Computers for Law School 2011

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:33 pm

champsound wrote:Love how this turned into a best computers for gaming (during law school) thread.


That is because the best computer for law school is something that pretty much needs to function at the level of a typewriter hooked up to an ethernet cable.

deepspacenine
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby deepspacenine » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:34 pm

notanumber wrote:So, does anybody here use a dual monitor setup for their desktop? If so, does it help with productivity?

I'm considering buying a macbook air and turning my old pro into a desktop. I've always been drawn to the idea of dual monitors (notes and papers on one side, work product on the other), but I've never actually worked with them. How would this work for the kinds of tasks one does in law school?


Even though I love Apple and I am half joking with folks here (I really do game just on a Mac but I don't think it is an ideal solution for anyone really)... I will say that your idea would be easy. Dual monitors are a snap as long as your GPU is capable of powering the resolution. I've actually been toying with giving up my love of one computer (MBP) to get a MacBook Air and build a gaming rig. I'm just afraid with a PC at my desk I'll end up using that more since it is right in front of me and I much prefer the workflow of OS X for law studies.

Anyways, tl;dr Dual monitor setups are easy. Don't stress it if that is the route you want to go. Just don't use Windows ME with it and you will be fine :P

deepspacenine
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby deepspacenine » Wed Mar 16, 2011 2:34 pm

bk1 wrote:
champsound wrote:Love how this turned into a best computers for gaming (during law school) thread.


That is because the best computer for law school is something that pretty much needs to function at the level of a typewriter hooked up to an ethernet cable.


BUT UNIVERSITY OF MINESOTA SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE TO BUY A 1337 THINKPAD TO USE WORD?!

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:14 pm

deepspacenine wrote:
notanumber wrote:So, does anybody here use a dual monitor setup for their desktop? If so, does it help with productivity?

I'm considering buying a macbook air and turning my old pro into a desktop. I've always been drawn to the idea of dual monitors (notes and papers on one side, work product on the other), but I've never actually worked with them. How would this work for the kinds of tasks one does in law school?


Even though I love Apple and I am half joking with folks here (I really do game just on a Mac but I don't think it is an ideal solution for anyone really)... I will say that your idea would be easy. Dual monitors are a snap as long as your GPU is capable of powering the resolution. I've actually been toying with giving up my love of one computer (MBP) to get a MacBook Air and build a gaming rig. I'm just afraid with a PC at my desk I'll end up using that more since it is right in front of me and I much prefer the workflow of OS X for law studies.

Anyways, tl;dr Dual monitor setups are easy. Don't stress it if that is the route you want to go. Just don't use Windows ME with it and you will be fine :P


Dual screen setups are extremely easy with OSX as well. Especially since that old MBP has a full DVI port on it. After my wife's PC crapped out for the last time (Not that I couldn't debug it again... I just got sick of it), she used my first gen pro with an Apple Cinema Display for a long while until we upgraded it to a Mac Mini. The only difference is we had it closed and off to the side... you get to keep it open!

Have fun with the dual screen setup. I used one for years because of video editing. Going back to a single screen just feels so limiting.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:17 pm

deepspacenine wrote:
bk1 wrote:
champsound wrote:Love how this turned into a best computers for gaming (during law school) thread.


That is because the best computer for law school is something that pretty much needs to function at the level of a typewriter hooked up to an ethernet cable.


BUT UNIVERSITY OF MINESOTA SAYS YOU NEED TO HAVE TO BUY A 1337 THINKPAD TO USE WORD?!


They just have lazy IT. Supporting every Windows setup under the sun is a bitch and a half and they probably aren't setup for Macs/don't want to make the switch because of some lame IT world war. So just have one laptop from a reliable brand, do the full setup once, and carbon copy it to an archive. Bam. Now they can surf porn (EDIT: or play WoW) without fear of system issues taking up more than 10 minutes a day.

frijoles99
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby frijoles99 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:42 pm

Do not buy the ipad for 600 dollars a netbook at 250 is far superior a device for law school purposes. It runs all the necessary software, is about as light, and can be used for tests it' also more portable than carrying around an ipad and bluetooth keyboard. Also with the extra 300 in savings you can add 100 dollars and build a budget desktop that will rape any laptop/macbook in gaming performance.

