When I’m in Bailey Hall and Dr. Maas plays a video and turns down the lights I see it, hundreds of glistening lights in the darkness. What are they? The glowing minds of bright students? No, they are laptops, and lots of them. So why am I in the lowly darkness? That’s right, it’s true, I have a desktop.
Computers are a necessity in our modern lives. Nowhere is that more true than in college. We need them to get/submit homework, coordinate with our friends, write our essays, look up anything in the world, and most important of all, complain to our professors when the TA didn’t see our very small negative sign and stole half a point from our prelims. Some crazies do so much with computers that they even major in them!
So why don’t I have a cool laptop like everyone else? I’ll tell you why, it’s because I love my desktop (pictured here twice. The third picture is my awesome neighbor Steph’s Laptop). After a long hard day of classes, my computer is there waiting to greet me. It’s my home base of operations and is always running. My desktop is custom built. I first made it in 2002, and I’ve been upgrading components every once in a while. Today the only component that I still use from 2002 is my 80 Gig hard drive that I now use as a backup. Right now I have a dual-core Intel processor, 2 Gig RAM, a nice sleek case, and 4 hard drives totaling over 1TB of storage. Also, I have a really cheap video card so I can’t run the newest games and get addicted to them. It’s powerful, a lot cheaper than a laptop, and does everything I want it to. I’m familiar with it and if I ever feel like upgrading a component, I can use Newegg (which is awesome) and it will be here in only a couple of days.
That’s why I prefer a desktop, but I am crazy; what about for most people in general? Desktops are cheaper and more powerful, while laptops are mobile. Customizing a computer is really only practical with a desktop, and for most people it isn’t important. So the overarching issue is, how much is mobility worth to the individual? Some students take full advantage of the mobility of laptops and use them to take notes in lecture, study in the library, and do work between classes. The mobility of a laptop is very helpful when working on a group computer programing project where working without a computer is near unavoidable. But some other students never even take their computers off their desks and may as well have desktops.
But mobility isn’t always such a wonderful thing. Carrying a laptop around everywhere is a huge liability. How much money and work would you lose if your computer went missing? Do you keep backups? Also, with computers around us all the time, it’s easy to overvalue the usefulness of technology. Pen and paper are underrated; in fact, almost all work can (and in my opinion should) be done without a computer. Even computer programing should first be drawn out on paper. Computers can be very distracting as we all know and having a mobile one just makes it worse. If you really need to use a computer for something while your on campus, there are computer labs almost everywhere. Sometimes it can be hard find a free spot, but there is almost always is at least one. If you just need to look something up fast, it is a lot easier than lugging a laptop around with you all day.
To sum up,