August 15, 2008
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! Before I get started on this week's topic, I wanted to bring your attention to a thank you note from Gail D., who e-mailed me directly to thank you all for you contributions to her question from last week on needing simple instructions to speed up her slow computer. It's always a great pleasure to hear back from our members to acknowledge that they are reading your advice and suggestions and that it has helped them out. So thank you Gail, your e-mail is appreciated! Here is her note posted in the forums for you. Now let's get started on the topic from our member Wendee who headed to college and needs to decide what is best for her - a MacBook or a PC laptop.
Wendee, first congrats on making the decision to go to college. There's a lot of hard work ahead of you, but along with that comes a lot of fun. So enjoy it and make the best of it! Wendee, I think the decision you are about to make on whether to go with a PC or Mac laptop will probably be the easiest one compared to many of the other difficult decisions you will face once you're in school. After all, computers are tangible items and can be replaced if you feel you've made the wrong decision. In this week's topic, there is so much great advice and opinions from our members, ranging from current college students advising you, to current Mac and PC users' experience, to parents who went through this ordeal before sending their children off to college. I think many students and non-students who are contemplating a Mac or PC laptop will get some great information out of this discussion to help them make a decision. Ultimately, you are the one who's going to make that decision, so please read up on all our members' advice, and I'm not going to lie, there is a lot of information to take in. There will be people who will say how great one is versus another, and so on. However, keep in mind that all computers will have their share of issues, not one is superior to another. As for a learning curve, everything new requires you to get used to it. Therefore, if you're not willing to put the time and effort into learning something new or challenging, then you may not be ready for college. Now before taking the next step, many of our members brought up some good points and advice that will help you with your decision. I have listed a few items to bring to your attention:
Now these questions are just the first steps you must get answers to before you can reach a decision, so consider this your second homework assignment. The first assignment is to read all our members' recommendations so that you have an overall idea of some of the pros and cons of each platform. Good luck with your decision, Wendee. I hope this discussion topic will come in handy for not only you, but also many others who are stuck in this buying decision stage. If any of you members have more to add, please do continue to post your experiences, opinions, and thoughts within the discussion thread. Thanks to all who have contributed and who have helped keep this discussion on topic, informative, and civil! It's great to hear your voices. Have a great weekend!
- A lot has to depend on your college, is it Mac-friendly or more PC-friendly? All schools have different standards, so check with your college.
- Your college major may just dictate what is best for you. Some majors rely mostly on PCs whereas others rely on Macs. Whichever will be used most is surely your best bet.
- Ask your college advisor or even students around campus as to what they would recommend. There is no better resource than that.
Member Question of the Week
Hi CNET! I'm ready to start college in a couple of months and
I'm shopping for a new laptop. It's an age-old question, but
it's the MacBook versus PC laptop question. I'm not here to
instigate a fight over Mac versus PC and how one is better
than another, but really to get an idea of what will be best
for me while I'm in school. I know that both laptops will do
pretty much the same: music downloading, word processing,
spreadsheets, digital photos, Internet, and e-mailing. I
currently own a PC desktop at home and was thinking about
getting PC laptop, but a few friends suggested that I look
into an Apple MacBook as they do offer great incentive on
campus to buy one. If I get a MacBook now, is there a huge
learning curve switching from a PC to Mac? What makes them
different? Pros and cons for each? Does Mac work out
better for college--because maybe more students use them?
I'm not sure if that true. I'm quite iffy on the whole
MacBook transition, that's why I'm here to ask for advice and
learn from you. And by the way, my father says I have a limit
of $1,500 and no more than that. Thanks in advance for any
advice you can provide me.
There were just so many great recommendations, opinions, and experience shared by our members, that I would recommend reading through all the answers!
Read all member contributions
Thanks to all who contributed!
Previous week's Q&A
Can anyone please explain, in plain English and step-by-step
instructions, how to speed up a slow computer? The previous
newsletters answers that cover this topic are very confusing.
The posted answers say don't use registry cleaners,
defragging won't speed it up, and--the most confusing
one--update the drivers! How does a person update the drivers
and what exactly is a driver? The answer of "going to a
manufacture's Web site to update a driver" is meaningless to
me, because don't know what I am to update or how I find the
drivers installed on the computer. All I want is a simple
list of methods (step-by-step instructions) for any
nontechnical person, like myself, to follow and understand to
speed up my computer and also what routine and steps
to take thereafter to keep my computer in good running state.
I'm using a Dell desktop with Windows XP SP2. Thanks for the
opportunity to ask a question.
Thanks to all who contributed!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
I have a HP Pavilion with Vista Home Premium. I know that the
SP1 patch for Vista came out back in May, but I have not
downloaded it yet. I tried to read all of the articles about
the SP1 patch, and basically came to the conclusion that
there were good reasons to download the patch, but also that
the patch could compromise my PC. I've also read that you
need to make sure that your PC is up to all requirements by
the manufacturer of your PC before downloading this patch.
My questions are: Am I being foolish in not downloading the
SP1 patch? What steps should I take before download this
patch? If I download and have problems, will I be able to do
a system restore to a point prior to downloading the patch?
I have been helped many times by using this forum, and I want
to thank all of the contributors that take the time to help
us with our questions and problems.
Have a question?
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