The Ideal Law School Laptop

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jrock12
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby jrock12 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:52 pm

thank you....i am a better typer so i guess a table would be less helpful for me

i have a regular laptop, but was thinking about getting something small to just bring to class with me....although i have heard that some professors do not like students having their laptops out during class (or do not allow it at all)

Aqualibrium
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Apr 23, 2009 1:54 pm

djshack wrote:
jrock12 wrote:
jrock12 wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:If you can stretch you budget to $1700 dollars or so, I'd recommend a one-two punch of a netbook for taking to school on a daily basis and a unibody macbook for use at home and during finals. The former is light and portable enough that it will significantly lighten the load on your back, and the latter is powerful enough to take care of all your computing needs.

If you don't mind carrying more weight, just get a Macbook.

If you like the netbook-laptop idea but don't like Macs, get a solid HP instead.

I should also mention that my $1700 budget estimate is for two top-of-the-line machines. You can get a good netbook for as little as 300 dollars, and you can obviously get a competent laptop for $700, so you could probably keep the whole cost under $1000 if you needed to.


i dont want to ask a really stupid question or sound like a complete dinosaur, but what is the story with these netbooks? obviously i see that they are very small, but what are their actual capabilities? are they annoying to type on since they are so small?

thanks for the help, as i was in UG when desktop PCs were the norm


well since i'm finally getting some responses on this thread, figured i'd bump my earlier post..does anyone want to fill me in on these netbooks? or tablets? i've seen people in analyst/sharholder meetings with slate tablets? anyone have experience with these?


Are you a better writer or typist? For me, a tablet would be useless, because I prefer typing any day. Also, I cannot type for a long time on a netbook keyboard, as it's too small/cramped for my fingers. If what you're getting will be your primary computer, get a "normal" laptop with a 13" or 14" screen. Just make sure it doesn't weigh 8 pounds (most are 4-6 pounds).



I have an earlier post talking about some of the better tablets out there. Like djshack said, netbook keyboards are cramped...I also feel like the battery life makes them useless; if they ran around 4-6 hours instead of the average of about 2 1/2 then maybe I'd consider using one.

I think the point of a tablet though is having the option to type or write. I enjoy it because it allows me to be better organized with my notes... I dont have to go searching everywhere for papers. I also suck at typing lol!

cbreault
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby cbreault » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:00 pm

AJaKe wrote:I just got a new PC laptop last year but I am still thinking of getting a Mac, it is just so slow and overheats constantly, Vista frustrates me so much it isn't even funny. I was considering getting a Mac for class and use the PC for exams. But then I down want to spend money needlesly when the PC still works...


Same here. I got a Sony Vaio a couple of years ago and have been feeling the urge to upgrade for LS but have been having a hard time justifying the cost.

Aqualibrium
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Aqualibrium » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:01 pm

JazzOne wrote:
hombredulce wrote:
JazzOne wrote:
Unstable? I deal with enormous files in my recording studio, and I never have a hiccup in OS.


That is why I made sure to say "in my experiences," and then went on to give a specific file type that I have a problem with :) Open up a 12 gig mkv on osx and see how long it runs before your comp freezes lol.


I'm not trying to be a smart ass. I'm just not familiar with MKV, and my files are certainly smaller than 12 GB.



I know you weren't...mkv's are matroska video files, it's probably the prefered format for large hd video files on the web. OSX just has a problem playing them most of the time. I had a mac mini (4 gigs ram 2.4ghz c2d) set up as a media center, but the hard to find drivers+lack of players (aside from vlc which could handle the files sometimes) caused me to boot into windows more than i'd be in osx. I also was unable to find a program to burn a certain type of file (8gigs+) correctly so again ended up having to boot ito windows.

