Bringing a desktop

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by go4bacon, Jan 16, 2012.

  1. go4bacon

    go4bacon Member

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    I'm sure this question has been asked, but the clunky search interface of the forum is killing me.

    I am looking into building a very capable gaming PC, and I am wondering what regulations the Point puts on plebes regarding the bringing my own computer.

    If I am, in fact allowed to bring my own computer (obviously after beast), what regulations must that computer comply with (i.e. monitor size, external speakers, case dimensions, etc.).

    I understand that the academy issues cadets capable laptops, so would you even recommend bothering with another computer?
     
  2. djjon22

    djjon22 Member

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    You cannot bring a computer. You are issued one. Plus there will never be time for video games.
     
  3. go4bacon

    go4bacon Member

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    Are you sure? I was almost positive that my friend who is currently attending USMA said he brought his own.
     
  4. USMA2016

    USMA2016 Appointee - Class of 2016

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    I want some sources on this!

    I know multiple cadets that say Netflix is a necessity for gray life and if you have time for movies than you definitely have time for gaming. It's just a matter of not putting your games/movies in front of your work.

    Also, I remember multiple people saying that while, yes, you are issued a laptop connected to the USMA network with a CAC reader you are allowed to bring your own for personal business.
     
  5. go4bacon

    go4bacon Member

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    Yeah this sounds more like what I have heard. Does anyone else have some input on this? These rules could vary between companies.
     
  6. BigNick

    BigNick Member

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    I checked with my son who is in the Class of 2015 on this issue.
    He said that you are allowed to bring your own computer but he highly recommended that you purchased the one from West Point.
    If your personal computer has a compatability issue with the West Point student/faculty programs OR if your computer has any hardware or software issue - YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. However, if you get a computer from West Point there is a full-service group at West Point to help you in every way. My son had an issue with his West Point computer. This group took care of sending the computer to Dell for repairs and loaned him a computer with all of the needed software until his computer was repaired.
    If he did not have a West Point computer he would have had to ship the computer directly to Dell himself and not be provided a replacement computer.
    Bottom line - buy the West Point recommended computer - it will be issued to you after Beast Barracks and be FULLY supported by a group at West Point.
     
  7. go4bacon

    go4bacon Member

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    Thank you for your input. I was not aware of that tech support program.

    My thought was that this project would be for recreation, while the issued computer (which from what I can tell is required anyway) would take care of my educational needs. Since I'm paying for the desktop myself, the money is not an issue with my parents.

    Did your son say anything about computer regulations such as maximum monitor sizes or external speakers?
     
  8. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator

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    Take a look here to see what Class of 2014 is using. Next years might be different but it certainly won't be a slouch horsepower wise. Anyway, if it will meet your gaming needs why spend you money on another computer?

    http://www.dean.usma.edu/ietd/hallfame/2014.cfm
     
  9. oldcorpsdad

    oldcorpsdad Member

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    My son is a plebe there now. He got stuck there this weekend and he and his friends spent Saturday and Sunday playing computer games and going to the gym (and movies). Today is homework day.

    Get the issued computer with the GoldCoat support. My son had issues with the network and they fix all of that for you if you have the issued package.

    As for speakers, his company did not allow speakers first semester even though the computers were issued with them. All the plebes had to pack them away and use head phones.
     
  10. dhawbaker

    dhawbaker Member

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    You will be issued a computer here, so there is no need to bring another. Anyways, you are not allowed to connect a computer to the government network that is not the issued laptop. GoldCoats will come and find you if you do.

    As for what you are allowed to have with your computer. The largest monitor size you can have is 22"

    You are NOT allowed external speakers all of plebe year, and you can only use headphones.

    As a side note, the computer you are issued is good enough to play games and watch netflix on.
     
  11. another13mom

    another13mom Member

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    Another drawback is the very limited storage space you will have for an extra desktop.... I can't imagine where you would put it as a plebe, with two other roommates in a room built for 2.
     
  12. America's Finest

    America's Finest USMA Cadet

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    Just a slight correction, the actual limit is 24 inches.
     
  13. lokichaos

    lokichaos Member

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    so what about bringing in PS3s or Xbox? When I visited I saw a few of those floating around. What year can you bring those in? or is this a company dependent thing again?
     
  14. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    As mentioned:
    - You won't need it
    - You won't have time for it most likely
    - You will likely not have room for it
    - You cannot hook it to the network (makes multiplayer unlikely)
    - It will attract the wrong kind of attention
    - Your company may not allow it at all (or use of it)

    all that said....

    If you feel you have to have it, have your parents bring it or ship it after A-day. Ideally well after, maybe mid-semester.

    If allowed many plebes play games on their issue laptop once things settle down well after A-day. Steam works, and the laptop specs are decent.

