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STUG is a student driven organization and the information presented on this website may not be the official opinion of Speed School and the University of Louisville.
If you want to get the official information from the university, you can visit SSE Tablet PC Program official website.
The Speed School Tablet PC program began in Fall 2006 when it was formally announced. However, it didn't become mandatory that incoming students purchase Tablet PCs until Fall 2007. From that point forward, all students will be required to have a Tablet PC for use in the classroom.
Not only are students using Tablet PCs but several professors are using Tablets to enhance the learning experience. Facilities and wireless infastructures are being updated across Speed School to help accomidate the influx of computers. Additionally, projectors are being installed in more classrooms to allow professors to utalize Tablets during their classroom instruction.
Tablet lend themselves particualarlly well to Engineering as they are commonly used in the field by practicing engineers and by using a Tablet students can gain a better understanding of computers which will aide in their engineering education, regardless of the major.
To help address this questions, there is an entire episode of Tablet Tips that answers the question: What is the Tablet PC Program?
For students entering Speed School for the Fall of 2009 semester are recommended to purchase the HP EliteBook 2730P through the University of Louisville. This provides a substantially discounted price.
While it is not required that students purchase this specific Tablet PC, it is highly recommended.
Many people don't realize that almost all new computers have a 64 bit processor. However, it is possible to run a 32 bit OS on these new processors without any problems. Actually, most computers ship with a 32 bit operating system still.
If you consider yourself technically savvy it is perfectly fine to go with a 64 bit operating system. However, if you are a Tablet PC user it is highly likely that you will run into some problems. Specifically, it is not possible to Print to OneNote 2007 on a 64bit version of Windows.
As for how much RAM, get as much as you can afford. Vista runs quite well on computers with 2GB of RAM. If you want to go for 4GB and 64 bit, you will have a very powerful system. If you are running a 32bit operating system with 4GB of RAM, you will not be able to utilize all of your RAM, but your computer will still run fine.
Another consideration is that hardware devices such as printers, scanners, cameras, and web cams may not have 64 bit drivers available from the manufactures. Be sure to check for drivers before you make any purchases so you don't have devices that you can't use. Microsoft requires that all drivers on a 64 bit OS be signed. This means more work for manufactures and they do not want to pay to make drivers for older hardware. This will become less of a problem as older hardware becomes obsolete and is no longer used.
It really comes down to if you are willing to put up with some problems. The difficulty in making a decision like this is that you won't know if you will run into problems. The good news is that if you run into problems you can simply install Vista 32 bit if you don't want to stick with 64 bit. Windows product keys allow you to install the 32bit version or 64bit version without having to purchase another copy of Windows, as long as it is on the same computer.
Problem with OneNote 2007 It is not possible to use the Sent to OneNote 2007 printer functionality under a 64 bit version of Windows Vista. The problem is outline by Microsoft in their post: OneNote 64 bit print driver.
Our favorite here at STUG is Carbonite. Steven, Jared, and Travis all use it. Carbonite is a subscription service at $50/yr. If free is more your thing, Mozy is a good choice. Mozy provides 2Gb of backup for free. This would be good for your notes but not much else. Jungle disk is a cheap pay as you use service. With this service you have unlimited storage and no set monthly/early fee. However, it does cost 15¢ per gigabyte and I believe there are monthly transfer limits. This service is provided by Amazon using the Amazon S3 service.
There are other options, Microsoft offers an online data storage service. This option may be more atractive once Microsoft Mesh is released to the public.
The best advice is to research all of the options and decide which fits your needs. Obviously, if you need to back-up large quantities of data a service like Mozy won't work without paying the monthly fee. Another fact to keep in mind is compatibility, I believe you are using Windows, however, if not remember that Carbonite is not Unix compatible, while Jungle Disk is cross platform. Also, Jungle Disk provides the ability to access files from other computers while Carbonite and Mozy are more for backing up files and disaster recovery.
There is an entire episode of Tablet Tips dedicated entirely to this subject: Getting Organized: Online Backup
Many Tablet PCs are still shipping with Windows XP Tablet Edition. Luckily, Speed School provides a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade as part of the software bundle. If it saves money and you are willing to put up with the headache of installing another OS, it is a possible option. However, it still may not be the best option.
