but I am not placing any big premium on it, as is evidenced by the fact that I would be spending less to get it. I misdefined nothing.

I guess it is personal preference - I would rather have the trackpad button, so Apple's touchpad is worth zero extra to me. I would also like to have a faster processor and HDD/SSD. The MBP does not have more battery life. It does have a lighter weight, but I don't care much about that at all. Your point about processors is bizarre given the age what is in the MBP, but I won't dwell on it. Lenovo will let you add a 128 SSD to the i5 2.53 T410 and still keep the cost lower than the MBP.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Fri May 14, 2010 8:14 pm

barkingbug wrote:
zeth006 wrote:
barkingbug wrote:
zeth006 wrote: In case you missed my point, it's that you're putting way too much premium on the processor.


They are all naming schemes... but how is paying hundreds of dollars less placing too big a premium? And if an i5 2.53 is going to be obsolete in three years, when will the MBP's be obsolete? Two? The extra pound means nothing to me, but that is just personal preference. The T410 does include the option of a free 9 cell.

Honestly, I was leaning towards MBP for some of the reasons you highlighted, but cannot yet rationalize the cost differential... I am using that $1,099 MBP as a benchmark. I don't agree with everything you said, but I do agree that an SSD is preferable. I would certainly prefer a 128 SSD to the 500/7200 HDD. I will hold out another month or two to see if the option surfaces.


:lol: But "premium" in that sentence isn't meant to be misdefined as "price." "Premium" in that sentence is defined as "importance." Also you're not really that much more for a MBP 13. Even at full retail before your typical promotions like one I got in one or even student promotions, you really get what you pay for. I paid $1,049 after a rebate. For just a little more money over a T410, I got a sweetass touchpad with tons of gestures you won't find on a PC laptop, lower weight, more thinness, solid build construction, one the best screen displays, long battery life, the best customer service around town, and a near-immunity to viruses.

I've gotta say that I love the touchpad. It doesn't take the typical 2-button approach. The entire touchpad itself is a gigantic button. That leaves plenty of touchpad space to allow for 1, 2, 3, and 4 finger gestures. It easily dwarfs my Asus's touchpad and allows me to navigate easily without needing a mouse.

And about processors, you're missing the point again. ALL PROCESSORS get obsolete within 1 year of release! I stated such an obvious fact because you had the nerve to declare that the i5-520m would be the "norm" in 3 years. Sorry bro, but as I stated earlier, Intel's always revamping its processor lines. There's no way in hell they're holding onto it as long as AMD's always hunting for ways to play catch-up and leapfrog. If you're into tech news, stay tuned for Sandy Bridge. Even Mac fanboys are listening in closely for it. Some of the more gung-ho fans are waiting for the 22nm die shrink which will certainly make things cool and leave room for more transistors. It's all part of Moore's Law, friend! Our processors won't be a norm in 3 years because, well, there is never a norm! :lol:

Once again, each to his own. The MBP 13 doesn't rely on a 9-cell battery life for 10 hour battery life. :mrgreen: Maybe I should start carrying extra tanks of gas in my future car instead of just buying car
with lower mileage.

But anyhoo. Here's by cost breakdown of how much extra I'd pay to get these on a hypothetical T410. Note this doesn't include everything. Just a few factors.

Screen - $100-150 - I'd gladly pay extra to keep a 10:6 display that has excellent color reproduction, better viewing angles, and high ranges of customizable brightness.

Touchpad - I'd pay $200 in a blink of an eye for what it allows me to do.

Customer service - I'm not a big fan of trusting big-name PC companies for customer service. Someone listed his experiences with Dell. These CSRs literally read from the script. Genius bar people don't.

So.

Screen: $100-150

Touchpad: $200

Customer service: Priceless

Can you read minds now? I made the point that a faster processor is preferable to a slower one, but I am not placing any big premium on it, as is evidenced by the fact that I would be spending less to get it. I misdefined nothing.

I guess it is personal preference - I would rather have the trackpad button, so Apple's touchpad is worth zero extra to me. I would also like to have a faster processor and HDD/SSD. The MBP does not have more battery life. It does have a lighter weight, but I don't care much about that at all. Your point about processors is bizarre given the age what is in the MBP, but I won't dwell on it. Lenovo will let you add a 128 SSD to the i5 2.53 T410 and still keep the cost lower than the MBP.


