What you need to consider before purchasing your laptop.

It’s all about laptops now. I can’t remember the last time I talked to someone who was buying a PC. Anyway, as students you want to get value for money. Laptops are portable and in college most work is done on some sort of word processer. When buying a laptop I guess you want it to last a good few years. Let’s face it, as students we can’t be upgrading every year!

I didn’t know a lot about laptops (or electronic devices in general) before I started my ICT module, however now I feel like I know enough to advise you on what you look out for and what to steer clear of. Now, if you are a poor student (like myself) and is working with a budget, don’t worry. You can get a perfectly functioning laptop for second hand. I’ll talk about this later. Now what should you look out for? Here’s my top five.

Memory: One of the most important things for students in particular. You are going to be doing a lot of written work in college and you going to have to keep it all on your desktop. So make sure you get a laptop with enough memory to accommodate this. USB keys are good, but you need to back-up your work. RAM (Random Access Memory) can be purchased separate and quite cheaply if you are running low.

Warranty: Try to get as long a warranty as possible. Minimum of 3 years. If you are buying a second hand computer though, it’s going to be pretty low or not at all. So make sure it is worth the risk.

Weight & Size: If you go to college, you’re going to be carrying this around with you pretty much all the time. It’s got to be easily transported and preferably fix in your bag! It shouldn’t weigh too much either. Nobody wants to put their back out in college.

Battery Life; In college, you’re going to be moving around a lot. So there’s not always going to be access to plug sockets. So battery life is perhaps the most important consideration when picking a laptop that’s going to be used in different locations. For example, if you’re at home most of the time with your laptop, battery life wouldn’t be as important.

Connectivity: Maybe that’s an obvious one, but I’m not too sure. I’m have in my time come across laptops with no access to a Wireless Network. You can see how that would cause some problems for your average college student. Also, connectivity includes USB ports (two at least). This will come in very useful in future college endeavours.

Now, your budget, ‘good enough’ laptops usually range from between perhaps 400 euro up to 600 euro in Ireland. They can be bought in your average electronic store. However, if your budget is a little under that and you’re looking for your basic laptop; take a look at these websites.

http://www.oxfamireland.org/computers/shop

http://www.pixmania.ie/computing/used-and-refurbished-computers/refurbished-laptops-dell/6094-xx-xx-xx-topsellers-desc-1-10-page-20200-s.html

These are only two websites I found when I Googled ‘refurbished laptops’. I know personally that these laptops that Oxfam offer may be basic, but they have just the right amount of storage etc, that a student would need and all for a reasonable price!  You also can buy them in Oxfam shops and take a look at it before you buy it if you’re unsure.

Technology & Psychology; Brain Implants.

There are about 100,000 people in this world who has had microchips implanted into their brain for medical reasons. However, the future promises brain implants available to the wider community for convenient reasons.

 

In fact, an article found on www.infowars.com, suggests that the US government will be spending over 70 million dollars within the next five years on the development of brain implants.

http://www.infowars.com/a-chip-in-the-head-brain-implants-will-be-connecting-people-to-the-internet-by-the-year-2020/

 

The second article I want to bring your attention to features on www.lsureveille.com. It also talks about brain implants, but concentrates on the issues they could raise. 

 

http://www.lsureveille.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-future-brain-implant-technology-could-go-a-step-too/article_eb556ec8-467f-11e3-bab7-001a4bcf6878.html

 

I’ve chosen these two articles on brain implants because I like the way they seem to contrast each other. The first article is more optimistic about the idea of brain implants, while the second article seems to be more skeptical and even advises its readers to “sit out this fad”. The writer of the article ‘future brain technology could go a step too far’ seems to be against it for ethical reasons. While I am all for the idea of brain implants for some specific reasons, I see where this young writer is coming from. She mentions how brain implants would be used as a marketing scheme by companies to boost profits. She also mentions the threat of hackers. Such software in our brains, like normal computers would need updates, so more surgery would be needed and these are not straight forward. Also the writer mentions what’s stopping the ‘tech doctor’ from stealing someone’s credit card number from your microchip data? She also mentions the government and privacy. The government find it way too easy to hack into anyone’s computer. Therefore this way, what is stopping them hacking into anyone’s brain? A simple way to completely take away someone’s right to privacy and what’s worst is, it’s out of the individuals control.

 

The first article labelled ‘A chip in the head’ suggests that one could simply think of a fact and the chip would find the answer out of you straight away, or one would be able to download a book within a few seconds. These are extraordinary advantages. Others include the furthering of mental health care as well as medical care. An article on www.infowars.com, suggests that ‘rebooting’ of the brain can help mood disorders such as depression, as lot like ECT, electroconvulsive therapy does. It could also carry great health benefits for people suffering from Parkinson Disease, Epilepsy, and strokes.

               Another incredible medical advantage suggests that the use of these brain implants could possess the ability to detect your body for any sign of diseases. Further advantages include, the ability to surf the web in your own head without the use of a computer screen.

 

Personally, I think the idea of brain implants is incredible and the technology worlds plan for them are slightly over ambitious. I feel this sort of advancing technology should have its limits and very strong control by the individual with the microchip. I find the ability to detect disease early and help people living with lifetime illnesses is a positive, however the concept of privacy and dependence raises an issue for everybody involved. What would happen if everybody had a microchip implanted on their brains? How would education be affected? What about our ambition and memory? Wouldn’t they fade? I mean, if I could download a book to my memory, surely there will come a time where we will be downloading intelligence?

Who knows, maybe there will come a time where we could actually hack each others minds through this wireless network, and everyone knows that would cause some new controversial problems in our world.  Overall, I feel the proposition of possibly getting a brain implant in the future, should not be taken lightly. It should come with a health risk. If this idea was to become a reality, I hope that doctors and neurologists will ensure the people receiving these microchips will be making an informed decision. 

My Intro

My name is Nicola. I am 19 years old.

I love love love psychology, therefore I am studying it in IADT in Dun Laoghaire, Dublin.  I’ll probably post about it a lot, I hope you don’t mind.

I love Taylor Swift too. She’s pretty amazing.

I also like writing.

And pizza.

There is obviously a lot more about me, I’ll get back to you with it.