Computers for Law School 2011

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albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:46 pm

Gemini wrote:I'd like a 13" MBP. I'm just worrying right now about whether to buy the Microsoft Office Package or just get iWork. And also which note-taking programs are good for Mac. I wish OneNote for Macs was out already. :x

Anyway, I'm tagging this thread for future reference. Thanks!


Some schools offer Microsoft Office for a nominal charge like $10 or $15. You might want to check with your school before splashing out.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:50 pm

TheKingintheNorth wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
TheKingintheNorth wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:I'd rather not break it down, but FCP is not an industry standard, word templates are word templates for mac and windows. Doesn't matter what OS you use them on. Oh, and iTunes for Linux? Seriously?



Final Cut is used by all the pros and prosumers I know. Please don't call me out for using personal anecdotes :).

The templates are different from what I saw. Go search for any decent notebook template for Word for Windows. The one i'm thinking of may be stock for the Word for Mac version, but it's still not available for Windows.

edit: Word for Mac 2011 to be specific


You presented FCP as the end all, be all when it's really just a good bang for your dollar in terms of software.

As for the Mac Word 2011 issue, you're really nitpicking here. It is available for Windows 2010 - templates use the same format. lulz.

I reiterate: iTunes for Linux? I don't even

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:51 pm

ResolutePear wrote:You presented FCP as the end all, be all when it's really just a good bang for your dollar in terms of software.

As for the Mac Word 2011 issue, you're really nitpicking here. It is available for Windows 2010 - templates use the same format. lulz.

I reiterate: iTunes for Linux? I don't even


I still take umbrage at your treatment of FCP. Just a good bang for your dollar? Are you an editor?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:21 pm

geoduck wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:You presented FCP as the end all, be all when it's really just a good bang for your dollar in terms of software.

As for the Mac Word 2011 issue, you're really nitpicking here. It is available for Windows 2010 - templates use the same format. lulz.

I reiterate: iTunes for Linux? I don't even


I still take umbrage at your treatment of FCP. Just a good bang for your dollar? Are you an editor?


Hey, I just call it like I see it. Port it to Windows with good support (paired with cheap hardware) and I'll call it more.

Though, to be fair I use Vegas.

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geoduck
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby geoduck » Fri Jun 03, 2011 5:13 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
geoduck wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:You presented FCP as the end all, be all when it's really just a good bang for your dollar in terms of software.

As for the Mac Word 2011 issue, you're really nitpicking here. It is available for Windows 2010 - templates use the same format. lulz.

I reiterate: iTunes for Linux? I don't even


I still take umbrage at your treatment of FCP. Just a good bang for your dollar? Are you an editor?


Hey, I just call it like I see it. Port it to Windows with good support (paired with cheap hardware) and I'll call it more.

Though, to be fair I use Vegas.


Don't worry. I'll pretend like that doesn't invalidate your comments. I mean... they cut Paranormal Activity on Vegas... :wink:.

But seriously, FCP takes up somewhere around a third of the entire professional editing market and does so on all levels. AVID still has the larger share in good part due to it's legacy and editors who have never worked on any other NLE system. Just watch, that FCP market share will break 50% within ten years thanks to almost all new film makers having way more experience with FCP than AVID. I know AVID bugs the shit out of me every time I have to use it at all. Especially when you factor in Motion, FCS is an amazing package.

Edit: Well depending on whose survey, it's somewhere between 18 and 40% of editors, even though near 90% of editing is done on Macs. I have a feeling the fact that FCP isn't actually 64bit and thus can't use the memory for renders as well as AVID has affected those numbers... so the release of the 64bit FCPX could shake things up a bit when all those AVID Adrenaline users start having to decide whether they want to move to Mojo or FCP.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:29 pm

TheKingintheNorth wrote:I just picked up a high-end 15" Macbook Pro with an SSD and Anti-Glare. I can't wait till it gets here. This is strange because I've been an avid PC user for my entire life (initially due to gaming I assume, but Macs weren't so great a decade ago I remember).


I know better than anyone it was overpriced by about 700-800 dollars even with the student discount, so i'll list the reasons why I got it anyway. Keep in mind this is not a typical Mac v. PC OS battle, but the actual laptops.

1. Bootcamp is relatively easy to use, especially when coupled with a SSD drive (90 extra dollars, but youll need an external if you don't have one). If you plan on using it, make sure to get a 64bit edition of Windows 7. Bootcamp pretty much negates any reason not to get a Mac other than the inflated price (which is still a very good reason, mind you).

