A Word from the Director
A Word from the Director
Congratulations on your recent acceptance into the IU Kelley Graduate School of Business! My name is Jim Anderson and I'm the Director of Technology Operations here at Kelley. I know from personal experience how exciting and challenging it can be to participate in a graduate program through the Kelley School of Business (KSB). I have provided some information below which I believe will be helpful as you consider which notebook computer is the best fit for your needs. Please feel free to contact Kevin Hostetler, Associate Director of Client Services via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone: 812-855-4247 (available 8am -12pm & 1:30-5pm, M-F) for further assistance.
What is the Environment Like at the KSB for Notebook Computer Users?
The Kelley School of Business maintains a total of 2300+ wired network connections and homogenous wireless coverage. For the best Internet experience (Gigabit speeds) TOS recommends the use of cat-5 Ethernet cables (provided). High-speed, high-resolution network printers are available to notebook computer users throughout the Graduate and Executive Education Center (GEEC) and in the Business/SPEA Library. While it is true that the classrooms have limited "lab/free computing" time due to the number of classes being held in these facilities, plenty of network connections are available in other general use locations.
What Upgrades/Options Should be Considered?
Most basic notebook computer systems should meet a user’s needs for the duration of the program. Individuals who are used to working with desktop systems may want to consider purchasing a flat panel display, keyboard, mouse, port replicator, and an extra power supply (NOTE: a second power supply really enhances the value of a port replicator).
Battery (second) - This option should only be considered for folks who plan to travel often while in school. Typically, this is not an important option to consider.
Carrying Case - Users should have an "approved" carrying case. Such a case has a padded compartment for a notebook computer. All vendors offer such cases. Other solutions (backpacks, soft briefcases, etc.) are available through local office supply companies and bookstores (Staples, Office Depot, IU Bookstore, TIS bookstore, etc.). NOTE: users should be very careful not to over pack their carrying case or backpack; notebook computer LCD screens can become damaged if they come under too much pressure, therefore users should avoid stuffing their carrying cases and backpacks to their absolute maximum capacity.
DVD-RW Drives - These drives are only recommended if you are already in the habit of burning data DVDs, or if they are available as an upgrade for a nominal fee. These drives cannot be used to legally burn copies of movies.
Mouse - An external mouse is not a bad thing to consider. Experience has proven that extensive use of the touch pad and trackpoint devices may be frustrating and cause hand cramps. This is a relatively inexpensive option - An optical mouse is the Director's favorite.
Printer - There are a number of high-quality laser printers available in the School, however, students might want to have a local printer for convenience. Folks who are interested in having a local printer at home, should consider an inexpensive color ink jet or laser printer (color is not available @ School). NOTE: Students are limited to 1000 printouts on school printers without charge per semester (2000 per year), so a personal printer may come in handy for draft printing. There will be a 4 cents/page charge levied (minimum $5 charge) assessed for over quota printing.
USB Flash Drive - These portable, reliable devices are used to store data, transfer files from one machine to another, and generally serve as very easy, cheap, and practical back-up devices. Available at most any electronics retailer and a myriad of online e-stores, these devices can be found for as little $10-$20 and in sizes up to 16GBs or more. If you've ever lost a critical file due to a hardware or software error, then you know the value of making back-ups - don't take risks with your work, back-up often to a safe and reliable device!
Wireless 802.11N - The entire graduate and undergraduate buildings are covered with wireless access points with all current wireless protocols. Slower protocols, such as 802.11a/b/g are available, but do not provide a satisfactory experience given the dense population of wireless consuming devices present. As such, devices equipped with 802.11a/b/g only are not encouraged. Additionally, most of the outside seating areas are also included in this coverage. There is no Bluetooth coverage available.
Warranties - Look for systems that have at least a two year limited warranty as this will provide coverage while you're immersed in the Kelley program. Adding additional years of coverage is up to the individual. Further, some manufacturers, such as Dell, and Lenovo, offer enhanced warranty options. Dell's "CompleteCare," and Lenovo's "ThinkPad Protection" plans both cover the machine in case of accidental damage. Prices and services may vary depending on manufacturer and special offers, but these programs offer a convenient and affordable method to protect your investment in case of accidents. Check with your manufacturer of choice before you make your purchase as you may have to order this protection at the time you purchase the machine.
What About Insurance?
Insurance is an absolute must! It's easy to get preoccupied and leave a backpack or carrying case behind. Fortunately, we have only had a small number of thefts in recent years, so security is not a huge issue. However, there is no excuse for not insuring such a valuable asset. Typically, a renter's insurance policy will cover the full amount of the notebook computer - check with your insurance agent to make sure a separate rider is not required. It's cheap insurance! GET IT!
What About Care and Feeding?
Even though notebook computers are built to withstand a much more punishing environment than desktop units, they still require some extra care. Notebook computers should never be left in the car where temperatures can reach over 100 degrees in the summer or below 20 degrees in the winter.
Notebook computers don't fare well in liquid spills. The main board is located directly under the keyboard, so even minor spills can be catastrophic (NOTE: liquid spills are not covered under standard warranties). So, keep drinks away from the unit!
Batteries are considered "wearable" parts – as such, they usually only carry a one-year warranty. Check with your manufacturer for details.
Always carry a notebook computer in a carrying case/backpack built specifically for that purpose (but never enclose them in the case while powered up- the intense heat can quickly damage the machine!). Normal backpacks and book bags do not provide adequate padding in the event an accident. Notebook computers that are taken care of typically don't have problems.