Mommy, can I have a Mac too?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

We are a pretty geeky family, as evidenced, I think, by the ratio of people to computers in our house. We have wireless coverage all over the house and into the garage and the garden out back. We've had computers as early as PC's were available for the masses to purchase (and more or less affordable--which means you only had to take out a small loan).
Anyway, after much deliberation (well, maybe more of "I'm tired of fighting Vista, I wanna Mac") we both got Macs (see previous blogs) and have been very happy with them. For example, at work when I get in, I start up my PC (XP) and wait for the login stuff to come up. Meanwhile, I take the MapBook Pro out of my bag, plug in the power cable, open the lid , wait, oh about 2 seconds, and I'm ready to go.
Not so on the PC side. While I'm putting my bag away and get out my notebook, the login screen finally comes up. I log in and wait another 5 or so minutes for everything to load. But wait, that's not all, I also need to open Outlook to check mail and calendar--which takes another 5-7 minutes. One reason to sync my calendar with my iPhone is that, if I have any early meetings, at least I get a reminder, 'cause I I'd be sure to miss anything waiting Outlook.
So, what has all this to do with the title of this blog, you ask? Well, nothing, really, I just wanted to get that off my chest. :D
So, back to the computer count. There's the two Macs, then Nick has my old Dell Inspiron 8600 and Katie has Mark's (really) old Dell Inspiron 3700. Then we have the server. We had another (really really) old Dell desktop, but we finally retired that.
Both of our Kids have been using computers since they were about two. Nick, who is 9, is getting pretty good at looking for games online, so we have to make sure he doesn't start downloading a bunch of junk. We used the IE parental controls for a while, but it got to be such a hassle when we have to approve every single page that pops up (that means you Disney!!). So we told him to let us know when he downloads something so we can check it out.
Anyway, it's been a while since we've checked his laptop and it had gotten slower and slower and he kept complaining about it. Then today he kept getting popup windows in IE, which I thought we had turned off. So we took a look at it and found that we had another default search setting, toolbar, etc, which had probably attached themselves to the last downloads. So, I went into the control panel and uninstalled them. Then I downloaded and set up FireFox for him, which we like better anyway.
So, Nick is happy and starts to go to his favorite Lego site when he keeps getting popups (in FireFox) with Windows Internet Explorer in the title bar--huh? At this point we decided it was time to just wipe everything out and re-install XP. Wen I first gave him the laptop it had all my apps uninstalled, but still had some utilities from when I used it, so we figured we might as well start over. For him, this would be like (almost) getting a new laptop.
Except of course we had forgotten how long and painful this whole 'new PC setup from scratch' was. That one of the reasons we got Macs. Well, long story short--ha! Too late, I guess. It took just about the whole day to re-install and set up the OS and we're still not done installing all the apps again. Nick, of course, is complaining how he can't do anything because all the cool websites use flash and we haven't installed it yet. This is when he says "Mommy, can't you just buy me a Mac, too?" Believe me, Kid, if I had the extra cash, I'd love to avoid wasting a weekend plus to get your OC back to where you had it, just to have the next Windows Update/Patch mess something up again!

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