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eamonbriggs08
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby eamonbriggs08 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:02 pm

Lenovo X301

jrock12
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby jrock12 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:10 pm

another question for the more technologically sound than myself....

like i said above, i bought a very cheap computer....battery life is not great...probably about an hour and a half or so? can i just buy a new battery with better battery life? how much would something like this run me?

ssw1120
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ssw1120 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:14 pm

The exam software at the law school I will be attending is only compatible with Windows. So, I am going to use my MacBook Air (which I love) for taking notes, and I bought a Dell 12 inch Netbook with Windows XP for exams. I didn't want to chance going with Vista. There is an option on the air to install windows, but I didn't really want to do that. I highly recommend the lightest computer you can find with a keyboard that you are comfortable with. I researched Netbooks and liked the 10 inch Asus. I ended up with the 12 inch Dell (600.00 delivered from Costco) because I wanted a bigger keyboard for taking exams.

bigben
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby bigben » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:32 pm

T61's are done...The T400 is the new model and it is awesome. Strengths include best keyboard and battery life in the industry, and the best bang for the buck.

Some reviews:
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4569
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.a ... nkpad+t400


I see that some of you are taking OneNote into account. Very, very smart move. That program is amazing for law school.

As far as size, I like 14. I think 12s and 13s are WAY too small and 15 is WAY too big.

jrock12
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby jrock12 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:36 pm

ssw1120 wrote:The exam software at the law school I will be attending is only compatible with Windows. So, I am going to use my MacBook Air (which I love) for taking notes, and I bought a Dell 12 inch Netbook with Windows XP for exams. I didn't want to chance going with Vista. There is an option on the air to install windows, but I didn't really want to do that. I highly recommend the lightest computer you can find with a keyboard that you are comfortable with. I researched Netbooks and liked the 10 inch Asus. I ended up with the 12 inch Dell (600.00 delivered from Costco) because I wanted a bigger keyboard for taking exams.


inspiron 12? i see the more expensive model at $479...is that the one?

bigben
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby bigben » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:40 pm

Btw, Vista is great. Nothing wrong with it at all. All the fuss comes from a) people griping about the existence of any changes at all, because they are so used to everything in XP, and b) technical problems that are inevitably present in a new release of Windows, mainly because it is such a global platform. Luckily it has been out for quite a few years now and these problems are long gone.

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Spor
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Spor » Thu Apr 23, 2009 2:54 pm

I'm not worrying too much about Vista. I've been running the Windows 7 Beta for a few months and haven't had a single problem. I used Ubuntu for a year or so due to my extreme distaste for Vista, but I've loved the 7 Beta and have zero desire to use anything else. From what I've read it's scheduled to be released sometime late 2009 or really early 2010.

I could deal with Vista for a semester, or just downgrade to XP.

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djshack
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby djshack » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:02 pm

Spor wrote:I'm not worrying too much about Vista. I've been running the Windows 7 Beta for a few months and haven't had a single problem. I used Ubuntu for a year or so due to my extreme distaste for Vista, but I've loved the 7 Beta and have zero desire to use anything else. From what I've read it's scheduled to be released sometime late 2009 or really early 2010.

I could deal with Vista for a semester, or just downgrade to XP.


Or just get the 7 release candidate which will be available in May. It's supposedly not set to expire until August 2010, I believe.

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blbs
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby blbs » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:03 pm

I use a MacBook Air. Some argue its not enough computing power, but for virtually everything I use a computer for it is more than adequate. For any amount of web surfing or Office use it has plenty of speed/memory/storage. The only things that it can't handle are my photography and image editing applications for which I use an iMac. Having a two computer setup is kind of nice for classes though. Nothing on my MacBook Air is anything but work/school related and doing so helps limit the distractions.

One thing to beware of with Macs and LS though is that most/all? schools require the installation of Windows via Boot Camp so that you can run the software to take the finals.

mvhsbball22
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby mvhsbball22 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:08 pm

I'm seriously contemplating a netbook. Some of the 10-inch models have keyboards that are around 96% the size of full-size keyboards, and the battery life is approaching 6 hours.

I lugged a 17" behemoth to UG every day, and it was not awesome. I have a powerful computer at home for taking care of all my serious computing issues.

For exams, if the keyboard is not functional for you, what are the chances you could plug in a USB keyboard?

bigben
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby bigben » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:10 pm

mvhsbball22 wrote:For exams, if the keyboard is not functional for you, what are the chances you could plug in a USB keyboard?


