VMI computers

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by VMIrun, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. VMIrun

    VMIrun New Member

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    I was wondering if buying laptops from VMI is a good idea. They seem pretty solid and good for school. Thanks for the help.
     
  2. LongGreyLine Hopeful

    LongGreyLine Hopeful Member

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    VMI does not actually give/sell laptops, but comes out every year with a list of "suggested" laptop models. From my experience, I would say go with one of the Dell models and not the Macs. While Macs are great laptops; you will not be able to have your computer looked at by the technician. Luckily, i've had only one problem since being at VMI with my computer. Unfortunately, I own a Mac and my laptop was sent out to be looked at by the factory. Needless to say those two weeks were some of the more trying times of this year. I'd say rather than to put it to chance; go ahead and get yourself something that the techs can look at.
     
  3. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    VMI has several Dell technicians on Post who are excellent. They're great people, extremely helpful, and they provide very quick service... and it's all part of the warranty, if you buy it.

    Speaking of which, definitely go for the special four-year warranty.
     
  4. VMIrun

    VMIrun New Member

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    Alright, thanks for the advice. I will probably go with their Dell plan.
     
  5. TurkishRunner

    TurkishRunner Member

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    I was wondering whether I should by programs like microsoft office before I go to VMI, or whether I should purchase them from VMI?
     
  6. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    In all the paperwork you will receive soon, if oyu have already accepted the appointment, is information about the computer. Or I think you can go to VMI website look for computer IT dept - if I recall correctly there was a link to the Dell packages (comes with different software - what the school wants cadets to use)available - if you should to purchase a VMI system it will be directly from Dell, but it will be delivered to you at address you provide loaded with programs etc.
    I made sure my son received his before he attended STP.
     
  7. RahVaMil2009

    RahVaMil2009 Member

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    When I bought the "VMI deal" Dell, it came fully loaded with everything the VMI IT folks thought we would need. That's part of the "deal."

    When MS Office 2007 came out, I just took my laptop down to the barracks help desk and they upgraded it to the newest version of MS Office for free.

    Pretty sweet deal. :smile:

    Jackie '09
     
  8. 1605officer

    1605officer Member

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    Looked at the current bundle recommendations and the discount is neglible. See better prices on more capable laptops on Costco. From a software standpoint it seems you only get Office installed which should be available on campus anyway. So long as the extended warranty is purchased I don't see the value in going through the "deal" they have w/ VMI.

    Am I off base?

    Also, what is the requirement for laptop bags? Do cadets actually carry them around or are they just stuffed in a drawer in their room?
     
  9. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    I believe the cadets use a VMI bookbag - from my memory and assume this year's list for RATs is similiar, you can NOT have anything that has a logo on it, etc....
    As for the computer - within the barracks there is wireless, i believe, also at other locations.
    My son is a mech eng major, but usually RATS take some about of standard classes, english, history - for both semesters the history for my son has been a lot of writing.
    Also, once you have accepted, you are , were instructed, to check your email DAILY - during the summer - that continues I believe once the academics begin.
    My son did indeed have a computer problem since we bought the VMI approved - supplier - he had his computer fixed on campus within 30 hours or so - the literature, again, last year, said that if you brought your own the IT dept can and will work on the machine, but not priority. I did not want to chance lexington location and RAT limitations to leave campus, for a computer malfunction.
    That is just our prespective, our experience. I am very satisifed that my son has the dell, purhcased as VMI cadet.
    Bruno and others can better address this i guess.
     
  10. bruno

    bruno Retired Staff Member

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    My son didn't get his computer thru VMI- we got a better deal outside and that was no problem. However, we errred in getting him a Gateway- good computer - but... he did have a hardware problem and not having a Dell was a big issue in getting help- the IT tech there on post is a Dell certified tech and won't touch non-Dell equipment. So my advice would be - buy it wherever you can get it most economically- but stay in the Dell family. As Larry has noted- you don't want to be stuck trying to get physical support in Lexington on your own- it's a long way from help down there in the Valley and you really need to have your computer avail - not in a box enroute to a service tech somewhere else.
     
  11. 1605officer

    1605officer Member

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    Yep, definitely going to get him a Dell for all the reasons previously cited. Costco has a pretty good sale going on right now that is several hundreds less than the VMI bundle on Dell's website. If I can get the 4yr on-site maintenance plan we'll probably get it.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  12. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    I forgot to say - with the Dell computer via the link from VMI - my son also got a computer bag with the computer - it was really nice and roomy - he went off to STP with that - he used it as bookbag/computer bag (he took english during STP)
    If I remember correctly in august I did purchase the book bag - my son was sooo concerned with restrictions of logos - it just made sense to make sure he had acceptable carrying bag. I am sure they carry something from class to class - esp if they have a full schedule of classes, not time to go back to barracks between each class.
     
  13. LongGreyLine Hopeful

    LongGreyLine Hopeful Member

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    I would like to add to this quote just a bit. While VMI does has their own logo'd bags that we use (i.e. "ac bags"). As long as the computer bag is predominately black with little to no logos. You should be fine. Secondly, and the most important of the two would be a few words of advice. Try to take the majority if not all of you books and supplies for that day out with you when you leave in the morning. This will make it much easier for you to focus on your schoolwork instead of dreading going back to barracks for that chemistry book you left back in your room. I've seen it more than once where a kid will go ahead to class unprepared just so that s/he wouldn't have to venture back into barracks. This is simply foolish and should be frowned upon. My advice is to stay out of barracks unless you need to go grab something.
     
  14. 1605officer

    1605officer Member

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    FYI, found out that Costo can't offer the 4yr support agreement. Looks like its going to be the Dell VMI bundle afterall.
     
  15. HMQ

    HMQ Member

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    Plus, I think it's important to remember that the Dell VMI bundle includes the pre-loaded software (Microsoft Office Suite) which could cost several hundred dollars if purchased on your own.
     
  16. 1605officer

    1605officer Member

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    I wouldn't sweat the fact that Office is pre-loaded on the VMI Dell bundles. The license agreement is w/ Microsoft and one should be able to have it installed once on campus if not already installed. At least that has been my experience w/ similar MS license agreements.
     
  17. DMK from PA

    DMK from PA Member

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    Printers

    Can anyone tell me if printers are necessary or required for VMI?
     
  18. larry2013

    larry2013 Member

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    A printer wasnt required last year - I have not read the list of "to brings" for this year.
    I know my son's roommate came with a printer - I asked him today if he used it? what about printers? His reply was he never used his roommate's, he went downstairs when he wanted to print anything. His final comment - yes a printer would be helpful.
     
  19. CAVCDR

    CAVCDR Member

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    My son ordered his computer last week end, no problem. We spent many hours googling to try to find any coupons with no luck. For what you get, it seems like a fair price, not great but the on campus warranty was the selling point for us. He is plannning on taking a small printer

    Biggest compliant was Dell had a question about something. I called 7 times, was transfered 13 times, was disconnected 6 times, and twice had to ask for a different costumer rep because of poor language skills. I spent 5 hours on the phone trying to answer a question that ended up being "did your son order this through the VMI link?" They were not willing to produce the computer until he answered that.
     
  20. vmimom

    vmimom New Member

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    What would be the advantage in buying a dell thru the VMI website? They look pricey and I am thinking we could probably do better than their prices. Plus the cheapest model has very little options to add on. However, if it puts my son at a disadvantage somehow, I would rather buy the ones they recommend.
     

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