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OMG, my major requires a laptop!!

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April 24, 2002 1:12:00 AM

What a pain in the ass! I already have a well suited desktop for college, now they say they want a laptop for the major!!

Christ. I may have to lease some crappy dell laptop. It says "requires DVD/CDRW Drive". You think that means those drives HAVE to be in the laptop? THEY haven't answered yet. =P

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 1:18:26 AM

Well, I'm actually undecided. But one of the majors I'm primarily interested in requires it.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
a b à CPUs
April 24, 2002 1:21:51 AM

Screw them. Many schools are requiring laptops because they want to look "high tech" when people visit. Screw appearences, just one more thing they WANT you to carry all over the place. Check around and see how many students actually DO, they thought about that at this school and I told them to fvck off. So they backed down to "all students must have access to a computer" which is fine because they are located all over the place.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
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April 24, 2002 1:40:13 AM

Crash is right, it <i>is</i> bullshit.

1) <b>Professors don't want keyboards clicking away in their lecture halls.</b> It's often noisy and distracting; many professors consider laptops to be a breach of classroom ettiquete(sp).

2) For those classes where computers are required in the classroom, decent colleges have public computer labs professors can reserve for this purpose. It may be cheaper on the college to require students to carry laptops, but it's far more cost-efficient all around to have public labs filled with lower-cost desktops.

<i>If a server crashes in a server farm and no one pings it, does it still cost four figures to fix?
April 24, 2002 1:54:12 AM

I think so too. Look at this "The College of Engineering requires the PC Platform and requires the Laptop Format. Requires DVD/CD-RW combo drive. and requires a 3.5" floppy drive."

Also, for computer science major, the computer HAS to be Intel based. I prefer Intel anyway, but I can't possibly see their reasoning behind this!

I wrote a letter to the head of the department, asking some questions. If the major requires the CDRW/DVD in my laptop, even though I have one in my desktop, I'm going flip. The laptop costs 400 dollars more with that option!

I didn't even plan on getting a laptop for college...but if I major in this, I guess I'll have to get one. Maybe if I kvetch enough they'll let me be lol. Grrr.

Thing is, this is VT, and it ranked #17 in the nation for engineering. Yet why the assinine rules?

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 2:04:25 AM

If you find out that you absolutely MUST have a laptop, check out the Sony Viaos - great prices and they let you make payments. You can also get an AMD proc if you want - which it sounds like you don't care for. All of their current laptops come with DVD/CDRW for no extra charge.

If the thought I thought I thought had been the thought I thought, I wouldn't have thought so much.
April 24, 2002 2:33:25 AM

Is correcting spelling a breach of etiquette? :tongue:

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 24, 2002 2:44:59 AM

I know that many Universities require a home PC, but a laptop is something new. I would beat somebody over the head with their laptop if they brought it to class so I don't think they're even using them for lectures. No professor or class would tolerate the noise. The only time I saw a laptop in class was this guy who let a slideshow of porn run for everyone's viewing pleasure. He wouldn't have dared type on it though.

Did you get accepted to any other Universities?

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
April 24, 2002 3:31:49 AM

Yes, but this is one of the highest ranked technical schools. #17 in the nation!

It's an assinine requirement, so I'm going to needle the dept head to get the truth before school starts. Believe me, I can't STAND laptops. I wouldn't buy one if it wasn't a requirement.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 3:55:28 AM

I doubt they require a laptop with cd-rw/dvd.. that just doesn't make sense anyway!

I say you buy a cheaper 2nd hand laptop.. that will also prevent you from playing the latest games instead of taking notes.

<i>My life wasn't complete untill I tried sse-2 optimized pong</i>
April 24, 2002 4:31:52 AM

No, they do. Look at the quote i cut and pasted. It irks me the REQUIRE a laptop for the major. I'm sure people have learned computer engineering well without carrying a f***cking laptop with them to every class!

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 4:37:18 AM

I wasn't sure wether you meant you required a laptop with a cdr/dvd drive or you required a laptop and a cd-r/dvd drive

<i>My life wasn't complete untill I tried sse-2 optimized pong</i>
April 24, 2002 4:38:54 AM

Put handles and some wheels on your desktop, bolt the monitor to it. Whala, portable computing.