2. The Microsoft Office suite for Mac is significantly better than it is for Windows. A lot of this is Mac OSX's general GUI, but there are certain student orientated outline and notetaking templates for Word that blew me away. I couldn't find them for PC. OneNote is the obvious exception here but I really think Word for Mac does a good job subbing in some features, and there are a lot of free alternatives. I happened to not be familiar with OneNote at all, so if something like Growley Notes is neccessary, it won't be any more of an issue that learning OneNote. You may or may not be in this same situation.

3. iTunes, for better or worse, is a fairly ubiquitous media player. It runs faster, especially with its Quicktime coupling, on Mac OSX (or linux OSes in general). There's also a number of cool addons available only for Mac for iTunes. More importantly, Aperture and Final Cut are best in their class programs that are Mac-only.

4. SELF-SUPPORT! I don't give a shit about the genius bar and their geniuses, but I love googling my computer problems. This is the most important thing by far if you want to keep a laptop running in good shape 3 years. Laptop PCs ive purchased, where usually I just get the best possible raw power at the best price, rarely ran well after a year and a half. They use cheaper manufactures and blah blah. It is invaluable to have a huge community based around a laptop for hardware issues you run into.

5. As good as I am avoiding viruses, I always manage to sloppily catch one through a torrent or something. Recently I had all of my documents wiped (luckily right around graduation I keep a lot of stuff in my Gmail, but I did lose some cool stuff). That's not (at least not as big) a problem if you get a Macbook.

6. Style. The thing is fucking sexy, and every PC looks ugly as hell next to it. I know everyone has their own tastes, but come on.


Also, in undergrad about 80-90% of all laptops were Macs--so I wouldn't be worried about compatibility issues with any test taking software or, at the very worst, being alone with that problem.


Good luck with the SSD. I was set on an SSD for my new MBP but I read some stuff that gave me pause. Whatever though, I got the 15", upgraded to 7200 rpm. Tossed around high-res but I don't need it that fancy. 2.0 ghz cpu. Not completely future proof or the most high-end, but unlike my current laptop won't be laughably obsolete in two years. Just hope it comes by Monday...got it through my school for the university purchase discount (bought it a few days before graduating ha!). Would've been here a few days ago, but the way it works is Apple ships it to the campus store when I order through them (the idea being that you pick it up there...but I graduated and went home). Just reshipped it UPS. Should be here Monday, when Steve Jobs introduces Lion and all that good stuff. Looking forward to it.

The recent malware shit has scared me, but I think we're ok as long as we're not complete morons. In terms of hardware quality, I think the MBP's have been second to none since around 2005 or so. I don't think I agree that Office is better on the Mac, but I do appreciate the Notebook feature in Word for Mac, but that's moot, since I for one use probably less than 20% of Word's full power 99% of the time anyway, and they've been closing the gap between Windows and Mac features with every release. And yeah, a decade ago was a different story, but these days OS X is a very mature operating system, and if you're not an extreme outlier of a power user I'm sure you're fine.

As far as price is concerned, I got a discount beyond the regular Education discount by purchasing through my campus store. I believe the 2.0 ghz base 15" was $1631. $75 for an academic licence of Office, about $60 for Acrobat (may not use it to its full power, but for $60 hardly a waste of money). AppleCare because I'm paranoid. A company as vertically integrated as Apple, selling through its own retail outlets should theoretically be able to price better, but why charge less when people will pay extra? But I'm not complaining. You've gotta pick your expenditures. Some people like shoes, some people like cars, some people like going out. I like the macbook pro. If you know what you want and splurge on one specific thing you'll have for a few years and spend wisely elsewhere, where's the sin in that?

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:35 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
TheKingintheNorth wrote:I just picked up a high-end 15" Macbook Pro with a SSD and Anti-Glare. I can't wait till it gets year. This is strange because I've been an avid PC user for my entire life (initially due to gaming I assume, but Macs weren't so great a decade ago I remember).


I know better than anyone it was overpriced by about 700-800 dollars even with the student discount, so i'll list the reasons why I got it anyway. Keep in mind this is not a typical Mac v. PC OS battle, but the actual laptops.

