Ask Techland: iPad with a Keyboard or MacBook Air for an Adult Student?

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Have a question you’d like answered? Send it to tips-at-techland-dot-com and we’ll do our best to answer it.

Question: 

“Could I ask your advice about buying an iPad? I want to get one for my husband as a gift — mostly I was swayed by the fact that you can get that little keyboard and then you wouldn’t have to lug around a laptop (my husband’s a student). So do you think it’s worth it to get an iPad with all the bells and whistles, rather than, say, getting a MacBook Air?”

Doug Responds:

Great question. When I was a college student between 1997 and 2001, I tried every which way to take digital notes without lugging a laptop around everywhere. They were heavy and had laughable battery life back then. I would have been a good iPad-plus-keyboard candidate, but due to how the pesky fourth dimension known as “time”…

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ASU Men’s X-Country Eyes Championships in ’12

A strong core of upperclassmen and several exceptional youngsters will lead the way this season.

Aug. 27, 2012

TEMPE – With the Fall semester about us, the 2012 NCAA cross country season is ready to get underway.  For the Arizona State University men’s team, that means a shot at redemption after some missed opportunities last season left the team painstakingly shy of qualifying for the NCAA Championships.

This year’s team returns the an exceptional balance of seasoned veterans and talented youngsters that could provide the perfect combination to make the Sun Devils a contender for the Pac-12 Championship in October and to be competitive at the national level as well.

“We built some nice momentum during the (2012) track season and seeing the emergence of Nick Happe on the track and the way Darius Terry running was outside,” head coach Louie Quintana said. “That momentum has carried over into the summer and we are exciting about the foundation coming into the fall.”

Quintana says that he is relying on the mantra of keeping things simple in practice and getting better every day.

“Our minimum expectation is to qualify for the NCAA Championships as we have been painstakingly close two years in a row and that’s not a great spot to be in,” Quintana said. “The conference is pretty wide open this year and no team is a ton better than the next so naturally we think that if we can improve a lot at the conference level, we will have a chance to win the whole thing.”

Here a look at your upcoming Sun Devil men’s cross country season:

SENIORS

Perhaps the greatest strength on this year’s cross country team will be the senior leadership.  The team returns Nick HappeDarius Terry and Doug Smith to the roster and all have been consistent point-scorers through their careers at Arizona State.

In 2011, Terry started the season strong with a victory at the season-opening George Kyte Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz., and had a strong run at the Griak Invitational as well.  Injuries began to take their toll on the junior though and after a rough outing at the Pac-12 Championships, Terry was forced to sit out the team’s appearance at the NCAA West Regional Championships. 

This year though, Terry looks to be back to form and has been the top runner through the summer for the squad. The 2011 1,500-meter All-American redshirted the track season but set personal records at the distance as an unattached athlete.

Nick Happe saw a steady emergence as one of the top runners in the program, finishing as the team’s lead runner through most of the races in 2011 and earning NCAA  All-West Region honors in the process.  Happe carried that momentum to the track, running under four minutes in the mile indoors and qualifying for the NCAA Championships in the process.

“I expect Nick and Darius to race together and provide low scores for us,” Quintana said. “We feel confident that if we keep them healthy, we will be successful.”

Doug Smith is another gritty veteran who is bouncing back from an abdominal sprain but is someone that Quintana feels can add some depth to the bottom part of the team’s scoring line-up.

The team also brought in Zach Zarda as a graduate student after spending his undergraduate career at Kansas University.  Zarda was an NCAA West Preliminary qualifier on the track at 5,000 meters and is someone that Quintana feels can make an immediate impact on the team.

“He’s been running 100 miles a week over the summer and is riding some momentum into the fall,” Quintana says. “I think he could be a great surprise for us.”

JUNIORS

The strength of the ASU juniors might come from the emergence as a team leader of Steven Schnieders over the course of the summer.  A Pac-12 point-scorer in two consecutive years, Schnieders has upped his mileage to over 100 miles of training per week and is someone that Quintana is confident can provide great depth to the program.

Though not a junior, sophomore Garrett Baker-Slama is in his third year with the program and is right up there with Schnieders in terms of mileage and assuming a leaders role on this year’s team.  A raw talent, Baker-Slama came to the Sun Devils with just one year of competitive running experience after spending the majority of his prep career as a soccer player.

“These are two walk-ons that were under-heralded and under-recruited,” Quitana said.  “They’ve gained the respect of their peers and teammates and are going to provide great depth for us.”

The Sun Devils also brought in junior college transfer Garrett Seawell out of American River College in California.  There, Seawell was the state junior college cross country champion and broke the course record in the process.

“Garrett is someone who has the ability to compete on the big-time stage,” Quintana said. “Coming out of junior college, he was undertrained and we have been trying to grow his mileage some but he is a guy with great experience.”

The team will also look for contributions out of Matt Estlund, someone that Quintana has said always seems to come our strong in September before petering out as the season goes on.  Quintana says Estlund’s training has been focused on flipping that as the team wants him to be running well in October.

SOPHOMORES

As mentioned, Garrett Baker-Slama will be the leader amongst the sophomores this season. Accomplished on the track, Baker-Slama is also one of the team’s top student-athletes and has maintained a 4.00 GPA thus far at Arizona State.

“Our team has a 3.49 GPA and that’s the top GPA on campus,” Quintana said. “We have to use our best asset if we are going to compete well each week and that’s our brain.”

Andy Cannata will also provide depth as a sophomore to the program.

FRESHMEN

The bulk of this year’s team will come out of the freshmen ranks.  Redshirt frosh Daniel Wong will see his first action this year after a strong spring that saw him take third at the U.S. Junior Championships in the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

Ryan Herson had another strong unattached year last season and will look to carry that momentum to his redshirt freshman season.