Crashing takes on a whole new meaning at 9.8 m/s. :tongue:
April 24, 2002 4:49:41 AM

It requires a laptop WITH a CDRW and DVD!

I wrote the head of the engineering college to ask if a laptop was even necessary, and if it was, whether it was okay to have the DVD and CDRW on my desktop.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 4:52:52 AM

Sign up for the major anyway. What are they going to do, come to your house to check and see if you have a laptop. My school tried to pull crap like that when I was an undergrad and no one even bothered to go buy a computer. Not one person got kicked out for not buying a computer.
April 24, 2002 4:55:30 AM

LOL thats absurd... Your school is probably in bed with dell or another laptop maker. Why would something need a cd-r with their laptop at school? would professors ask everyone to hand in their test burned on a cd? would lectures only be handed out in dvd format? it's laughable :) 

<i>My life wasn't complete untill I tried sse-2 optimized pong</i>
April 24, 2002 5:11:57 AM

Actually on "where to buy a computer", they have a link to Dell with a login code lol!

But if they were really in bed with dell, why only certain majors like architecture/engineering require a laptop? Normally I'd tell em to f***k off, but since it says REQUIRED under major req's, it's scary =(

But pisses me off. I have this beautiful stealth black chieftec tower case with a 431W enermax I just installed, just DYING to have components put in! (ordered most, some not yet just waiting for Pc1066 RDRAM and 533 FSB)!.

Then I realize my major of choice requires a $2400 LAPTOP (requires zip250/floppy/cdrw/dvd!) They never sent us ANYTHING about this, and I Just found out today on their buried website, and I had been accepted for over 6 months now!

Gr.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 5:35:23 AM

Bah, screw the laptop thing. I go to a "wired" school, and the only time I see laptops are when people need to do school work, but don't have time to go to their room or public labs without interferring with other committments, such as the 20 min window they have for lunch or dinner. As to the CDR and DVD players, just make sure your desktop has them, and you'll be fine. The only time I can see a laptop being needed is when you have a presentation that a) doesn't have a computer and projector setup, or b) you are off-site. In those cases, you can borrow a laptop from a friend. My school is in bed with Gateway, but all they do is recommend that if you want a brand-new system is to go through Gateway, since St. Olaf is a preferred customer, and all students, faculty, and staff get a 2% discount off the academic prices. As too the Intel CPU requirement, I think it's more along the lines of no iBooks, though even that is stupid, since they can use MS Office, which is what almost all college campuses use. My school has a computer owner rate of 90% in the first-years and 75% in the seniors, with something like 15% of the campus having two or more computers (I only have one myself).

Again, screw the laptop, tell them to f-off, and get a Palm Pilot if you need to take in-class notes in an electronic fashion. Geez, not even my school is stupid enough to require laptops for certain majors... and we have some pretty bad major requirements (like B.A Music Ed majors needing to prove that they can play at the same level as B.M Performance majors, which spend all their time on music, as opposed to Music Ed, which is a more Liberal Arts education (hence the B.A. part of it). This makes performance auditions required to be allowed into the major... argh... nevermind). Anyway, keep building your dream machine, and if you require a laptop, just tell them that your computer has moved from your house to dorm many times, and is therefore mobile.

-SammyBoy
April 24, 2002 7:49:44 AM

Go to a furniture store and offer to buy one of their "fake" plastic laptops that they use for displays and carry that around with you everywhere. They'll never know the difference.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
April 24, 2002 8:00:52 AM

HAHAHAHAHAHA...yeah...
or even better....
get some wood, and paint it to look like a laptop, and just have it in your bag...
if the laptop gestapo asks you if they can see your laptop, flash them the piece of wood in your bag...
AHYUK!
or buy a dvd/cdrw drive for a laptop, and then hire a stripper, and have the stripper give you a LAPDANCE during class, while she holds the cdrw drive. and when the teacher asks you what you are doing, say, HEY...THE REQ FOR THE MAJOR SAID LAPDANCE WITH A CDRW/DVD DIDNT IT?
LOL...you would make instant friends. :wink:

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
April 24, 2002 8:52:41 AM

LOL!

