Back To School: (Apple) Technology

As you embark on your college journey or are returning to school, you can’t get caught without technology in the 21st century educational environment. Of course, you can go anywhere and buy a PC with the new Vista operating system, but get a Mac. They’re more attractive, better made, and have significantly less headaches than the machines on that Microsoft operating system. Okay, I’m biased, but you get the point.

Apple brings sexy back into computing with the iMac
That’s not completely true, but largely so. Apple has made computers sexy for the 21st century with the G5’s, Macbooks, PowerBooks, and its piece de resistance, the iPod. In time for new college freshmen in need of computers or those returning to school in the fall, the slender incarnation of the iMac enables you to do your homework, research, and e-mailing in style. These new models have plenty of hard drive space (250-500 GB) for those projects and presentations you’ll do for that A. Plan for desk space as the screen and CPU combo comes in 20” and 24” sizes. Good for work and for fun, and the support for any Apple product is excellent.

MS Office For Mac (A Wonderful Oxymoron)
While Mac has its own set of office utilities, Microsoft makes smooth working versions of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel for its rival platform. MS Office saves your work in the same file formats as its Windows counterpart, so you can easily send your files to a PC user (who may very well be one of your professors. Not me – definite Mac user). Best of all, MS office is priced at an academic discount, available at the Apple Store or your local college bookstore.

Dot Mac is where it’s at
.Mac has upgraded to 10 GB of online memory space, which you can use the space for e-mail (and have a super cool e-mail address), back up for all those files you create as homework, or for hosting a website and/or blog.

iPod – Definite Space Saver
Do you really want to lug all your CD’s with you to college? And, aren’t they so 20th century? Save some dorm space, get an dock, and hook your iPod to your stereo. Plus, you can take your tunes wherever you go. You can also download new tunes and your favorite TV shows (and even movies and games) from iTunes. The standard model (30-80 GB) comes in black or white, but you can dress it up with protective sheaths, covers, and socks. If you need something that can take a beating, get a Nano or a wearable Shuffle (in your choice of several fashion colors). They hold fewer tunes, but enough for music on the go, and they’re good for workouts or jogs around campus. Buy a Mac and get a Nano free. Just don’t let me catch you with it during test time.

Can’t endorse the iPhone…
I’m not sure if a phone is worth the hefty price tag, even with some fabulous features. Price aside, the iPhone offers some useful applications for students: e-mail, iCalendar to manage schedules, web browser for research, and a much more sensuous version of the iPod built-in. All that’s missing is a word processing program to write papers on the go. The keyboard function does take some getting use to. Buy at your own discretion or risk, but don’t let me catch you using it during test time.

Update, 9/5/07
Apple has a new fall line of iPods, including the iPod Touch, a phoneless version of the iPhone. Thanks to Brian for the update.

4 thoughts on “Back To School: (Apple) Technology

  1. RE: MS OfficeThere’s also a $25 rebate on MS Office if purchased between now and September 3, making the academic price even nicer. Rebate form is available at store.apple.com.

  2. Gee, Shin, how much is Apple paying you? :wink:I gotta back you up – I love the idea of OpenOffice, but if you go to a “Mac campus,” I haven’t found a decent version of OpenOffice that really does what I want it to.Students (and faculty) should see if there’s a campus resale deal with Microsoft. We have one, and I got my licensed copy of Office 2007 for $25. I really can’t wait for them to get around to updating Office for Mac to match – I hate having all the features at home when I really need them at work.

  3. I wish Apple were paying me for this. I would happily blog more about them if that were the case.Chris, I agree with you for sure–an update to MS Office for Mac is greatly needed.

  4. After I wrote that, I did some digging about – Office 2008 for Mac is slated for January, but it’s been pushed back a few times, so we’ll see which happens first: Office ’08 or the BSG season premiere.I haven’t gotten to play with Office ’07 much, but PowerPoint is so much easier to work with now. I still hate it, mind you, but at least it’s not the bane of my existence …

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