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  1. #1
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    Computer-Needed? Apple or PC

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    So Ive exhausted the search option and just decided to ask my question. So I know we're required to have a laptop. When my brother began dental school NYU required him to get one too, and he said it was the most useless 2k he spent at school. He said most students just print the powerpoints at home and then annotate right on the paper, rather than lugging a computer to class, and being tempted to look at the internet during lecture. So now to saba. Im a bit confused about what Ive read. Is it that you cant print the lectures before class that requires bringing the laptop? I read that before class you have to use a memory stick to download the lecture directly from the profs computer. wouldnt that take a long time for the entire class to sit there in line and one by one put the lecture onto their memory stick? So now on to question numero dos...

    Apples are delicious.- Ive read that as long as you have the "white plastic" imac you should be good to go. Well I have the old titanium G4 powerbook (the very first titanium powerbook, i got it in 2003). Does white plastic imac mean the new ones with the intel chip? Im running microsoft office but not the newest version. I want to hold out until the newest Macbook pro comes out with the dual 64 bit merom processors. I might have to go a semester with my old G4.
    My brothers suggestion after feeling like he didnt even need the laptop at all was to buy the junkiest cheapest dell, or maybe even get two because they are so cheap in case one breaks. Then when im back in the states get a good desktop.
    "Don't get your Golgi in a complex..."

  2. #2
    rdecastro is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulderunner View Post
    So Ive exhausted the search option and just decided to ask my question. So I know we're required to have a laptop. When my brother began dental school NYU required him to get one too, and he said it was the most useless 2k he spent at school. He said most students just print the powerpoints at home and then annotate right on the paper, rather than lugging a computer to class, and being tempted to look at the internet during lecture. So now to saba. Im a bit confused about what Ive read. Is it that you cant print the lectures before class that requires bringing the laptop? I read that before class you have to use a memory stick to download the lecture directly from the profs computer. wouldnt that take a long time for the entire class to sit there in line and one by one put the lecture onto their memory stick? So now on to question numero dos...

    Apples are delicious.- Ive read that as long as you have the "white plastic" imac you should be good to go. Well I have the old titanium G4 powerbook (the very first titanium powerbook, i got it in 2003). Does white plastic imac mean the new ones with the intel chip? Im running microsoft office but not the newest version. I want to hold out until the newest Macbook pro comes out with the dual 64 bit merom processors. I might have to go a semester with my old G4.
    My brothers suggestion after feeling like he didnt even need the laptop at all was to buy the junkiest cheapest dell, or maybe even get two because they are so cheap in case one breaks. Then when im back in the states get a good desktop.
    I can't imagine not having a laptop in class (especially after 1st semester).
    Any laptop will probably do. If you want a mac, fine. There are two or three in every class.

    There is no Mac support available at all (not that there's much for real computers). And Mac's do break. Be forewarned.

    As long as whatever computer you have has the ability to read and write windows compatible MS-Office files, and a USB port, you'll be fine. If you have wifi (802.11b/g) you'll be in good shape.

    Oh, and BTW: Your brothers experiences in dental school have almost no applicability to your experiences at Saba

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    Quote Originally Posted by rdecastro View Post
    Oh, and BTW: Your brothers experiences in dental school have almost no applicability to your experiences at Saba

    Believe me I know, but Im subject to the little brother phenomenon. He thinks he KNOWS everything about what im going to experience in basic sciences, and I end up having to convince him and my parents (who are helping me financially), because he convinces them. Its like he constantly has to make this comparison between dentistry and medicine, and how dentistry is just the same(as hard) as med. Anyhow im way off track now...
    "Don't get your Golgi in a complex..."

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    rdecastro is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by boulderunner View Post
    Believe me I know, but Im subject to the little brother phenomenon. He thinks he KNOWS everything about what im going to experience in basic sciences, and I end up having to convince him and my parents (who are helping me financially), because he convinces them. Its like he constantly has to make this comparison between dentistry and medicine, and how dentistry is just the same(as hard) as med. Anyhow im way off track now...
    If he knew everything, he wouldn't be in dental school....

    And Saba isn't at all like the US

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    DRDRWMD is offline Elite Member 515 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdecastro View Post
    If he knew everything, he wouldn't be in dental school....

    And Saba isn't at all like the US
    Dental is a great way to go if you do not mind spending countless hours doing the same stuff over and over and over. The hours are great, pay is good, but it is just so boring.

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    rdecastro is offline Permanently Banned 510 points
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    Quote Originally Posted by DRDRWMD View Post
    Dental is a great way to go if you do not mind spending countless hours doing the same stuff over and over and over. The hours are great, pay is good, but it is just so boring.

    Thats why there's a dentist at Saba, learning how to be a doctor.

  7. #7
    wolfvgang22 is offline Moderator 514 points
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    Ouch...that's like the old saying: "what do you call a dentist? Answer: someone who couldn't get into medical school." Mean, mean, mean!

    I think each classroom now has a wireless router so you don't have to stand in line with your USB drive anymore.

