Section 2.5 - Having the right tools
The ability to study effectively depends very much on
having the right tools and environment. By tools, we mean everything from
the right computer equipment to somewhere to file your notes. By environment,
we mean somewhere conducive to study.
Ideally, you should have:
- a quiet area in which to work, which is also well
lit and where the temperature is appropriate, away from distractions
of family, television etc.
- access to the internet
- pens and writing paper, including paper for printing
out from your computer
- a filing system - during the course of your study,
you will acquire a lot of printed material, in the form of notes, computer
programs, web downloads etc. As you will not be able to remember everything
you learn, it's important to have a good filing system which will enable
you to locate these resources.
A good place to file things can be on the computer,
in folders. If you haven't done so, create a file and folder system to
make your studying easier for you.
Whatever system you have, it will need to allow for
frequent backups (to floppy disks or CD-ROMs) in the case of problems
with your hard drive.
You also need access to a computer with the following
- a Windows interface ('95 or higher)
- a minimum of 32 megabytes of ram (preferably more)
- a minimum of 3 gb hard drive (preferably more)
- a Netscape 4.5 or IE 5 browser version
- a 56k modem or preferably a faster device
- a sound card and speakers.
In addition, you may find it useful to have a
Linux interface for programming.
Look at the positive and negative aspects of your
present environment. What can you do to improve it?