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Does anybody have any insight on external hard drives? I have been looking, but I'm afraid I don't really have much of an idea of what I'm looking at.

 

I've been looking into the Apple Time Capsule and the WD products for Mac (passport studio, passport air, passport pro). Could anybody offer some insights on these products in terms of personal experience or experience with any other products that work well with Mac!

 

Also just to chime in to the "supplies for grad school" list, I am in love with the livescribe pens (there's 3 kinds) that record your lecture and your notes. They even sync together so that you can tap on the note and it will start playing your lecture that aligns with that section of your notes. It's pretty nifty! I have friends who have used it for a few years through school. I can't wait to get one of those! Definitely a fun helpful "luxury" item for grad school :)

 

Thanks a bunch!

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After reading through all 23 pages, I think I've managed to compile the most salient (at least for me) and still relevant pieces of advice as far as grad school supplies  Laptop - While most pe

What was valuable to me: -1TB hard drive to back up to -Bookcase (you accrue a crap ton of books) -Scanner (why have a filing cabinet when you can have a digital one that takes up no space at al

FWIW, I recommend: A set of blank correspondence cards from Crane and postage to send thank you notes. Purell and lots of it. Your sense of humor--most notably the ability to laugh at yourself

Does anybody have any insight on external hard drives? I have been looking, but I'm afraid I don't really have much of an idea of what I'm looking at.

 

I've been looking into the Apple Time Capsule and the WD products for Mac (passport studio, passport air, passport pro). Could anybody offer some insights on these products in terms of personal experience or experience with any other products that work well with Mac!

 

Also just to chime in to the "supplies for grad school" list, I am in love with the livescribe pens (there's 3 kinds) that record your lecture and your notes. They even sync together so that you can tap on the note and it will start playing your lecture that aligns with that section of your notes. It's pretty nifty! I have friends who have used it for a few years through school. I can't wait to get one of those! Definitely a fun helpful "luxury" item for grad school :)

 

Thanks a bunch!

While I am not currently in grad school I have had a Mac in my house since the late 1990s.  Even back in the PowerPC days, when nearly everything was labeled as being "distinctly" Mac or PC (and the Mac version costing sometimes twice as much), if it had a USB connection it worked well with Mac no matter who it was for.  I have yet to come across an external drive that does not work with Macs.  There are two types of external drives:  "off site storage" and "pocket portable".  The Time Capsule falls into the external storage category and as such is rather large although one can easily fit into a backpack.  Great for at-home use, bad for at-school use.  Keep in mind that the Time Capsule is a piece of dual hardware:  it's an external storage device and a wireless router.  The best bet would be to get a portable external drive, also sometimes referred to as pocket drives or simply portable drives because most are small enough to fit into pants pocket.   Personally, I would get a basic (uh, non- SSD) 1 TB WD with USB 3.0.  You really do not need anything faster than USB 2.0 unless you plan on transferring large digital media files.  A Thunderbolt connection would be nice, but expensive.  Unless you are doing the "creative" arts Thunderbolt is probably not necessary.   

 

For what it is worth there is really no difference between a Mac and a PC external drive.  Any external drive can work with a Mac but you might have to spend (literally only) a few minutes to reformat it to work with Mac's filing system with some drives, which can be done with OSXs built-in Disk Utility very easily.  These days a Mac-desginated external drive means that the drive is either faster (for the creative types), has a faster connection (for the creative types), or has a built-in capability to connect with Time Machine (wirelessly).  

 

So, I would suggest a basic WD Passport.  

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Does anybody have any insight on external hard drives? I have been looking, but I'm afraid I don't really have much of an idea of what I'm looking at.

 

I've been looking into the Apple Time Capsule and the WD products for Mac (passport studio, passport air, passport pro). Could anybody offer some insights on these products in terms of personal experience or experience with any other products that work well with Mac!

 

Also just to chime in to the "supplies for grad school" list, I am in love with the livescribe pens (there's 3 kinds) that record your lecture and your notes. They even sync together so that you can tap on the note and it will start playing your lecture that aligns with that section of your notes. It's pretty nifty! I have friends who have used it for a few years through school. I can't wait to get one of those! Definitely a fun helpful "luxury" item for grad school :)

 

Thanks a bunch!