    Here Are Some Reasons to have a Laptop on Saba (in no particular order):
    1.) Shipping a desktop computer to and from the carribbean is an excellent way to break one - I'd rather carry my little laptop on the plane. That way, I can watch "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" instead of the airline censored version of "Over the Hedge"

    2a.) Saba is steep. I wouldn't want to carry anymore than is necessary to and from an apartment, which is usually up or down stairs and on a steep hill. Even if I only had to do it once, it would be a pain to lug a desktop in and out of my cottage, and try to cram it in a taxi to get it there in the first place.

    2b) Less is more on Saba - don't believe me now? You will in 5th semester when you are preparing to leave the island...and it costs $200 to ship a standard 3 cubic foot box home. Of course, someone here will gladly buy your $1,000 desktop for $100 so you don't have to ship it home.

    2c) Don't forget you will be traveling a lot in the next four years (to saba, home on breaks, to clinicals wherever all over the place in the U.S., running around interviewing for the Match, etc.

    2d.) You want to be able to have all your basic sciences notes easily on hand where-ever you are so you can study whenever you have any free time for the step 1. Your laptop can hold all your notes, and many scanned books, etc that are available. Many times I suddenly think "What nerve innervates the subscapular muscle?" or "What anesthesia is used for endoscopy?" - and with my laptop I can look it up fast - no matter where I am. This also makes me appear partially intelligent to questioning professors, who have already gotten the wrong answer from two classmates while I looked it up.

    3.) Despite the fact that Saba is a relatively crime-free island, I wouldn't feel good about going home on break and leaving my computer here. My laptop with my personal data on it goes everywhere I go.

    4.) I can email people from the airport, especially if my flight is delayed to let my family know whats going on.

    5.) Who wants to be the only person in class not exchanging scanned textbooks, study aids, quiz programs, a word for word complete transcript from last semester for that pain in the neck prof who doesn't use powerpoint (Hi third semesters!), music, photos, movies, games, etc? It can be hard to fit that all on your jumpdrive, you can get a lot on one day.

    6.) When you don't know an answer to a question, and the professor is scanning the classroom for someone to call on, you can duck behind your LCD monitor. (Mine is huge...) When he doesn't see you and calls on someone else, refer to #2d above.

    7.) There is Dell service here, the tech service guy flies over from St. Martin once in a while and fixes Dell laptops.

    8.) Printing can get expensive here in the library at $10 for a 50 copy card. Printing out a lecture for one two-hour session of class can sometimes be 30 pages (with small but readable thumbnails). If you ship your own printer over here, you should make sure to bring enough printer cartridges or toner with you, because that stuff is either not available at all here, or available at double the U.S. retail price. Printer paper is also expensive here compared to U.S.

    9.) You can use your laptop to record lectures. I do it all the time.

    10.) Histology and Pathology and Microbiology pictures look a lot better in full color on your monitor than they do printed out, unless you plan on printing out the pictures real big in high resolution and using up gallons of printer cartridge ink or toner. And yes, those images all do look an awefully lot alike and, yes, some of those same images are on the test. They also look much better on your LCD screen than they do on the projector screen way up at the front of the classroom. And finally,(drum roll please)

    11.) All but one or two professors provide lecture notes on Powerpoint. Most of the lectures are not available more than 5 minutes prior to class time to print out, because the professors constantly update and refine their presentations to better reflect what is important for the USMLE this year.
    Feel free to use any of these reasons when talking to parents or brothers or whoever you want to buy you a laptop for Christmas. There are probably 50 more reasons others here can think of I can't remember just now.
    Saba University School of Medicine, Class of 2009
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

  8. #8
    KingMo is offline Member 510 points
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    Your mac will be fine, but def make sure you bring a laptop. Just make sure it has a wireless card and get a 1gb flash drive. Powerpoints are never available early and people end up passing them around on a flash drive during class, and type notes in class right on the powerpoint. Not that powerpoints are 1gb, but sometimes we take videos in lab and pass them around too.

    A printer may be useful too. Library is kinda expensive to print/copies.

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    Think I should bring my nice laser printer? Will the humidity ruin it? I have a pretty nice konika minolta laser printer that can print pretty fast and also 1 cartridge lasts forever. My only concern is if it will get ruined? Ive gotten conflicting advice on this. Some say electronics get destroyed so dont bring a nice printer and Ive heard just the opposite too. My "backup" printer is a deskjet that takes seemingly forever to print one page, and devoures cartridges, but it is cheap and expendible...
    "Don't get your Golgi in a complex..."

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    wolfvgang22 is offline Moderator 514 points
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    KingMo is right! Get the biggest flash drive you can afford, particularly if you want to share movies. There is no movie theatre on Saba with new releases, so students share the latest from the internet all the time.

    On printers: some people have had excellent success with buying a laser printer. Office Max often has them on sale for like $99, and one toner cartridge will last all semester, just pick up a new one each break. The down side is that they only print black and white, but the quality is excellent. They are also small, light, and don't break down as much in my experience as ink-jet printers.
    Saba University School of Medicine, Class of 2009
    Diplomate, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology

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