How to choose a laptop for College?

When College started I decided to get a new laptop as I had an older laptop for nearly four years and its storage space was almost fully used up and it was now very slow to get into websites and download/open files. I could see that I would definitely need a new one (I am not even going to talk about the state that my keyboard was in because of all the typing I used to do). As I, myself, did not have a broad knowledge about laptops, I asked my friend to help me with this task-choosing a new laptop-which even though he is studying IT in College, works in the area, and is very into technology, it still demanded a lot of thinking and decision making from both of us. He advised me to ask myself and answer the following questions: what kind of computer I was looking for, what did I need it to do, and also consider the prices and if the company offered a good support if it was needed. As all of us students know (well, at least most of us do :-P), we kind of have a low budget, and that makes it difficult to buy expensive machines. But as an Applied Psychology student I will be discussing what I think was important on my decision.

Processor:

As an Applied Psychology student we need Photoshop for our Multimedia module. As the size of the file is quite heavy (749 MB), it required a Multicore Intel processor. Not only because of this but because I also knew that I would be running files from lectures and other stuff, plus other personal stuff. Well, as all of us should know at this point (especially after our ICT classes so far) a processor is an attribute that will influence the velocity that operations will occur. Therefore, with the new technologies a Core I3 would be good enough for this course. 


Memory:

RAM is one of the core attributes that will make a computer work faster. A Applied Psychology student will be using systems like Microsoft office, Internet, Photoshop, watching videos, and saving files from lectures and other personal stuff (as mentioned above). That will not demand so much of the machine but still quite a lot, so an average of 2GB DDR 5 would be ok, but a 3/4GB like mine would be a bit safer and would probably perfect its performance. Other memory data storage devices could also be important to back up our files and to enable us to access them on the go, but with the new Cloud system nowadays, it would not be fundamental to have them, as it is a safe system, it has lots of storage and you don’t even need to remember to carry it around.

Hard Drive: 

This is the storage capacity of the computer. An Applied Psychology student would probably be fine with a 250 GB but could be more. 

Size and Weight:

Assuming that you would carry your laptop out and about, the size and the wait of the laptop would matter in the end, as we wouldn’t want to be carrying around something too heavy (and in the case of its size, I don’t believe a second bag-or a laptop case-would be very welcome for us students), therefore I would probably recommend a 15” one.

Prices:

As I mentioned at the very beginning, we, students, don’t have that big of a budget, therefore, price matters. I would say that you can find a good laptop between 300-500 euros. Mine was €519, including VAT and Shipping but you could probably find the same model but with small changes that can bring the price down. Therefore I think it is affordable.

 

Finally, here is the laptop:

 http://img8.flixcart.com/image/computer/b/u/f/dell-inspiron-15r-notebook-400×400-imadkjyvu5vsktft.jpeg

Its main details/info:

  • 3rd Generation Intel® Core™ i3-3217U Processor (3M Cache, 1.8 GHz)
  • Windows 8 64bit, English
  • 15.6″ High Definition WLED with TrueLife (1366 X 768)
  • 4GB2 DDR3L at 1600MHz
  • 500GB 5400 RPM
  • 8x DVD+/-RW Optical Drive
  • Intel® HD Graphics 4000
  • 1 yr Collect & Return Service
  • 2.25 kg.

P.S. This post is dedicated especially to Applied Psychology students but will serve the same to any other student or non-student, haha.

Hope this could be of some help.

You can find more info on the following link:
http://www.dell.com/ie/p/inspiron-15-3521/pd?refid=inspiron-15-3521&baynote_bnrank=0&baynote_irrank=3&~ck=dellSearch&isredir=true

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Is Facebook Good or Bad? – Comparison

The two articles I looked up to do this assignment are about a specific type of social network – Facebook – where one argues that Facebook is making us miserable and the other argues that Facebook should not make us feel miserable.