I have a 1TB external hard drive for my Mac. It's like the one below but I bought it elsewhere. Personally, I love the g-drives. They're really easy to use with Time Machine if you're just doing basic back-ups and its easy to move files in and out. I recently got a new Macbook Air and was really worried about what it'd be like to move over things like my music/pictures but it was really simple to do so from my external HD. I think they also have a 500GB model if you don't want to go for the 1TB option.

 

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/controller/home?O=&sku=893224&gclid=CJKmorz26r8CFQgKaQodSpsAGQ&Q=&is=REG&A=details

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Thanks all for the replies! I think I will probably end up going with your suggestions of the WD Passport, Crucial BBQ. I like what I've understood about it and have seen a few previous classmates with that model. My needs really are pretty basic just wanting to keep a complete backup of my files and keep all my photos on there so they aren't taking up so much space on my computer. Is it possible to backup for entire hard drive?

 

Any suggestions on how much space I would need on the external hard drive? 1, 2, 3 TB?

 

Thanks again!

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ChasingMavericks, how much space you need really depends on what you'll be backing up. Most of my work in the social sciences ends up being PDF files, Word docs, and pictures I've taken, so backups don't require much space. I have two Seagate portable external drives (I back up one to the other, just in case).

 

Whichever company you pick, take care of the connector cable. Most of them are proprietary and not inexpensive to replace. That also means that it's easier to just stick with the same company's drives after you have one, just so that you have extra cables. I have a Western Digital external HD (not portable) that I bought back when 160GB was a lot of space... I'll hook it up tomorrow and let you know if it still works.

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Does anybody have any insight on external hard drives? I have been looking, but I'm afraid I don't really have much of an idea of what I'm looking at.

 

I've been looking into the Apple Time Capsule and the WD products for Mac (passport studio, passport air, passport pro). Could anybody offer some insights on these products in terms of personal experience or experience with any other products that work well with Mac!

 

Also just to chime in to the "supplies for grad school" list, I am in love with the livescribe pens (there's 3 kinds) that record your lecture and your notes. They even sync together so that you can tap on the note and it will start playing your lecture that aligns with that section of your notes. It's pretty nifty! I have friends who have used it for a few years through school. I can't wait to get one of those! Definitely a fun helpful "luxury" item for grad school :)

 

Thanks a bunch!

 

I used a Livescribe pen throughout my second undergraduate degree and it was great!  I definitely prefer to take notes by hand (I retain the information better that way) and so the Livescribe pen was great.  The only downside was in courses where the professors had blanks on their slides and they would fill in the blank as they lectured.  For those classes, it would have been much easier to just annotate the slides, as opposed to taking notes in the Livescribe notebooks with the Livescribe pen.  I guess that's also a downside - you need to use their special paper/notebooks if you want your notes to sync up with the audio.  Otherwise, great pens, great system.  I really made good use of it throughout my second degree.  If it makes sense to continue taking notes this way (as opposed to annotating slides), I will continue to use it during grad school.

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I'm looking at getting the livescribe 3 and wondered if you guys could answer a couple of questions I can't quite find clarification on - when you archive files off the iOS device, are they in proprietary format? I assume that you need to eventually take the data off your device to prevent it from filling up but if there is no desktop software, how does that work? Can you just open up an audio file in, say, iTunes, or does it have to be through their software?

Also, has anyone used the Skitch app? I think evernote owns it. It's good for annotating images and PDFs but I haven't had a chance to really try it...

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I'm looking at getting the livescribe 3 and wondered if you guys could answer a couple of questions I can't quite find clarification on - when you archive files off the iOS device, are they in proprietary format? I assume that you need to eventually take the data off your device to prevent it from filling up but if there is no desktop software, how does that work? Can you just open up an audio file in, say, iTunes, or does it have to be through their software?

I have one of the older Livescribe pens, that records all of the audio on the pen. So there was no connection to any iOS device. At the end of each day of class, I would sync my pen with my computer. The Livescribe pen came with special software that downloads the files for the pen onto the computer - both the audio and the audio synced to the text. There is also an option in the software to export the files as different file types, including MP3 and a variety of other standard audio formats.

This is with the older pens that record the audio on the pen's memory. I have no experience with the new pens that work in conjunction with a phone or tablet.

