I never owned a laptop in college, mostly due to my preference for a powerful, desktop PC gaming rig. Of course, I realized the error of my decision fairly quickly, as a laptop was, and still is, the most valuable tool available to the modern college student.
Drexel University in Philadelphia realizes this as well, and have set up a vending machine in its library that provides free MaBooks for its students. It’s an addition spawned in part by the suggestion of a student who was tired of lugging his computer all around campus, for both the physical burden it posed, and the security risks.
The deal is this. Students use their ID’s on the machine to rent a MacBook for five hours. They must keep the MacBook in the library (the computers have attached security sensors to be sure), and should they exceed the five hour time limit, a $5 per hour fee is assessed. Once the student returns the laptop to the machine, it wipes all personal data, and starts recharging the battery.
Drexel staff are apparently considering expanding this initiative to include dispensable iPads, and while that would be a first, the use of this laptop machine is actually being employed in a couple of other east coast school and seems to slowly be developing into a trend for universities that is sure to be very welcome to the always tightly budgeted college student.
You know, between this and that mandatory “Minecraft” class in Sweeden, I think I might have picked the wrong era to attend school.
Wouldn’t Be the First Time that Crossed My Mind…