Leadership

Tech toys take a backseat to family

This holiday season, TechRepublic blogger Scott Lowe says the one gift he wants most is to watch his children grow and learn with technology.
A quad-core MacBook Pro. I love my 17" dual-core MacBook Pro, but I'm a huge user of VMware Fusion, and I really need more than two cores and 4 GB of RAM to do anything substantial. As my kids get bigger and we're doing more and more, accessing my lab-based 16 GB behemoth server is getting pretty difficult, so I'd like to be able to take more work on the road with me. I'm far from being a hardcore Apple guy; I'm really a Windows junkie who loves Apple hardware. A non-CrunchPad/JooJoo device... maybe an Apple tablet? I do a ton of Web-based research, and I read a lot of Web pages and PDFs; as such, sometimes even carrying around a laptop is a hassle, especially when I just want to troll the Web. What I really want is a CrunchPad-like device that gets decent battery life and works anywhere. At the very least, the device needs to have Wi-Fi and work with my USB-based AT&T cellular modem so I can use it on the go. If the device can't be used outside Wi-Fi-only zones, it wouldn't be very useful to me. I'm not interested in a JooJoo because, while the concept is awesome, the price is not. 1,500 Twitter followers. I didn't "get" Twitter until this summer when I attended the TechRepublic community event. Now, I get it, I love it, and I want more of it! A brand-new Hyundai Azera. Okay, this isn't exactly a geek gift, and some of you might be asking yourself why I'd want a Hyundai as my dream car. Well... my wife and I have two Hyundais already -- a 2003 Santa Fe and a 2007 Sonata, and they're simply fantastic vehicles. Our Santa Fe went more than 90,000 miles on the factory tires and still had legal tread when we finally replaced them. When I bought my Sonata, I was really eyeing the Azeras, but the frugal side of me reared its ugly head, and I opted for a much less expensive (but still quite nice) vehicle. If anyone at Hyundai has any spare Azeras taking up space, let me know. Most important... to get to keep watching my kids grow and learn with technology. This is one gift I know I'm going to get. I have two kids -- my daughter Izzy is four, and my son Ryan is five and started kindergarten this year. Both kids are already very proficient with the computer; on a regular basis, they get on our kitchen system, where they start their own games, adjust the volume to appropriate levels, and are able to find Internet Explorer shortcuts to their favorite kid sites.

I was helping my son with what appeared to be this inane game in which the player had to adjust the height of a ramp in order to get a car to an appropriate height to jump a tower of other vehicles, and it struck me that my five-year old was learning some rudimentary physics without even knowing it! The little bugger has also requested his own video camera from Santa Claus so that he can start taking videos of his Thomas trains and posting them on YouTube. At night, he and I sit in bed together using our laptops -- he uses my older Sony laptop to play games at Agame.com and watch Thomas YouTube videos, while I write blogs and respond to email. In the car, he demands the use of my iPhone so he can play Ant Hill and Skee Ball.

Both of my kids just soak this stuff up and learn all of the tricks... and they make it look easy!

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About

Since 1994, Scott Lowe has been providing technology solutions to a variety of organizations. After spending 10 years in multiple CIO roles, Scott is now an independent consultant, blogger, author, owner of The 1610 Group, and a Senior IT Executive w...

5 comments
IT Eagle
IT Eagle

What about good old fashioned reading and interacting with your children? Sitting beside them on a bed is nice but it sounds like there is no interaction taking place which children really need. I do let my 5 yr old on the computer to play his games and watch you tube videos (with me so he doesn't see anything too bad), but bedtime is always time to wind down and read a couple of books together.

Scott Lowe
Scott Lowe

There was no intent here to attempt to describe the full array of parenting that takes place in my house, but only to describe how much I love watching them learn through technology. Rest assured that my kids get plenty of my time, from reading to them, to playing with their trains and running around playing "monster" with them. There's always the morning "cuddle time" that both kids get, too, and I handle the morning delivery to school/preschool/daycare and often take my daughter to McDonalds so we can share pancakes.

TtFH
TtFH

I know it's OT, but you started it... ;^) 90k *miles* on one set of tyres? Yikes! Either that car does nothing more than roll (no acceleration, no braking), or those tyres are hard, no grip rubbish. Tyres that grip well wear out fast - I reckon 90k *kilometres* would be very long lived tyres. I don't expect to get 50k kms from my tyres, and on my moto, which has relatively hard tyres, 10-15k kms. Other than that, I agree. ;^) Good tech helps our families grow. Tony F

JamesRL
JamesRL

The last set of tires I replaced had a 130,000 kms prorated guarentee. I got them over 75,000 kms before the tread was too low. These were Goodyear TripleTred tires. They gripped pretty well. James

Scott Lowe
Scott Lowe

Tony, It's actually a very comfortable and seemingly safe ride and we did get 90K *miles*. I was pretty amazed! We did do a ton of highway traveling with it, so maybe that has something to do with it. Scott