Friday, July 30, 1999
Technology can make or break a student's day at school

High tech schools offer an educational edge.

Students today require more than pencils and paper to be successful.

As thousands of students prepare to face another year of deadlines, term papers and exams, many parents prepare for the arrival of the upcoming school year by purchasing the latest in school supplies.

What they fail to purchase, however, are the tools that may save their children from the misery and heartache a late paper or missed deadline will cause due to full computer labs or unexpected computer failure.

Before you send your student off to face another year consider these practical safeguards against PC frustration:

•Laptop computers. A handful of colleges around the United States currently require incoming freshmen to have laptop computers (including Clayton College and State University). These notebook universities require a laptop with minimum features and often have inexpensive rental programs available to students.

Whether or not your child's college requires this device, however, laptop computers are portable which makes trips to the library or just a quiet place to study simple and hassle free.

Some popular models include the Chem USA ChemBook 7200, which retails for $1,449; the Quantex T-1411, which retails for $2,599; the WinBook XL, which retails for $1,399; and the Gateway Solo 2500 SE, which retails for $1,999.

• Desktop computers. While they require a little more than a backpack to transport, what they don't require is a lot of money.

Some desktop computer manufacturers, including Emachines of Irvine, Calif., have pushed the price tag below $600, making these computers much more affordable.

• Computer maintenance. Before your children attack their first term papers, be sure to remind them of some basic PC maintenance tips.

In addition to regularly deleting temporary files and defragmenting the hard drive, it is essential to make regular backup copies of work in progress.

Whether your children are working in a crowded computer lab or on a PC from home, system crashes can occur at any time for no reason at all. So be sure to supply them with a generous supply of floppy disks, or another backup device, to which they can save their work.

• Data protection. Families and sharing go hand in hand. And while you wouldn't want to live without them, they can raise the risk of computer problems when as many as four or five people share a computer.

To protect your children from losing critical papers when a little brother or sister — or college roommate — inadvertently hits the delete key or crashes the computer, supply them with the handy protection offered by GoBack, a new software application from Wild File Inc.

The unique time travel technology offered by GoBack allows PC users to take their computers back in time to recover from problems such as Y2K glitches, system crashes, virus attacks, software installation complications and user error (overwritten or deleted files). For information, visit

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