Mar 30, 2009

Integrating Technology

Perhaps you’re about to enter a more rigorous year of high school, or you’re about to go off to college, or you finally got that internship you were shooting for. All of these are great qualifiers for buying a new laptop or computer. The machine you own is an essential link in the career or educational path you undertake, and can either save you tons of time or severely slow any progress you make towards your goals. It’s important you have a machine that will hold up to whatever you could throw at it.

The first thing to decide on is format. This decision comes down to either a Macintosh or Windows-based platform. If the format you usually use is the same as the format that you will need to integrate with (for example, if you own a Windows machine and you are interning in an office that uses exclusively Windows), stay with it. However, if the format that you need to integrate with is different, the question comes down to whether you should learn a new format for the ease of integration, or integrate what you’re used to with the separate format. The reason this is so important is that integration between the Macintosh and Windows formats is not yet streamlined to the point where you won’t run into at least a few headaches. However, learning a new format could cause just as many problems due to unfamiliarity.

It’s always a good idea to consult with the local tech department for tips. If it looks like the differences between integrating your system with the new system will be too great, consider learning a new way of computing. Also, it never hurts to have both systems available. Consider purchasing a cheap, older computer with the different format so you have both platforms available to you.

Internet integration is becoming easier and easier nowadays, but it is still critical to double-check that you will be able to access the Internet quickly and easily without spending down-time chasing down glitches.

Consider what programs you’ll need. Things like word processors, Internet browsers, and presentation creators are a must, and usually come pre-loaded on any new computer.

Finally, consider accessories. Free space can dwindle very rapidly when collecting assignments on top of the usual stash of music, movies, pictures, and particulars of your personal computer, so consider an external hard drive. Also, a mouse could help ease the strain on your index finger if you’ll be clicking a lot.

The key is to anticipate how you’ll be using the computer on a daily basis, and then build your system from there. Do it right, and you’ll slide into your new position with ease!

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