♬ Television’s an invention
Close to my heart
But I know something twice as cool
And three times as smart
Cups and pencil sharpeners
Are okay machines
But this one blows them all away
Come see what I mean
You gotta see my new computer
Come and check it out
I’m gonna show you
Ah – ha – ha
Just what it’s all about…♬
Words and music by Sesame Street and Jim Henson.
Right now families are busy trying to figure out what computer to buy for their kids heading off to college. I know – I am right in that group. After much agonizing, we made a decision – and to hopefully save others time and grief, here is what we purchased and why. I have also added what we downloaded immediately onto the computer once we got it home and why.
First was the purchase decision. Since my daughter will be thousands of miles away in university, I didn’t want to end up in the same situation with my mom – who calls me up and says “this ….isn’t working..what do I do?” Hers is a Compaq Windows XP machine and for the life of me I find it almost impossible to extend familial computer support from 2500 miles away. Her problems have to await my arranging my schedule to stop by and see her (and solve her computer problems at the same time). Which means that she goes for weeks if not months with something or other not working. Since my daughter will be in first year, this is untenable. We needed to find another route.
SO – what did we buy? A MacBook Pro, 15 inch 2.53 GHz, 320 GB hard drive with a remote (why not?) and iWorks ’09 installed. We selected the AppleCare 3 year support plan, as I would want her to have the ability to call Apple any time to get whatever support she needs ASAP to get her project work done. The comfort factor alone is worth this, since I will be a long way away….
Why this particular computer? We wanted one that would last, that would be as protected as possible against malware and which would grow with her as her needs changed. We obtained a ‘sleeve’ for the laptop that will shield it against most shocks and bumps. And which, *of course* would be pink (her colour, of course…)
The computer is a solid one, with a built-in cam, and all the applications and utilities that Apple already supplies (iPhoto, iCal, iTunes, Safari, Keychain, iChat etc…). We spent a few moments setting up iChat so that she on her new MacBook Pro and I on my MacBook can video conference for free (saving her old dad much in the way of long distance cell charges…). We ordered iWork ’09 preinstalled and spent a bit of time familiarizing ourselves with it.
Then came the add-ons. The first was the free version of iAntivirus from PCTools (we don’t want any problems with malware for the Mac), Skype (might as well have an alternative to iChat) and FireFox (to have an alternative to Safari) . I gave my daughter a decent headset/microphone that allows her a bit more privacy than using the mic and speakers on the Mac when we wish to chat.
We also downloaded NeoOffice for the Mac. At this point I am anticipating that iWork and NeoOffice will fulfill her need for word processing, database, spreadsheet and presentation software. We are hoping to avoid having to purchase Microsoft Office for the Mac (which I use on my MacBook). It isn’t that I have anything against MS Office, but I would prefer if she can use alternatives that are true Mac applications if possible.
I have to say that I like her lighted keyboard as well as the size of the screen (15″) compared to my 13″ MacBook, although my white MacBook is lighter (but noticably smaller). We have enabled the hard-drive encryption built into the Mac for security reasons. I do like the new touchpad features in her MacBook Pro that are not available on my MacBook.
Apple threw in a Canon Pixma MX320 printer for free along with a significant discount on an iTouch, together with a small savings for purchasing all this thru the Apple educational online store. They also thru in free shipping. I am very happy as is my daughter – and most importantly, I feel I have given her a significant start along the way towards her university education. Now it is all up to her…
And I am sure that she will be saying …you gotta see my new computer…This entry was posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2009 at 12:13 am and is filed under I'm a Mac, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
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