Computer question

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by ButImLETired, Jun 17, 2008.

  1. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    Hey guys, I have kind of a random practical question.
    I was wondering whether I should get a new computer for med school. I know it's forever from now but I have a lot of nervous energy and I probably should start saving, like, NOW. The reason why I ask is that I currently have a Macbook Pro, 15 inch, which leads me to two questions: 1) How "mac-friendly" are med schools? Is that even an issue anymore? Will there be any software or online thing that I'll need a PC for?; and 2) How do current med students take notes? I am always hearing about the sheer volume of information that's thrown at you, which I assume leads to quite the amount of note-taking. Do most people take notes on a laptop? Is that really feasible or are there a lot of graphs/pictures to take down? Should I get one of those super-light computers that I can take anywhere? Do tablets work well?
    Ok, I think that's it. Thanks for your help!
     
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  3. seraph524

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    As far as I know, there really is not preference to PC or macs in medical school, just use whatever you are most comfortable with. As for note taking, professors pass out printed coursepacks. If you don't want to take notes on them, you can certainly just open up powerpoint and take notes on them. You can also just start typing in word.

    That being said, if you are pursuing a research career, the choice between a PC and mac is much more critical. A lot of scientific analyzing programs are mac only. A few that comes to mind are a lot of the genetic sequence crunchers and what not.
     
  4. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy

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    Really? I don't believe I've ever heard of programs that heavily favor mac before. (besides maybe art programs and stuff) Good to know!

    Oh and does anyone thing Mac will release a tablet anytime soon? (that would be cool)
     
  5. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
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    anecdotally I have heard some software at some med schools does not work well with macs. Check with your schools IT department.
     
  6. Caesar

    Caesar In Memory of Riley Jane
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    The labs at my UG are mac labs.
     
  7. meddoc1

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    my school told us to buy pc instead of mac
     
  8. meddoc1

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    I also have a computor related question here. I want a tablet but all the tablets I found have very small screen. Is it going to affect me during exam bacause the screen is too small?
     
  9. ChimpanzeeMinky

    ChimpanzeeMinky Nanterhead

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    I wouldn't put much credence in the recommendation of the school's IT department. They most likely are recommending PCs because that's what they've used and are familiar with, and don't know what the issues with Macs may be. If you're even slightly computer savvy, though, there's really no reason at all to need a PC anymore, even for those places where they require you use PC-only apps. In that case, you will have to unfortunately run Windows, either via dual-booting (kinda inconvenient) or via virtualization (with a product like Parallels).

    In these instances where PC-only apps are required for school, the only drawback to the Mac is the extra cost of the Windows OS and the virtualization software if you decide to go that route. A small price to pay to not have to suffer on the Windows platform, and this is coming from a former PC guy with over 10 years software development experience on a whole bunch of different platforms.
     
  10. BluePhoenix

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    You may want to hold off, some med schools will require you to get a certain computer. Or, will give you a laptop when you get there. At Mayo this year, they offered either a mac or a pc laptop...all but 4 students took the mac. So you might want to save you're money for something else or hold off until you know where you're going and what they offer or require.
     
  11. Lokhtar

    Lokhtar Dreaming about the lions

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    I would recommend a tablet pc for note taking. I'm a very fast typist, so I use that a lot, but the extra ability of tablet pc to scribble and draw diagrams with a pen is extremely useful.

    Something like this. Or if you want more portability, you can do that too, with a smaller more mobile tablet.
     
  12. Textuality

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    Yup, that's why I bought a tablet, the One Note function of being to scribble all over those power point slides they like to give you seems REALLY useful, as does the ability to insert (and scribble on) screen clippings. (Note: if you do get a tablet, get the 32 bit OS because One Note actually isn't fully compatible with the 64 bit..)

    Also, I think all the USMLE exams are on PCs, just fyi.
     
  13. beethoven

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    Your MacBook Pro can run windows. If you actually need to use a windows only app, then you can install bootcamp (for free) or buy Parallels. You just need to have your own copy of Windows XP/Vista. You can buy it cheap at your bookstore probably, or better yet, ask a friend :p

    The only thing you might want to look into is getting something smaller/more portable. But there's nothing wrong with the MacBook Pro- it's a great machine.
     
  14. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

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    I'm not trying to advertise or anything, but I just bought an HP tablet (tx2500z). HP.com is having a sale on laptops/tablets. Use coupon code NB4796 to get $500 off a laptop priced at $1399+. Might be useful for someone planning to get a laptop. Mods can delete this post if it is against the rules to advertise.
     
