The Super Helpful Little Things

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Matthies
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Matthies » Sun May 23, 2010 11:20 am

jayn3 wrote:
vexion wrote:
arundodonax wrote:That's cool. I was a little worried there for a minute.

Why? A man's gotta have goals.

PS Matthies that is very cool.

also, i like the artist feel of that desk. that lamp looks super helpful....i never have enough light on my desk right now =\


That lamp saved my eyes in LS. You read so much and the font is so small you can easily get headaches fast. With that light I could put it right above my book, it helped alot

Edit: Oh and it just clamps to the side of the desk

clint4law
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby clint4law » Sun May 23, 2010 12:39 pm

wow...so many helpful tips..thanks to all the tech geniuses.

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Sauer Grapes
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Sauer Grapes » Sun May 23, 2010 7:51 pm

jl2032 wrote:I just saw this and thought of this thread...

http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod ... 55-600263-

It's a 22" monitor (1920x1080), wireless keyboard and mouse for $168.99 plus 1 year warranty

Image

I can vouch for that keyboard and mouse being nice. I wonder if it'd work with my macbook? Either way, when my desktop is back in my apartment, I bet the keyboards would interfere with each other.

creatinganalt
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby creatinganalt » Sun May 23, 2010 7:59 pm

Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.

I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.

People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.

Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?

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Matthies
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Matthies » Sun May 23, 2010 8:07 pm

creatinganalt wrote:Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.

I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.

People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.

Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?


I've never owned either a leveno or a Acer, other folks here have so can probaly comment on them. The only other suggstion would be look at Dell Insperion or Studio laptops. Dell has a tech support options where you can get tech support with basci software like windows and office, for an extra fee, might be soemthing to look into if your not that comferatble with computers so you have somome to call if you run into problems. If you have some computers in mind, post a link to specs and we can look at them for you. Also check Dell.com they also have an EEP student dicount program as well.

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vexion
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby vexion » Sun May 23, 2010 8:21 pm

creatinganalt wrote:Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.

I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.

People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.

Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?

Hey creatinganalt,

First, not to be disparaging or anything, but the words "Can someone just point me to the correct machine!?" are more often than not a recipe for disaster. A laptop is a big purchase, especially if you're going to be relying on this machine for Law School Success™. Sometimes when people ask to just be "pointed" in the right direction, they'll click Add to Shopping Cart on the first thing someone recommends, and end up absolutely hating it. Don't be that guy! Read on!

Second, and this is my nitpicky personal opinion being forced down your throat: You already have a laptop. I can understand the desire to have a "clean" one to keep "virus/drama free," but I just don't think it's necessary. What type of laptop do you currently have? If it's a big honking 17" Alienware monster, yeah, I wouldn't take that to class. The guy behind you will get pissed when he can't see anything past your gigantic overpriced screen. But if it's something you feel that could work for you in class, but you're worried about viruses, well... clean your computer. It's not worth dropping $850 on a second computer unless all you had was a desktop and you were looking to buy a laptop. A clean computer is a happy computer. Run a few free anti-malware programs (Spybot S&D, Avast!, AVG), make sure their definitions are all up to date first. This should clean off most of what's on there unless you've got something really nasty. If you do have something really nasty, back up your important files to something like Dropbox, or if you have a lot more than 2GB, to an external harddrive. Then put in your Windows CD and reformat your computer. Then, install a reputable autoupdating, autoscanning antivirus. Microsoft's own Microsoft Security Essentials is actually really nice. Finally, don't use Limewire or Kazaa to download music, never download a .exe or a .bat file if you don't know what it is, same goes for email attachments... in general, the best way to avoid viruses is responsible internet use. 'Nuff said.

But, if you still want a second laptop, I'll second a Lenovo. My Thinkpad is a phenomenal laptop. But my favorite way to get awesome opinions is to go here, to Notebookreview.com's "What Notebook Should I Buy?" forum. In this case, the "What Notebook Should I Buy For School?" subforum. At the top of the forum you'll see a sticky by Nickspohn called "--> What Should I Buy FORM (Please Read Before Posting) <--". Make a new account, copy/paste that form into a new thread and fill it out. The people on NBR know their stuff when it comes to laptops... they're very knowledgeable and very, very up-to-date. Also, try to get hands-on time with any laptop you want to purchase. Go to your local Best Buy, put your hands on the keyboard, try some typing, use the trackpad, check out the cool multitouch gestures or Thinklight or whatever little selling points it has. Ask the Best Buy blueshirt to sell you on the laptop. Then say "No thanks" and walk away, because you can get it substantially cheaper online.

