Originally Posted by unboggling
Thanks to LatinandGreek, David Munch, and Synamon for the info on OSX Lion recovery from recovery partition or thumb drive. It's interesting that the new MacBook Pro models don't even have a superdrive anymore, which tends to support the point that superdrives are becoming as obsolete as dinosaurs.
I was holding off on upgrading my MB Pro to OS X Lion from Snow Leopard. Mountain Lion will be released in July, and I plan to upgrade to it then. I think Apple site said that the Mountain Lion upgrade will be free to people who buy new Macs now.
Regarding MS Office, iWork, and OpenOffice. I never tried iWork. Kind of got stuck in the bad habit of MS Office over decades of home and work use. Since last year when I learned about OpenOffice, I've been weaning myself off of Word, Excel, and Powerpoint and using OpenOffice instead. David Munch and LatinandGreek mentioned iWork. Is it worth the extra $79 to a poor student to use iWork as a supplement to the free OpenOffice suite? Either suite seems to cover the commonly-used MS Office formats and functionality.
As David Munch pointed out, a printer may not be necessary if the school has convenient networked common printers in or near the dorms, or if the school's professors accept all work electronically rather than on paper.
I love iWork, personally. The nice thing about it is that the components can be purchased separately in the app store - if, for example, someone only needs or wants the word processor (Pages) they can purchase only that (and not the spreadsheet and presentation software) for $20 from the app store. There are three applications in iWorks - Pages, Numbers and Keynote, and they each cost only $20 to download. I think that they can be downloaded in a trial version as well. I like that I can easily email myself my Pages files for editing on my iPad when I'm on the go, and I really, really like the iPad version of Pages. It is probably my most used app. Over time I really began to prefer the simplicity of Pages - it looks very bare bones, but I have yet to find something that it isn't able to do. I find it very easy to use. Keynote it fantastic for presentations as well. Pages also has some nice features - for example, you can go back to look at or revert to older versions of documents that you are working on:
which I'm sure can come in very handy if something is ever accidentally erased from a document. I personally think that iWorks is worth the money when you have a bit extra lying around.
OpenOffice is great though. I used OpenOffice exclusively for quite a while, actually, and I still prefer it when working on certain things, and it has some neat add-ons.