Press Releases

COLLEGE STUDENTS COMPUTER AT TOP OF THE LIST

Put the College Students Computer at the top of your list when shopping for dorm room supplies and an appropriate college wardrobe. The college student’s computer has become the essential accessory in today’s technological age.

Even though schools typically have computer labs accessible 24/7, often monitored by student or IT specialists, your own computer in the dorm is not only a comfortable place to work, it is your virtual and actual office.

Your computer houses your notes, bookmarks, previous work, photos, e-mails, Internet data and downloads while surrounded by your hard copy texts, periodicals, longhand notes and correspondence, and any support objects, equipment, or site projects still in development. Not to mention social networking.

The college student’s computer is the hub of college life, from online classes and assignments to charting extracurriculars like football games, movies, study groups and study dates, fun dates, mixers, and special interest get-togethers. Don’t leave home without it.

And if the computer from middle school has yet to be upgraded or last year’s model crashed forever, there’s a website designed with college students in mind. Appropriately named CollegeStudentsComputer (http://www.collegestudentscomputer.com) , the College Student’s Computer site offers advice and insight on what to look for in making that most important—and expensive—21st Century investment, useful links, and hints for the non-geek (though all geeks are welcome!) on how best to organize your workspace and desktop, essential programs, and what to do when technology fails you.

BASIC SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS

Apple Mac or Microsoft Windows—It’s a matter of preference. If you have experience with one and you like it, best to stick to that operating system. While they are very similar, there will be a lot of new ways of doing things when you get to school. No need to complicate your life any more than necessary.

Capacity—Today’s programs eat up a lot of bytes (kb, mb, and Gs). That means they require a lot of memory and storage space, so when shopping or upgrading, you want to get the most for your dollar. Most new computers today offer at least 350 Gigabytes of hard drive space. If you will be working with a lot of images, videos, and downloads, remember that more is better—although you can purchase additional flash drive and very portable, high-capacity external hard drive space for less than a hundred dollars.

Protection—You’ll need an online security program to protect your computer from hackers and viruses. While most new computers come equipped with trial software, these run out after a specified number of days and you’ll be prompted to purchase the full-fledged program. If you’re pleased with the software, you may find it convenient to continue it. However, you can explore other trial offers or download basic free security programs at sites like www.downloads.com .

Office Software—Your course of study may require specialized programs such as autocad, video editing, desktop publishing, or professional databases, but you’ll definitely need the basic office software for writing papers and keeping track of information.

Essentials include a word-processing program for text that you can format with bold, italics, and underlined characters, color, highlights, and Internet links. You’ll want to be able to cut-and-paste for ease of composing. And you’ll also find a spreadsheet program handy for list-keeping, sorting, and arranging; database creation; and formulating charts, budgets, diagrams, and comparisons.

Your personal computer ships new with a trial program like the latest version of Microsoft Office, but again this will run out and you will need to decide whether to buy the software or opt for a free-access, downloadable program like the cross-platform option available at www.OpenOffice.org . Student versions are available at a discount; they may not have all the bells and whistles of a full professional edition, but in most cases they supply most of what you’ll need in office software for your college career.

Surge Protector—You don’t want to lose any (or all) of your data in a power surge or outage, so get a good one. Be sure it’s a surge protector and not just an extension bar. Get plenty of outlets for all the adapters you might have for additional speakers, modems, or various other external devices.

CD Rom/DVD Player—Not always standard fare, but important in order to run software programs and watch (educational, of course) videos.

VALUABLE EXTRAS

Laptop Bag—If you opt for the versatile laptop computer that can travel with you to classes, conferences, and home for the holidays, you’ll want a backpack or messenger bag designed for ease and portability, with appropriate protective padding. You’ll find an array of bags in a variety of prices and styles, ready to support the knockabout life of the laptop at www.laptopbackpackslaptopbags.com .

Chiller—It’s also important to be aware of the heat generated by a laptop. They get hot—very hot—and need to cool down. When you’re working at your desk, you may not notice it, but if you actually work with your laptop on your lap, you may even burn yourself—I did! But the computer wizards have come up with a flat cooling system that fits directly under your laptop computer and connects via a USB port. (One less adapter to plug into your surge protector!)

Mouse—If you’re comfortable with the finger scanning of the typical laptop, that’s fine. I’m not, so I purchase a small “travel mouse” to make selecting, highlighting, and clicking easier. It’s less than twenty dollars and slips almost unnoticed into your laptop bag.

Headphones—If you share your dorm room or study in public spaces, you’ll be less disruptive if you listen to your music, voice mail, or audio files in private. Tensions can build, especially during exam time, and you don’t need to add fuel to the fire with ambient noise. Conversely, if outside sound bothers you, you can invest in noise-blocking headphones to buffer you from aural distraction. Visit www.highqualityheadphones.blogspot.com for more detailed information and reviews.

USB Port Expansion—Your laptop may come with three or four USB ports, but in this era of muti-USB products, it may be worth the minimal investment to expand port connectivity.

FRIVOLOUS FUN FEATURES

Color—Don’t care much for basic black? Some laptop companies offer a choice of colors (white…red…pink…blue…purple) to brighten your dorm and your mood. At an additional price, of course. And accessories—flash drives, portable hard drives, laptop bags and sleeves—also come in rainbow assortments.

Chill—Like a hot or cold beverage while you work? Check out www.usbbeveragechiller.info for a chiller/warmer that connects directly to your computer. How cool is that?

While it isn’t yet capable of doing the laundry, picking up balled-up socks, or baking a care package of cookies, the otherwise must-have, most essential item on the list is the College Students Computer.

9 Responses to “ Press Releases ”

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