You could. But you are probably going to want a good keyboard all time, e.g. for taking notes in class.

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sheltron5000
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sheltron5000 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:47 pm

jrock12 wrote:well since i'm finally getting some responses on this thread, figured i'd bump my earlier post..does anyone want to fill me in on these netbooks? or tablets? i've seen people in analyst/sharholder meetings with slate tablets? anyone have experience with these?


The thing with netbooks is that they are made to be REALLY cheap and light, mine was $250 and weighs 2.25lbs. The main problem is how they make them so light and cheap. They use very lowpowered components, so any kind of video is tough, and they can usually only handle games that are at least five years old. Also, they don't have CD/DVD drives, the screens are small, and the keyboards can be cramped (though that is changing). If you have big fingers and/or poor vision it's probably not a great choice.

You can buy extra/larger batteries, as well as external disk drives/keyboards. But they are definitely not intended to be your only computer. I really like mine because it is SOOO light, and, unlike full laptops of similar weight/portability, netbooks are CHEAP. if it breaks, or someone dumps coffee on it, you just buy a new one for a couple hundred bucks. Nothing to cry about (if I had a macbook Air, I would seriously freak out about that stuff).

I plan to use my netbook in class, and buy a desktop to use at home for writing and watching videos.

If you are thinking about it you might look at the Dell Minis which come in 9", 10", and 12" sizes. I got mine (a dell mini 9) and really like it. I had a black macbook but I always hated carrying it around, at 5lbs it was just too heavy and too expensive.

Hope that helps everyone!

jrock12
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby jrock12 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 3:51 pm

sheltron5000 wrote:
jrock12 wrote:well since i'm finally getting some responses on this thread, figured i'd bump my earlier post..does anyone want to fill me in on these netbooks? or tablets? i've seen people in analyst/sharholder meetings with slate tablets? anyone have experience with these?


The thing with netbooks is that they are made to be REALLY cheap and light, mine was $250 and weighs 2.25lbs. The main problem is how they make them so light and cheap. They use very lowpowered components, so any kind of video is tough, and they can usually only handle games that are at least five years old. Also, they don't have CD/DVD drives, the screens are small, and the keyboards can be cramped (though that is changing). If you have big fingers and/or poor vision it's probably not a great choice.

You can buy extra/larger batteries, as well as external disk drives/keyboards. But they are definitely not intended to be your only computer. I really like mine because it is SOOO light, and, unlike full laptops of similar weight/portability, netbooks are CHEAP. if it breaks, or someone dumps coffee on it, you just buy a new one for a couple hundred bucks. Nothing to cry about (if I had a macbook Air, I would seriously freak out about that stuff).

I plan to use my netbook in class, and buy a desktop to use at home for writing and watching videos.

If you are thinking about it you might look at the Dell Minis which come in 9", 10", and 12" sizes. I got mine (a dell mini 9) and really like it. I had a black macbook but I always hated carrying it around, at 5lbs it was just too heavy and too expensive.

Hope that helps everyone!


thanks a lot for the feedback...very helpful

but just curious...are you constantly saving files to a network/desktop/transferring to your main computer?

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sheltron5000
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby sheltron5000 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:03 pm

%90 of netbooks come with a multimedia card reader, so I have an 8GB SD card reader that I just save everything to, then I take it out and plug it into my desktop card reader, and work on that. I also back everything up to a network drive (see getdropbox.com) every couple of days just to be safe.

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Waterman47
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Waterman47 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:09 pm

jrock12 wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:If you can stretch you budget to $1700 dollars or so, I'd recommend a one-two punch of a netbook for taking to school on a daily basis and a unibody macbook for use at home and during finals. The former is light and portable enough that it will significantly lighten the load on your back, and the latter is powerful enough to take care of all your computing needs.

If you don't mind carrying more weight, just get a Macbook.

If you like the netbook-laptop idea but don't like Macs, get a solid HP instead.