1. Bootcamp is relatively easy to use, especially when coupled with a SSD drive (90 extra dollars, but youll need an external if you don't have one). If you plan on using it, make sure to get a 64bit edition of Windows 7. Bootcamp pretty much negates any reason not to get a Mac other than the inflated price (which is still a very good reason, mind you).

2. The Microsoft Office suite for Mac is significantly better than it is for Windows. A lot of this is Mac OSX's general GUI, but their are certain student orientated outline and notetaking templates for Word that blew me away. I couldn't find them for PC.

3. iTunes, for better or worse, is a fairly ubiquitous media player. It runs faster, especially with its Quicktime coupling, on Mac OSX (or linux OSes in general). There's also a number of cool addons available only for Mac for iTunes. More importantly, Aperture and Final Cut are best in their class programs that are Mac-only.

4. SELF-SUPPORT! I don't give a shit about the genius bar and their geniuses, but I love googling my computer problems. This is the most important thing by far if you want to keep a laptop running in good shape 3 years. Laptop PCs ive purchased, where usually I just get the best possible raw power at the best price, rarely ran well after a year and a half. They use cheaper manufactures and blah blah. It is invaluable to have a huge community based around a laptop for hardware issues you run into.

5. As good as I am avoiding viruses, I always manage to sloppily catch one through a torrent or something. Recently I had all of my documents wiped (luckily right around graduation I keep a lot of stuff in my Gmail, but I did lose some cool stuff). That's not (at least not as big) a problem if you get a Macbook.

6. Style. The thing is fucking sexy, and every PC looks ugly as hell next to it. I know everyone has their own tastes, but come on.


Also, in undergrad about 80-90% of all laptops were Macs--so I wouldn't be worried about compatibility issues with any test taking software or, at the very worst, being alone with that problem.


Hm. All these reasons and still, there is nothing here that's more than personal preference.


Yeah. I'm no PC or Mac loyalist, but it boils down to personal preference. Technically all you need is a word processor and an internet connection. My old Pentium 4 notebook would do the trick. No one here *needs* 8 gigs of RAM to run Pro Tools or whatever the fuck (and if you do, chances are it's just a hobby, so you don't "need" to and you probably wouldn't have time). Compatibility is a non-issue these days, 99% of the time it's going to be an archaic IT dept or p.o.s. obscure software that gives you Mac compatibility issues. There really doesn't need to be any conversation on specs. You need something reliable that you can type and use the internet on.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:44 pm

If I had the cash I wouldn't mind replacing my SSD every 18-24 months (seriously). Just not practical for me.

Hard drives fail all the time, but I'm not ready for an SSD. I'm really not convinced that a law student will appreciate an SSD. If you're just running Word, Chrome, and the occasional pirated movie on VLC it's not really worth the money. In terms of future-proofing, it's debatable, but saying that you'll notice SSD with shit like Word is like saying you can feel the earth rotate. You might boot faster and all that geekgasm shit, but if you're not running any professional software don't waste your money. Also, SSDs are high maintenance in terms of making sure you treat them right to get their full lifetime potential. A higher end CPU, graphics card, SSD, whatever for word and internet browsing is a waste of money. Unless you have the money. I like getting MORE power than I need (just gives me a sense of security and future proofedness), but not stupidly overpowered.

On the one hand, I do agree that if ~300 gb is not enough for you, you need to re-evaluate how you store data.

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:43 pm

Naked Dude wrote:Also, SSDs are high maintenance in terms of making sure you treat them right to get their full lifetime potential. A higher end CPU, graphics card, SSD, whatever for word and internet browsing is a waste of money. Unless you have the money. I like getting MORE power than I need (just gives me a sense of security and future proofedness), but not stupidly overpowered.

On the one hand, I do agree that if ~300 gb is not enough for you, you need to re-evaluate how you store data.


A modern OS and a good drive controller take care of drive. As a user you shouldn't have to do anything special, except not running a defragmenter every evening.

A higher end CPU or discrete graphics probably cost as much as an SSD upgrade, yet for most students I think the SSD would give more noticeable benefits. Your computer boots much faster and applications load much faster. The CPU upgrade or graphics card would have a negligible impact, given these are both typically slow because of the mechanical disk.

Finally, the big seller for me is that an SSD by having no moving parts makes the laptop much much more durable if you are throwing it in a bag with heavy books.

