Is the "Computer Preference (Optional Package)" worth the $400?

Discussion in 'Military Academy - USMA' started by birdwatcher4125, Apr 27, 2019.

  1. birdwatcher4125

    birdwatcher4125 Member

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    Yesterday the "Computer Preference (Optional Package)" became available on the Candidate Portal, and I'm wondering if it's worth the $400?

    I'm thinking that it probably is, and I'll do anything I'm able to make DS' time there easier & more productive.

    However, I feel the need to due my due diligence on optional purchases.

    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

    1 NONE, I ONLY WISH TO PURCHASE THE REQUIRED COMPUTER PACKAGE CONSISTING OF THE FOLLOWING:
    • Mobile computer. The system chosen is highly competitive from a performance and feature perspective.
    • Portable Laptop Battery charger
    • Backpack (with padded sleeve and meeting uniform requirements)
    • Ethernet Cable
    • Computer locking cable
    2 YES, IN ADDITION TO THE REQUIRED COMPUTER PACKAGE I WOULD ALSO LIKE TO PURCHASE THE OPTIONAL PERIPHERAL PACKAGE
    • Docking station (specific to the model)
    • Surge suppressor
    • USB External mouse and keyboard
    • Monitor
    • Muliti-function inkjet printer
    • USB hub
    • Estimated cost for this optional package is $400.00
    • PLEASE DO NOT SEND IN A PAYMENT. This charge will be reconciled from your cadet account
     
  2. CmeB45

    CmeB45 Member

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    My son decided it was worth it and we committed to covering it so that he wasn't out the cost. We figured that it is one less thing he will need to scramble for later on if he decided he needs it.
     
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  3. jl123

    jl123 Member

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    Depends on your budget - if the $400 is not a budget buster, do it. While the optional items are not required, they will make life a bit easier - especially the printer.

    You can probably save money by buying what you want on Amazon, but it is much easier to have the optional package ready and waiting with all of the other issued items.
     
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  4. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    We bought it but for the entire year so far only the mouse and the USB hub have been used. The local printer is handy, but the company barracks have network printers for use by the students. Anything that does not need to go onto the USMA network or pair with the student laptop can be shipped after the fact as a universal peripheral. Also, when shipping, Wal-Mart seems to consistently have the best on time two day shipping record. Amazon uses different shipping methods that sometimes slow thing up a bit.
     
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

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    If you want the mouse or monitor then I would get it since the convenience of the docking station will make it far more user friendly.
     
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  6. ACatSLP

    ACatSLP Member

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    Can we, as parents, pay the $400 as opposed to it coming out of cadet account?
     
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  7. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    @ACatSLP There is no way for you to pay for it. You could always 'gift' your cadet the money early in the year or offer to use that money to pay for bus, train, or plane rides home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Spring Break (And if you are close enough...the occasional three day weekend.)
    However, both of my cadets always had more than enough money even as Plebes. (Enough to start an IRA at the end of Plebe year--they just have to be able to show that they have earned more than the minimum amount each year.)
     
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  8. Soldiergriz

    Soldiergriz Husband, Dad, Soldier

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    Asked my son...he said docking station alone is worth it...
     
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  9. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

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    When it's allowed, I recommend a storage device to back-up your data; obviously you would want to lose that course-ending report minutes before emailing/printing it to the professor. USMA may have a server with storage for cadets although I would want my own if allowed. You know how it is, anything that can go wrong, will. Good Luck to your DS!
     
  10. GoArmy2022

    GoArmy2022 USMA 2022

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    I don’t use anything from the package. Some cadets do but many don’t. If you’re interested in playing video games or watching movies with a group, a lot of people like the monitor. I don’t think I’ve ever actually used mine, though.
     
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  11. DrMom

    DrMom 5-Year Member

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    Neither of my cadets got the package BTW.
     
  12. Goat 965

    Goat 965 Member

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    DD bought it, uses it, says it was worth it.
     
  13. Foodisgreat

    Foodisgreat Member

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    It is so worth it.
    It helps to work on projects with two screens, whether it be coding or sosh paper.
    It is also nice to have a power strip to plug in all your fun electronics into and not have to fight roommates over electric socket space.
    -Yuck
     
  14. Monarchs'19

    Monarchs'19 Member

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    Our DS portal is still not showing computer information. Planing to wait for a week to see if it changes. Any suggestions?
    upload_2019-4-30_7-38-32.png
     
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  15. beatnavy19

    beatnavy19 Member

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    You have to click the blue "Computer Preference" Link
     
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  16. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    Send em an email, they will correct it. Its easier on everyone that way. You don't deal with a voice menu, and the problem will be addressed.
     
  17. HopefulMidshipman2022

    HopefulMidshipman2022 New Member

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    Yes, you won’t see the money if you choose no because it comes from your Cadet account.
     
  18. Yeah Boiiii

    Yeah Boiiii New Member

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    Wait, can you bring your own PC to the academy you are accepted into?
     
  19. Walman888

    Walman888 Member

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    No.