Sorry. That dragged on.

tl;dr

1) Clean your old laptop up and use it.
2) Failing that, go to http://www.notebookreview.com and ask their opinion.
3) Buy online. Get discounts. Prosper.

And a subpoint,

4) Buy with a credit card. If your factory warranty on the laptop runs out and it later breaks, a lot of credit cards offer automatic extended warranty protection plans for electronics and stuff. To find out the specifics, call your card provider. That way when your Ideapad's two days out of warranty and goes kaput, you call Mastercard and say, "Help! I want to activate my protection plan on this laptop I totally did not break!" and they'll refund the purchase price. Maybe. It all depends.

creatinganalt
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby creatinganalt » Sun May 23, 2010 8:23 pm

^

Thank you guys so much! That is exactly the (detailed level of) advice I was hoping for. My current laptop is only 15'4'' but is very heavy. I agree re the music downloading/viruses - I've brought it all on myself and I don't want to do that during law school.

I will look into all of the options you suggested!

RW65
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby RW65 » Sun May 23, 2010 8:26 pm

creatinganalt wrote:^

Thank you guys so much! That is exactly the (detailed level of) advice I was hoping for.

I will look into all of the options!


Just buy a flash drive and keep all law school documents on it. Back everything up online weekly. No need to purchase another laptop.

Unadilla Kayaker
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Unadilla Kayaker » Sun May 23, 2010 9:05 pm

If you do decide to buy an Acer (or anyone else does) my advice is to think twice. I've had two Acer laptops now (and I live in Taiwan where they are designed/some parts made). They have a tendency to run hot (especially with AMD chips). I find the Asus laptops better and have some friends who have them and have had much better luck. Other friends of mine have recommended Dell, and I think HP has some cool stuff going on too. Lenovo is probably a good brand, and three of my friends in the U.S. have Toshiba laptops and recommend them.

You really do need to shop around, look at reviews, check out CNET, and make your own decision. I personally think I will be getting a MacbookPro for law school. However, if I were to get a PC laptop I'd probably go with a Asus UL Series laptop.

So, overall my advice is to stay away from Acer.

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John J. Rambo, Esq.
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby John J. Rambo, Esq. » Sun May 23, 2010 9:16 pm

Unadilla Kayaker wrote:If you do decide to buy an Acer (or anyone else does) my advice is to think twice. I've had two Acer laptops now (and I live in Taiwan where they are designed/some parts made). They have a tendency to run hot (especially with AMD chips). I find the Asus laptops better and have some friends who have them and have had much better luck. Other friends of mine have recommended Dell, and I think HP has some cool stuff going on too. Lenovo is probably a good brand, and three of my friends in the U.S. have Toshiba laptops and recommend them.

You really do need to shop around, look at reviews, check out CNET, and make your own decision. I personally think I will be getting a MacbookPro for law school. However, if I were to get a PC laptop I'd probably go with a Asus UL Series laptop.

So, overall my advice is to stay away from Acer.


I've been using an Acer Aspire One netbook as my primary computer for 6 months, so I thought I'd toss in my two cents. I have already lost the left CTRL key. Aside from the keyboard, my netbook seems to be built decently... definitely sturdier than my friend's HP. I upgraded to 2 gb of ram, which allows me to stream video well and use itunes. I'm pretty happy with this machine for under $300, but I think I'm going to get something with a full size keyboard and larger screen for law school.

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Thomas Jefferson
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Thomas Jefferson » Sun May 23, 2010 9:17 pm

Unadilla Kayaker wrote:If you do decide to buy an Acer (or anyone else does) my advice is to think twice. I've had two Acer laptops now (and I live in Taiwan where they are designed/some parts made). They have a tendency to run hot (especially with AMD chips). I find the Asus laptops better and have some friends who have them and have had much better luck. Other friends of mine have recommended Dell, and I think HP has some cool stuff going on too. Lenovo is probably a good brand, and three of my friends in the U.S. have Toshiba laptops and recommend them.