The hard drive is the most likely thing to fail in your computer. An SSD is less likely to fail, and if it does is likely to fail in a way that leaves your data intact. For me that's easily worth an extra $hundred or so on the price.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 1:46 pm

albanach wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:Also, SSDs are high maintenance in terms of making sure you treat them right to get their full lifetime potential. A higher end CPU, graphics card, SSD, whatever for word and internet browsing is a waste of money. Unless you have the money. I like getting MORE power than I need (just gives me a sense of security and future proofedness), but not stupidly overpowered.

On the one hand, I do agree that if ~300 gb is not enough for you, you need to re-evaluate how you store data.


A modern OS and a good drive controller take care of drive. As a user you shouldn't have to do anything special, except not running a defragmenter every evening.

A higher end CPU or discrete graphics probably cost as much as an SSD upgrade, yet for most students I think the SSD would give more noticeable benefits. Your computer boots much faster and applications load much faster. The CPU upgrade or graphics card would have a negligible impact, given these are both typically slow because of the mechanical disk.

Finally, the big seller for me is that an SSD by having no moving parts makes the laptop much much more durable if you are throwing it in a bag with heavy books.

The hard drive is the most likely thing to fail in your computer. An SSD is less likely to fail, and if it does is likely to fail in a way that leaves your data intact. For me that's easily worth an extra $hundred or so on the price.


Are you serious?

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TheFutureLawyer
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby TheFutureLawyer » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:54 pm

albanach wrote:worth an extra $hundred or so on the price.


SSD cost about 20 times per gig more than hard drives. If they were really worth the price, HDDs would have gone the way of the VCRs by now. It'll be a few more years before that happens, though it has definitely started.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:08 pm

ResolutePear wrote:Are you serious?


Yes - launching applications and booting are typically not CPU bound, they are disk bound, so having a faster CPU will have little to no impact whereas having a disk that reads the data ten times faster will have a dramatic impact.

Toms Hardware shows a 2007 MacBook Pro with a standard HDD boots in 46 seconds. With an SSD it boots in 24. So the figures speak for themselves. Modern HDDs are barely faster than those in 2007, SSDs have improved significantly since then.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:10 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
albanach wrote:worth an extra $hundred or so on the price.


SSD cost about 20 times per gig more than hard drives. If they were really worth the price, HDDs would have gone the way of the VCRs by now. It'll be a few more years before that happens, though it has definitely started.


SSD's are decent, but with more platforms moving to the cloud.. it might be the same to have no HD at all as 16GB of memory would be enough for any current day application.. including the OS, probably sans newer games.

I think the next development and innovation in this field is going to be standardized fiber-to-the-premise and municipal wifi for every home nationwide(gingle: issss on yourrrrr side).

albanach
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:11 pm

TheFutureLawyer wrote:
albanach wrote:worth an extra $hundred or so on the price.


SSD cost about 20 times per gig more than hard drives. If they were really worth the price, HDDs would have gone the way of the VCRs by now. It'll be a few more years before that happens, though it has definitely started.


Most folk have little need to keep hundreds of gigs of data on a laptop. But yes, that's where standard platter based drives excel. Personally, I prefer to keep that stuff on my network where it's available to all the household computers and TVs rather than sitting on one device.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:23 pm

albanach wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:Are you serious?


Yes - launching applications and booting are typically not CPU bound, they are disk bound, so having a faster CPU will have little to no impact whereas having a disk that reads the data ten times faster will have a dramatic impact.

Toms Hardware shows a 2007 MacBook Pro with a standard HDD boots in 46 seconds. With an SSD it boots in 24. So the figures speak for themselves. Modern HDDs are barely faster than those in 2007, SSDs have improved significantly since then.


OS startup times are variable and somewhat different from application loads while they're both the same in terms of usability.

Applications, including your mono-kernel are loaded to CPU caches, then to memory once off the harddrive. That's why you don't hear your HD spinning 24/7 except when doing an initialization off a program on your HD.

The reason why the CPU is so important is simple: When you move something from the HD into a CPU cache, the CPU works. Same when it moves it from the cache to the memory, and when it moves it from memory and back to the cache.

Lets take this a step further:

Use photoshop and load a 100MB(Not MP..) image and work with it - do a few filters, etc. On load of the image file, are you seriously going to tell me that it's going to load any faster when the bottleneck is the CPU(and maybe the GPU, depending on the setup)?

Granted, it's better for accessing large amounts of data on the HDD.. if you have to do lots of initial loads for whatever reason it may be. The reason why SSD's have caught on is due to video editing and games. Games access HDD's all the time.. but only because there isn't enough memory on the system. It's good programming to load crap onto memory whenever possible.