  15. DrJosephKim

    DrJosephKim Advisor
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    Tablets are great for note-taking. You'll want to draw charts, diagrams, color-code pictures, etc. You can scan images and do so much with a tablet. Your studying will be much more productive.
     
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  17. TamarMD

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    If the size of the tablet screen is a problem then toshiba is the way to go. I have a toshiba R20 and I love it. Granted they don't make those anymore but the other Toshiba tablets are pretty good to. I am planning to buy a new one when I get to Med School. Like many people mentioned the ability to write on powerpoints and the one note capability is what sold me. I use my laptop in every class that writing is needed. I really loved it for Physics. I had a friend in that class who also had a tablet. If I missed a class, or if she missed a class, we wouldn't have to wait until the other got home to scan the notes and e-mail it. We could email it right there. Hope this isn't seen as advertising either because I don't know how SDN feels about that.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  18. meddoc1

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    Did you got it from HP web site?
    And is the screen too small?
    My school recommanded a 14-15 inches laptop. But I really want to get a tablet.
     
  19. Lacheln

    Lacheln Cavorting in the Hills

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  20. CoolSpot7Up

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    wait to buy a computer until you get accepted to a med school. some schools will REQUIRE you to buy one through them, so don't go buying one with all the upgrades only to find out you have to buy another one.

    i've always used a PC (needed it in undergrad for engineering programs), but i think i'm going to switch to a mac for med school. i'll only mainly need powerpoint and word, plus some other med school-specific apps that should be mac compatible.
     
  21. Textuality

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    I have a HP tx2000, but my mom's been eyeing it, so I might give mine to her and upgrade to a 2500. The screen is 12.1", that being said, you can always just buy a monitor to hook it up to if you want a bigger screen for writing papers etc. I'm planning on getting a 18" LCD monitor, or possibly a 18" LCD TV that has good resolution and proper inputs so I can also use it as a monitor.
     
  22. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

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    No, their tablets are 12.1. I currently have a 15 inch laptop and it is just too big and heavy (6.5 pounds).

    Textuality, how is the screen on the tx2000? I hear some are kind of grainy. I'm hoping the 2500 is better, but I doubt it. I love everything about this tablet except for the screen.
     
  23. meddoc1

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    but what if you need to take an exam?
     
  24. meddoc1

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    I am accepted to a school, they say to use PC and 14''-15'' Laptop.. But the HP tablet is 12.1'' so I am debating if I should risk it. The only concern I have is when I am taking exams and I need a bigger screen to look at diagram or such.
     
  25. Textuality

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    You can talk it over with your school, some can loan you computers just for the exams, and you can just use your tablet for all the note taking stuff. Some schools like UMaryland are more strict about it, and you HAVE to buy one from them. It differs. Honestly, I can't see why you can't take the exam on a 12" screen, unless they're purposely making diagrams hard to read, I can't imagine it'd be a problem. Just my opinion of course, I also like to keep resolutions on my screens as high as possible, lol, so maybe I just like things small and compact.
     
  26. ChimpanzeeMinky

    ChimpanzeeMinky Nanterhead

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    At what school would you be using your own laptop to take an exam? My laptop screen is a mere 12" and I find it adequate for all tasks school-related. It's not ideal when needing to run multiple apps at once, but if you're note taking in Powerpoint, you can focus on just that one app.

    Your status says you're a medical student, btw.
     
  27. meddoc1

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    Hey Koopa, I tried using that coupon code on HP web site, but it doesn't work. Does it mean that it is over? :mad:
     
  28. Textuality

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    It worked fine for me just now, you just have to make sure the laptop is over 1399$
     
  29. meddoc1

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    yeah!! I just bought it... thanks so much for the info. I save a great deal.. thanks thanks thanks..... x1000
     
  30. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Junior Member

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    I'm glad you were able to use it. This coupon code was released yesterday on fatwallet.com and can only be used 2000 times before it expires.

    If anyone is interested, coupon code DT9632 takes $400 off any customized HP Pavillion desktop priced at $999+ at hp.com. It may have expired by now.
     
  31. ButImLETired

    ButImLETired Prodigal member
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    Well, yay! I'm so glad this thread helped someone out!