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kalvano
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby kalvano » Wed Mar 16, 2011 3:58 pm

LOL at typing 6,000 words in 3 hours on a Netbook. Unless you have hands the size of bottle cap, it will be a disadvantage.

frijoles99
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby frijoles99 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:07 pm

Not true, I wrote a 24 page paper on the original 7 in. netbooks and I was just fine. They put tons of research on making sure the keyboards are placed well enough to easily type on. Having used a netbook exclusively for a year I had no issues with the keyboard.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:12 pm

frijoles99 wrote:Not true, I wrote a 24 page paper on the original 7 in. netbooks and I was just fine. They put tons of research on making sure the keyboards are placed well enough to easily type on. Having used a netbook exclusively for a year I had no issues with the keyboard.


Want a sticker? The rest of us will stick with our non-miniature keyboards. My iPad's virtual keyboard is bigger than a netbook keyboard for christ's sake.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby merc280 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:21 pm

geoduck wrote:
frijoles99 wrote:Not true, I wrote a 24 page paper on the original 7 in. netbooks and I was just fine. They put tons of research on making sure the keyboards are placed well enough to easily type on. Having used a netbook exclusively for a year I had no issues with the keyboard.


Want a sticker? The rest of us will stick with our non-miniature keyboards. My iPad's virtual keyboard is bigger than a netbook keyboard for christ's sake.



yeah ive have this same problem on my dell mini. you have to get used to it, but even then I'm having to press backspace if i start typing too fast. Probably going to get another computer with a full size keyboard before august.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rebelx13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:36 pm

I figured battery life + performance would be an issue, but considering the size of the screen, and the fact that the unit theoretically will automagically be switching from integrated to dedicated graphics only when necessary (ie. gaming), I would expect at least 6 hours (with screen brightness low and wifi on). This would be reasonable for one full day in classes, taking notes on word, no?

As a point of reference, I've worn out the battery on my Dell so that I'd be glad to get about 2.5 hours out of it. But then again, it does have a dedicated card and is a 15.4" screen.

I don't want to use Pages or any other Apple Office equivalent for the following reasons "Trimmed down features of Pages versus fully fledged Office? Lack of compatibility with certain formatting? Annoyance with the layout because he is so used to Office?" The gf had constant complaints (and issues that I'd have to fix) using Pages and Office for her Mac that I don't want to spend the time again to get everything running well like I have right now on my PC. I don't mind using Google Docs, but that would require a constant internet connection. I'm sure OpenOffice has been made quicker, but from my previous experiences, it was a pain to use, so I'd like to avoid that. Basically, if it's not Office, and to a lesser extent, Google Docs, I don't want to use it. I'm sure they're great programs, but I'm picky. I do know that the school I'm looking into (Santa Clara) does offer exam software for both OSX/Windows, but nothing mentioned on other platforms, so at least both OS's seem to be supported.

Again, space wouldn't be an issue because of Dropbox, and now that I think about it, the 16GB WiFi model would be sufficient since mostly everything I would need would be in the could. My main concern is the fact that iOS broswers would be able to run any proprietary software that classes may require (at least on non exam days...I can definitely bring in my laptop on days where I need to take an exam or final).

I will not be purchasing any type of Mac except an iOS device. I'm not a fan of the OS and the keyboard layout. I will not be building a laptop since I'm constantly mobile and would like the ability to game on the go.

The other thing that I don't like about the iPad is looking like a complete tool whipping out my iPad and keyboard combo in class. I'm trying to fit in, not look like a hipster geek (not that all Apple fans are hipster geeks! Much love!) But then again, I don't want to be labeled a "gamer nerd" with an Alien on my laptop either. So I'm screwed either way.

I think it boils down to whether or not I'll be able to sufficiently get my work done (ie. take notes) on an iPad + keyboard combo (since I know it can easily be done on the Alienware). I'm worried I'll have to use an app like DocumentsToGo and it won't offer me the same level fo comfort as Office itself. If I use Google Docs, I'll need to be constantly uploading and downloading files to keep them synced with my laptop (if need be).

Has anyone actively used a tablet in class before? Not necessarily to handwrite, but just in terms of performance (the older units seemed to be slower so it might be a more indiciative measuring stick against the performance of an iPad 2.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rebelx13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:38 pm

frijoles99 wrote:Do not buy the ipad for 600 dollars a netbook at 250 is far superior a device for law school purposes. It runs all the necessary software, is about as light, and can be used for tests it' also more portable than carrying around an ipad and bluetooth keyboard. Also with the extra 300 in savings you can add 100 dollars and build a budget desktop that will rape any laptop/macbook in gaming performance.


Thanks! I thought about getting a netbook, but they're much to slow for me (since I would start to use it more as a primary unit than just a note taking device). Plus, I didn't get a free Cr-48 from Google, which bums me out that considering that I would now need to pay for a netbook (lol).

