[FoRK] Computer for College Student

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Fri Jul 30 18:26:55 PDT 2010

On 7/30/10 6:15 PM, Jebadiah Moore wrote:
> On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 6:48 PM, Stephen D. Williams<sdw at lig.net>  wrote:
>> There is no reason not to use Photoshop, MS Office, etc. at college.  The
>> student versions are very cheap usually.  Studica etc. or the college
>> bookstore typically.  Good place to buy Macs also, both the hardware and the
>> service plan is nicely discounted.
> Except that most students don't need the features unique to these programs;
> because there are free versions available that work just as well, it's
> irrational to pay anything for them.

This is only true if you are positive you will never be in a situation 
where such knowledge is useful to get something done faster / better.  
You should also be able to use the open source versions for the same reason.

> Macs are also overkill; most students use their computers for word
> processing and browsing, and so it's hard to justify spending that level of
> money, even if you think the price is good relative to the hardware.
>   (Especially since Apple computers are not really in the price range of many
> people.)

Except I develop / design / do graphics and the student in question is 
or will be using Autocad, Photoshop, etc.

A computer, even an expensive Mac, is such a small cost compared to a 
car, a place to live, and most college expenses, that is is hard to 
justify skimping unless you are really rock bottom on all of those 
already and still coming up short.  I would happily spend 20% or more of 
my income on better computers to get or protect my income and 
opportunities.  More typically, I maybe spend 2-5%, shooting for a 
cost/benefit peak, which usually pays for itself quickly, sometimes in a 
month or less.

You have to make suggestions appropriate to the target situation.


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