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
April 24, 2002 4:09:45 PM

On a more serious note, getting a USB2.0 DVD/CDRW drive (if you can find one) might save some cash, since you can share them between the two.

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 24, 2002 5:16:42 PM

Thanks for advice everyone. I'm not buying a laptop yet, and I'll show up to the first day of school without a laptop. I'll find out whether the laptop is absolutely necessary (though it says required).

For computer engineering, I can sorta picture everyone with their laptop, and the prof walking around and helping people, but I dunno.

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 6:34:37 PM

I don't know if they get kickbacks from Dell or not, but that login code should save you a few hundred on the laptop.

I got mine through my job at a school, took over $300 off the final bill + I got Win2K at no extra charge.
came out to $3083, I worked it up without the school discount(as we've had problems with the "discount" costing more than retail) and it was total of 3400-3500, depending on tax and shipping and such, didn't go that far after I saw the price difference.

<i>Better to be silent and thought an idiot than to speak and remove all doubt.</i>
Anonymous
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a b D Laptop
April 24, 2002 7:12:06 PM

Requiring a notebook isn't that odd - several engineering schools do it (Rose-Hulman is an example) - although it is odd they tell you to go and buy one instead of providing you with one that includes their standard engineering software and including it in the student fees . If they say you need it, you will - there will be computer lab courses where your notebook will be the only computer available. Still, it's better to wait - you might change your mind on your major and prices on current technology are always dropping so you can either get one cheaper later or get a better one for the same price.
April 24, 2002 7:56:53 PM

whats the major?

the only difference from a laptop to a desktop is well laptop is mobile ... are they saying you need a laptop for class?

It's not a bad idea really ... ahhh if you don't have the money for a laptopcheck ebay ... they have some nice ones fairly cheap...like 300-600 dollar range ... only pentium 2's and stuff but hey it's a laptop and it'll work just fine i'm sure.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
April 24, 2002 8:05:27 PM

my friend sold his celeron650 with 192 megs of ram and a 24x cdrom for $700 US.
but that was cash.
better than a pentium2, and all you would have to do is try and find a usb cdrw/dvd and you would be able to use that on more than the laptop.
but that means you would have to find someone willing to sell their laptop for that much...
eh..just get a cheap one with usb.

-DAvid

-Live, Learn, then build your own computer!-
April 24, 2002 8:17:40 PM

oh jeeze .. i didn't read the rest of these post .....

don't follow it ... they just want you to goto their computer store and buy one of there crappy overpriced laptops. as for "intel" based, they say that because they are getting grants so they have certain advertising they need to do. Plus they probably never owned an AMD system and never heard of them. Trust me on that one!

it's all bullshit .. i'm in computer science and engineering (CSE) now and i will tell you, you do not need a laptop! It does help because you have lots of programming projects to do and they are very very hard and long. It would benefit you but it's not needed. Plus most schools have a computer lab anyway... jsyk CSE is theory based and used for research. meaning most CSE graduates do research. If your into networking and database and general programming you may want to look into CIS. Just i find CIS a better deal.. cse is soo boreing it's very narrow as far excercising skills... but thats my opinion ..maybe you like theory ... Now you going for engineering or CSE? You take very similar courses for both majors. Just one is more hardware ..well i'm sure u know ...

nice to see a fellow engineer on this board ... Good luck!

As a free tip, do the projects on the day you get them no matter how easy it looks ;) . SO many timesi thought it was easy but inthe end i racked my brains out to get it done lol.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
April 24, 2002 10:39:32 PM

rofl.


<i>if <b>you know</b> <font color=white>you don't know<font color=black>, the way could be more easy ...<font color=red>
April 24, 2002 10:43:52 PM

The major says "Computer Engineering". Doesn't say anything about CSE or CIS.

I'm trying to decide between political science or computer engineering. Anyone know any other good majors to consider (no stupid reponses please lol)? Sitting hours on end doing coding isn't my idea of fun! Politics and fov't interest me, but so does engineering (I think lol).

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 24, 2002 11:03:48 PM

Don't make me slap you...

<font color=blue>If you don't buy Windows, then the terrorists have already won!</font color=blue> - Microsoft
April 25, 2002 12:30:59 AM

ROFL! Get a teaching degree and change the world. ;o)
April 25, 2002 1:32:43 AM

You're young. You've got your health. What you want with an education?