This is the pen I have: http://www.livescribe.com/en-ca/smartpen/echo/ You can read how it works on that site.

Edited by RunnerGrad
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  • 2 weeks later...

I think with the 3rd one you will connect with evernote to download the data. But I had a hard time really understanding that and didn't spend too much time on that just because I didn't totally like that the pen itself wasn't recording and I would have to have my phone out in class.

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I'm entering a microbiology (more environmental than biomedical) phd program. Should I keep or sell back (~200$) my Immunology and Cellular and Molecular biology books? 

 

Ask your advisor or a professor in your program. They might think it's worth holding onto.

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Things I have used during my first year as a grad student:

 

Macbook Air

Dropbox

2 flash drives: I save every document on both flash drives, Dropbox, and my computer's hard drive. I lost an edited version of a term paper during my last semester as an undergrad so since then I have been very careful. Keep the 2 flash drives in separate places in case you lose one.

Pens

A composition notebook (just for my Old English translations, otherwise I don't really take notes except in my books)

Someone else said lots of alcohol, and I second that.

A planner

 

 

And that's really it. I think its easy to go crazy and over-prepare.

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I second the recommendation for a laser printer. Stay away from ink jets if you're going to be printing a lot.

You're initially going to pay more for the laser printer, but over the long-term there is no comparison. I've had the same toner cartridge for an entire year and have printed thousands of pages. I can buy another toner replacement for no more than $30 if I go off-brand. Compare that to an ink jet, where you'll be buying new ink every other month at $20 each little cartridge of ink (more if you need color).

I use an inkjet multi-center and the ink cartridges cost me about $10 for a set of 12 that has 3 of each color (black and the 3 main colors). They last for more than 8 months, even 10 months some of them (depends on the manufacturer) and I print a lot, and i mean a whole lot. I eat the ream of papers like nothing. I think it's a great deal. I have a Brother multi-center. But of course there are other options too, and each of us will find what works best for him/her.

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http://www.menards.com/main/paint/paneling-planking/paneling/tileboard/dpi-flat-white-wall-panel-white-melamine/p-1473392-c-8176.htm

 

Cheap white board! I got a few of these on my wall.

 

Love them even for just reminding myself of everyday things, along with working on problems. Lots of colored markers also.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Coffee-Shrub-CLEVER-Clever-Dripper/dp/B0047W70GY

 

+ a grinder and kettle and lots of good coffee -find a local roaster you wont regret it-

 

 

You can use that thing for tea also if cofffee isn't your thing. For 20 $ its a great purchase. .

 

For electronics a lot of things have been mentioned but a nice set of headphones is great, I like to listen to instrumental music-jazz, clasical w/e- when reading/working/relaxing. So a nice headphone set is great.

Edited by buddyman
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I try to not bring work home, and keep all my papers in my office (where I have a drawer with hanging folders inside). So, I don't have much to organize at home. However, I've discovered several companies with online stores (Amazon, Staples, Walmart etc) sell "Banker's Boxes" (picture) which are boxes made from thick cardboard that you assemble on arrival. These are extremely cheap (usually $12-15 for a pack of 4) but quite durable if treated reasonably well (mine are going on their second year, survived a move with minor dents). They are just the right size to hold Manila folders, and seem sturdy enough to survive being loaded with paper and stacked (mine are only loaded to half the volume). They double nicely as storage units and are handy when moving.

 

Both at work and at home, I keep a stack of paper trays. Top is "incoming", bottom is archive of important things, middle is scrap paper. I almost exclusively write or scribble on scrap paper, probably the biggest benefit is that I can print everything guilt free since I know I will recycle it by writing on the back.

 

A paper shredder is very convenient, again if you shop around you can find a perfectly functional one for $20-30. Many areas have laws these days regarding student data privacy and so forth (when dealing with student materials), and it's nice for dealing with your own sensitive documents.

 

Staples sells a very nice wall calendar which, as far as I'm concerned, is perfect and has every feature a reasonable person would want and no feature that they wouldn't:

  • Covers academic year, starting July
  • Nice big pages without clutter
  • Lots of space to take notes both on individual days and at the bottom area (days have 7 rows)
  • Visible from across the room
  • Nice, quality paper
  • Reminders to re-order near the end of the year

I hang this on a prominent wall in the room where I hang out most and write all relevant events in their day. For me this is behind the computer or next to it, so I inevitably glance at it whenever my eyes wander away from the screen. I have actually managed to abandon my Google Calendar for it, and I don't regret the decision at all.

