May 2, 2002

Gotta Have It

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With the year winding down and my own college career coming to a close, it seems only appropriate to focus this week on items of significance for the college grad. Like that famous line from The Graduate, let’s start with ‘Plastics”


Four years in computing terms is a generation and a half. Thus, those computers that you had in your dorm room when you moved in as a Freshman have probably met there match in the last 4 years. The most elegant computer on the market right now is the new Apple iMac, which has undergone its first redesign in the last four years (the symbolism is almost too coincidental). The new iMac ($1399-$1899) has an almost organic form with a free-floating 15” flat-screen display attached to a compact base that gently sits on your desk. Housed in this small base is a powerful supercomputer-like 800mhz G4 processor, wireless Internet, a Geoforce 2MX graphics card, and in the highest end model, a Superdrive that allows you to burn DVDs and CD’s in minutes. The Apple brand has done a wonderful job of redefining the computing industry in the last four years. This computer is a great deal no matter how you look at it. As a companion to your new iMac there is a great new MP3 player, the iPod. It can hold up to 2000 songs (10 gigabytes) in an elegant casing about the size of a deck of cards. The iPod ($399-$499) is truly a revolution in the way we listen to music. We are the first generation to really utilize MP3’s and over the course of four years of college, I don’t think many would have a problem filling this device with popular music collected over an academic career. For an additional $50, Apple will engrave the back of the iPod with any message, including ‘Happy Graduation” (, or The Cornell Store).

In addition to computers and music players, a great item for the college grad is a personal digital assistant (PDA) in order to keep track of old friends, new contacts and to appear organized in post-graduate careers. The king of PDAs is of course Palm and the latest release, the Palm m515, features a full color screen and is compatible with all of Palm’s many popular accessories and software. For a slightly different approach, the Sharp Zaurus 5500 has built in wireless web access, a video player, and an MP3 player. The Zaurus uses proprietary software, which isn’t as standard among some third-party software, but it does feature a slide-out keyboard, which will also elicit stares from all your friends when you whip it out (

Pleasure Reading

One of the loudest complaints from Cornell students is that they never have time to read. Well, with the summer ahead and no more school for some, this is a good time to purchase a book. And what better book to buy than a yearbook? The 2002 Cornellian ($75) is available as of this week and it is a great way to capture the memories of the last four years. The book features gorgeous four-color photographs of all of the famous sights of Cornell and includes photos of the senior class. Although it is in limited supply, The Cornellian is available through the Cornellian offices or through the Cornell Store.

Take a Trip

The time off between college and work or graduate school is the best time to enjoy what life has to offer. The chance to be young and travel the world with your friends is a once in a lifetime experience and when better to do it than after leaving school? As a peer once said, “Immediately after college, you don’t have to pay a mortgage, you have no rent, no couch to move, what a great time to be free and travel.” A trip to Europe can range in price but most deals at this time according to Armonk Travel are through London’s Heathrow airport (airfare is about $300-$400 roundtrip). If you choose to travel around, the Euro pass is a good deal too. The pass is available for anyone under 26 and costs $625 per person for a 21 day stay. Safe traveling, Yanks.

High Above Waters

And the ultimate Gotta Have It for any Cornell student is of course — The Cornell degree. We sweat blood, we cry tears and of course we complain using various epithets, swears, and other things that would

make your mother wash your mouth out if she heard you. Cornell makes it hard for us, there is no doubt about it, but on graduation when you grasp your degree in front of your family and friends, all the wanting and waiting will have been worth it. Best wishes to all of you, graduates or not. It’s been fun writing about cool things for cool people.

Archived article by Ryan Silbert