So, a simple.. "Well, OS startup is shorter by 50%.. so the SSD has to be 50% better!" doesn't work unless you have a need to constantly reboot your computer.

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Naked Dude
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Naked Dude » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:27 pm

I think I'll be ok with booting 30 seconds slower and launching word and adium 2 milliseconds slower. If I actually had to run some Adobe shit or pro tools I'd be all over it, but I don't need the SSD speed. I don't even need a big hard drive. For casual use not a good investment IMO.

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gothamm
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby gothamm » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:20 pm

btw, SSDs are fantastic. It is the best upgrade i've ever made to a computer



2011 mbp 13" w/crucial c300 256 gb.

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gothamm
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby gothamm » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:23 pm

Naked Dude wrote:I think I'll be ok with booting 30 seconds slower and launching word and adium 2 milliseconds slower. If I actually had to run some Adobe shit or pro tools I'd be all over it, but I don't need the SSD speed. I don't even need a big hard drive. For casual use not a good investment IMO.


You are absolutely correct. But the "need" argument takes you down a slippery slope, ultimately leading to "you don't NEED a laptop for law school".

There are so many benefits to SSDs that I can not explain. But if I had to, I would say that it makes everything so much more fluid on my mac. You just need to experience it so see what I mean :D

SSDs in the year 2011 are by no means an industry standard. Nor is anyone expected to have one in law school. It is definitely a premium upgrade. But the upgrade was so significant that I simply can not see myself using a hard disk. I guess you can call me an SSD snob.
Last edited by gothamm on Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:25 pm

gothamm wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:I think I'll be ok with booting 30 seconds slower and launching word and adium 2 milliseconds slower. If I actually had to run some Adobe shit or pro tools I'd be all over it, but I don't need the SSD speed. I don't even need a big hard drive. For casual use not a good investment IMO.


You are absolutely correct. But the "need" argument takes you down a slippery slope, ultimately leading to "you don't NEED a laptop for law school".

There are so many benefits to SSDs that I can not explain. But if I had to, I would say that it makes everything so much more fluid on my mac. You just need to experience it so see what I mean :D


Actually, you do need one if your school uses Examsoft, IIRC.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby gothamm » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:27 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
gothamm wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:I think I'll be ok with booting 30 seconds slower and launching word and adium 2 milliseconds slower. If I actually had to run some Adobe shit or pro tools I'd be all over it, but I don't need the SSD speed. I don't even need a big hard drive. For casual use not a good investment IMO.


You are absolutely correct. But the "need" argument takes you down a slippery slope, ultimately leading to "you don't NEED a laptop for law school".

There are so many benefits to SSDs that I can not explain. But if I had to, I would say that it makes everything so much more fluid on my mac. You just need to experience it so see what I mean :D


Actually, you do need one if your school uses Examsoft, IIRC.


Can't you use the school's desktops?

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ResolutePear
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:30 pm

gothamm wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
gothamm wrote:
Naked Dude wrote:I think I'll be ok with booting 30 seconds slower and launching word and adium 2 milliseconds slower. If I actually had to run some Adobe shit or pro tools I'd be all over it, but I don't need the SSD speed. I don't even need a big hard drive. For casual use not a good investment IMO.


You are absolutely correct. But the "need" argument takes you down a slippery slope, ultimately leading to "you don't NEED a laptop for law school".

There are so many benefits to SSDs that I can not explain. But if I had to, I would say that it makes everything so much more fluid on my mac. You just need to experience it so see what I mean :D


Actually, you do need one if your school uses Examsoft, IIRC.


Can't you use the school's desktops?

http://www.law.uchicago.edu/students/life/IT
All law students must have a laptop on which to take their final exams. Many students choose to take notes on laptops as well. All law students may take out an additional $1,500 alternative loan to purchase a computer. The most recent recommended laptop configuration is detailed here.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby albanach » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:32 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
Applications, including your mono-kernel are loaded to CPU caches, then to memory once off the harddrive. That's why you don't hear your HD spinning 24/7 except when doing an initialization off a program on your HD.

The reason why the CPU is so important is simple: When you move something from the HD into a CPU cache, the CPU works. Same when it moves it from the cache to the memory, and when it moves it from memory and back to the cache.