I can't think of a good signature so I'll use this one.
April 25, 2002 2:44:35 AM

Double major in political science and biology or business and biology. Biologists need good lobbying badly. You see, we're not so articulate. Those that can converse well in layspeak are usually condescending arrogant pricks (e.g. Craig Venter). The problem is esp. bad in the US where the whole population, including the polititians, think that theraputic cloning means making brainless human organ donors or some such silliness. If you want to make the bucks though, go into managing biotech firms (i.e. get the business & biology double major or business major w/ bio minor).
April 25, 2002 4:38:52 AM

If you want a challenge I would study engineering. EE,ME,ChE, or Computer Engineering. It will be much harder than most BS degrees out there but with an engineering degree from V Tech you will be far ahead of most college grads when it comes to job searching. Also, it doesn't mean you will be sitting in a lab the rest of your life either. When I graduated in '96 one of the brightest grads that semester was a girl that was going on to study medicine. I interviewed for a software engineer position at Lockheed Martin after graduation and they offered me the job even though I had not done much programming. My current job has nothing to do with EE but I'm very happy and my education will undoubtedly help me in future promotions. An engineering degree with a MBA puts you in a very powerful position in almost any company today. Quite simply there is a technical void in the management of most companies today. You could always go to law school, MBA, etc. later on but I would finish the BS in Engineering first that way you could always have that to fall back on. A old friend of mine decided that after 3 years of ME (w/ 3.5+ GPA) it wasn't for him. He dropped out worked for a homebuilder for a couple years and then tried to start a new major. He still had 3 more years of school, had now begun paying back student loans, and I've lost touch but I don't believe he ever finished that either. Another guy in knew also came within 1 or 2 semesters of graduating EE but had to get a full time job because his girlfriend was pregnant. He also thought he could come back and finish but never has. I know this is long but my advice is this. If you have an interest in engineering go for it and expect it to be much harder (ie. actual studying) than you would have expected. Don't assume that you will be doing exactly the same stuff for the rest of your life. Rather than changing majors halfway through, finish it and then study something else if your interests change. Once you have the sheepskin, nobody can take that away. If you have 3 1/2 years of ChE with a 4.0 GPA but didn't finish nobody will care either.

<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 25, 2002 4:46:46 AM

Engineering doesn't REALLY interest me, not in a hobby way if that's what you mean.

But I do really like computers, but I refuse to take CS and program all day, like so many other people I know.

Political science interests me as well. I wouldn't mind majoring in that and working overseas while the gov't pays me to learn another language.

(Note to self, do not request assignment to Yemin)

<font color=blue> There's no such thing as hell, but you can make it if you try.</font color=blue>
April 25, 2002 5:08:10 AM

I forgot all about the laptop.
I would wait until that first week and find out for yourself. I don't see how important a laptop could be for any student other than maybe that 1/2 hour before class where you could finish typing something. Any simulations, etc. is going to be done when you have more time. Matlab had a student version (cheaper) when I was there but if they expect you to buy all of your own software you're talking about thousands of $$$. Not much software that you would use other than MS Office is going to have a Mac Version so I could see that requirement. I would also tend to believe that some things will need to be done on more powerful Sun Workstations (or similar). Like someone said I'm sure the VT Eng Dept has an excellent computer lab just for their students with the right software so I don't see the need but let us know if you find out why. You also are building a nice desktop (w/MS Office,Matlab,others) presumably connected to broadband internet at your dorm (for free) or off campus (cable modem $30/mo.)that could connect thru a VPN (virtual private network) so I don't see the point of a laptop but then I never thought them to be as useful as some people think they are.


<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 25, 2002 5:40:40 AM

I must have misunderstood you. I thought that was one of your interests. I'm not sure what to recommend but I will tell you that not all CS's program all day long and not all EE's work with chips all day long either although the 4 years of school and maybe your first job might require it. There are many positions that require this backround but involve PR, politics, business sense, and refined communication skills. Not to knock Political Science but I don't think it will carry the same weight when you begin looking for a job. I'm sure there are exceptions though but you should know the facts. Most people find out who they are during this time and what they want to do with their lives. Your are undoubtedly about to experience the best years of your life (18-25) and I would recommend that you look out for yourself so you have no regrets.

