Computers Help, Harm Students During College Careers

JAMIE SMITH
The Daily Vidette
Illinois State University

(U-WIRE) NORMAL, Ill. — The lesson of losing a 20-page term paper because of a blackout or virus only has to be learned once for a college student. The motto “Save early and save often” is repeated in a student’s mind as they type their term paper or thesis.

“Having a secure computer is one of the most important things for a student,” said Swami Kumaresan, vice president of marketing at carbonite.com.

Students are often unsure of what their computer needs to be secure and where the best place is for them to get one.

“It is based on personal preferences, you can get a computer anywhere. If you are not sure exactly what you need and the school has special offers, go through them. If you have an idea about what you need then you can find a good deal out there yourself,” Kumaresan said.

Freshmen in particular are often overwhelmed with the options they have in purchasing a computer.

“I purchased mine at a store at home just because I wanted to be able to use it there and see how it worked out,” said Jackie Russo, a freshman sociology major.

“They have a store here too so I can just bring my computer in if there are any problems and they can fix it,” she said. The debate of laptops versus desktops is ongoing in the collegiate world.
“I think for student mobility and space restrictions, a laptop is the best choice,” said Jon DeWalt, a sophomore theater major.

Making sure files are backed up and saved properly is a necessary action for students.

“You want to make sure all your files are backed up. If your computer gets stolen or destroyed it can be replaced, but nothing can replace your music files or your pictures from your trip to Europe,” Kumaresan said. The affordability of computers has risen in the past few years, but the price tag can prove the reliability of the product.

“PC prices have dropped dramatically in the last five to 10 years and the companies have begun to make computers cheaper and cheaper and flimsier and flimsier. Unfortunately, the only thing you can do to make sure your computer is safe is to lock it up in a vault and never use it,” Kumaresan said. “Because this is impossible, you have to make sure that you back up everything,” he said. Making sure a computer will last the length of an undergraduate or graduate program can be difficult.

“Every year I have some type of computer problem. It’s either the keyboard or the printer or the mouse. I have a love/hate relationship with my PC,” DeWalt said. Because of the changes in technology and new software, keeping computers up to date can be tedious and expensive.

“Having a computer for four years these days is virtually impossible I think,” Kumaresan said.