    Build the right kind of relationships with your squad/platoon, & team leaders (assign yuk mentor) and you'll have opportunities to play xbox, etc in off hours. :thumb:

    But no matter what.... don't be the "Box boy" lugging too much stuff around on R-day. :smile:
     
  15. hawk

    hawk ButterBar Dad

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    Forgot to mention- 2015 had the option to buy an accessory package with screen, printer, USB disk drive, mouse, keyboard, and outlet strip/protector.

    Was not cheap, and after talking with gold coats, he elected not to buy it as we already had an excellent printer for him. And would have the option to buy it later if he changed his mind.

    We had a LCD monitor as well at A-day, but based on talking with his company yuk's, and other plebes, found out most don't use them and feel they are just in the way.

    So he added a USB mouse of his choice, passed on the keyboard & monitor. Has since added a small, travel USB gamepad. The laptop is plenty fast and has a graphics card. So he's not feeling system limited by the games he want's to play.

    Turned out his printer was a lifesaver, seems they ran out of the issue ones. So for a week or more he had the only functional printer in his area. He makes sure that he has a spare cartridge on hand.

    One last point.... cadets are target by virus's. And do get infected, seems to happen every year. When/if that happens, the gold coats are usually able to backtrack the infection vector. You don't want it to be you with unauthorized equipment, even in a lan party with standalone hub.

    Many 2015 cadets had their laptop reimaged last semester due to one incident. Which also leads to backing up your data.
     
  16. Oxford22

    Oxford22 Member

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    Are the computers at WP still issued with a windows XP OS as they were for the Class of 2014? Also, does the technical support group there support other windows OS's?
     
  17. Casey

    Casey USMA 2015

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    Wouldn't personally bring in another computer. The issued ones work fine enough, and you don't have the space, can't connect to the network, etc as has been explained already.

    Just quick comments on the first snippet of your post because it suprised me; most people in my company have an external monitor hooked up. Quite a few have actually gone and got nicer, larger onces within specifications of what we're allowed. They most definitly are not just in the way. Its a lot easier to watch movies, hook up a game system to, etc then the actual laptop monitor which is nice.

    More importantly for me, I can be doing things on one screen schoolwork wise while still having up others on the other screen. This is huge for in some of my classes where I would be constantly alt-tabbing. I can also be doing homework and watching movies, but that's besides the point. Having another monitor isn't necessary, but it makes life easier.


    Second, the whole thing about backing up data is HUGE. There's a reason you will be issued an external hard drive with your laptop (both are not optional even if you opt out of getting the peripheral package like we were offered this past year). It will save your life to have your work backed up somewhere if you need to bring your laptop to Goldcoats as their solution happens to be re-imaging a lot.
     
  18. dhawbaker

    dhawbaker Member

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    The class of 2015 received Windows 7 with our laptops. Also, Goldcoats will support any operating system that came with an issued computer.
     
  19. M2inOR

    M2inOR Parent

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    Buried in the above responses are many answers, some conflicting.

    The answer to remember is that it "depends"...

    Each company determines what is acceptable, not only for plebes, but also for upper class cadets.

    My 2014 cadet did have two monitors for a time - the issued one, as well as a larger one that was added sometime during the year. Later in his plebe year his company decided that plebes could only have one monitor. He ended up selling his issued LCD monitor, keeping the larger one. As a yuk, his company still limits the cadets to one monitor.

    He also has an Xbox, playing it occasionally on weekends. At other times, it is locked inside his bureau closet. While he does have another computer at home, he said it was not worth the hassle bringing it to West Point. As for network access, a cadet cannot connect a personal computer, router, or game system to the government network. For Xbox updates, he uses the hotspot function of his android phone; latency prevents its usefulness for multi-player gaming over the internet.

    For a printer, he replaced his issued printer with a color laser printer. The issued printer had expensive ink/toner cartridges; the laser printer was more economical for supplies.

    Regarding Netflix - it is a popular pastime. Again, use varies company-by-company. At one time, it was possible to view movies during ESP (Evening Study Period) while doing homework or after it was completed. Again, for his company, this has changed; Netflix viewing is now prohibited during ESP. This use to be a popular pastime during Q duty. Again, no longer permitted in son's company.

    In general, best advise for incoming new cadets, follow the guidance you get from West Point, and from your assigned team leader. Advice here on the forum is not the official word.

    Will you have time to view movies or play video games during your plebe year? Perhaps...but it will be a privilege, not a right. And each company will determine what privileges you will be granted. Should you play video games or view movies? Perhaps...again after you make sure you have done your best with all your academic, military, and physical requirements, and after your company has granted that privilege.
     
  20. Sierra1

    Sierra1 Member

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    Plebes

    Plebes should never plan on anything outside of the norm. After Plebe year things can change.

    Time and space are also huge factors.
     

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