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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Congratulations! It's Computer

I have recently become the proud parent of a brand new computer.

Since about April of this year, my wife and I had been planning to buy a new computer with some of the tax return money that we had got back.  (On a side note, I realize that the more efficient way to save is not to lend the government any interest free money in the first place, but for now in our family, it just happens to be the way that works the best)

I have a wonderful friend who puts together systems for various clients, whom I had engaged in an unofficial capacity to help me with my purchase.  My wife had given me a very generous budget to purchase "the other woman" as she impishly likes to tease me, and I had relayed that information to him with my hopes for the computer's specs.  Unfortunately, my friend got very busy and he had to deal with some unexpectedly family health issues.  I continued to delay my gratification and wait patiently.

I really wanted to rely on his expertise, but the months of waiting finally took their toll.  I set off to some online computer hunting on my own.  I settled pretty quickly on the path of a refurbished computer.  Though some are squeamish about purchasing a "used" computer, I believe the logic that they are actually tested thoroughly before they are offered at a discounted price, makes them the best choice.

I narrowed down my search further to refurbished units from the manufacturer and eventually found a system that I liked on the Dell Outlet site.  I was stoked (and nervous), but I clicked on the button to complete the purchase.  I don't spend money easily (as my wife will attest to you) so that one was a big step for me.

I will give you the specs of the beast, not in a "neener, neener, neener" type of spirit or an utterly pretentious "unboxing" kind of thing, but more to satisfy my fellow geek's curiosity.

  • Dell XPS 8500
  • Running Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit Service Pack 1
  • Intel Core 3rd Gen i7-3770 Processor (3.40 GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 up to 3.90 GHz)
  • 12 GB Dual Channel DDR3 SDRAM at 1600MHz
  • 2 TB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 1GB GDDR5
  • 8X Blu-Ray BD Combo (Blu-ray ROM + DVD+/- RW)
  • plus a Dell Refurbished S2230MX 21.5-inch Ultra-Thin Monitor with LED

I am a blessed guy.  Nuff said.

So after my computer had come in, my son had expressed great excitement about the event.  He said "I've never seen you put together a computer before."  Then trying so hard to pronounce it correctly, he said "I think it is IN- stress - sing"  He said that word about four times, and I did not have the heart to correct his grammar.  To me it was in the same vein of cuteness as his talk of "snuffed animals".  As a parent, you know that times like that wont last forever, so you tend to relish them for as long as you can.

My oldest made a wonderful technical assistant, but as five year olds tend to do, he began to become distracted by the empty box that the computer had come in.  Score another one for normal childhood.  The computer once assembled really did have the wow factor.  The 21.5" screen, makes just about anything look pretty awesome.

Following a plan that I had formulated previously, I set up logins for each of the family members.  The boys were busting their buttons at how grown up that they felt at getting their very own private login (something that only their parents and they would know).  I thought that it would be good practice to get my young geeks used to the ins and outs of password security.  It was quite the comical situation to see them try to come up with their super secret password that their brother would not guess.  It was even more hilarious, though, to see how excruciating it was not to just blurt it out to each other.

My family and "the other woman" are getting along just fine now, and we look forward to the many geeky adventures that we will have with her.

There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in their home.
- Ken Olson (President of Digital Equipment Corporation) at the Convention of the World Future Society in Boston in 1977

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