‘2009 Back to School’ Posts

The Best of the Back To School Gadget Roundups

Everyone and their mother has spent the last couple of weeks telling you about which gadgets you need, and which you really don’t. Sometimes, they tell you about gadgets you think you need, but really don’t,. Either way, if you’re headed back to school, or already back at school, and flush with a few dollars ...

Building the Ultimate Dorm Room, For Reals

an class="thumbnail-image-float-right ssNonEditable">This is my setup. Note the second monitor and external keyboard.

So we here at HackCollege get emails every so often from companies pitching the latest product to make your dorm room the "ultimate dorm room." Whether it's Target trying to sell you Tupperware containers in your favorite shade or a Web app that helps you cram as much stuff into your 8' x 10' shared space, there's no shortage of messaging convincing you you need the "sickest" room. To them I say: go screw yourselves. There's been a culture of consumerism has recently uncovered this back-to-school-you-need-three-more-couches season.

This post will talk about what really makes a comfortable dorm living space and how to get by with the last amount of shit in your room.

For Students Adding a Netbook as a Second Computer

This is a post in our 2009 Back to School series. You can see all of the posts here. Netbooks are the hottest piece of back-to-school technology this summer and I highly recommend buying one, even if it’s a second computer. (My favorite is the Mini 110, pictured below.) If you’re interested in starting to ...

Indispensable College Packing Lists

Last year, we posted this great video of ridiculous lifehacks. We hope you still enjoy it. The list we’re poking fun at is College and Finace’s 18 Overlooked Things Everyone Should Bring to College. If you’re already moved in, here’s our honest assesment of what you’ll really need — and how to fake it through ...

11 Bookstore Rip-Offs You Shouldn’t Forget

em>This is a post in our 2009 Back to School series. You can see all of the posts here.

Oh, complexities of the typical packing checklist. It always fails. You're going to remember to bring clothes, sure. But what about hangers? Believe me, I forgot them three years running, and the "I'm wearing wrinkled clothes to be ironic" thing only works for so long.

So you get to school, realize you need all these little things, and where do you go? The bookstore. Where they rip you off, steal your money, and laugh at you while you pay $11 for a clothes hanger.

To save you some money, and stick it to the man that is the bookstore, here are 11 things you should bring with you to college that you might not think about.

Printer Paper - Printer paper is something you'll use constantly, and a big pain to not have available. Hunting for paper ten minutes before an essay is due is not the most fun experience, and the bookstore knows they can rip you off in your moment of need. Make sure you've got more printer paper than you could possibly need when you arrive - it might even make you someone else's savior.

Printer Ink - This one's the big kahuna, the one that's caused me more anxiety in college than anything else. I'll be printing a paper, and all of a sudden it starts coming out lighter and lighter, until the pages are just white. Bookstores, once again trying to take advantage of you, charge a whole lot more than, say, Staples. Or better yet, buy online.

Hangers - Edges of chairs, your headboard, the door - all these are replacements for hangers, and none really work that well. You're going to have times when you need to look presentable, and having clothes ready is key. Bookstores don't always have hangers available, and when they do, they're about $43 each.

Light Bulbs - It never ceases to amaze me how creatively I can destroy light bulbs. I've tripped and broken one, hit one with my shoe, and just flat-out dropped one - it's no fun. Go to Walmart or Target, and buy light bulbs in bulk - you'll need a bunch over the course of the year. Darkness is highly overrated.

Count 'em! That means seven more after the jump.

The Back-to-School Double Notebook Giveaway

Did you somehow forget to buy a laptop for college? Did you somehow forget to buy a backpack? Did you somehow forget to find an apartment? Well, we're furnishing one lucky student with one brand new notebook, a kickass Timbuk2 bookbag and a... second brand new notebook, which will make up for you not having a home. All you have to do is be a dilligent Twitter follower for the next few days.

The Package

The notebooks are a "companion" set, meant to work well for a student geeky enough to have two separate computers: a netbook for taking notes, a larger notebook for heavier tasks and a bag that holds both. Reviews on both units to come in the next few days.

The HP dv6 - Read our review!

  • Intel Core 2 Duo P7350
  • Windows Vista
  • 4GB RAM
  • 500GB HDD
  • BluRay ROM SuperMulti with LightScribe


The HP Mini 110 - Read our review!

  • Intel Atom 270
  • Windows XP
  • 1024MB RAM
  • 150GB HDD


The Timbuk2 H.A.L. Backpack - Read our review!

  • Special padded compartment for laptop
  • Plenty of room for other shit



The Deets

Follow us on Twitter:

You won't know how we're giving away the package until you see the Tweet. I don't even know how we're giving it away yet (yes, I do). It could be any of those accounts. And you may or may not be asked to do something ridiculous in a short amount of time.

Please read all the rules and details after the jump!

Dealing with a Ticket as a Student

An $800 fine over your computer glitch? Thanks LA Superior! This is a post in our 2009 Back to School series. You can see all of the posts here. Unfortunately, there are times in school when you are caught doing something stupid. Sometimes alcohol might be involved, sometimes you might be in a rush. I ...