Computer question


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  • #289
    HunterReaves
    Member

    Hello, all –

    I’m thinking about bringing my laptop computer down to the Ice. Is this a bad idea? Do other people (besides scientists) bring laptops? Can you hook into the station Internet system?

    Thanks for any info y’all may have.

    Cheers,

    Hunter

    #2031
    HunterReaves
    Member

    Oh, and I’ll be at McMurdo.

    #2032
    MightyAtlas
    Moderator

    Hunter —
     
    Many, many people bring their laptops down to the ice.  The only real requirement is that you have current virus protection software on it, as it will be checked by the computer techs for compliance.  After you get the okay, you may ‘plug-in’ at numerous places, via an ethernet connnection.  Depending on the demand, it may also be possible to get a dial-up connection from your room, but don’t bank on it.  Beakers come first.  Also, there’s no real tech support for any kind of computer problems you may have with your personal laptop.  Be sure and bring your recovery disk with you, along with any other ‘must have’ programs.
     
    See you down there.
     
    atlas

    #2033
    Zondra
    Member

    Deffinetly by all means bring your laptop!  I wasn’t sure if I should bring mine, and I’m so glad I did.  I had a friend who didn’t bring his, and I got to hear about it every day (he’ll be bringing it on his second year, that’s for sure)..  Also, bring an ethernet cable, and that’ll expand your options of plugging in.  There are 2 laptop stations in the main computer room in bldg 155… also there are several places in the coffee house to plug into, which is quite handy.  I like to sit and have a glass of wine, catch up on email, and raid the I-drive, every Sunday afternoon.  The I-drive is a great place where everyone posts their pictures, and anyone can access.  It gets eraced every Sunday night, and it’s always fun to look at.  Having my own laptop there, and all I had to do was click on a photo, and it was saved to my hard drive.  You’ll like the I-drive…
     
    Zondra

    #2034
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    everyone else answered before me. I agree. Bring it down. As Atlas said you probably won’t get a hookup in your room during the summer months, but you will have plenty of opportunities to plug in elsewhere. Along with your laptop bring a digital camera. During the summer months there is plenty of light so almost any point and shoot will do. If staying for the winter make sure you have manual settings to take time exposures. Having a laptop makes a world of difference with photos.
     
    Lorie and I are thinking of buying a second laptop so we both can have one. She uses hers for music. All our cds are downloaded on an external harddrive(we each have a 250 gig drive) and she downloads to an MP3 player for listening. If you are thinking of bringing down cds try buying and external harddrive instead. It takes up a lot less room and holds everything you can think of. The mp3 players are great. No moving parts on ours and the battery lasts all day.
     
    Speaking of videos and laptops, If you haven’t already learned how to edit on your computer, I’ll be happy to show anyone once we get down there. If you are going to buy a camcorder go the extra bucks and buy a digital. It makes it easier to do editing.
     
    When traveling carry your laptop in its own case. Most airlines allow a laptop as a second carry on. Be prepared, if flights are booked to be restricted to one carry-on. It’s only happened a couple of times to us and only on NZ flights. I dropped the laptop and drive in my carryon backpack and checked the case with all the wires. I never trust checking anything valuable.
    enough ramblings
    mike

    #2035
    HunterReaves
    Member

    Thanks for the good info, all. I’ll probably go shopping for a new laptop this weekend.

    Quick question, though: can you plug in to the network with a Mac computer?

    H.

    #2036
    MightyAtlas
    Moderator

    If you can’t afford a REAL computer, then sure – bring a Mac.  You’ll just need an ethernet card/port, and an ethernet cable.
     
    …and don’t forget virus protection!

    #2037
    Supply_Guru
    Member

    Hey man

    Definitely bring a Mac if you are buying a new computer. A good number of the Tech guys down there are all Mac users. Also, you don’t have to worry about setting up your connection. OSX will automatically be able to log you into the internet. A decent number of people had difficulties getting their PC’s to connect in.

    Another thing is, the tech guys don’t have to put the virus protection program on your computer since there is no known virus for the OS X platform. SO when you get down there and there are 50 people waiting in line to get their Dell’s current and running, you can just cut right in give them your name and show them your Mac and you are on your way, easy as that.

    Also, if you make friends with the IT guys, you will be able to get a connection on your room. I had one in mine most of the summer last year. Anyone can log on (excluding those in Hotel Cal, and MII) if they are given the current number to dial.

    have fun

    #2038
    HunterReaves
    Member

    Thanks for the Mac tips, Supply Guru.

    Any idea about AirPort, the wireless networking thing that Apple now offers? Maybe I’m misremembering, but I thought I read once about this kind of thing being persona non grata at science stations, etc.

    I think I’ll be getting one of the cheaper iBook models, 12inch screen, big hard drive – maybe an iPod to go with?

    Hunter

    #2039
    TzcMcMurdo
    Member

    Hey Hunter,
     
    My name is Tizoc and I hope to be going down to McMurdo on WINFLY on August 20th (just gotta get the PQ done)…
     
    I’ll be a SysAdmin (Server jockey) down there and I’ve been told that wireless (aka 802.11x, airport, airport extreme, etc) is absolutely not allowed down there.  Granted I haven’t gotten an explanation why, but I can already think a few up….
     
    My laptop has wireless built in as well and sadly it’s going to be rather useless….heavy sigh….
     
    Tizoc

    #2040
    HunterReaves
    Member

    So, Tizoc –
     
    If I buy a Mac laptop, then, I should make sure the AirPort is not included – correct?
     
    That’s a good tip to know – would be a total bummer to get down there w/ a brand-new laptop and then not be allowed to use it.
     
    By the way, I’m also going down for WINFLY, as a dining attendant.  Just gotta get a tooth filled on Thursday and then I’m PQ’d.
     
    Cheers,
     
    Hunter

    #2041
    TzcMcMurdo
    Member

    I would get the wireless anyway (I recommend getting the airport extreme card).  Just don’t expect to use the wireless while you’re on the ice.
     
    I need to make my phone calls today and get all my appointments set up…hopefully I can be PQ’d rather quickly.
     
    You pitstopping in Denver before you go?

    #2042
    TzcMcMurdo
    Member

    Oh, and definitely get the iPod (or the iPod mini)

    #2043
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    Only a mac guy would tell you to bring down a mac. Not that they aren’t good or maybe even better than the pc’s, but you will be one of only a handful with one. You better know it inside out before you come down because the tech staff isn’t prepared to service peoples private laptops (they have enough work with the station computers). With pc’s on the other hand, there are no shortage of people who have a fair understanding of how the darn things work.
    If you are a total novice to computers and will be learning how to use them on the ice, then most of the practice you will get will be on PC’s. The computer rooms are all pc’s, the work centers are all pcs and most of the private computers are pc’s
    Sorry Supplyguru
    mike

    #2044
    thepooles98
    Keymaster

    A note on wireless. I have a wireless card on my pc. When at home I use it in conjunction with dsl, but on the road we subscribe to T-mobiles wireless service. It’s 30 dollars a month. To use it you find a hotspot in the city you are in. Most Starbucks on the west coast have them. We get our coffee and go sit in the parking lot and connect. The downside is that you need to be near a city. It doesn’t work well in the desert areas as there are no hotspots. I’ll probably keep the service until I leave the states and then cancel it.
    I’ve been told that the new cell phones all have ways to hook up a laptop so you can access your server on the road. I’ve heard mixed reviews about speed.
     

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