The first article is called “Facebook is making us miserable” and was published by Daniel Gulati. In this article, the author makes a lot of points on how Facebook is making us miserable. He claims that his observations on other people’s comments and reactions to posts have shown that Facebook is a major contributor to career anxiety and that the hyper-sharing going on all the time is threatening our senses of happiness.
He points out that the fact that people tend to share only the positive stuff or good news and not the negative stuff or bad news that goes on in their lives is creating competition – where their friends or acquaintances on Facebook will then feel the need to share something good as well – and comparison. Gulati also make a claim that the social media is fundamentally altering our sense of well-being, both personally and professionally.
Another negative aspect shown is that Facebook is fragmenting our time. Nowadays we are able to log in to our Facebook accounts in a range of different devices (e.g. our mobile phones, PCs, tablets, etc.) at any time; therefore we tend to spend more of our time online, checking other people’s posts and posting things, which takes a lot of our time and makes us less present/take our time away from our daily activities. And he complains that this makes our productivity decrease by saying that “the issue this constant “tabbing” between real-life tasks and Facebook is what economists and psychologists call “switching costs,” the loss in productivity associated with changing from one task to another.
The last cause he mentions is that Facebook causes decline in close relationships. Facebook is trying to add new features in (e.g. video calls) and technically speaking it should help to facilitate our daily communication, but, because of that, it is actually making people miss real-life opportunities to communicate and interact with others, “more deeply than Facebook could ever accommodate.”
Because of all of this points and claims, the author believes that Facebook is actually making us miserable and he advises people to block out designated time for Facebook, to invest more time in building off-line relationships and etc.

The second article I read is called “Facebook – Good or Bad?” and was published by Rafat Sarosh. In this article, the author makes a lot of points on how Facebook is not supposed to be making us feel miserable. First of all he points out that if people feel anxious, jealous, miserable or unhappy about other people’s posts showing moments of happiness, success or passion, then the problem is the people who feel this way (bad) towards this kind of news, not the people who are happy and content with something. He also argues that why can bad news be shared online, on news and worldwide yet good news has to be suppressed? He says on the article that “We are doing it all wrong. People who feel jealous, anxious from other happiness and vacation pictures need to be fixed, not the people who are happy.”
Sarosh also blame people for constant search of negative stuff online and he gives an example of a blog he wrote on “Why people belittle others” and he claims that this entry reached maximum hits.
Later on this article he makes a comparison between TV and Facebook, saying that when we do not like something that we are watching on TV we usually change the channel, therefore if we do not like something we see on Facebook we should do something about it, for example, if we do not like or feel somehow hurt about other people’s posts then we should delete, block or ignore them. “If you are stressing by the numbers of LIKES your friend got, then you will be stressed by your neighbor’s manicured lawn.  Please grow up, do not let your ego take the upper hand, be more loving and kind.”
He reaffirms that if you feel upset, anxious, or jealous about what somebody else has posted then the problem is with you not with the person or people who post them.
In the end he says that we should actually celebrate other people’s successes and joy, and be compassionate-beings.

Overall I think both articles were very good, they were both consistent and debated their points and opinions very well. I got a slight impression that the first article was more factual and that the second one contained more personal opinions. But my opinion is that Facebook should not be considered to be making us feel miserable, and I agree with the concept that “People who feel jealous, anxious from other happiness and vacation pictures need to be fixed, not the people who are happy.”, I mean, if a person really feels psychologically affected – where their anxiety levels rise up, they feel sad, jealous or even depressed – then they should definitely follow Daniel Gulati’s recommendations: to block out designated time for Facebook, and invest more time in building off-line relationships.
I believe in the freedom of speech, people should be entitled to share their thoughts, feelings and opinions, and as long as they are not offensive, or used as a form of prejudice against somebody else or a specific targeted group, they should not feel bad or guilty for sharing good news or a important occasion/important happening. If we don’t agree with something (in this case people posting happy news and happy life events) we should try to avoid doing that ourselves, but let people do what they think is right and what make them happy. And if we dislike something that is constantly happening, and it is making us feel bad, we should then avoid looking for those things. But if the problem really is that we do not feel good about our lives then I strongly believe that we should re-think about what we are doing (or not doing) that is making us feel this way. How can we improve? What would make us feel happy? Look for these things and try to do something about it, maybe just a small change, or a bigger one, maybe we just need to look for something different, something new. Whatever that may be, find it. Try to do something that make you feel happy. Everybody can accomplish that, the power is within ourselves, and only we can change that. So if Facebook is good or bad for us? – I don’t know. The only right answer here is doing what makes you happy.

 

Links to articles:
“Facebook is making us miserable” – http://blogs.hbr.org/2011/12/facebook-is-making-us-miserabl/
“Facebook – Good or Bad?” – http://rsarosh.wordpress.com/2012/01/02/facebook-good-or-bad/

Psychology Related Websites

National Institute of Mental Health => http://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml 

Psych Web => http://www.psychwww.com/

Articles, Research & Resources in Psychology => http://kspope.com/

Psych Central => http://psychcentral.com/

About.com – Psychology => http://psychology.about.com/

Psychology Bookshelf => http://www.top20psychology.com/ 

PsyBolg => http://www.spring.org.uk/

Psychology Today => http://www.psychologytoday.com/

My top 10 best psychology related movies

Hi guys, I was looking at this website where they made a ‘top 10 best psychology movies poll’, and I thought it was really interesting. So I’ll create one of my own and post the links of the movie trailers if you guys want to check it out.

