Rashmi has asked on her blog a few questions about desktop vs a laptop. And as I was writing a comment to her post, I realized that well; that first, I don’t go to classes anymore.(yay!) thus my experience is a lil unrelated…but more importantly my little baby deserves a post dedicated to her.
And that’s what this one is about. My Laptop.
I own a 700m. Bought for $999, approx 1.5 years ago. I used to have a desktop before that for one year, but as time went by the need for mobility increased and a laptop became a necessity. Thus, Rashmi, if you read this.. I didn’t need a laptop when I was taking classes.
My department pays us a decent stipend. And so expects each of us to own a laptop. And there is good reason for that. You don’t get it to school for one day and you realize how handicapped you become. As a PhD student, you end up collecting tons of literature and data.( whether that data is useful or junk, is another story). And it’s good to have it all in one place. When I have to meet my boss, I can just take my laptop to her office and show her all my raw data and analysis, and if need be, pull up an article from the net and discuss it right there and then. If we have new ideas, just jot them down and do a search right there. It cuts down all the emailing back and forth.
For presentations, again. Everything is in one place. If you burn a CD of a presentation, you cannot make last minute changes. When students in our lab go for conferences etc, we have rehearsals for them. Changes can be made to slides right there and stored. And of course, since your data is all there, just adding a slide isn’t too difficult.
And of course! Mobility. Thanks to laptops, I was able to submit my research proposal AND get married in the same month. We left for India on Dec 15th, got married in the last week of December and my proposal was due Jan 15th , the day I was to return to the US. This would not have been possible had it not been for my 700m, Ashish’s laptop universal adapters which work all over the world. I typed my proposal literally on three continents, 2 airports, 2 planes, my house and my sasuraal. Thankfully I did not take it to my honeymoon, just because that would have been a tad too much. Would I have been able to do that with a desktop? I think not. Even if all my data was on CDs/USBs whatever, just the peace of mind that every little piece of data/shit that I will ever need is with my in my hand, and portable, is worth the $999 I spent. My status changed twice over in 2 months. Went from ‘engaged and graduate student’ to ‘married and PhD candidate’J..thanks to Ashish and my laptop . :)
And of course, something I cannot do with my desktop is take it to Niagara Falls. I plan to type out at least part of my thesis sitting at next to the Falls.