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A Student's Guide to Technology

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To many, attending university is something akin to a birth right, and that by not "doing uni" you'll be doomed to eternal poverty. Whether this is true or not is certainly up for debate but either way, university attendance has continued to rise in recent years, despite the exponentially rising costs. It isn't for us to tell you what you do, but knowing first hand how expensive university can be and what you'll require when you're there; we present to you this guide to help you get what you need for as little as possible.

So, what's first up? Well, some kind of computer type contraption would be a good idea. The great majority of university departments refuse to accept essays that aren't word processed – and no a typewriter doesn't count either. Don't believe all the stuff in the brochures about "state of the art" PC suites either. Do you really want to rely on the university IT department to keep things running smoothly? Take our advice, you don't!



So now you know that you need a computer, what kind of computer do you want? If you have your very own super charged PC with all the mod cons and the best hardware then the choice is pretty simple, you're hardly going to leave it behind are you? But, be warned, student digs can be poky at best and the likelihood of having space for a PC, large size LCD monitor, Hi-Fi, TV and all your other bits and bobs is small unless you're on the kind of budget that gets you whatever you need .

Considering the potential lack of space and the inevitable amount of moving around that comes with going home during breaks, and moving accommodation from time to time, a notebook is a very sound investment. Having a notebook PC provides a lot of flexibility, and you can take it to lectures to type notes, take it to the library to study or to friends' houses when you have to work as part of a team.

For this feature we've taken an imaginary budget of £500 and hovered about the Internet to see what you can get. Later on we'll write a little more on other things – accessories, software etc. – you might want to look for, and also outline some of the more expensive options for those on bigger budgets or those lucky few where money is of little object but style and statement are. Let's face it, university is as much a social battlefield as an educational experience and as such appearances do count – for some at least.

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