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In Student laptop 2007 preliminary infos, first information about the upcoming laptop offer to incoming students have been presented. Since then, several questions arose, which are collected here.

Table of Content

Specifications

Can I get more RAM? A larger hard disk? German keyboard?

NO OPTIONS! We did this a few years ago, and learned it the hard way. There will only be EXACTLY ONE laptop configuration.

Linux

Can't we get Linux instead of Windows?

  1. Usability and interoperability is higher for more people if we offer the most common configuration, which de facto is a Microsoft-based installation.
  2. In our complex environment it's already challenging to support one operating system and set of applications on student laptops; adding more would increase complexity and effort required.

You can of course go ahead and install Linux for yourself. See the questions regarding Price and Software below.

Mac

I have a Mac. Is that okay?

Maybe. That largely depends on the requirement imposed by the professors, lecturers, and the requirements of the courses taken. Network and email will work. Desktop support for Mac is not available.

PC

I already have a Windows PC. Can I bring that?

Sure. It'll be difficult to use in the classroom, though (smile)

If it is sufficient can not easily be answered. See the questions regarding Linux and Mac above.

Power Connector

Germany's power outlets might differ from where you bring your PC/Laptop from. Buy a converter IN YOUR COUNTRY. It will be very hard to find an adapter here.

Vista

Why do you install Vista?

We didn't like to, because reliability and support will not be as good yet as with Windows XP. Unfortunately, using the "downgrade option" (i.e., purchase Vista, but install XP) fails due to logistic issues with the DVD media. Hence we are somewhat forced by reality to pre-install Vista.

Gaming

Can I run game X on the laptop?

Maybe. The laptops are not designed or intended for heavy gaming. The goal is to provide a reliable, proven, robust laptop for studying, with a good balance between capability and mobility for a decent price.

Bundled Software

I don't want the bundled software.

Sorry, no options, see above. After prices have been settled, you could try and configure the same laptop and services in a retail shop. You'll see, that even if you don't use the bundled software, the package will still be cheaper than a comparable retail laptop without the software.

Own PCs, Jacobs' Software

I have my own computer, but would like to have the Jacobs Software.

The usage rights of the software which comes with the laptop is tied to the purchaser of the laptop, not Jacobs University. We are not allowed to give away that software to others, and won't.

Cabling

Do we only have to bring laptops with us, or is there any cables, phone lines, specific lines we should take?

You'll also need a patch cable to connect the laptop in the rooms. Standard Cat5 will suffice, though we recommend Cat6e+ (smile) Do NOT USE A CROSS-OVER CABLE. It has to be a STANDARD PATCH CABLE.

They are available in every retail computer store, incl. downtown Bremen-Vegesack. Within the library, those cables can be lent for in-library-use-only from the circulation desk, though the library is also equipped with wireless network.

Laptop packages issued from Jacobs University (DELAYED! See Laptops for incoming students 2007 delayed!) contain such a cable.

Price

I can get a better laptop for a lower price!

Go ahead, buy it and be happy. Please also mind the bundled services which are available world-wide. And the included software. And the payment options available.

Network

Does my computer work in Jacobs University's network?

Most likely, though this can not be reliably answered.

WLAN

Does my computer work in Jacobs University's wireless network?

Almost as likely as before. If it doesn't, buy any 802.11b/g PCMCIA WLAN card. There are computer shops in Vegesack or Bremen downtown, or you can buy it online.

Computer Accessories

Can you sell me a network cable? A WLAN card?

The issued laptop package includes a network cable.

IRC-IT does not sell computer parts!

If you require any computer accessory see How to obtain computer accessories for details (requires login), or check with any computer shop in Vegesack or Bremen downtown, or any online computer shop. For short time use in the library only, there are network cables available at the circulation desk.

Late Ordering

Can't I wait and see, if I require a laptop, and buy one later?

The laptop package for orientation week is a one-time offer. Orders received after the deadline can not be fulfilled. Mind manufacturing and delivery times! At later times you might just want to buy a laptop and software and services at any retail or online shop.

Withdraw Ordering

I ordered a laptop, but now I don't want one.

Jacobs University is paying for the laptop, and so you have to. You agreed to a legally binding contract for purchasing a laptop. You will be charged for it. Please make up your mind in time.

2 Comments

  1. For future generations, is there any hope for other brands of laptops? Are there any negotiations with other companies, such as Sony, Asus, etc?

    I see that Apple has nice offers for students. MacBooks cost less than IUB Dells, and there are student discounts. They also have payment options. The AppleCare assures the world-wide support. Addition to that, the image of the university will be much better if most of the students will use Apple computers.

    So, for the future several years is there any hope to have a choice of two or three brands of laptops?

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      Jacobs University had issued different computers in the past, but operational issues in the service workflow, and issues with the laptop connecting to beamers, led to change to a different provider. Several providers were asked for quotes, and Dell came out best. Their repair service and their technology proved well during the years, too.

      Issuing several brands (and add to that the efforts for service requests, warranty, battery replacement, driver installations, screen resolutions, ...) would incur way too much overhead. Even issuing several different configurations of the same vendor has shown to be overly complex during the last years (been there, done that).

      While comparing prices, please also add comparable software and services.