Tag Archives: senior

Buying a computer for college – an opinion

Some thoughts on choosing a laptop when you are heading off to college next year:

The first thing: check with the college you are heading to [or the several possible colleges!]. They will often have suggestions for what will work.

If that is no help, here are some decisions to be looked at, and some thoughts:
1) Operating System: the big three are Mac, Windows, and Chromebook.
The MaconMacGuy  prefers Mac [obviously!], but he uses Windows AND several versions of Linux daily.  You’ll see arguments both ways – for some, it’s almost a religious thing.
For me, Macs last longer – their hardware is generally higher quality, unless you are comparing Windows laptops in the same price range [well over $1000].
Many people [obviously] prefer Windows.
The bottom line: use what helps you get your work done.
Stay away from the el cheapo machines UNLESS you want to have a “throwaway machine” because you break stuff a lot.  The more expensive laptops generally have better quality components.

ChromeOS [used in Chromebooks] is workable, but the feeling from MDS Tech is that it will create more headaches than it solves, at least for now.

2) Screen size: generally, bigger is better. Then again, bigger means a bigger gizmo to carry around, and less battery life.
3) RAM: get as much as your pocketbook can afford. At a minimum get 8 gig – 16gig would be better. 32gig is probably overkill – unless you find a real good deal.
4) Processor: IN GENERAL later/faster is better. You’ll see references – in the Intel world – of whatever generation [current is 9th generation] and i3 vs i5 vs i7.
For more students i3 isn’t powerful enough – they will grow out of it soon. i5 is a good solid choice – i7 is more powerful, but tends to be a lot more expensive.
For practical purposes you probably won’t see much of a speed difference between 7th and 8th generation. 9th generation JUST came out, and so laptops with that processor are expensive and fairly rare.
There are also subcategories within those designations – you’ll see letters like “m” and “U” and such. They also refer to how powerful the processor is and how fast they drain the battery – but in the interest of keeping things simple let’s just ignore that part.
If you really want to compare using a simple “power rating”, surf to www.cpubenchmark.net and type in the exact processor. The site gives a number that is useful for comparing different processors.
5) Storage – aka Hard Drive or SSD. To use an analogy – the hard drive or SSD is your filing cabinet. As in real life, the bigger the better. [Bigger also means more room to lose things, though.] 
SSDs are MUCH faster than hard drives – but also more expensive. MDS Tech prefers an SSD, but you can get a MUCH larger hard drive [“filing cabinet”]for a much smaller amount of money.
6) Backup – MDS Tech also suggests setting up a backup system. This usually involves some software and an external hard drive, OR you can use an online setup [Google Drive **CAN** be used like this, but there are a ton of other options]. You basically want to have a backup of documents that is accessible so when [not if] the thing dies or the computer hamsters go on strike you aren’t stuck.
On the Mac side the iPad guy uses Carbon Copy Cloner and an external set of hard drives. There are similar backup schemes available for the Windows side as well.
7)  Printing – Wait until at least 2nd semester to get a printer. Generally colleges have printers available on the network. Yes, having one in your room means convenience – but it ALSO means more headaches [YOU have to keep it running, stocked, and fend off dorm-mates who want to to do a quick printout – really, I’ll pay you later for the ink and paper……]

A note re: Senior Portraits

A note regarding Senior Portraits for the Class of 2019:

In an effort to reduce costs, The Academy is offering two free sessions of senior formal portraits with our professional photographer, Maryann Bates. It is mandatory for all seniors to use this photographer in order for their picture to appear in their senior yearbook . All portraits will be taken in the yearbook room located downstairs in the Zuver Center. Sessions are:

  • Tuesday, August 7, beginning at 9:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, August 14, beginning at noon, following Senior Orientation

Portrait Sessions: Registration

It is important that you choose a time slot for one of these free sessions. To sign up, please visit this link: http://mtdesales.link/formals

You can also find this on our website at

www.mountdesales.net –> Parents & Students –> Other Resources –> Student Photos.

**Seniors who arrive without registering will be photographed on a first-come, first-served basis as time allows.

Portrait Sessions: Makeup Dates

After the free portrait sessions are completed, makeup sessions will be based on the photographer’s availability. Please note that a sitting fee of $125 will be charged to each family prior to a makeup portrait session. The link for payment along with dates and time slots will be shared with families later in the semester.

Attire and Appearance

Mount de Sales will provide tuxes for boys and drapes for girls at the sessions. Hair must be clean and appropriate per school guidelines. Girls may wear simple earrings and a necklace.  All seniors must arrive portrait-ready as time will not allow for additional styling.

Final Photos

Families will choose one of four poses. A final edit will be done on one selected photo of those choices. This one photo will be sent to you via email as well as placed in the yearbook.

Jenny Barker, Upper School English teacher, will be serving as the yearbook advisor. She will be in contact with seniors and parents with any updates to portraits as well as any special requests regarding senior features in the yearbook.

How do I keep my Stuff when I’m leaving?

If you are a Senior who needs to keep access to your documents, or you are leaving for other reasons, here are a few notes on how to transfer your data/emails/ etc.

Emails: Forward your emails to your personal account…. or see the link below.

Drive Documents:

  • email the drive documents to your personal account.
  • download the files onto a flash drive, or onto your computer at home. If you select multiple document, Drive will zip them all together first. Just don’t do too many of them!
  • In extreme cases the Tech Dept. may be able to do something called Google Takeout, which will download all of your Drive docs onto a flash drive. Contact us to see if that’s possible.



You can also check out this article:
It has some detailed instructions. We ARE a “Google Apps” school, so the limitations mentioned in the article apply.
Try this search – there are several other articles listing ways to move your data with you:
…and you will see several possibilities.