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 I'm going to university and need a computer. Help!
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DemonWasp




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 1:05 am   Post subject: Re: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

If you're tired of windows, then either OSX or pretty well any distribution of Linux will be a good fit. Ubuntu is a good starting point in Linux, but others will recommend Arch. As Tony points out, Windows is actually probably the worst choice for CS at UW.
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Euphoracle




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:05 am   Post subject: Re: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

ecookman @ Sat Nov 28, 2009 6:30 pm wrote:
Tony @ Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:47 pm wrote:
ecookman @ Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:54 pm wrote:
i personally like my Dell Studio 17.

You are not even at University yet. Your opinion is moot.


how so, he is looking for a computer. Just because I am not in university, doesn't mean it is moot. Heck I will be taking my studio 17 to college or university with me.


You haven't actually used it as a university student would, thus your opinion in void in this case Smile
wmano




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:30 am   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Are there any specific reasons to why Windows is considered as the worst OS to use for CS at UW?
wtd




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 12:14 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

From what I've observed, CS at UW is very much geared toward a Unix-y world. Whether you think this is good or bad is subjective, but...

Windows is distinctly non-Unix-y, and getting i to be kind of, sort of Unix-y is either awkward and hackish (Cygwin) or outright painful if you try to use Windows' own tools (CMD).

Linux isn't necessarily a bad option, but you have to really do your homework to make sure that the Linux you choose is going to play nicely with the notebook you choose (odds are you won't bring a desktop to university). You don't want to end up with a notebook where booting into Linux means no power management worth a damn, and thus half an hour of battery life.

The most straightforward option is to buy a Mac. Sure, you have to pay more, but you also don't get the option of buying less than a very nice machine.
Prabhakar Ragde




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:45 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Right now we are asking Windows users to run Cygwin in the 1B and 2A courses. It mostly works, but there are some glitches. Autotesting is done on Unix machines, and Windows users are responsible for any discrepancies.

We may move towards using virtual machines, in which case it won't matter quite so much.
x30Jx




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:18 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

DONE.
>>THANK YOU, people. << Karma for all.

I am absolutely buying an MBP ASAP, like some time in February, and selling off my Dell. Finally, one decision down.

ecookman @ Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:54 pm wrote:
i personally like my Dell Studio 17.


Dell? Windows? PASS. Thanks for weighing it, though.

Tony @ Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:47 pm wrote:

You are not even at University yet. Your opinion is moot.


*BITCHSLAP* Well played.
Insectoid




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:32 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Quote:

Consider how well a laptop vents heat, and how much it generates when purchasing. Excess heat can damage system components, especially if not well vented. Of course, excess heat can also make a laptop uncomfortable to use.


Well, sorry to burst all your bubbles, but that rules out (at least, the previous generation of) MBPs. I love my MBP 15", but it gets really damn hot. I had to shut it off a couple times because I could swear I smelled burning plastic. I dunno about the new(ish) MBPs, but I suggest a cooling pad for anything even a little taxing on the hardware. It does beat the pants of anything else in terms of construction though. And The OS itself beats the pants off Windows and (in my opinion) Linux.
Tony




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:45 pm   Post subject: Re: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

insectoid @ Sun Nov 29, 2009 5:32 pm wrote:
I had to shut it off a couple times because I could swear I smelled burning plastic.

It might be a good idea to run some system monitoring software; I use iStat menus. Monitors your system's temperature (at all the sensors it can get at), fan activity, CPU/disk load. If a background process goes rogue and starts putting excess load onto your CPU, you'll see that, and will have an opportunity to kill the process before it gets your system to heat up. Ultimately, it's just a good idea to know that your system is performing in a way that that you expect it to.
Latest from compsci.ca/blog: Tony's programming blog. DWITE - a programming contest.
wtd




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:19 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Apple Certified Macintosh Technician here: if you think you can smell burning plastic, something is wrong. Get it checked out. Especially if it's under warranty*.

* Buy AppleCare.
Insectoid




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 6:44 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Thanks Tony, downloaded and installed!
Euphoracle




PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2009 10:29 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

Also happens with mine, then again I am playing Left4Dead and Dragon Age on it Smile
RandomLetters




PostPosted: Fri Jun 11, 2010 8:16 pm   Post subject: Re: I'm going to university and need a computer. Help!

Quote:
You want to master Crysis.

Again, that last reason is a really bad one. You're not going to have time for any serious gaming, and if you do, you're probably missing out on the academic, career and social opportunities universities tend to be rich in.


You have just scared me out of post secondary life. Thank you.


But seriously, is reliability that big of an issue? Ive been using my desktop for years now, tinkered with it, upgraded hardware, tinkered with software, overloading the PSU with my graphics card, and even gone thru countless thunderstorms without doing all the safe stuff. Nothing has ever happened. And none of this tinkering took very long. Wouldn't a laptop be a lot more dangerous because of the chance of dropping it?
[Gandalf]




PostPosted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 9:43 am   Post subject: Re: I'm going to university and need a computer. Help!

RandomLetters @ 2010-06-11, 8:16 pm wrote:
Quote:
You want to master Crysis.

Again, that last reason is a really bad one. You're not going to have time for any serious gaming, and if you do, you're probably missing out on the academic, career and social opportunities universities tend to be rich in.


You have just scared me out of post secondary life. Thank you.

Pfft, Crysis has only like ~20 hours of gameplay in single player. That's easily manageable on the side, no matter what program you're doing. The point is, you shouldn't be neglecting more important things for gaming.

RandomLetters @ 2010-06-11, 8:16 pm wrote:
But seriously, is reliability that big of an issue? Ive been using my desktop for years now, tinkered with it, upgraded hardware, tinkered with software, overloading the PSU with my graphics card, and even gone thru countless thunderstorms without doing all the safe stuff. Nothing has ever happened. And none of this tinkering took very long. Wouldn't a laptop be a lot more dangerous because of the chance of dropping it?

If you get something solid, and are reasonably cautious with your laptop, it should last as long as a desktop. The only thing that might suffer is your battery life, but in my experience there's often a plug nearby if you look, anyway.
Shabe




PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:34 pm   Post subject: RE:I\'m going to university and need a computer. Help!

If I get accepted to Comp Sci Waterloo, I will be getting Thinkpad x201.
jhnmichle




PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2011 4:03 am   Post subject: Re: I'm going to university and need a computer. Help!

i am having a desktop computer. i am facing trouble. i am willing to buy a laptop.
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