That's gonna be a different comparison then. I'm talking about the MBP 13 which gets 10 hours of battery life. The T410 only gets somewhere close with a bulky 9-cell.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri May 14, 2010 10:19 pm

I just got crossover for my mac. I have vista and Im gonna install both of them. Do I need to purchase onenote separately or will it already be on there.

Im pretty much a noob.

tar2009
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby tar2009 » Fri May 14, 2010 10:32 pm

Jay-Electronica wrote:I just got crossover for my mac. I have vista and Im gonna install both of them. Do I need to purchase onenote separately or will it already be on there.

Im pretty much a noob.


Did you use bootcamp to partition your hard drive btw?

also... you dont NEED vista for onenote if you have crossover, right?

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri May 14, 2010 10:35 pm

I havent installed either one yet. But, yes I will use bootcamp to partition vista. I was working under the assumption that I needed to have vista installed. If not then do I just need to download onenote? Onenote doesnt come in .dmg does it? It would be an exe. or does crossover have a list of apps that you can choose from?

texas man
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby texas man » Fri May 14, 2010 10:53 pm

Jay-Electronica wrote:I havent installed either one yet. But, yes I will use bootcamp to partition vista. I was working under the assumption that I needed to have vista installed. If not then do I just need to download onenote? Onenote doesnt come in .dmg does it? It would be an exe. or does crossover have a list of apps that you can choose from?


OneNote comes with Microsoft office - You don't need Windows to run OneNote - Crossover will configure it to run in OSX.

You will only need to use Bootcamp if you plan on partitioning your hard drive and installing Windows (needed if your school uses ExamSoft).

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Jay-Electronica » Fri May 14, 2010 11:06 pm

Gotcha, Thanks.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Fri May 14, 2010 11:26 pm

tar2009 wrote:
Jay-Electronica wrote:I just got crossover for my mac. I have vista and Im gonna install both of them. Do I need to purchase onenote separately or will it already be on there.

Im pretty much a noob.


Did you use bootcamp to partition your hard drive btw?

also... you dont NEED vista for onenote if you have crossover, right?


No. You don't need Vista if you're using CrossOver.

texas man
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby texas man » Sat May 15, 2010 12:15 am

texas man wrote:
betasteve wrote:Correct. Examsoft does not even like the VMware tools that sit on the windows partition. As I read more just a minute ago, my issue may have been not deleting some files with my vmware uninstall and not parallels.
So, i can only verify that if VMware is installed, then Examsoft will not work even if you boot directly to the windows partition. I am no longer sure my Parallels problem is associated with parallels.


Thanks for the info betasteve - this definitely deserves further investigation. Also, it might not matter, but are you using Windows 7, Vista, or XP?

I've heard some talk about using VMware for Onenote, and then booting into Windows to use Examsoft for exams. If anyone has done this, please speak up. Thanks!


I looked into this and found this on maclawstudents.com:

"There is now a fix for this problem. I received a helpful note from ExamSoft that included this useful information [28 April 08]:

Through research, we have found that the VMWare Tools package deployed by VMWare Fusion does not completely remove all components when removed via Add/Remove programs.

While VMWare has released separate "Clean Up" utility for some of their products, we're not aware of one for Fusion at this time.

Solution:
We have created a simple utility that will prompt the user to uninstall VMWare Tools and will also remove the items left behind that caused the problem with SofTest. Users of SofTest may contact support via phone, chat or email to request the fix.
"

has anyone done this?

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Sat May 15, 2010 1:40 am

Don't know. Are they going to introduce a fix sometime, or should we contact them weeks before the exam?

bigben
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby bigben » Sat May 15, 2010 11:03 am

Why do these threads always go on forever? Here is one that is 60 pages: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=69703

Bottom line: Thinkpad is by far the best laptop for the money and perfect for law school. Get a Mac if you want to pay extra for the brand name and pretty packaging.

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Jay-Electronica
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Jay-Electronica » Sat May 15, 2010 11:05 am

I installed crossover 8 pro and onenote 2007. For some reason I couldnt get onenote to work.

Now installing crossover 9 pro, and onenote 2010. Im pretty sure I did something wrong the first go round. Dont know what though. Maybe ill just use pages to take notes

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Mr. Matlock
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Mr. Matlock » Sat May 15, 2010 12:20 pm

As far as printers go, Duralex is spot on with the laser printer. I bought this workhorse 9 years ago:

Image

If I could get a brand new one, I'd snatch it up in a heartbeat as the ole' girl is finally starting to show her age. :( The speed and quality of the print is unmatched. Plus I was able to buy factory refurbished ink for around $25 which gave me thousands of prints at a fraction of ink-jet refills.