 

I would advise against paying for citation management software. There are mature, usable free and open source alternatives which are just as good. For example, JabRef:

  • Latex compatible
  • Can export into Word compatible files
  • File format can be viewed and edited with a text editor or many other alternative softwares if necessary, so you are not locked into it
  • Has a nice simple interface that gets out of your way and lets you get to the business of hoarding citations
  • One click citation data import from searching several databases, including Google Scholar
  • Cross platform

I have used it for years and it is very effective.

 

My favorite notebook is this. It has a quality spiral, very nice paper (perfect paper and grid color, very pleasant to touch, good for writing on), strong covers and a handy pocket inside which is good for keeping a course syllabus in.

 

I also buy some snacks for my office: Tea and protein bars (Amazon has some pretty good ones you can buy in bulk, they are nutrititous, low carb, quite filling and sweet enough to satisfy the afternoon craving). My mug gets nasty stains from all the tea, so I keep a box of baking soda around to clean it.

 

If you are working in a lab, you should definitely get a lab coat. In many labs, you'll see most people not wear one, since truthfully most experiments these days aren't all that dangerous. However, you should ignore this and wear one as much as possile. Firstly, you never know when an accident may happen (what if an undergrad stumbles and spills acid on you?). Second, one day you might end up working with actually dangerous things, so it doesn't hurt to get used to the labcoat. Lastly, bleach splatter and other chemicals will ruin your favorite clothes. Don't buy it yourself - safety standards doubtlessly require your institution to provide adequate safety equipment; they are supposed to pay for it.

 

Lastly I'd suggest a bicycle if your area is suitable. If you can get away with not having a car, you can save a ton of money. If you have to have a car, you can still save a lot of money on gas and parking. The exercise and fresh air doesn't hurt either.

 

You can buy an extremely cheap (less than $150-200) "starter" bike from pawn shops or craigslist to ride for a few months and figure out what features matter to you, what posture and type of bike you prefer, etc. Then shop around and buy a cheap, sub-$500 bike from a store. Don't forget a cheap rack and saddle bag (this one is $25 currently). Unless you have specific athletic goals (such as winning a competition), I would recommend buying the cheapest one you can find that has the features you want. Even the cheapest Walmart bikes have a fairly sturdy frame, Shimano transmission, you can inspect brakes to make sure they work, etc. To a commuter, the decrease of <10 lb in the weight of the bike is insignificant in relation to the total weight of bike+rider, and not worth paying thousands of dollars for (not to mention the constant worrying about theft or damage, having to buy heavy and expensive locks, let alone what happens if you do lose the bike).

Edited by PaperTowels
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  • 3 months later...

Bringing this thread to 2015! I'm already making lists and spreadsheets of things I want because planning is just way too much fun for me. Future students, what are you getting? Current students, what do we need that hasn't been covered yet?

 

I'm down to discuss how to obtain everything as cheaply as possible. I tend to get my software through certain free methods. I make my own wall planners/schedulers by just drawing a little calendar on butcher paper. Whenever a business has free pens that have their logo on it, I take them (and scratch off the logo when I'm bored in class).

 

One thing that is immensely helpful to me, as someone conducting interviews that I have to transcribe, is Dragon software. It's the software that "learns" your voice, so it transcribes your speaking into text. Instead of typing out my interviews, I listened to them through my headphones and then restated it into a microphone, which Dragon transcribed into text. It was SO much faster than typing. When I type, I have to pause every few words or so because I start to forget or I can't type fast enough. When I talk, I only have to pause every once in a while, like if my interviewer talked too fast or said something weird. I'd highly recommend it.

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My dad has Dragon Naturally Speaking and he loves it.  He's a professor and writer, but I never thought about it being useful for school.

 

I bought a monitor for my computer, so with my laptop I can have dual monitors.  I also bought a comfortable reading chair... ok, I'm weird.  Also, the dual monitors is so I can work from home at the moment, so it isn't that weird to buy this early.