You really do need to shop around, look at reviews, check out CNET, and make your own decision. I personally think I will be getting a MacbookPro for law school. However, if I were to get a PC laptop I'd probably go with a Asus UL Series laptop.

So, overall my advice is to stay away from Acer.


I agree Asus >>> Acer.
--ImageRemoved--

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vexion
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby vexion » Sun May 23, 2010 9:40 pm

Oh God we've become this thread (that lives at the top of my View Your Posts every day...)

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Matthies
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Matthies » Sun May 23, 2010 10:11 pm

vexion wrote:Oh God we've become this thread (that lives at the top of my View Your Posts every day...)


We should just start an all things geek thread

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vexion
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby vexion » Sun May 23, 2010 10:34 pm

Matthies wrote:We should just start an all things geek thread

Done and done.

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zeth006
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 24, 2010 7:39 pm

Thomas Jefferson wrote:
Unadilla Kayaker wrote:If you do decide to buy an Acer (or anyone else does) my advice is to think twice. I've had two Acer laptops now (and I live in Taiwan where they are designed/some parts made). They have a tendency to run hot (especially with AMD chips). I find the Asus laptops better and have some friends who have them and have had much better luck. Other friends of mine have recommended Dell, and I think HP has some cool stuff going on too. Lenovo is probably a good brand, and three of my friends in the U.S. have Toshiba laptops and recommend them.

You really do need to shop around, look at reviews, check out CNET, and make your own decision. I personally think I will be getting a MacbookPro for law school. However, if I were to get a PC laptop I'd probably go with a Asus UL Series laptop.

So, overall my advice is to stay away from Acer.


I agree Asus >>> Acer.
--ImageRemoved--



I take those numbers with a grain of salt. The % figure are just for 2009, and the numbers like all statistics fluctuate from year to year. If you figure in a roughly 3-5% standard deviation for overall reliability across manufacturers, you'll find that the difference is too minimal. I won't be the least surprised if Asus loses top spot next year to #2 Toshiba or Apple.

EDIT: But I'd pay close to Acer, Gateway, and HP. Acer bought up Gateway while the latter was floundering and bleeding cash. They and HP seem to be focusing solely on market share. Now I'm not saying focusing on growth is necessarily always an unwise move. But remember that it's not a far cry from the paths GM and Toyota took not too long ago. I'd definitely look into buying warranty coverage with these guys.

/geek
Last edited by zeth006 on Mon May 24, 2010 8:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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zeth006
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby zeth006 » Mon May 24, 2010 7:51 pm

creatinganalt wrote:Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.

I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.

People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.

Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?



Asus UL50VT (14inch) @ Amazon.com

Asus UL30VT (13inch) @ Amazon.com

Both should be below $800 on Amazon.com unless something has changed.

Sony Vaio Y (13 inch) - Check Sony's website. It's normally $800 before taxes. You can knock off a few bucks by just going through their education store (Search "education" via their search field)



All 3 are perfect for your needs. The Asus will get you respectable battery life. I recommend the Sony for solid build construction and keyboard.

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Ronaldo
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Ronaldo » Wed May 26, 2010 9:08 pm

What about using an Ipad as a replacement for a monitor?

I know that it is smaller, but I really want a legitimate excuse to buy an Ipad and I cannot find one! :(

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Duralex
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 9:53 am

Ronaldo wrote:What about using an Ipad as a replacement for a monitor?

I know that it is smaller, but I really want a legitimate excuse to buy an Ipad and I cannot find one! :(


No. Just, no.

Unless you already have experience with and equipment for working in a paperless fashion, I think the iPad v1 is a (huge) waste of money for LS. I'm getting one through a rebate deal, but I'm expecting its utility to be limited enough that I'm considering a standalone eReader. A later model might be better configured for school (weight reduction would help too--it's surprisingly heavy for one-handed use, when not propped up.)