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:44 pm

rebelx13 wrote:As a point of reference, I've worn out the battery on my Dell so that I'd be glad to get about 2.5 hours out of it. But then again, it does have a dedicated card and is a 15.4" screen.


So buy a new battery? The wonders of non-Apple technology and their easily replaceable parts.

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NikaneOkie
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby NikaneOkie » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:51 pm

Any disadvantage to the 13 inch air
and a monitor?

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:54 pm

NikaneOkie wrote:Any disadvantage to the 13 inch air
and a monitor?


Price, lack of an optical drive, minimal specs. Other than that, go for it.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rebelx13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:59 pm

bk1 wrote:
rebelx13 wrote:As a point of reference, I've worn out the battery on my Dell so that I'd be glad to get about 2.5 hours out of it. But then again, it does have a dedicated card and is a 15.4" screen.


So buy a new battery? The wonders of non-Apple technology and their easily replaceable parts.


I guess that's not really a problem. Warranty will cover it. The entire unit is close to 7 pounds and I plan to carry a messenger back. That would add heft and weight to a limited space. Do people still use backpacks at law school?

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blerg
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby blerg » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:00 pm

Lots of people have backpacks.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:01 pm

rebelx13 wrote:I don't want to use Pages or any other Apple Office equivalent for the following reasons "Trimmed down features of Pages versus fully fledged Office? Lack of compatibility with certain formatting? Annoyance with the layout because he is so used to Office?" The gf had constant complaints (and issues that I'd have to fix) using Pages and Office for her Mac that I don't want to spend the time again to get everything running well like I have right now on my PC. I don't mind using Google Docs, but that would require a constant internet connection. I'm sure OpenOffice has been made quicker, but from my previous experiences, it was a pain to use, so I'd like to avoid that. Basically, if it's not Office, and to a lesser extent, Google Docs, I don't want to use it. I'm sure they're great programs, but I'm picky. I do know that the school I'm looking into (Santa Clara) does offer exam software for both OSX/Windows, but nothing mentioned on other platforms, so at least both OS's seem to be supported.


You don't want a tablet. Google Docs doesn't format exactly the same way as Word either. Office doesn't either if you ever switch between versions. I can't imagine a scenario in which Pages wouldn't fulfill your day-to-day note taking and word processing needs. Word is pretty horrendously laid out (pre and post ribbon) and would be horrible to use on a small screen with your finger. And I don't just mean you don't want an iPad. You just don't want a tablet.

Judging by your post, you are one of those people who would get fed up with an iPad extremely quickly and then complain about iOS nonstop. Save yourself and those you know the pain and stick with a laptop/netbook.

rebelx13
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rebelx13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:02 pm

bk1 wrote:
NikaneOkie wrote:Any disadvantage to the 13 inch air
and a monitor?


Price, lack of an optical drive, minimal specs. Other than that, go for it.


Are optical drives necessary for law school?! My Alienware doesn't have one.

rebelx13
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby rebelx13 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:03 pm

geoduck wrote:
rebelx13 wrote:I don't want to use Pages or any other Apple Office equivalent for the following reasons "Trimmed down features of Pages versus fully fledged Office? Lack of compatibility with certain formatting? Annoyance with the layout because he is so used to Office?" The gf had constant complaints (and issues that I'd have to fix) using Pages and Office for her Mac that I don't want to spend the time again to get everything running well like I have right now on my PC. I don't mind using Google Docs, but that would require a constant internet connection. I'm sure OpenOffice has been made quicker, but from my previous experiences, it was a pain to use, so I'd like to avoid that. Basically, if it's not Office, and to a lesser extent, Google Docs, I don't want to use it. I'm sure they're great programs, but I'm picky. I do know that the school I'm looking into (Santa Clara) does offer exam software for both OSX/Windows, but nothing mentioned on other platforms, so at least both OS's seem to be supported.


You don't want a tablet. Google Docs doesn't format exactly the same way as Word either. Office doesn't either if you ever switch between versions. I can't imagine a scenario in which Pages wouldn't fulfill your day-to-day note taking and word processing needs. Word is pretty horrendously laid out (pre and post ribbon) and would be horrible to use on a small screen with your finger. And I don't just mean you don't want an iPad. You just don't want a tablet.

Judging by your post, you are one of those people who would get fed up with an iPad extremely quickly and then complain about iOS nonstop. Save yourself and those you know the pain and stick with a laptop/netbook.


If I told you I would use a keyboard exclusively for notes on an iPad, would that change your opinion about using some sort of word processing program on the iPad?

