Friday, May 25, 2007

My New Toy

Once in awhile, Hubs will comment about the small size of the diamond in my engagement ring. It was the largest one he could afford and the setting enhances it, but it's still small--especially when compared with the rings my sisters and sisters-in-law have.

I don't care. I like my engagement/wedding ring set. It suits me just fine. And, as I remind him, I'd rather spend the money on a new computer or a trip to Disneyland.

Which brings us to Mother's Day. My PDA, an 8 MB Handspring Visor, is slowly dying. I've had it for nearly 10 years now and there's a lot of synchronization that has happened between my PDA and my computer. Unfortunately, the cradle is acting up and it takes me longer to futz with the cradle and get it working as the actual synchronization takes. My gift was supposed to be a new PDA.

DS#1 is as much of a technogeek as I am, only with less restraint about spending money. (No surprise--it's not his money he's spending!)

"What do you think of a tablet PC?" he asked.

"They're pretty cool," I answered. Most are about the size of spiral notebook, slightly thicker and heavier. Smaller than a laptop, they aren't quite as powerful. But they have a keyboard and WiFi and run Windows applications. Plus they have a "Journal" feature: using a special pen, you can hand write notes or comments and even doodle. The file is stored on the hard drive and can be shared either as a web page or a .tiff. You can use this feature with typed documents as well, so you can see comments or diagrams on a Word document, for example.

Being a child of the Internet Age, DS#1 went on-line and found a refurbished tablet for an affordable price. It's my Valentine's Day/Anniversary/Mother's Day/Birthday/Christmas present. It's a Motion Computing M1400 Tablet PC. The keyboard is on the inside of the cover--it's really small, so I'm doing a lot of backspacing! If I want to use the Tablet without the Keyboard, the cover snaps on the back, so I don't have to worry about losing it. The battery is supposed to last about three hours, but I haven't tested that yet. I've been busy installing programs and upgrading the security.

Meanwhile, DS#1 fixed the wireless network at home. I am now writing this while sitting on the couch in the family room. DS#1 "road" tested it and got signal all the way to the end of the block. In order to add the Tablet to our home network, it needed a name. She is "Athena," after the Goddess of Wisdom. I thought about naming her after one of the Muses, but their names are more difficult to spell.

What this does mean? Well, my excuse for not writing--one of them, anyway--was that I couldn't get to a computer. Well, now I really do have my own. And I can take it with me. So I should be writing more. And I won't be under pressure to finish up so the kids can do "homework." Another advantage--Athena is not powerful enough to run the programs DS#1 needs for his college courses (he uses CAD a lot), so he won't be "borrowing" it anytime soon!

Although Athena does have some cool games already installed. DD#2 has already discovered them!