Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Speed Racer

That cold/cough Brian gifted to me 4 weeks ago?  Still here.  And, apparently, there's no relief in sight - he's had it for over 8 weeks.  I'm needing to upgrade to the softer Kleenex, at this point.  And I'm subsisting on the Ricola cough drop diet.  Not bad for weight loss, but it is making me a wee bit cranky. 

Or maybe that's just the 100-degree heat.  You know it's bad when  outdoor pools are no longer cool enough to be refreshing.

Let's think about something else, shall we?

Last November, as I watched my fingernails grow while waiting for a word doc to open on my almost-4-year-old laptop, David (my teen tech-geek) said, "You know, there's a better one on sale at Best Buy this week for 270 dollars."


After David had spent a couple of days laboriously transferring my ITunes purchases, etc., onto the new computer (the old one had Vista, which makes all things ITunes complicated), I rewarded him with the old laptop, a gift he accepted with alacrity.  "Good luck with that," I told him.  "It's about to kick the bucket."

You'd think I'd given him a pony.  He's been busy over the last 6 months or so installing new operating systems, experimenting with different computer languages, taking it apart to figure out what was wrong with the power supply.  I have to hand it to him - the thing functions; and I know it wouldn't for anyone else.

I'd often wondered what David would have done if he had had the misfortune to have been born in 1947, say, instead of 1997.  What would he (and all the teens like him) have used their brains for, brains obviously suited to the intricacies of computers and programming?

This wouldn't fit in a shower stall.
But, watching him these past few months, I've had an epiphany - that old laptop I gave him?  Is the equivalent of a 1950's jalopy.  He's souped it up and made it run faster; and if he could find the computer equivalent of a drag race, I'm sure he would be taking part.

So maybe I should stop complaining about the fact that my guest room shower stall is filled with spare monitors, keyboards, and hard drives David has acquired from my well-meaning friends.  Aesthetically speaking, it sure beats a couple of cars up on blocks in the yard.

[Jalopy image: Backstreet Wheels]


  1. My kids now understand the concept of power surge and lightning strikes are bad for computers. It only took not leaving everything unplugged during a lightening strike in our yard, which fried the motherboard on 1 pc, network cards on 2 pc's, the router and 2 hubs to explain it to them... :( It also killed the fax component of my all in one printer, which will still copy, scan and print, but not initialize a fax.

  2. Funnily enough, my technologically-oriented son (younger than yours and without the ability to dismantle computers... so far) also loves the idea of car engines, plane engines, even clock motors. I think some kids are just engineers by nature.

  3. My husband is building a computer from scratch. It's insane. I have no idea about any of it, but it makes him happy and I'm just glad he uses his powers for good.

  4. Replies
    1. Well, previously they were spread all over the family room; and that just wasn't working for me.

  5. A pool is bad enough. Try a huge salt pond that is fed by the Atlantic Ocean. Way, way too warm for my liking lately. Like a bathtub. The other day the weather guy said the ocean water temp--actual ocean--was 72. That's just not right. The pond is way warmer. Ick.

  6. You SHOULD be glad it is computers and not cars! My youngest two, in particular, thinking nothing of taking a car apart on the street and leaving all the parts on the floor of my garage. Granted, they are now using these skills to open their own welding business, but still, I lived for years with a variety of beat-up cars and a RACE CAR in my driveway and garage.

    The computer connection would put me in a happy place! Luckily, my oldest son is into those as well.

  7. I have two sons that are the same way. Computer parts EVERYWHERE! I finally made them stash it all in one of thier bedrooms.
    Unfortunately, soon after they got everything out of my sight, the word got out to all the neighbors that my boys like to tear apart and fix old computers, so now instead of throwing away thier old computers, the neighbors give them to us.
    It's amazing how many parts there are in a computer, and how much of a mess it can make on my family room floor.
    On the bright side, they have managed to bring to life a computer and a laptop which are running well enough to be used for homework, so now when they think they want to use my computer, I remind them that there are other computers in the house they can use :)

  8. Hubby still has his first computer, a Packard Bell 386 purchase in spring 1992. It still works, he hasn't used it in years...

  9. Oh, I love this story about your son! Heart warming, 'tis.

  10. My MIL insists that homemade hot lemonade with honey cures everything. Why not try some cold to get her off my back for once and for all?!

    Be proud of your son! Stuff the shower, sink and toilet full of computer parts. My kids have become half brain dead this summer break "Drawing Something" instead of becoming the next Bill Gates (like some people's kids).

  11. AnonymousJuly 17, 2012

    Your son should look into A+ Certification. It sounds like he's got the practical side down pretty well. I'm not sure if there is a minimum age but it would be a good thing to have for, say, working his way through college.

  12. It's great when kids find their passion.

  13. My teen geek only wants to play and program games. *sigh*
    A guest room shower is a small price to pay for lack of lawn ornaments!

  14. Just think of all the side money he can make when he has it all figured out. I hope my son finds a passion other than playing his DS soon. I know he's only 9 but it doesn't look like he's picking up on fixing cars anytime soon.

  15. AnonymousJuly 19, 2012

    Tell that son of yours to send D his resume when he's looking for his job. Tear-down techies are in HUGE demand!

  16. AnonymousJuly 21, 2012

    And if Brian had been born in 1397, he would have nothing electronic or mechanical to tinker with, and you would have bubonic plague. :)