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  #1  
Old 07-30-2009, 10:29 PM
Laura J. Frese's Avatar
Laura J. Frese Laura J. Frese is offline
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Default Is Upgrade Worth It?

Is the $350 to upgrade the laptop worth it?
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  #2  
Old 07-30-2009, 11:28 PM
Erica N. Cannedy
 
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If the computers are anything like they were when i got mine, no. I got the upgrade and i don't see much of a difference.
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  #3  
Old 07-31-2009, 12:16 AM
Gregory R. Everitt's Avatar
Gregory R. Everitt Gregory R. Everitt is offline
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I'm sorry, what upgrade is this?
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  #4  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:18 AM
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Mike Richichi Mike Richichi is offline
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The upgraded computer is about a pound lighter, and has a faster processor, video card, and a larger hard drive. It also has a higher resolution display, and a better wireless card. On the flip side, the base computer has one more USB port and an HDMI port for hooking up to TVs.

Is it "worth it?" Well, the price difference is the actual price difference between the two models, so certainly that's how much the upgraded computer and components cost. If you're a fairly basic user, the base model is fine, but if you want a faster processor or better graphics, and a little more room to store stuff, the price difference is a good way to get that.

The other issue is that the deadline for selecting the upgrade was back in June, so if you really want to do it you'd need to let us know ASAP. We've already ordered the computers based on the number of upgrades we knew about.
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  #5  
Old 07-31-2009, 09:34 AM
Alan Candiotti Alan Candiotti is offline
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Default Computer upgrade

If you want the upgrade, you should order it by August 2. We have already placed the order for computers and, although we allowed for some variation, the stated deadline for upgrade orders was June 26, and we will have to cut off new orders on Monday so that we have the right numbers of computers of both kinds.
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  #6  
Old 07-31-2009, 06:55 PM
Gregory R. Everitt's Avatar
Gregory R. Everitt Gregory R. Everitt is offline
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Where can I find the specifications for this new model?
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  #7  
Old 08-01-2009, 09:21 PM
Rudi A. Jones Rudi A. Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laura J. Frese
Is the $350 to upgrade the laptop worth it?

Drew computers are not worth it - they're heavy, CNS never fixes anything, they're too expensive (the ones we got last year were about $1200, the price of a MUCH MORE AMAZING and lightweight, portable MACbook or nice other name brand), and despite what you've probably been told you can get the software you need put on your computer if you buy it yourself.

All in all, the Drew computer is just not worth it.
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  #8  
Old 08-03-2009, 06:49 PM
Joshua M. Putnam Joshua M. Putnam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
Drew computers are not worth it - they're heavy, CNS never fixes anything, they're too expensive (the ones we got last year were about $1200, the price of a MUCH MORE AMAZING and lightweight, portable MACbook or nice other name brand), and despite what you've probably been told you can get the software you need put on your computer if you buy it yourself.

All in all, the Drew computer is just not worth it.

I swear I've done this before :|

Buying the Macbook that meets the specs of the upgraded Drew laptop will cost a wonderful $2,299.00 (although that is with twice as much harddrive space (but buying an external drive is cheap))

EDIT: They're heavy? That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard; I think they weigh less than 6 pounds

At the OP: If you want to be able to play any games made within the last 5 or 6 years, you would want to have the upgraded model, if not......

Last edited by Joshua M. Putnam : 08-03-2009 at 06:51 PM.
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  #9  
Old 08-14-2009, 11:11 AM
Rudi A. Jones Rudi A. Jones is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua M. Putnam
I swear I've done this before :|

Buying the Macbook that meets the specs of the upgraded Drew laptop will cost a wonderful $2,299.00 (although that is with twice as much harddrive space (but buying an external drive is cheap))

EDIT: They're heavy? That's the most absurd thing I've ever heard; I think they weigh less than 6 pounds

At the OP: If you want to be able to play any games made within the last 5 or 6 years, you would want to have the upgraded model, if not......
So called upgrade, probably. Is the upgrade free to existing students? Probably not. Does CNS ever really fix a problem on your computer? Not really. I have had too many classmates and friends talk about how CNS just re-images or fixes things that aren't wrong. I've had friends who've had their laptops in CNS for weeks, only to find they didn't fix the problem. I don't have anything against the Drew computer or CNS, I'm just trying to say that it would've been great if they didn't make it seem like the Drew computer is the only one you can get to be on campus. I don't understand why CNS can't fix other laptops yet so many other schools do. It's all very business in my opinion.
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  #10  
Old 08-14-2009, 11:48 PM
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Paul R. Coen Paul R. Coen is offline
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Location: Madison, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudi A. Jones
I don't understand why CNS can't fix other laptops yet so many other schools do. It's all very business in my opinion.

Most schools that don't have a standardized laptop program have a huge investment in computer labs and tend to have things like laptop carts for classes. It's expensive, and you need a lot of staff to maintain them. And you need a lot of space, which is at a premium. And, again, a lot of schools that have different support models have more full-time staff doing general user support.

Not to mention schools that charge you for things like spyware and virus removal. While it's a nuisance, why would you give people a disincentive to get their computers fixed?

We did have significant problems - especially last year - with turnaround time. Part of the problem was Vista. There were reasons to select it last year, but it turned out to have more problems in the field than expected. We're dropping back to Windows XP for the new class (and you can get a Windows XP image for the T400) to simplify things and provide a stable platform for the academic program until we can support Windows 7, which we're already testing.

We've made huge changes to the tools we use to handle reimaging computers (far faster and less disruptive), and to manage call / incident tracking a the Helpdesk. There should be announcements about these changes soon.

That should significantly cut down on the Helpdesk queue. That's NOT to say you can get your computer back in 15 minutes - but it should be substantially faster. And the smaller the queue, the less likely something will fall between the cracks or a mistake will be made.

Trust me - none of us was happy with how last year played out - once things started to go wrong in the fall, the resources just weren't there to do more than band-aid the situation as we went. By the winter, we had filled a couple of critical, vacant positions. That really helped, and allowed us to focus on the problem.

While a huge effort went into trying to catch up and keep up as we went into the second half of the year, we also knew that the tools we were using weren't going to work in the long run, and all areas of the department made a substantial investment in terms of time and resources to develop the new tools and procedures we're deploying this year.

And that's going to be an ongoing process - it usually is. We're actually pretty good at quietly making substantial changes behind the scenes. However, sometimes an area of the department gets hit by something unexpected, or a combination of factors hits an area hard, problems are more obvious. When that happens, it's usually best to step back, figure out what the actual problem is and tackle it a different way. The folks responsible for this will be carefully looking at the statistics we're collecting about incidents to see what is working and what isn't, so we can continue to make improvements.
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