Tech I wish I had back in college. (that you can get your freshman today)

Dish chairs! Sheet sets! Stores are out in force with housewares for dorms.  I couldn’t help but think back to my own college years.  Then I thought about how I use to get things done. I had a Compaq laptop with a battery that wouldn’t charge and an old dot matrix printer. When I look around now though I wish I had some of the toys I use now.
 
I wish I had a Smartphone
One Note mobile apps
Time management was something that I had to learn. I wish I had my email, calendar, contacts and access to my files on something I could keep in my pocket.  Also some of my favorite apps would have been really helpful back in college. Also most Smartphones have or can download sound recording apps. Something that could record lectures without tapes, and had enough storage to keep a weeks worth would have been incredible. (just remember put on silent and phone in bag during test time)
TIP: One of my most powerful tools I have is my contact list. I wish I had kept some of the numbers and emails from the people I knew in college. Remember the guy that is sitting next to you in freshman literature might be a future vendor, client, or boss. 
I wish I had an E-reader
Nook E-readerTwo semesters a year, five classes per semester, four years.  That’s 40 books if its just one book per class. They were heavy, expensive and I took up way too much space in a cramped dorm room. Something with E-Ink would have been great, being able to study anywhere laundry room, shuttle bus those odd times between classes.  Why not a tablet? Cost: for a good Android tablet you will be spending around $200 – $350 for a 7 in model. For an IPad $500.  A good E-reader $75-$120 If you really want a tablet and need a little help I did a blog post about that a while back  Also this is meant to be a text book replacement, you can play Angry Birds on your smart phone.
TIP: You are going to be reading an enormous amount. E-ink is much easier on your eyes then a back-lit LCD screen. Also between writing papers, and 4 a.m. video game tournaments your going to be looking at enough screens. I am partial to the Barnes and Noble Nook Glowlight.  Being able to read in the dark while your roommate is asleep could be really helpful.  
I wish I had the cloud 
OnenoteMy junior year I had a fairly long research paper then the hard drive crashed. Putting 30 pages back together from drafts and notes was not fun.  Remember this was 2002, it was not as easy as sending everything through a scanner. Onedrive and Google drive offer free storage, 15gb. Not enough to keep everything but more then enough to keep 4 years of papers, projects, and everything else that you need keep your professors happy.
TIP:  Best part about the Onedrive and Google Drive is that you can access them from nearly any device. Which means you never have to worry about forgetting to bring your work.  Also the folders are share-able!  Meaning you can create folders for group projects so you can collaborate with your classmates.  
I wish I had a second monitor
A huge part of my college career was research. I am pretty sure half the point of a four year university is to teach students how to write papers. There is so many times I needed to reference something, it would have been great to have the reference on one screen and be able to type on my laptop.  A simple 19 in. flat screen is cheep and does not take up a large amount of space.  Pared with a good laptop and your in business.
TIP: If your going to bring a TV anyway take a look at the connections.  Many Tv’s have a VGA . many laptops and video cards have HDMI ports.  So there is no reason why your TV can’t pull double duty as a second monitor. You know, when your not playing Call of Duty. 
Lanterns Light LLC LogoI understand most of the people going into college this year know about these technologies and are probably already using them. However if you do find you need some help finding, buying, or understand these technologies Lanterns Light LLC can help you. We can also help you find the right laptop, desktop and printer to help a student succeed for the next 4 years.  Give us a call.
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