I should also mention that my $1700 budget estimate is for two top-of-the-line machines. You can get a good netbook for as little as 300 dollars, and you can obviously get a competent laptop for $700, so you could probably keep the whole cost under $1000 if you needed to.


i dont want to ask a really stupid question or sound like a complete dinosaur, but what is the story with these netbooks? obviously i see that they are very small, but what are their actual capabilities? are they annoying to type on since they are so small?

thanks for the help, as i was in UG when desktop PCs were the norm


My take on netbooks:

-Perfect as a second computer to use for note-taking. You shouldn't have to worry about transferring stuff often, because you can just keep your notes on there like you would in a physical notebook, and then transfer them all at once with a software like onenote at the end of the semester if you need to for your outline.

-A good netbook can run any "normal" application, and certainly anything you would need to run in law school. Everyday internet browsing is totally smooth, whether it's YouTube or whatever else. You might have problems with advanced PC games or complex software, but that's why I recommend it as a second computer, not a first.

-The "tiny keyboard" thing is not always true. The one I have has a 96% keyboard, and I have no trouble with it despite my fairly large hands (I can easily palm a basketball). It doesn't slow me down at all in class.

-The screen size is small, but it's all relative. I was personally used to reading stuff on my iPhone all the time, so the netbook seemed fine to me from the start. I guess if you're used to a 22" desktop display it could be annoying, but for note taking a 10" screen is not a problem IMO. 8" or 9" might be. Even though I have a 13" laptop at home, I often grab my netbook when I need to quickly read something online. Remember that the font size doesn't get any smaller, it's only the screen size.

-The convenience of the size and lightness cannot be overstated. I slip it in the front pocket of my backpack and it's like it's not even there. The charger is also much smaller than a regular laptop, adding to the convenience.

-No CD drive, but plenty of USB and an SD card reader, so transferring is a breeze. If you need to install a program from a CD, you can easily put it on a USB through your main computer and then install it on your netbook from the USB.

-Overall, fantastically convenient for law school. Unless you have truly monstrous hands, I guess.

ucla2008
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby ucla2008 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:13 pm

Quick question, if you stick with a mac, how much does a copy of windows cost to run for test time? (legally running it)

jrock12
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby jrock12 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:14 pm

Waterman47 wrote:
jrock12 wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:If you can stretch you budget to $1700 dollars or so, I'd recommend a one-two punch of a netbook for taking to school on a daily basis and a unibody macbook for use at home and during finals. The former is light and portable enough that it will significantly lighten the load on your back, and the latter is powerful enough to take care of all your computing needs.

If you don't mind carrying more weight, just get a Macbook.

If you like the netbook-laptop idea but don't like Macs, get a solid HP instead.

I should also mention that my $1700 budget estimate is for two top-of-the-line machines. You can get a good netbook for as little as 300 dollars, and you can obviously get a competent laptop for $700, so you could probably keep the whole cost under $1000 if you needed to.


i dont want to ask a really stupid question or sound like a complete dinosaur, but what is the story with these netbooks? obviously i see that they are very small, but what are their actual capabilities? are they annoying to type on since they are so small?

thanks for the help, as i was in UG when desktop PCs were the norm


My take on netbooks:

-Perfect as a second computer to use for note-taking. You shouldn't have to worry about transferring stuff often, because you can just keep your notes on there like you would in a physical notebook, and then transfer them all at once with a software like onenote at the end of the semester if you need to for your outline.

-A good netbook can run any "normal" application, and certainly anything you would need to run in law school. Everyday internet browsing is totally smooth, whether it's YouTube or whatever else. You might have problems with advanced PC games or complex software, but that's why I recommend it as a second computer, not a first.

-The "tiny keyboard" thing is not always true. The one I have has a 96% keyboard, and I have no trouble with it despite my fairly large hands (I can easily palm a basketball). It doesn't slow me down at all in class.

-The screen size is small, but it's all relative. I was personally used to reading stuff on my iPhone all the time, so the netbook seemed fine to me from the start. I guess if you're used to a 22" desktop display it could be annoying, but for note taking a 10" screen is not a problem IMO. 8" or 9" might be. Even though I have a 13" laptop at home, I often grab my netbook when I need to quickly read something online. Remember that the font size doesn't get any smaller, it's only the screen size.