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samiseaborn
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby samiseaborn » Thu May 27, 2010 12:53 pm

creatinganalt wrote:Please help. I'm not a computer person AT ALL. I already have a laptop and will be buying a monitor as per the advice on this thread. I want to buy another laptop which I can take to class with me and keep 100% 'clean' for school. I want to be able to take it to class (so like 13 - 14 inches not a netbook) and work on it. On this laptop I literally won't do anything outside of Office/internet - no gaming or anything serious. But not even music as my itouch and itunes would be kept to my other laptop. Would want to keep this virus/drama free. Just needs to be relatively light but also large enough to work on.

I don't want to spend too much money on it - like fairly cheap. (Loans are serious business!) I hate working on Macs and they are too expensive anyway. Really want to keep this to under $850.

People keep pointing me to either a Lenovo Ideapad or an Acer Inspire. I'm finding it really difficult to get a read on which would be best because even reading online reviews are all evaluating computers against things I don't need/understand.

Can someone just point me to the correct machine (please!)?


Truthfully, this sounds like a waste of money. But if you are going to do it anyway, I bought the Lenovo for around $700 w.a 1 year warranty. It's served its purpose just fine, it was really light in weight which was important to me. It made it all year (I installed iTunes, and that was about it), with only one problem (which was really a windows problem and the Lenovo 'recovery' feature fixed it), so even if it croaks now, I think I got my moneys worth. I would have rathered a Mac, but it wasn't in the budget for me. Also, lenovo has personal pop-up ads now which aren't a technical problem, but irritating.

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Duralex
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 1:04 pm

Buy a used macbook C2D (previous revision--white or black) on the 'Bay, and an OEM copy of XP for BootCamp (if it doesn't come with.) Should be ~$600-$700 for one w/midrange specs.

regatsrj
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby regatsrj » Thu May 27, 2010 1:09 pm

Duralex wrote:
Ronaldo wrote:What about using an Ipad as a replacement for a monitor?

I know that it is smaller, but I really want a legitimate excuse to buy an Ipad and I cannot find one! :(


No. Just, no.

Unless you already have experience with and equipment for working in a paperless fashion, I think the iPad v1 is a (huge) waste of money for LS. I'm getting one through a rebate deal, but I'm expecting its utility to be limited enough that I'm considering a standalone eReader. A later model might be better configured for school (weight reduction would help too--it's surprisingly heavy for one-handed use, when not propped up.)


Actually there's an app for that now that apparently works pretty well:

http://gizmodo.com/5547546/air-display- ... t-the-pain

If you're not a budget, I say go for it. Future versions of the iPad will be much better, but if you've got the dough this first generation is a fine little toy/second monitor. However, if you're like most people on TLS, you have at least some budget constraints, and I would advise these people against purchasing an iPad -- especially if your main motivation is to use it as a second monitor. Just buy a standalone monitor if that's your goal -- it'll be tons cheaper and the monitor will be larger.

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Duralex
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Duralex » Thu May 27, 2010 1:12 pm

This is VNC, same as ScreenRecycler. Trust me, it doesn't work all that well even with a real computer to run the second display, except maybe for display of a static window that is hardly ever refreshed. I do often use SR to display PDFs on a second display (using VNC--sometimes running from a USB key--on a desktop PC) from my macbook. The hextile distortion even from scrolling is intense and laggy.

At least with SR I can use my PC for other stuff simultaneously by resizing/minimizing the VNC window.

It'd be nice if a future revision of iPad had a DisplayPort such that it was capable of both driving an external display and working as a slave display, but I wouldn't hold my breath. Apple often leaves gaping holes in their product lineups to try and force you to buy more or more expensive things--note the conspicuous absence of an expandable midrange desktop minitower ever since the switch to Intel.

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rowlf
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby rowlf » Thu May 27, 2010 8:32 pm

I second the Asus. I have an eleven inch Asus netbook and it's proven pretty hardy. I bought it in a pinch when my real laptop died and I had no money. It has long battery life, it's light, and it cost way less than what you want to pay. I'm going to get a Macbook Pro when I start school as well, because I need a computer with a bit more.

regatsrj wrote:
Duralex wrote:
Ronaldo wrote:What about using an Ipad as a replacement for a monitor?

I know that it is smaller, but I really want a legitimate excuse to buy an Ipad and I cannot find one! :(


No. Just, no.

