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-   -   Are Drew Laptops Still Required? (https://community.drew.edu//showthread.php?t=2528)

04-07-2009 07:21 PM

Are Drew Laptops Still Required?
 
I heard somewhere that freshmen this year were not required to purchase the Drew laptop like we were when I was a freshman. Is this true? If it is, I'd just like to commend CNS for taking a huge step forward. This requirement was one of the most irksome things about coming to Drew, and it would be great to see the school finally realize the many problems associated with it.

E. Axel Larsson 04-07-2009 09:14 PM

Yes and no. The program has changed..

Freshman are not required to purchase the laptop outright anymore. However, all first-years will be getting the Drew laptop automatically next year. The cost of the laptop is now one component of a comprehensive technology fee which covers a range of technology services. The cost of the laptop is amortized over eight semesters. Students will have the option to buy-up to an upgrade model for a one-time fee.

This program ahould be much more attractive and cost-effective for students. By spreading the cost over 8 semesters and by phasing the cost in gradually the financial impact is lessened. The price point for the laptops we are purchasing has also been reduced. Finally, with the new structure of the program, NJ sales tax is no longer applicable which provides students additional savings. The technology fee is being phased in over four years starting at $62.50 per semester ($125/year) starting next year. Over the next four years it will increase to its full amount but will still be substantially less than what most students pay in textbooks each semester.

The essential features of the computer package will remain the same. Students will still receive a business-class notebook with a four year warranty that includes accidental damage coverage.

The large remaining portion of the technology fee revenue that is not going towards the financing of the computers will be put towards campus-wide technology improvements for all students. While the details of these are in various stages of development, what's on the table right now is:
  • Wireless networking in the residence halls.
  • Equipment to improve cellular coverage in residence halls.
  • A virtual desktop solution for commuters. (Allowing off-campus students to remotely access software like SPSS that they cannot currently use unless on-campus).
The admissions office, University Technology, the finance office, and faculty worked to put this together very rapidly so that we would have a good technology program next year that was very affordable. The new admissions literature on this isn't live yet on the web site, but it should provide a better explanation of the new program than I have been able to in this post. We'll post a link here when that material is available..

E. Axel Larsson 04-07-2009 09:29 PM

The new program was covered in The Acorn a few weeks ago as well. Look at Dave Muha's comments in paragraphs 2-4 on page 2 of this article in the March 20 issue:

Bright spot in grim times: Tuition increases only 4%

Kirstin E. Bethavas 04-07-2009 09:40 PM

For student who have already been required to purchase the Drew computers, is there any chance of seeing technology improvements in the near future (i.e., before we graduate), or are we just going to get unfortunately stuck paying for both the laptops outright and paying a technology fee?

E. Axel Larsson 04-07-2009 09:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kirstin E. Bethavas
For student who have already been required to purchase the Drew computers, is there any chance of seeing technology improvements in the near future (i.e., before we graduate), or are we just going to get unfortunately stuck paying for both the laptops outright and paying a technology fee?

The objective is to have as much of the three bullet points (wireless in dorms, cellular coverage improvements, virtual desktop for commuters) as we can possibly get done implemented as rapidly as possible.

Having a lot of this up and running in the Fall '09 timeframe is the current goal..

Jordan M. Maslin 04-07-2009 11:04 PM

Macs anyone? No complaints or trouble at all this year with mine. No incompatibilities, no need for reformatting, etc. At the same time, it is understandable how it would be extremely costly? for the university among other problems with specific departments. However, I wish that people with Macs had options for software support here concerning some programs required, i.e. applications that have both Windows and Mac licenses.

Paul R. Coen 04-08-2009 10:00 AM

In a lot of cases, there's no "dual license" option - we have to have a set number of licenses for one platform or another. Which would mean adding licenses, since we wouldn't have exact seat counts. We'd have to pad both numbers. And that's for the software that has a Mac version, not all of them do.

With budgets being cut, and software companies raising licensing costs, we're going to be lucky if we can maintain 100% of the licenses we're currently using, never mind adding cost.

So anything that adds cost without adding some sort of direct, broad benefit is really unlikely to happen.

Rudi A. Jones 04-09-2009 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kirstin E. Bethavas
For student who have already been required to purchase the Drew computers, is there any chance of seeing technology improvements in the near future (i.e., before we graduate), or are we just going to get unfortunately stuck paying for both the laptops outright and paying a technology fee?


We should be given back our money for what we pay for these piece of crap computers. They shut down all the time, CNS doesn't do anything good with it overall - they just diddle with it and give it back souped up. I'd like to add that getting a Drew computer wasn't REALLY mandatory last year - I'm a freshman - and I'm still pretty pissed about it. It needs to be optional because you can get a Macbook for less than these computers, can still connect to the internet, and they're much lighter than these IBMs. :mad:

Joshua M. Putnam 04-09-2009 05:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
It needs to be optional because you can get a Macbook for less than these computers, can still connect to the internet, and they're much lighter than these IBMs. :mad:


A 13 inch Macbook with the 2.4 ghz processor would be the same cost and weighs about 1 pound less, but has a weaker processor and an integrated GPU (which is a bit worse) and it looks like the T-400 might have better battery life as well.

The entire idea of having a standardized laptop is that it's flexible. This laptop has good battery life, is light, and has pretty good performance given its cost.


EDIT: Also, because the T-400 was ordered right at it's conception, a full price was paid for it, it looks like. Currently it's about 300$ cheaper than the Macbook I was referring to

04-09-2009 06:30 PM

I'm not sure which models you are referring to, technology is not my strong suit, but my Drew computer has never lasted me more than an hour without being plugged in, and my MacBook gives me at least 4 hours working time.


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