Whether you're buying a computer for school, learning how to use the campus computer lab, or just want to be able to back up your schoolwork digitally, this page will help you out!
Buying a College Computer and Accessories
Laptops are both easier to transport and appropriate for most degree programs' work.
Buy a middle-of-the-road computer in terms of RAM, video/graphics card, and hard drive space. You won't need a top-of-the-line machine unless you're going into a field like graphic design or architecture.
Make sure your laptop has good ventilation holes on the bottom and back. The more ventilation, the longer its components will last.
Invest in a good quality, USB-connected external fan to sit your laptop on.
If you will also be using this laptop for gaming, seek out a laptop with a dedicated graphics card. More expensive but very much WORTH IT.
Check for at least 3-4 USB ports on the laptop before buying it.
Invest in a good quality flash drive or external hard drive, and back up your work onto it every day. (You will be glad you did!!)
Caring for Your Computer
Do not use your laptop directly on a fabric surface like a blanket or bed--it blocks the computer's ventilation and will damage the computer's components with excessive heat.
Do not leave your computer in a hot car or in the sun for extended periods of time.
Do not toss a laptop around--you could damage its hard drive.
Run anti-virus and spyware scans every week. (I schedule mine to auto-run in the background.)
Restart your computer at least once a day using the internal shutdown procedures; DO NOT just press the power button until it turns off!!
Plug your external fan in when you'll be using the computer for a while.
Run a disk cleanup and defragment your hard drive regularly. (I run the free versions of CCleaner and Defraggler every week.)
Use an ad blocker on your Internet browser; I personally recommend uBlock.