Things to avoid

We have three things to avoid:
  1. Avoid laptops without a removable battery! - If you (or someone else) spills a liquid on your laptop, you need to remove ALL sources of power immediately to lessen the potential damage to your computer. If your laptop does not have a removable battery, this is not possible. Check it before you buy it.

  2. Avoid Netbooks/ultraportables/tablets (as your primary computer) - these are great supplemental computers. The iPad is a great little device for reading, casual browsing and so forth; Netbooks are great for taking notes or doing light computing. However, they are too small and not powerful enough for doing serious work so we strongly recommend using them as a secondary device.

  3. Avoid Microsoft Works or Apple iWork. - Microsoft Works (not to be confused with Microsoft Office or Microsoft Word) is not really compatible with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) so any documents you turn in to your professors will not be compatible with what they have - they won't be able to read your paper! Apple's iWork can export documents in Word or Excel format, but they aren't 100% compatible so there may be strange changes (especially in footnotes/endnotes and some formatting) and if you forget, your professors won't be able to read your documents and you will end up late. Get Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Powerpoint) either through "The Ultimate Steal" (Windows only - www.microsoft.com/student/discounts/theultimatesteal-us) through regular channels (for Mac Office 2008 - Amazon.com is a good place).

  4. Avoid ChromeOS. - While we don't say that ChromeOS is bad - in fact, it's fairly nifty and innovative - it does have a very nasty Catch-22. On CMC's wireless network, you cannot get a network connection without being logged on to your computer so you can sign on to the network via a web browser (FireFox, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.) - but with ChromeOS, you cannot log on to the computer without a network connection . . . so you have a nasty and often endless loop. . . So, for now, avoid ChromeOS - it works great at home; not so good here.

  5. Avoid WIRELESS Printers. - Wireless printers are amazingly handy at home where only a few people will be contacting them and using them. In a large environment where there are a lot of people who can contact your printer, they are not secure and not very robust. They can cost you a lot of aggravation and money - if you have a wireless printer, turn off the wireless features and use the USB connection instead.