I will scour the ends of the world to find a worthy suitor. That HP you showed may fit the bill, but I'd like something a bit more compact.

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84Sunbird2000
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby 84Sunbird2000 » Sat May 15, 2010 7:07 pm

On the small laser printer front, the Brother HL-2170W is pretty amazing for the price. http://www.amazon.com/Brother-HL-2170W- ... 524&sr=1-1

I actually got mine for $39.99 at a local store (I have no idea why it was that cheap), and the original toner has lasted me well over 1,000 pages with no end in sight. Generic replacement toners are $15 or so, and the "genuine" toners go for about $25-30.

I have a Toshiba laptop (L305 model - cheapo Celeron with integrated graphics, but its been very reliable thus far). I've always had better luck with Toshiba than Acer and Compaq, going all the way back to my MMX-powered Satellite.

If I had no money at all (like none none), and all I needed my laptop for was note-taking, e-mail checking, and Office stuff, I'd get one of those $80 1.5 lb. 7" generic Chinese netbooks with Windows CE. It's like a smartphone with a keyboard and 7" display, but its light and functional for just taking to class and abusing without worry. I might get one just for notes actually.

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zeth006
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby zeth006 » Sun May 16, 2010 3:01 am

84Sunbird2000 wrote:On the small laser printer front, the Brother HL-2170W is pretty amazing for the price. http://www.amazon.com/Brother-HL-2170W- ... 524&sr=1-1

I actually got mine for $39.99 at a local store (I have no idea why it was that cheap), and the original toner has lasted me well over 1,000 pages with no end in sight. Generic replacement toners are $15 or so, and the "genuine" toners go for about $25-30.

I have a Toshiba laptop (L305 model - cheapo Celeron with integrated graphics, but its been very reliable thus far). I've always had better luck with Toshiba than Acer and Compaq, going all the way back to my MMX-powered Satellite.

If I had no money at all (like none none), and all I needed my laptop for was note-taking, e-mail checking, and Office stuff, I'd get one of those $80 1.5 lb. 7" generic Chinese netbooks with Windows CE. It's like a smartphone with a keyboard and 7" display, but its light and functional for just taking to class and abusing without worry. I might get one just for notes actually.


+1 on Brother 2170w.

The thing's a AK-47! Compact, reliable, and positively reviewed on Amazon.com and elsewhere. It's been around for some years, so you can find plenty of toner and refill kit sellers for this printer on eBay and Amazon.com. The trick to keeping your toner lasting beyond the set # pages and/or toner reader whining that it's used up is covering up the black sensors with tape. That's where a $3.99 roll of electric tape from Walgreens comes in handy.

When I get bored, one of these days, I'm going to order a refill kit on eBay and figure out how to refill my toner. Save a bit of money throughout law school.

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Sun May 16, 2010 9:23 am

Toner is nasty stuff (I used to deal w/a copier that had a refillable toner reservoir.) Refilling printer carts might not be worth the effort or possible ill health risks of toner inhalation, supposedly along the lines of asbestosis (especially since refilling non-refillable carts tends to be a messy business.) Those specific risks are as yet unverified, but generally speaking avoiding inhalation of particulate as fine as toner (8–10 μm) is probably wise.

It's tempting, given the expense of new toner carts, but I tend to think refilling is best confined to inkjet carts.
Last edited by Duralex on Sun May 16, 2010 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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vexion
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby vexion » Sun May 16, 2010 9:38 am

Why not use one of those refilling services and pay a poor Rite-Aid employee to refill your toner cartridge for you?

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Duralex
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby Duralex » Sun May 16, 2010 9:47 am

They do that? Yikes.

texas man
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Re: Best Law School Laptop for the Money

Postby texas man » Sun May 16, 2010 2:12 pm

betasteve wrote:I would NOT wait until only weeks before an exam. As soon as you are allowed to download it, is when you need to see if there is a fix or get bugs worked out.

Also, the fix that was posted was in removing VMWare Tools (in which the uninstall process fails to remove 3 files). But, because this arose during the uninstall process, I believe it is still true that you can't have VMWare installed at all. However, I guess there is a chance that you can have the VMWare installed but without VMWare Tools and it still work. I haven't tested that out.


So, what did you do after discovering the problem in October?
Also, what have been doing to get by since (do you use OneNote)?




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