The Computers of Our Lives

My husband and I each came into our marriage with computers.  PCs all the way.  He was hardcore into MMORPGs, so video and sound cards were paramount, and, before long, mine died and I got his handmedown, since he needed to keep up with the required specs for the latest releases, and I just needed one that worked and could run the latest Civ edition. 

Fast forward a couple of years, and DH had a Dell 17″ laptop so he could work on 3D design projects on his down time at work, and the kids were slowly taking over my desktop.  My 18 month old son was a pro with a trackball, and both “dot org” and “dot com” were in his nascent vocabulary.

A year later and the kids thought of it as their desktop, which was kind of ok, since it was on its way out anyway.  DH was back in school and not designing much anymore, so he got a new desktop so I could have his laptop officially.

One more year brings us to today: my desktop succumbed to BSD-coma last winter, but still occupies my old desk in the living room. This doesn’t really matter to me, as I do all of my computing on DH’s old laptop from the homeschool desk in our bedroom, which works MUCH better all around, as we do a lot of cuddle-schooling anyway, and my back hates 90* angles.  DH, meanwhile, sold his desktop when he realized how much he missed his laptop, but also how little he wanted to haul this 17″ behemoth around with him.  He got an Asis laptop instead, and loves it.

We got the kids their own Gateway netbook when my old desktop died, but it has been rather frustrating: they can watch video on it just fine, but most of their games, ie all the PBSkids.org stuff,  require scrolling all over to see the pictures, which makes them virtually unplayable.  PBSkidsPlay.org works just fine, thank goodness, but WOW is this not what we were looking for; the kids are STILL constantly clamoring to get on my system so they can play 3/4 of their learning games!   The kids love the small size, but between the pathetic speakers (we have to plug auxilliaries in to listen to anything together, including skyped playdates) and the scrolling issue, this system is a LOT less useful than we had thought it would be.  It will make a great secondary system for the kids in a year or two, when they are more into web surfing and typing, but for now I’m wishing we’d gotten them a regular laptop.

Which is where I come in, and why I’m writing this post: DH’s old laptop is my workhorse, and its dying.  After nearly seven years of heavy abuse, I can hardly complain!  It had a screen replace a few years ago (it fried over the Atlantic), but the going has recently been really slow lately, and Big D stepped on it during a skype chat the other day, knocking two keys off.  I want another 17″, since I never use it anywhere but on my lap or my desk, and I like being able to read the screen and watch movies without needing my glasses.  (This and the teensy keyboard are why I’m not taking it over the kids’ netbook for myself and getting them something better.) I also do NOT want a numeric keypad, as I like typing in the middle of my keyboard, TYVM.  I’m *hoping* that I can keep this current laptop going until Black Friday, and that maybe a complete reinstall will turn it into a semi-reliable platform for the kids’ games, but I’m not counting my chickens on either score.

Meanwhile, when I am having tech issues, or PBSKidsplay.org is down (which seems to be happening a lot lately), or we’re stuck in the ER, I hand the kids my Android phone, and they play Cut the Rope.  Sometimes Big D forgets that our TV isn’t touch screen.  Kind of boggled that my phone is my back-up computer, but here we are!

 

 

 

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3 Responses to The Computers of Our Lives

  1. Carolyn 'n Murph says:

    Have you considered getting the kids an external monitor so it’s easier to play games & see stuff? There are almost always people on freecycle who have old-ish monitors they aren’t using any longer and would probably be happy to find a new home for the thing vs. tripping over it in the home office. (How’s that for a run-on sentence, for ya?) It’s not a forever fix, but it’s a cheap bandaid. 🙂

    • Siggi says:

      If they used it on a desk, I could see that, but they use it on my bed, on the floor, in their laps, etc. Being tied to a desk wouldn’t really work for how we use computers at this point. The games are good, but not that good. 😉 I do still have my old monitor though, if we get desperate. Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Pingback: This complete lack of posts has been brought to you by… | Turkeydoodles

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