    Also, thanks so much for your advice. I wasn't sure about the tablet thing but now I'm pretty sold on it. I'll just wait until next year when I'll actually need it and meanwhile start saving...applying to med schools is going to bankrupt me....
    ANYWAYS, thanks!
     
  32. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy

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    Must buy, can't afford it, can't afford not to buy it.... ahhh!

    (I really want one but am finding it difficult to part with the 1000 dollars knowing I'll need a few grand to apply to schools)

    Just sitting here hovering over the submit button.
     
  33. Chuck's Right Foot

    Chuck's Right Foot Class of 2013

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    UMD SOM IT department doesn't support Macs and they upload a user account/software for you to take your tests on. They'll only do it on a PC. I'm not sure if you can work around if you dual boot windows (which, unless you have 4 GB of RAM) is bit easier than running virtual machine (for a non computer person).
     
  34. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy

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    Weeeelll I caved. Thanks for the heads up on the deal. Really wanted to get one and 500 dollars off was too much to pass up.

    Hopefully I won't regret it.
     
  35. digitalising

    digitalising Codename: Amistad

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    No offense, but what difference would having a Mac, PC, tablet, desktop, or laptop possibly have in regards to taking an exam? I can't imagine that any medical school gives open-note exams, and your boards will not be taken on personal computers due to the ridiculous opportunities for cheating.

    Unless you're planning to do research (PCs have an advantage here, but many programs come in Mac and PC versions), I don't think there will be any difference between using a Mac or a PC. Powerpoint runs well on both Macs and on PCs, so get what you like and fits your budget.

    If I'm wrong, somebody please b!+ch-slap me with some knowledge.
     
  36. digitalising

    digitalising Codename: Amistad

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    Well, someone did BS me (JWLuiza), so you can disregard my earlier post.
     
  37. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom
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  38. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom
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  39. LucidSplash

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    There's no point in a work around because you are only allowed to take exams on your school-issued laptop. The software is only installed on your school laptop. Our IT department doesn't actually support any other computers besides the school laptop.

    I know for some people this seems like fascism but trust me, there's something amazing about being able to drop off your laptop and get it fixed no matter what happens to it and be given a loaner in the meantime if necessary. If an elephant sat on my laptop I would still be able to go in, hand it to them and say "oops," wherein they would hand me a new laptop. The End, no questions asked. As dependent as we are on these things, this is a very nice feature of Maryland, so the complaining about not being able to choose your own laptop is pretty minimal. There is only one person I know that went out and bought a separate laptop to use for note taking, etc, and he is HPSP so had military scholarship money for it. And he still has to take exams on the school-issued laptop (and he still had to pay for the school laptop).
     
  40. SirGecko

    SirGecko Go Navy

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    No, I'm pretty sure he didn't. HPSP is supposed to cover all of your supplies so if the school requires that laptop then HPSP paid for that laptop. Though I read something about them only paying to rent, not buy, computers. (at least that is the impression I'm under? I dunno, someone in HPSP already please correct me if I am wrong)
     
  41. LucidSplash

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    The cost of the school laptop is included in the fees/tuition/room and board, etc. He also purchased a second laptop. I didn't mean to imply that it wasn't all included in his HPSP - just that he still paid for (through whatever means) and received the school laptop even though he bought a different laptop from elsewhere - ie buying another laptop does not exempt you from the school laptop in any way.
     
  42. ChimpanzeeMinky

    ChimpanzeeMinky Nanterhead

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    You can definitely work around it with a Windows install. With Windows installed on a Mac, there is absolutely no difference between it and another PC.

    You don't need 4gb of ram to virtualize XP and have a tolerable user experience. Sure, Windows is bloated, but you can run it in virtualization with the 2 that I have, and it is a heck of a lot more convenient than having to reboot all the time to change OSes.
     
  43. ChimpanzeeMinky

    ChimpanzeeMinky Nanterhead

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    Dude, that's not a Mac. It's a custom modified Mac sold by another vendor.
     
  44. Chuck's Right Foot

    Chuck's Right Foot Class of 2013

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    Yeah, I guess it's how you USE your RAM :) Are you running XP or vista? cause if you have 2 total, the max you are getting is 1 GB on your virtual machine right?!? And vista is a punk on 1 GB....

    That and I just got off a software development job, where 4 was the norm :)
     
  45. ChimpanzeeMinky

    ChimpanzeeMinky Nanterhead

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    True, true.

    We run on 4 here on average too, but we've also got some machines with only 2 that run XP virtualized O.K. Not great.
     

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