Unless you already have experience with and equipment for working in a paperless fashion, I think the iPad v1 is a (huge) waste of money for LS. I'm getting one through a rebate deal, but I'm expecting its utility to be limited enough that I'm considering a standalone eReader. A later model might be better configured for school (weight reduction would help too--it's surprisingly heavy for one-handed use, when not propped up.)


Actually there's an app for that now that apparently works pretty well:

http://gizmodo.com/5547546/air-display- ... t-the-pain

If you're not a budget, I say go for it. Future versions of the iPad will be much better, but if you've got the dough this first generation is a fine little toy/second monitor. However, if you're like most people on TLS, you have at least some budget constraints, and I would advise these people against purchasing an iPad -- especially if your main motivation is to use it as a second monitor. Just buy a standalone monitor if that's your goal -- it'll be tons cheaper and the monitor will be larger.


lol, way to quote the party line. There is no legitimate excuse to get an iPad. It's awesomely cool, but as this article put it, it's a solution seeking a problem: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13924_3-20005708-64.html.

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creamedcats
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby creamedcats » Fri May 28, 2010 3:10 am

ChewbaccaDefense wrote:I'm not a 1L yet, but I can think of a few things I've done that will help me when I head back to school next year.

Health/Nutrition: Get your diet in order. Remove processed foods and excess sugar from your diet. As far as a max-benefit diet goes (certainly not necessary), I function best on the Paleo diet. You can buy a copy of The Paleo Diet by Loren Cordain for $15 in B&N or Borders. Essentially, I limit my food to vegetables, fruits, meat, fish, nuts, and seeds (the perimeter of the grocery store). Not saying this works for everybody; you need to tinker with things and see what works best for you. Reduce your dependency on caffeine and other stimulants (Do this before going! I hear soda/coffee withdrawl can make quitting smoking pale in comparison). Speaking of which, if you're a smoker, kick the habit now. Like coffee/soda, it'll be much harder to do in school. Develop a strict workout schedule that has some high intensity/interval training. I work harder than most of the people at my gym and I'm in and out of the place in 30 minutes. As an example, you can check out http://www.crossfit.com.

Cooking: Learn how to cook if you don't know how. Many munis have adult continuing ed classes which offer cooking instruction for very little money. Once you know how to cook, learn how to cook quickly. Have 20 - 30 dishes that take 30 minutes to prepare, give you at least 4 servings each time you prepare them, and refridgerate and reheat well.

Stress: Find something that you can do in 30 minutes or less and will ALWAYS de-stress you. For some people, it might be watching a favorite TV show/movie or reading a novel. However, I think a lot of people go to these things because it's what they do when they're relaxing. Actively de-stressing and relaxing are often two different things. If I'm stressed and I start watching TV, I stress more because it's a passive activity I'm thinking about whatever is stressing me. For me, swimming is a great way to actively de-stress. When I'm swimming, I preoccupy myself with my pace, breathing, and stroke, which leaves very little room to think about a case I can't wrap my head around.

These things all seem pretty fluffy, but they have a VERY real impact on how my brain functions when I really need to use it. Case in point; I took the LSAT when I didn't have these things nailed down and got a 156 and 165 in September and December, respectively. I got my act together on each and every one of the things above and, without any re-prep, I took a new preptest for the hell of it and got a 171.


Surprised this post didn't get more attention. My number one efficiency killer is physical sloth, and nothing is more distracting than illness or poor nutrition. Cooking is the number one lifehack in that it improves your health, teaches you a useful life skill, and saves you oodles of money and time if you're doing it right. Stir-fry a bunch of chicken and fresh veggies, snack on fruit throughout the day. Not downing tons of coffee/energy drinks - also an easy fix. I have done it and I've quit them, I don't think it's that big of a deal. Enjoy fresh, cool, water. Drink lots of it. Pee frequently, you get an excuse to get up.

I have been thinking about my daily routine, and the only thing I have written in stone is - find time to go to the gym.

I don't know about three monitors, but I'm definitely getting a solid state hard drive, a bookstand and a really comfortable chair.

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Duralex
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Re: The Super Helpful Little Things

Postby Duralex » Fri May 28, 2010 11:12 am

Is the desire for the SSD due to greater reliability? (No spinning platters, no moving read head). Or for performance? Just curious.




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