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:04 pm

bk1 wrote:
NikaneOkie wrote:Any disadvantage to the 13 inch air
and a monitor?


Price,lack of an optical drive, minimal specs. Other than that, go for it.


FTFY

Unless you like wasting battery life on physically spinning rather useless objects.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:10 pm

rebelx13 wrote:
geoduck wrote:
rebelx13 wrote:I don't want to use Pages or any other Apple Office equivalent for the following reasons "Trimmed down features of Pages versus fully fledged Office? Lack of compatibility with certain formatting? Annoyance with the layout because he is so used to Office?" The gf had constant complaints (and issues that I'd have to fix) using Pages and Office for her Mac that I don't want to spend the time again to get everything running well like I have right now on my PC. I don't mind using Google Docs, but that would require a constant internet connection. I'm sure OpenOffice has been made quicker, but from my previous experiences, it was a pain to use, so I'd like to avoid that. Basically, if it's not Office, and to a lesser extent, Google Docs, I don't want to use it. I'm sure they're great programs, but I'm picky. I do know that the school I'm looking into (Santa Clara) does offer exam software for both OSX/Windows, but nothing mentioned on other platforms, so at least both OS's seem to be supported.


You don't want a tablet. Google Docs doesn't format exactly the same way as Word either. Office doesn't either if you ever switch between versions. I can't imagine a scenario in which Pages wouldn't fulfill your day-to-day note taking and word processing needs. Word is pretty horrendously laid out (pre and post ribbon) and would be horrible to use on a small screen with your finger. And I don't just mean you don't want an iPad. You just don't want a tablet.

Judging by your post, you are one of those people who would get fed up with an iPad extremely quickly and then complain about iOS nonstop. Save yourself and those you know the pain and stick with a laptop/netbook.


If I told you I would use a keyboard exclusively for notes on an iPad, would that change your opinion about using some sort of word processing program on the iPad?


It's still going to be a tablet interface for all of your tasks not involving the actual text entry. Pages and the like are certainly powerful enough to do any word processing that you need to do and I'll be using my iPad for class notes. I think that you would not be happy with the iPad if you absolutely need an app that works exactly like standard Word. Their version of Word for Windows Phone 7 is terrible, so even if they came out with an iOS app you couldn't expect much.

EDIT: Yep Pages supports doc and docx.

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Last edited by geoduck on Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:11 pm

geoduck wrote:FTFY

Unless you like wasting battery life on physically spinning rather useless objects.


I get physical Netflix discs still. I still buy physical copies of certain games (though this last part wouldn't matter for a MBA because a MBA wouldn't be playing them).

I dunno, but I'm not ready to completely ditch the optical drive just yet. Would I rather not use it? Of course, but they aren't obsolete quite yet.

rebelx13 wrote:Are optical drives necessary for law school?! My Alienware doesn't have one.


I don't believe they are necessary for law school but as I noted above I wouldn't feel okay if I didn't have one.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:15 pm

bk1 wrote:
geoduck wrote:FTFY

Unless you like wasting battery life on physically spinning rather useless objects.


I get physical Netflix discs still. I still buy physical copies of certain games (though this last part wouldn't matter for a MBA because a MBA wouldn't be playing them).

I dunno, but I'm not ready to completely ditch the optical drive just yet. Would I rather not use it? Of course, but they aren't obsolete quite yet.


It depends on if you are only going to have one computer and if that computer ever needs to touch the Netflix disks. My iMac's slot has been unfilled for at least a year. The only time I needed to use a disc in all that time was with my external blu-ray burner to make a hard backup copy of a show. If you need a drive just to rip movies, nothing's stopping Air users from plugging in a drive at home. It's like another 40 bucks, but that's the price issue :D

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bk1
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby bk1 » Wed Mar 16, 2011 7:18 pm

geoduck wrote:It depends on if you are only going to have one computer and if that computer ever needs to touch the Netflix disks. My iMac's slot has been unfilled for at least a year. The only time I needed to use a disc in all that time was with my external blu-ray burner to make a hard backup copy of a show. If you need a drive just to rip movies, nothing's stopping Air users from plugging in a drive at home. It's like another 40 bucks, but that's the price issue :D


For me personally it's more about watching DVD's when I travel (I usually bring 1-2 for the plane flight and/or the airport). If I'm at home I have plenty of devices that can play DVD's.

I can see people who are fine without an optical drive or are fine with using an external, I was merely pointing out that in certain cases not having an optical drive is a minus for the MBA.




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