We’re all so impressed by mobility these days.
Our favorite technology is all about portability and size and convenience. We have the Internet in our pockets, computers on our wrists, and borderline-Skynet in ridiculous eye-wear that makes Geordie La Forge look hip. All your computers are belong with us, all of the times.
I’m due for an iPhone upgrade this fall but I’m scared the 6 will be too big for my delicate BUT LARGE ENOUGH, LADIES! hands. This from a kid who grew up playing Oo Topos on a huge box monitor with a data tower bigger than my three-year-old. I haven’t had a desktop computer in around 15 years.
My favorite computer – aside from the phone on which I’m currently writing this – is a tiny, lightweight, easy-to-carry laptop that has a keyboard that folds completely back behind it, essentially turning it into a tablet. It’s small, it’s portable, it’s convenient, and it’s the latest in a long line of slowly-shrinking computers that I’ve owned over the past decade-plus.
My son is only three so he’s still a few months away from having his first computer (am I even joking? We already have a tablet that’s essentially his), but when he gets one I bet it will be smaller than a breadbox, not that he – or I, for that matter – knows what a breadbox is. It’s something pretty small I guess. Regardless, his first computer is sure to be smaller, because that’s the way the world is going, and that’s the way we like it.
Or do we?
You may remember that I have something of a relationship with Lenovo. I serve as a “Lenovo Insider”, which means I use my online “clout” to help get the word out about their products and in exchange, I get to use their products. And the latest one I’ve gotten my hands on goes against everything I’ve just written.
It’s the B540 and I’m not going to get all technical because I don’t know what I’m talking about, so just go here if you want to learn more about the specs and the guts and the parsecs and TARDIS, etc.
What I do know? This thing is huge. Don’t get me wrong; it’s smaller than every computer I ever had growing up in the 80s, but it’s definitely bigger than the aforementioned what’s-a-breadbox?
And here’s the shocking part: I love it. I don’t know if it’s the Bluetooth keyboard or the Bluetooth mouse or the fact that the entire computer is just a monitor, with no tower or block at all – everything is packed into the monitor, and yet it’s still almost as flat as Keira Knightley – but I love this thing. The screen is enormous, and it’s the first non-tablet on which I’m comfortable using the touch functionality, probably because of the size. Suddenly I’m wondering if mobility is overrated.
Unfortunately, Mom and Buried is not a big fan of the computer, or, more accurately, she’s not a fan of big computers. But I think I can sway her by preying on her maternal instincts.
One of the biggest concerns with being a parent in 2014 is the impact technology is having on our kids, on their relationship with the world, with their friends and peers, with us. The internet is fraught with danger and when our kids can carry it with them wherever they go, it gets harder and harder us to protect them from it. Going old school with a desktop computer might be a simple way to stem the bleeding, at least at home.
One of the benefits of having a desktop computer is increased control, especially when it comes to a young kid. My son wants to use the computer? He has no choice but to use it where it stands, on the desk, in plain view of us. He can’t take it to his room, he can’t hide the screen from us, he simply can’t use it without our knowledge. That is a nice little perk of this nice big machine. Unfortunately, it’s not something we can take with us to the bar so the kid will shut up and let us drink in peace.
I know what you’re thinking: if I actually bothered to parent my son, he wouldn’t be able to steal away to go play Angry Birds and watch porn no matter what kind of computer we have. But sorry, I can’t be bothered. I’m busy!