“Ryan has run as fast as any unattached freshman I have ever had,” Quintana said. “Both he and Daniel are running 100 miles a week this summer and are in a training zone with the older guys.”

Herson and Wong were high-level recruits coming out of high school and Quintana looks for them to help bridge that gap between the veterans and the youngsters on this years team.

The team welcomes C.J. Albertson this year as a true freshman that could make an immediate impact on the team.   He was arguably one of the top cross country runners in the nation at the prep ranks early last fall before an injury slowed his season.  Despite that, Albertson went on to make it to the finals at the Footlocker Championships and comes by way of Buchanan High School, home of ASU great Kyle Alcorn.

“If he stays healthy, he’s probably one of the top freshmen in the country,” Quintana said. “He has an even keel about his demeanor that will help him in distance running and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s running with the front two or three guys by the end of the season.”

The team also welcomes redshirt freshman transfer Jeff Bickert by way of Cal Poly SLO.  Quintana described Bickert as being very fit and someone that could have an immediate impact on the team after a strong summer of training.

Arizona State will open the season on Saturday at the George Kyle Classic in Flagstaff, Ariz.  Complete meet notes will be available on Wednesday, August 29.

Former ASU Wrestler Eddie Urbano Passes Away

Urbano was ASU’s second NCAA Champion and a two-time All-American during his time as a Sun Devil.

Aug. 26, 2012

TEMPE – The Arizona State University wrestling program is sad to announce the death of historic wrestler Eddie Urbano, who passed away this weekend in Tucson, Ariz.

Urbano was a two-time All-American at Arizona State at 150 pounds in 1984 (3rd) and 1985, when he became just ASU’s second NCAA Champion in school history and the first since Curley Culp in 1967.

Urbano was the first NCAA Champion for legendary ASU coach Bobby Douglas, and set the groundwork for the team’s first and only NCAA Championship in 1988.  Urbano was a two-time Pac-12 Champion at 150 pounds as well.

“The Sun Devil Nation and wrestling community at large is greatly saddened by the sudden death of Eddie Urbano,” ASU head coach Shawn Charles said.  “Eddie was an outstanding wrestler, a great coach and an awesome friend.  He will be greatly missed.”

Urbano started a stream of talented wrestlers making their way to ASU from Tucson as he posted a career record of 105-17-1 with the Sun Devils.  Those 105 victories rank Urbano 17th on ASU’s all-time wins list despite only competing for three years as a Sun Devil.  He finished his career with 52 dual victories, good for 11th in ASU’s all-time record books.

As a senior, he helped ASU win the Pac-10 team title and was named the Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.  Urbano was inducted into the Arizona State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1999.  Urbano also earned a junior college national title during his time competing at Pima Community College in Tucson.

Urbano will be remembered for his passion and commitment to Arizona State wrestling, and as former collegiate and roommate Mike Davies points out, an award-winning smile.

“The first thing you would notice about him was that, it was ear to ear…a genuinely happy smile,” Davies remembers. “He was so full of life and fun to be around.  This is a really sad day for ASU Wrestling.”

Davies recalls Urbano as a guy that went out of his way to help others out and to be a mentor.  Davies credits Urbano for pushing him and making him a better wrestler in their year they spent rooming together, as well as for introducing him to real Mexican food. 

“I was from Cleveland, so my idea of Mexican food was Taco Bell,” Davies said. “The first week we lived together, Eddie had his grandmother (a Mexican native) bring up some homemade food and I have been hooked ever since.”

Fellow teammate and eventual Olympian Gary Bohay was another who remembers Urbano by his iconic smile and uplifting personality and passion to the sport.

“Wrestling was his life and he just worked so hard to be successful,” Bohay said.  “He was a huge competitor and a wrestling junkie.  His NCAA championship really catapaulted ASU to national prominence.”

RIP Eddie Urbano 🙏 You will definitely be missed and remembered asfunny, intelligent and kind; but most im instagr.am/p/Ox5C-arxVm/

— WildFlower (@_JayMoreno) August 26, 2012

A Tucson native, Urbano became one of the first native Arizonans to win an NCAA Championship (Culp came out of Yuma, Ariz.).  Urbano was a state champion in high school at perennial powerhouse Sunnyside High School and is part of an elite history at that program that has served as a pipeline for numerous Sun Devil talents through the years.

RIP Eddie Urbano. @asuwrestling As a kid, I’d follow him everywhere Did not want to be like Mike, wanted 2 be Eddie!

— Danny Felix (@Toxicpaint9) August 26, 2012

“When you talk about ASU wrestling and wrestling in Arizona, you have to mention Eddie Urbano,” Davies said. “We lost one of our greats and one of our leaders.”

After his time at Arizona State, he became the 1988 Olympic Trials runner-up at 68 kg.  Following that, he went on to couch across the state and the city of Tucson, helping numerous individuals go on to achieve their collegiate wrestling dreams.

“Eddie was special type of guy.  He was a great athlete and a real kind-hearted individual. I have nothing but a tremendous amount of grief for what’s happened.” said Douglas in a phone interview. “It’s hard for me to verbalize about Eddie.  He will be missed more now than what people could imagine.  He did a lot of good and he’s a great example to a lot of minority and poor kids and kids that came from tough backgrounds.”

Arizona State will provide details for memorial services as soon as they become available.

Arizona has lost another tremendous athlete prayers and condolences go out to the family of Coach Eddie Urbano. Sad day for wrestling. #pray

— Anthony Birchak (@abirchakMMA) August 25, 2012

Yes, it is sad. Eddie Urbano is an @asuwrestling legend and will be missed. He had 1 of the greatest inside trips I’ve ever seen. @franco52

— Aaron Simpson (@aaronsimpson) August 26, 2012