Here’s an interesting special feature at the New York Times: The Digital Student. All sorts of information about equipping your college student.
“When I went off to school, what you went off with was your clothes and a car,” said Myle Walsh, an importer in Midway, Utah, whose son, Makena, will be entering the University of Utah in Salt Lake City this fall. Now, she says, students and parents have to consider a computer, cellphone and all manner of other tech gear. “It’s really kind of scary,” she said.
When I went to college, the newest advance was having a telephone in every room, rather than three shared phones per floor in the dorms. I arrived with my Commodore 64 and hulking dot-matrix printer. I bought a Mac Classic II my sophomore year, which was much better and more compact: I had a case I could load it in, throw it over my shoulder, then ride my bike across campus to the newspaper office for a late night of production. That was portable computing at the time. If only I could go back and have a PowerBook, my life would have been much easier.
I’m envious of today’s college students, with their iPods, laptops (honestly, I can’t imagine a good reason to take a desktop computer to college, except for the cost savings, but even then you’re shackled to your room), PDAs, and other gadgets. Perhaps that’s why I’m a freelance writer of technology: I’m still basically living the college life, now updated.