It may not be worth going with a downgraded version of Windows simply because it will mean you have one less copy of Windows Vista to install on a computer. For example, if you have a desktop or another laptop, you may want to use your extra copy of Vista on that computer.
Vista is able to switch between versions by simply changing the product code. This means you can upgrade from Vista Business to Vista Ultimate by only typing in a 25 digit code (in theory). Also, downgrades should work in the same fashion between different versions of Vista.
To keep things as simple as possible it may be best to just purchase a Tablet PC with Vista. This guarantees things will work, and if you want to upgrade to Ultimate later it is always an option.
From my personal experience, there isn't enough insentive to get the Ultimate version over another version. There are limitations, but for most users they will never run into them.
Tablet Tips was started at the beginning of the Spring 2008 semester (January 2008 for those non-semester minded people).
It started out as more of an expiriment in whether video content would work for STUG. As it turned out, it has been very successful at conveying information to Speed School students and the internet population at large.
There is not firm release schedule for Tablet Tips. Since it is published by a very busy college student, typically it is as time permits.
Tablet tips was originally made using a webcam and basic editing software. However, since it first started, we now have a better camera and have been using better software and putting more time into each episode. However, in comparison to other podcasts, Tablet Tips is a very low budget opperation.
Tablet Tips episodes are hosted for free by YouTube and Blip.TV and this website is hosted by Speed School Student Council.
Tablet Tips is typically filmed, edited, and posted on the same day. All of the editing for every episode is done by Jared Hatfield.
Tablet Tips is an instructional video podcast that is designed to educate students about the use of Tablet PCs. While some episodes are targeted to Speed School students, many of the topics apply to any Tablet PC user.
In most cases, yes.
There is a tutorial, Reinstalling the Send To OneNote 2007 Printer, on the steps required to add back a missing Send To OneNote printer.
Yes, Microsoft provides a plug-in for Office 2003 users so that they can open the new file formats.
Everyone that has not moved to Office 2007 is highly encouraged to install this plug-in so they can open these newer file formats.
The University of Louisville has recently updated the wireless infrastructure and it is now much easier to connect to the wireless network. No special software needs to be installed in order to connect.
Under Windows Vista connect to "ulsecure". It will prompt for credentials twice. The first time enter your ulink username and password leaving the domain blank. The second time simply accepts the certificate that verifies that you are connecting to a UofL network.
The IT department has resources explaining how to connect to the wireless:
Wireless Network v2.0
Wireless Configuration Guide - this site includes informative videos that go step by step in connecting to the network.
Yes, every semester that you are enrolled in Speed School you will be charged the software bundle fee. Since you are enrolled in 2 hours of classes while on co-op, the fee is still charged to your account. However, you still have access to all of the software titles while on co-op.
By having a software bundle, Speed School is able to negotiate lower prices for the software and is able to insure that every student has access to software that is necessary for many classes.
Speed School pays for the software bundle by charging every Speed School student a semesterly $25 dollar feel. This fee pays for the wide range of software that is provided to all Speed School students.
AutoCAD is provided to students for free at http://engineersrule.org. While it is not available for download along side of the rest of the software bundle, it is still free.
The software bundle is designed to be a balanced selection of software that doesn't favor any particular major. The software is used in many classes at Speed School and provides the most up-to-date software to students. For this reason, legacy versions of software such as Windows XP and Office 2003 are not available.
Also, software bundles such as Photoshop and other expensive software titles are not included because because they would raise the price and they are not directly related to engineering.
All of the software can be downloaded from the iTech Xpress Store. The only exception is Windows Vista Ultimate which must be purchased from the iTech Xpress store in the lower level of MITC building for $8.
Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate Upgrade
Microsoft Office Enterprise 2007
Microsoft Project Pro 2007
Microsoft Visio Pro 2007
Microsoft Visual Studio Pro 2005
National Instrument's Labview Student Edition 8.2
Maplesoft's Maple 11 Student Edition
PTC's Mathcad 14.0
UGS Solid Edge V20
MathWorks MATLAB & Simulink Student Version 2007