Certain inventions just sort of … change the landscape, say. Wheeled luggage. Automobiles. Birth-control pills. Wireless broadband connectivity. And so it was, when our old iMac came up needing a $300 repair, right on the razor’s edge of my fix it/junk it threshhold, our household did an assessment of our computing needs. No, really we just sat around for a couple weeks with our thumbs up our butts, fighting over the laptop. Then the second term started, and the fighting became more pitched — you really can’t underestimate the importance of a computer to today’s student, and with one of one and two of the other, we needed to fix things. I’ll spare you the details, the endless whirl of research, price lists and the like, and cut to the chase:

We are now a two-laptop household. I expect God to strike me dead any minute now.

The new iBook joined the household yesterday. I upgraded the PowerBook to Panther, and now they’re talking to one another, sharing a wireless printer and getting along oh-so-Mac-liciously. I changed my desktop pattern to celebrate. We are a walking Yuppie cliche, is what we are.

On the other hand, there was this revelation: Guess what the Microsoft Office suite costs if you’re a student? This is, mind you, a $400 package out there in the real world. Ready? Forty-five bucks. Downside: It comes as a raw disk in a cheap cellophane envelope. “So the molded clamshell box is what’s driving the price up?” I asked the cashier, who at least got the joke. Final Draft, the $200 screenwriting software I’ve been begging and borrowing through last term? Eighty dollars. Tuition may be going up at five percent a year, but if you have a kid in college? Go visit the next time you’re doing an upgrade, and recoup at least some of your investment.

Posted at 9:14 am in Uncategorized |

5 responses to “Networked.”

  1. alex said on January 20, 2004 at 10:04 am

    Too bad I’m flat broke right now, or I’d have Keegan snag me a new iBook at Columbia College, where the prices are significantly reduced for students. He’s moving out with some friends this semester and will probably get his own iBook, though I’m not sure how with the increased rent he’ll be paying. At least I’ll have this one all to myself–and no more Asian chicks doing the nasty in the History on my Internet Explorer.

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  2. Dan said on January 20, 2004 at 1:11 pm

    Purdue University has most of the Microsoft titles for $5 a pop available to students, faculty, and staff. Thing is, we’re not buying the license, just the media. The University’s license covers those people only as long as they are affiliated with the school. In other words, buying for Mom and Dad isn’t allowed.

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  3. Nance said on January 20, 2004 at 2:33 pm

    Yes, that’s right, I keep forgetting it’s (air quotes) not allowed. Oh well — it’s legal for me.

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  4. Paul said on January 20, 2004 at 5:48 pm

    IU has the equivalent Purdue deal. You’re gettin’ hosed.

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  5. ashley said on January 20, 2004 at 6:07 pm

    Talk to somebody in “academic computing” or whatever UM has…they may know the skinny on this deal.

    Otherwise, MS is perfectly happy to offer you the “academic” rate direct.

    Me, I love the free photoshop and illustrator.

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