16 Aug 2010 12:57
The Tired Donkey is not usually one to create a post just to refer his readers to another site. But several circumstances have conspired to create an exception: (i) college is starting soon, (ii) college students are reading about Mac hardware and software on the Tired Donkey’s site,
and (iii) MacWorld just posted a useful survey of five printers that you ought to consider for college.
Having perused the list and done some additional research, the Tired Donkey strongly recommends the Lexmark Pinnacle Pro901. Why? In order of importance: beautiful text printing, cheap black ink ($0.01 per page!), 150-sheet feeder tray for printing, wireless printing, scanning (with 50-sheet feeder), copying, touch screen. To get this incredible per-page price for black text, make sure you buy the 105XL high-yield black ink cartridge ($5.00 for 510 pages of printing) rather than the more expensive and less useful 100XL cartridge.
You will read in various reviews that you can get a printer that prints better photographs. That is undoubtedly true. But so what? This is a printer for college, dude. Don’t be an idiot. What you need is a printer that produces great text at a cheap price. And that’s this printer. So if you are in the market, consider it seriously; right now you can get one for around $200.00 including tax and shipping. But read over the other reviews in the MacWorld piece. Because, who knows, you may actually need a printer for college that excels at $0.15/page color photographs more than anything else. But probably not.
06 Jul 2010 16:08
There are lots of blog posts describing good Mac applications for students; the Tired Donkey has done you the service of linking to several of the better ones below. Most of these lists throw in a couple of productivity apps, a couple of entertainment apps and few other random apps the author happens to like. Nothing wrong with that kind of list-making (which is why the Tired Donkey linked to some of the posts), but the Tired Donkey, who has a large number of children in college and high school, would like to focus his list a little more tightly on fixing the stupid crap students do that compromises their ability to succeed.
So. The Tired Donkey has divided his list into apps that do the core things you need to do to succeed in college: organize yourself, take good notes, study and keep your computer healthy. Many of these apps cost money (but all that do have a free trial period). Get over it; go mow a few lawns or work a little overtime or beg your parents for some more money. Better yet, just make them read this post. The Tired Donkey must point out that you (and your parents) are going to be spending a fortune on your education, and, given this, he respectfully suggests that you would be an idiot not to spend a few hundred dollars more to make sure you have the software you need to succeed.
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06 Jun 2010 18:06
So you are heading off to college, and you want some advice about what kind of computer to get, what software you might need and what extra equipment you ought to convince your parents to buy for you. The Tired Donkey has some experience in these areas and will offer you the advice you seek. But don’t take this advice as comprehensive; you will need to adjust based on your specific circumstances and the way you like to work.
First, should you get a Mac or a PC? The Tired Donkey believes in Macs, and the advice in this post is geared toward Mac users. So if you have a Mac already or have decided to buy one, read on. If you are still undecided and want some Mac v. PC advice, try here. Or here. As you peruse these links, understand that you will have no problem using either system on any college campus for anything you need to do in college from turning in papers electronically to email to entertainment. Whatever you chose, don’t even think about getting a desktop machine; if you get anything other than a laptop, you’ll regret it.
So. Your new computer is great for entertainment, but never forget it is primarily a tool to help you succeed in college. Get off to a good start by using the summer before you leave for college to get organized, to think about how you are going to study, how you are going to structure your days and how you are going to succeed. It won’t happen by accident, and you don’t want to blow your first semester by feeling your way into college. Show up prepared and kick ass. Remember: the more organized you are right from the start, the more time you will have for enjoying the non-classroom aspects of college. Take care of business first, and the rest will follow naturally.
This post makes some recommendations for you, but there are plenty of resources available on the web if you just run some searches like “best mac applications for college students,” “succeeding in college,” etc. Use these resources (some of which the Tired Donkey lists at the end of this post), and don’t just waste your summer.
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