<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 25, 2002 5:43:31 AM

Hello all. I am currently in my third year studying aerospace and ocean engineering at Virginia Tech. I have not heard anything about requiring laptops for future students. One possible reason for requiring a laptop is the fact that the university has just spent a lot of money to install wireless internet throughout many of the buildings on campus, especially the engineering buildings. The college of engineering is also moving to fully incorporate the internet with classes. I have never needed a laptop for any of the work that I have done here, but this could change in the future. My suggestion is that you get the laptop because you may find that you really need it.
April 25, 2002 5:55:03 AM

That would explain a little I guess. I've always wished the profs would put their notes on Latex (or some typesetter format) so I could come to class with a copy and spend my time understanding what's going on rather than scrambling to keep up writing down his/her chicken scratch. Maybe that's what they are doing here.

<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 25, 2002 6:08:39 AM

A lot of my professors put their notes into pdf format for that exact purpose.
April 25, 2002 6:52:06 AM

If you're considering political science, what do you want to do with it? FBI, CIA, city government, media, think tanks?

I know it's hard, but try to see where you want to be in the future and then ask around and see how people got there. Also keep in mind one critical thing: the first degree might mean very little if you are serious about being very successful. It's the graduate degree that's going to get you to the top nowadays. You might get lucky of course. Hard work can do wonders for anyone.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
a b à CPUs
April 25, 2002 4:32:35 PM

OK, first of all, college level programers don't know jack about hardware IMO, I've spoken to many. When they say "Intel based" they actually mean "x86 compatable", as opposed to "Mac". So according to most of them, AMD also qualifies, since x86 is an "Intel based" instruction set. Go out an get some piece of gabage like a Pentium 166 laptop if it really is required, and a parrallel case, then put a cheap IDE drive in the parallel case.

What's the frequency, Kenneth?
April 25, 2002 5:36:12 PM

General post regarding this situation.

Someone should check with a lawyer, I don't believe that they can legally require you to have a laptop. If they do they must also enforce this upon people with disabilities, and I don't know of any laptops available with Braile displays for example.
April 26, 2002 4:33:40 AM

That would make no sense. Sue for $10 million and screw college. Spend the rest of your life blowing the loot. There is way too much nonsense litigation today let's not add to the problem. If it really bothers him he will go to school somewhere else. We think tuition is high now wait until they have to make up that $10 million. That's the problem in this country nobody wants to work for their money they would rather steal it.

<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 26, 2002 6:50:44 AM

I'm going to sue you for the trauma your post has caused me.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
April 26, 2002 8:39:19 AM

It wouldn't be worth your time. I have nothing worth taking. You could take over some of my debts (school loans) if you want.

<font color=green>"No Thoroughbred for you! Come back, 2 weeks."</font color=green>
April 26, 2002 8:49:35 AM

If you have no money I'll sue to give you MY college debts.

<font color=red>God</font color=red> <font color=blue>Bless</font color=blue> <font color=red>America!</font color=red>
April 27, 2002 3:13:49 AM

Hey ... well why don't you just major in politcal science and minor in CIS. CSE is your monkey coding or computer engineering or computer science is your monkey coding.

Stay away from the word enginneer unless your super smart. I'm serious dude ... computer enginnering is your computer science and enginnering class and it's bloody hard!

SO ya just major in political science and minor in computer information systems (CIS) .. thats your computer stuff like networking, database and programming. the computer engineering stuff is more theorhetical stuff and is very narrow and strait and is geared to be just a monkey coder and researcher.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A>
April 27, 2002 3:27:04 AM

CS sucks ... if you want a challenge raise a family but for now i'd do something you're interested in and not something because it's "hard and challenging". The point of college is to gain skills so you can land a decent job! College gets really expensive really quick if you don't have mommy and daddy paying your way!

Given computers is where the money is i'd go that route. I don't know about political science but doesn't sound too promising in the job market. Maybe the IT/networking field would be good for you. As you get a little bit of everything as far as computers but none of that serious monkey coding crap.

<A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/mysystemrig.html?id=9933" target="_new"> My Rig </A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by xxsk8er101xx on 04/26/02 11:28 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
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