Since January, I've been strongly requesting a workstation for the kids and I to use upstairs. I have a tiny little portable netbook that I use when I'm not really doing anything important. And the kids use an old dinosaur laptop that the Scout Master has long since upgraded. But neither of those is connected to a printer, and it becomes quite cumbersome to have to disconnect and reconnect one of them every time we need to print something. It's also difficult to police computer time with the kids since the laptop tends to wander into bedrooms and perch on people's laps in front of the TV for HOURS!
A few weeks ago, ALL four kids had homework (which is all done via online textbooks these days), and a few of them had major projects requiring Power Point presentations and extensive time on the internet. Both little laptops were being used to their capacity and there was a lot of arguing about whose projects took precedence (including my major New Beginnings project.) By the end of the week, I was ready to throw all the electronics and ALL THE KIDS out the front door. We desperately needed a new system.
So, when the Scout Master came home from his most recent trip, I started the petitioning all over again. All I wanted was a stationary workplace that would live in a high traffic area with a printer (and maybe some PhotoShop and Media extras.) I found a desk on Craigslist for FREE. I carved out a space in the playroom where it could live. And I waited patiently for the Scout Master to research the best option to fit our needs, and then GO AND GET the darn thing!
Honestly, I know nothing about electronics. But the Scout Master likes that sort of thing, so he polled the audience, and read the reviews, and tried out several things in a few stores before deciding that this was the computer system of our dreams. And guess what! He was RIGHT! I kinda LOVE this thing!
The first thing I loved was that there aren't a lot of pieces (what do they call them??... components??) It's just a screen with a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard, which means there's only one cord for the computer and one for the printer. LOVE THAT!
The other thing I love is the size of the monitor...27"!! Seriously?? I wasn't sure at first whether we would really need to see anything that large. I've lived pretty contentedly for a couple of years with my 7" netbook screen. But now that we have it, I don't think I'm going to be quite as content with my tiny little screen anymore. It's awesome to be able to have dual windows open at the same time. In fact, at this moment, I have Google taking up 14" of my screen and this blog taking up the other half. Earlier this morning, I had Yahoo up on one side so that I could send some emails, and this blog up on the other side so that I could listen to my Playlist! The sound is awesome. The picture is awesome. And I am so happy with 27"!
We were also able to set up individual user accounts for each of the kids with their own passwords. We limited the sites that they can each go to, and we set TIME LIMITS for each of them. It just just logs them out when their time is up! Hooray!! No more yelling for kids to get off the computer.
I'm sure there are a million more things that this computer can do that I have yet to discover, but so far I'm blissfully happy and fully converted to the iMAC!