-The convenience of the size and lightness cannot be overstated. I slip it in the front pocket of my backpack and it's like it's not even there. The charger is also much smaller than a regular laptop, adding to the convenience.

-No CD drive, but plenty of USB and an SD card reader, so transferring is a breeze. If you need to install a program from a CD, you can easily put it on a USB through your main computer and then install it on your netbook from the USB.

-Overall, fantastically convenient for law school. Unless you have truly monstrous hands, I guess.


thanks alot...which model do you have?

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Waterman47
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Waterman47 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:21 pm

jrock12 wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:
jrock12 wrote:
Waterman47 wrote:If you can stretch you budget to $1700 dollars or so, I'd recommend a one-two punch of a netbook for taking to school on a daily basis and a unibody macbook for use at home and during finals. The former is light and portable enough that it will significantly lighten the load on your back, and the latter is powerful enough to take care of all your computing needs.

If you don't mind carrying more weight, just get a Macbook.

If you like the netbook-laptop idea but don't like Macs, get a solid HP instead.

I should also mention that my $1700 budget estimate is for two top-of-the-line machines. You can get a good netbook for as little as 300 dollars, and you can obviously get a competent laptop for $700, so you could probably keep the whole cost under $1000 if you needed to.


i dont want to ask a really stupid question or sound like a complete dinosaur, but what is the story with these netbooks? obviously i see that they are very small, but what are their actual capabilities? are they annoying to type on since they are so small?

thanks for the help, as i was in UG when desktop PCs were the norm


My take on netbooks:

-Perfect as a second computer to use for note-taking. You shouldn't have to worry about transferring stuff often, because you can just keep your notes on there like you would in a physical notebook, and then transfer them all at once with a software like onenote at the end of the semester if you need to for your outline.

-A good netbook can run any "normal" application, and certainly anything you would need to run in law school. Everyday internet browsing is totally smooth, whether it's YouTube or whatever else. You might have problems with advanced PC games or complex software, but that's why I recommend it as a second computer, not a first.

-The "tiny keyboard" thing is not always true. The one I have has a 96% keyboard, and I have no trouble with it despite my fairly large hands (I can easily palm a basketball). It doesn't slow me down at all in class.

-The screen size is small, but it's all relative. I was personally used to reading stuff on my iPhone all the time, so the netbook seemed fine to me from the start. I guess if you're used to a 22" desktop display it could be annoying, but for note taking a 10" screen is not a problem IMO. 8" or 9" might be. Even though I have a 13" laptop at home, I often grab my netbook when I need to quickly read something online. Remember that the font size doesn't get any smaller, it's only the screen size.

-The convenience of the size and lightness cannot be overstated. I slip it in the front pocket of my backpack and it's like it's not even there. The charger is also much smaller than a regular laptop, adding to the convenience.

-No CD drive, but plenty of USB and an SD card reader, so transferring is a breeze. If you need to install a program from a CD, you can easily put it on a USB through your main computer and then install it on your netbook from the USB.

-Overall, fantastically convenient for law school. Unless you have truly monstrous hands, I guess.


thanks alot...which model do you have?


HP Mini 1035: http://www.amazon.com/1035NR-10-2-Inch- ... B001J6N9J8

I got it for $400 and it seems to be even cheaper now on Amazon. I think it is basically the perfect netbook for law-school usage. The batter is only 3-cell, so you only get about 1.5 hours, but a 6-cell would protrude from the back and add to the weight, so I don't mind the 3-cell at all and wouldn't update. The charger is tiny anyway. The only complaint I have is that it doesn't have a battery level indicator, so you have to turn it on to see how much juice you have left, but that's a small complaint, again since the charger is so small.

KiwiApple
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby KiwiApple » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:21 pm

wow and who is waterman?

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labellavita
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby labellavita » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:24 pm

MacBook FTW. I got one a couple weeks ago and love it. The aluminum MacBook is only 4.5 lbs (the white one is 5 lbs) - so it fits in my bag and is easy to carry around.

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Waterman47
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Re: The Ideal Law School Laptop

Postby Waterman47 » Thu Apr 23, 2009 4:25 pm

KiwiApple wrote:wow and who is waterman?


que?




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