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Bringing this thread to 2015! I'm already making lists and spreadsheets of things I want because planning is just way too much fun for me. Future students, what are you getting? Current students, what do we need that hasn't been covered yet?

 

I'm down to discuss how to obtain everything as cheaply as possible. I tend to get my software through certain free methods. I make my own wall planners/schedulers by just drawing a little calendar on butcher paper. Whenever a business has free pens that have their logo on it, I take them (and scratch off the logo when I'm bored in class).

 

One thing that is immensely helpful to me, as someone conducting interviews that I have to transcribe, is Dragon software. It's the software that "learns" your voice, so it transcribes your speaking into text. Instead of typing out my interviews, I listened to them through my headphones and then restated it into a microphone, which Dragon transcribed into text. It was SO much faster than typing. When I type, I have to pause every few words or so because I start to forget or I can't type fast enough. When I talk, I only have to pause every once in a while, like if my interviewer talked too fast or said something weird. I'd highly recommend it.

I believe I already have everything I would need as I don't see much difference between what I would need for grad school vs what I already own/used from undergrad (usb drives, external drive, laptop, coffee maker, file cabinet, dry erase board, googles, tablet, external monitor, and so on).    I am considering setting up my own cloud, which is basically an external drive hooked up to [my] wifi router that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection.  

 

My dry erase board is small, roughly 3 1/2' x 2 1/2'.  I want to get a larger one but am thinking about getting a "dry erase kit" from Home Depot instead.  The kit really is just a specialty latex paint, so depending on if I can paint a wall or not will really be the determining factor. 

 

Other than that the only thing I believe I would truly need is a lab coat.  

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I like the Lager SE single-speed series. They run ~$350 new and are super durable and low-maintenance. For locks, Kryptonite is your best bet. If you're not in a high crime area, the 'grey' level u-lock is probably enough, but if not you might want to splurge on an 'orange' or 'yellow'. Make sure it's long enough to lock your front wheel!

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if you are like me and prefer to print out your articles rather than read them online, I have those cheap colored file boxes with the labels on the front...one for each course, or paper research, or project etc.  When I am done with a course, etc, I keep all the articles, syllabi if there is one, and related notes together its own box.  Easy to stack on the bookshelf, colorful addition to the office space, and super easy to find things specific to something.  

 

http://www.organizeit.com/colorful-plastic-document-boxes.asp - amazon has them cheap too.

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I like the Lager SE single-speed series. They run ~$350 new and are super durable and low-maintenance. For locks, Kryptonite is your best bet. If you're not in a high crime area, the 'grey' level u-lock is probably enough, but if not you might want to splurge on an 'orange' or 'yellow'. Make sure it's long enough to lock your front wheel!

You can buy special locknuts and/or axles for your wheels, making it difficult for thieves to remove them.  

 

I've had the same New York lock (Kryptonite) for like 15 years now.  Fits in the back pocket, easy to handle in case you need to fend off some bad guys, too small for a pneumatic jack, and too small to "twist off". 

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I love the good ideas, but was wondering if it is just a personal preference, or do others use computer/phone synced calendars now, and will I really need another type? I have been using technology calendars for several years now exclusively and would like to know if others do too, for their Grad school needs?

 

On another note, I like the various computer apps to bookmark various pages, and believe these would be helpful for research. Since the last post with this reference was more than 5 years old, can those of you who have an app they like, recommend a current one, preferably one which would be cheap/free to use?

 

thanks.

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Hey everyone, 

 

I've been debating whether I should buy a new computer for grad school. I've had my macbook pro for about 5 years now (upgraded to 1 TB of hard drive space) but it's been getting sluggish and I don't want it to die out on me during grad school. I was thinking about removing my hard drive and converting it to an external since I want to keep all the files and storage I have but would like a new computer with upgraded processing power and better memory specs (I'm not sure how much statistical work I would need to do or if I will end up in a slightly more computational lab) 

 

Does anyone have any thoughts, current grads or recently accepted? 

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I would get one now if you have the money.  If not, it will be a random big expense in middle of grad school when you aren't expecting it.  You might be able to mitigate that by paying for it with credit, but some place like Best Buy may not see a grad school stipend as a good enough income stream to extend a lot of credit.  Or, put however much you think you may spend on a computer aside in a savings account so that you will have it when your finally dies.

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