1) A Beautiful Mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GAvXJJ3Jr1U

2) The Machinist: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0fuHY4U1UA

3) The Silence of the Lambs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQKs169Sl0I

4) Se7en: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUQ6AF9MTcY

5) Shutter Island: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iaYLCiq5RM

6) The Game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kqQNBR09Rc

7) The Fight Club: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUXWAEX2jlg 

8) Black Swan: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jaI1XOB-bs

9) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnSgSe2GzDc 

10) Good Will Hunting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z02M3NRtkAA

CA’s

Hey 🙂 , how are you guys doing? Well, today my post will be of a matter that is helping my anxiety and worrying levels to rise, I will talk about my CA’s. Therefore this one might be a one, haha.

Introduction to Psychology

The Intro to Psychology was the first CA we got, and it is a group journal. We will be assigned to groups which I believe it will be chosen randomly (we haven’t been assigned to groups yet). 
And we have been given 5 topics altogether to work on the lab journals and those are:

  • Philosophical Roots of Psychology
  • Critical Thinking
  • History of Psychology
  • Biological Psychology
  • Motivation

With these topics we were asked to keep an individual lab journal on each topic, and then come together and discuss our ideas and thoughts so then we can write a final feedback of each topic in a lab group journal. To do that we had to fill out this form which determines what we should write about.
As we finishes the 5 topics there is an extra 6th task which is individual, where we must write about a movie or a TV show that has some link with one or more of the topics covered.
Personal thoughts: I think this CA was quite nice as we can share and discuss our understanding on the various topics as it is a group assignment. I also think the Topic form is very helpful as this way we know exactly what’s required.

  

Introduction to Cyberpsychology

 The Intro to Cyberpsychology was our second given CA. It is an individual work where we have three different pieces of work.
The first one being a Reflective Essay where we have to choose a type of CMC and write an essay on a critical incident that we have experienced while using that type of CMC.
The second one is a blog post (which matches with our ICT CA which I will later talk about), which we also have to choose a type of CMC and describe the type of communication, potential types of inappropriate usage of this particular CMC, and advise readers on appropriate methods of using this type of CMC for professional and personal correspondence.
And the third and final thing is an Academic Essay which we have again to choose a type of CMC and choose one of the following topics to write it on about:

  • Communication in (chosen CMC format) has irrevocably altered the English language
    ·         (Chosen CMC format) is appropriately utilised by most of its users
    ·         (Chosen CMC format) benefits its users more than it harms them

And that is our Introduction to Cyberpsychology CA.
Personal response: This is the CA that I am mostly worried about. I say this because we have three pieces to write on and they are all in different styles, I am also worried because of the date that it is due which leaves us with approximately one month to do it all (around 3,500 words) and specially because it is worth 50% of our final grade, which weights a lot. So this will definitely be the CA that will be taking my sleep away from me at night.

  

Information and Comm Technology

Better known as “ICT”, this was our third CA (in which I am working right now). Alike the last CA that I mentioned above, there are also three parts on this one.
Part 1 – consists of creating a blog and posting topics that are related to our course. We must have at least five posts in it, an introduction, a video clip and image and links to sites useful for the course.
In Part 2 – of the CA we should find two articles that relates to technology which we find of our interest, e.g. mobiles/social networking. After finding the articles we have to write an opinion piece for each. We also have to comment in other people’s opinion pieces (from class).
In Part 3 – we should write about three things that would be a must if getting a PC/laptop for college purposes, and why.
Personal response: I really liked this CA, I think the deadline was fair and I also like the way we can choose what our posts are going to be about. This CA involves personal opinion and research. And I generally liked it.

  

Perception & Ergonomics

For this CA we will have to create and present a pod-cast (e.g. interview), on a perception topic which we have to choose, in class. We will be doing this in groups of twos. We also have to write an individual journal entry on our learning journey.
Personal response: I don’t really have an exact opinion on this CA yet. I am currently reading ‘The Man who mistook his Wife for a Hat’, and we still don’t have any assigned topic. Therefore I think when we make that decision, and also what kind of pod-cast we will make, I will probably have a major response.