The CPU cache has little to do with this - it's tiny by comparison to main memory, and a processor upgrade on a line of laptops is likely to add little if any additional cache.

ResolutePear wrote:Lets take this a step further:

Use photoshop and load a 100MB(Not MP..) image and work with it - do a few filters, etc. On load of the image file, are you seriously going to tell me that it's going to load any faster when the bottleneck is the CPU(and maybe the GPU, depending on the setup)?


Sorry? Photoshop? We're talking about computers used for law school.

An SSD will give a noticeable performance boost when doing the things law students do - starting their computer and when running, opening their applications and switching between them if they have enough open to force stuff to cache (quite easily achieved if you're the type who keeps a hundred tabs open on their web browser).

The SSD will also lower power consumption, extending battery life.

These are things you will notice using a laptop for law school and will make your day to day use of a laptop more pleasant than a CPU clocked 10% faster for the same money. Your computer access the disk frequently, and is disk bound way more often than being CPU bound. An SSD will deliver more snappiness every time you use the computer.

If someone is content with startup times, application load times and are willing to be gentle with their laptop, they can save the money altogether. If they want an upgrade I maintain an SSD will offer more bang for buck than a faster CPU.

About the only argument I can see for a CPU/GPU upgrade is that you can't do them later. For most folk here, that's irrelevant since the $2,500 you can borrow would easily cover the cost of both if you wanted to spend that much money.

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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby ResolutePear » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:53 pm

albanach wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
Applications, including your mono-kernel are loaded to CPU caches, then to memory once off the harddrive. That's why you don't hear your HD spinning 24/7 except when doing an initialization off a program on your HD.

The reason why the CPU is so important is simple: When you move something from the HD into a CPU cache, the CPU works. Same when it moves it from the cache to the memory, and when it moves it from memory and back to the cache.



The CPU cache has little to do with this - it's tiny by comparison to main memory, and a processor upgrade on a line of laptops is likely to add little if any additional cache.

ResolutePear wrote:Lets take this a step further:

Use photoshop and load a 100MB(Not MP..) image and work with it - do a few filters, etc. On load of the image file, are you seriously going to tell me that it's going to load any faster when the bottleneck is the CPU(and maybe the GPU, depending on the setup)?


Sorry? Photoshop? We're talking about computers used for law school.

An SSD will give a noticeable performance boost when doing the things law students do - starting their computer and when running, opening their applications and switching between them if they have enough open to force stuff to cache (quite easily achieved if you're the type who keeps a hundred tabs open on their web browser).

The SSD will also lower power consumption, extending battery life.

These are things you will notice using a laptop for law school and will make your day to day use of a laptop more pleasant than a CPU clocked 10% faster for the same money. Your computer access the disk frequently, and is disk bound way more often than being CPU bound. An SSD will deliver more snappiness every time you use the computer.

If someone is content with startup times, application load times and are willing to be gentle with their laptop, they can save the money altogether. If they want an upgrade I maintain an SSD will offer more bang for buck than a faster CPU.

About the only argument I can see for a CPU/GPU upgrade is that you can't do them later. For most folk here, that's irrelevant since the $2,500 you can borrow would easily cover the cost of both if you wanted to spend that much money.


Wait.. so we're comparing just law school apps? Office and examsoft.

Again, Office loads into memory and Examsoft does not use the HDD.

Sooo... I don't see the argument here.

Stoic
Posts: 43
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 4:05 pm

Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby Stoic » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:32 pm

This might be a stupid question but what does that trackball in the Lenovo keyboard actually do? It just looks like it will be a nuisance when typing

And can anyone actually way the Asus vs. the Lenovo thinkpad.

I also saw the ideapad today in Best Buy? How does that rate as a laptop? Thanks.

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beach_terror
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Re: Computers for Law School 2011

Postby beach_terror » Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:47 pm

Stoic wrote:This might be a stupid question but what does that trackball in the Lenovo keyboard actually do? It just looks like it will be a nuisance when typing

And can anyone actually way the Asus vs. the Lenovo thinkpad.

I also saw the ideapad today in Best Buy? How does that rate as a laptop? Thanks.

Holy crap, how do you not know what that does (it's called a trackpoint)? Dear lord. FWIW, I don't use trackpads, I only use trackpoints. Trackpads are the fucking worst ever. Nipple navigation ftw. I would never buy a laptop without one.

Also, continued LOL at the people who advocate for SSDs.




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