The journey starts off innocently enough…

To: “David Kirk”
Subject: Lap Top
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2008 09:41:18 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0

I am going to get a laptop. I need your help on what and where to get .

Dad

My father wants to get a laptop. I have that feeling that a parent gets when a child asks for a car or a bike or whatever. What appears to be a simple task is really a challenge to find the perfect fit.

Clark Kent glasses
Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew*

Easy answers exist. If I were a zealot one way or another, then I would tell him to get whatever is my favorite device of the moment. I could be lazy and just send him a bunch of links and then hope he figures it out all on his own. Easy answers would lead to confusion and frustration for both of us — especially with parents living 13 hours away.

Dad is currently running an XP box with broadband, printer, scanner, and a couple of digital cameras. He learns well through step-by-step directions but can stumble if new obstacles are thrown his way. He transitioned away from AOL easily enough. However, storing, editing, and retrieving photos in an efficient way still seems challenging.

Just when I think Dad’s system is running well, he wants a laptop. Of course, he does. Everybody wants a laptop. My desktop is used less and less since I started with my laptop. My wife is the same way. A laptop, however, introduces a whole bunch of new challenges.

To work well, a laptop needs a wifi network. To exchange files between a laptop and desktop is not painless or intuitive. Using a scanner and a printer with a laptop has unique challenges too. To top it all off, I have to decide if now would be a good time to introduce Dad to the world of Apple and OS X.

I wanted Dad and me to sit down over some adult beverages and discuss this; however, he is excited to get started. Anxiously, I have been pondering my plan, and I hope I have found the correct path. I am going to tackle each potential decision as a separate blog post. I will try to weigh the strengths and weakness at each step to help Dad make his choice. Hopefully, my blog readers will chime in with additional information as well.

Here are a few examples of planned posts:

  • Laptop versus desktop
  • Apple versus Microsoft
  • Save or ditch the desktop

I will start each post from a beginner level and expand into our normal geek territory. If interesting comments appear, I will amend and edit my posts to reflect new ideas as well.

My father was key into getting me into computers. I get my technology-loving side honestly. Help us find him the best system.

I will blog these entries as computer4dad if you want to keep up with the series.

Technorati Tags: computer4dad, ,

Comments are closed.