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Children break computers.
it doesn't matter how "careful" they are.
httpwebwitch




msg:4037378
 12:19 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

some recent thoughts.

- spilling juice on the keyboard - not a good thing
- slamming the laptop screen shut, HARD. also not a good thing
- kneeling on the laptop keyboard. similar thoughts
- writing with ball-point pen on my oversized LCD screen. not appreciated.
- drawing with marker on the screen. ditto.
- drawing with wax crayon on the screen. ditto.
- dropping the mouse, oh, a million times?
- is that peanut butter on the screen?
- shoving a DVD askew into the disc tray, then watching it go in-crunch-out-in-crunch-out-in-crunch-out... i ask why.
- why is this USB connector bent? I need that one because it's the only one I have that connects to my camera
- swinging my headphones - the NICE ones - around by their cord and flinging them like a projectile weapon. Why would someone do that. Listening to music isn't the same when it's only in one ear.
- why do i need to readjust this chair whenever I sit down
- the power adaptor on the back of the laptop never used to wiggle and fall out like that
- having a "delete" key that sticks down when you press it makes programming pretty difficult
- disc tray on the laptop doesn't stay shut any more. it's been like that ever since I found the Power Puff Girls DVD in there
- I don't need to find stuff stolen from my laptop case in the your toy box

As I am typing this, the Enter and Shift keys make a disturbing "crunch" sound. It's not healthy. Sometimes the other Shift button sticks down so if I start YELLING AT YOU PLEASE DO NOT TAKE IT PERSONALLY

I don't mind the older one using the computer to play her age-appropriate educational games. And I know the little one likes to sit on my lap and watch SpongeBob Squarepants on the other half of the screen while I work.

But...
I think it's time I got an office with a door that locks. For the next 16 years.

 

StoutFiles




msg:4037380
 12:22 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd get them their own cheap desktop for Christmas. Now the office is off-limits.

swa66




msg:4037381
 12:24 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Get them their own computer, declare yours off-limits, permanently.

Leosghost




msg:4037388
 12:44 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

get more than one box ..

we got my son his first machine ( IBM ex french govt machine cheap via an online surplus seller ) when he was 10 ..

he learned on it ..and he broke it ..I fixed it ..he broke it ..this went on for a year or so ..

then he started to understand what was breaking it ..

now he is 16 and he has 3 machines ..and 3 big LCD's ( one is just to read help files , tutorials and pdf's whilst he works on 3D and flash ..( one machine is connected to the net with one LCD. for youtube and surfing etc .it runs linux ..another with 2 LCD's is not connected directly to the net ..for his 3D and flash dev work and to make his animations and cartoons..vista ..and one machine for spare in case we need to fix one of the others ..it's the old IBM running XP pro sp3 ) ..and he is now more cautious than I am about how he treats them and switching off during storms etc ..

buy them each their own machines ..cheap ..and be prepared to maybe throw them away when they break ( waterproof keyboards coukd be a good investment ) ..or fix hardware and software ( VM is your friend ) ..let them learn "fragile" without making them afraid to touch ..

you'll love it ..they'll show you things you never would have thought of ..or discovered by yourself or with you in charge of the keyboard ..

cost you less than $500.oo for two machines that can run cartoons and movies etc via VLC and two LCD screens to save their eyes ..dual boot them linux ( mint is easy on the eyes and has all they need built in )and whatever flavour of doze you have licensed discs for ..( because they will come up against it one day anyway ) ..acceptable hardware specs you should know anyway ..

rocknbil




msg:4037461
 2:52 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

HAHA this is great.

I still have a WACOM with an outline of Homer Simpson permanently ground into the translucent tracing cover. And she had her own computer too, our toys will still always be better.

"Let's do this on Dad's computer, just in case something breaks."

Leosghost




msg:4037468
 3:18 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

hehehe ..you reminded me ..yes he did break his first graphics tablet ( actually he took the pen apart ) luckily it wasn't a wacom ..

we both have wacoms now ..( and he has a spare one ..just in case ) ..Homer ..yours must have been younger when she started ..

graeme_p




msg:4037588
 9:49 am on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Laptops are too fragile for kids.

I use my laptop, wife and kids use a shared desktop. My older daughter has had a login since she was four - she just turned seven and has never broken anything.

The younger one (not yet two) keeps dropping the mouse, but its not broken yet. She also knocked my trackball off the desk, and there is a tiny dent in the ball - I can feel and occasional slight irregularity.

piatkow




msg:4037830
 8:22 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

A friend of mine had his work files deleted by his step son because there wasn't enough disk space available to download some new games.

If I had kids or teenagers in the house my laptop would live in a locked cabinet.

rocknbil




msg:4037880
 9:23 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

Homer ..yours must have been younger when she started ..

**This one** was 12, I think. She also had her own comp, and mine was supposed to be off limits. She was also the "typical kid." "I didn' do nuttin" with that old desktop spiral virus spinning on the monitor behind her . . . lol

Automan Empire




msg:4037922
 10:50 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

I think it's time I got an office with a door that locks. For the next 16 years.

Make that 20 years, or however long till they move out, and have a guest computer for when they visit then.

16 years from now is prime trojan horse inviting time. I have two step-kids of that age, and they're always "not" going to places that download malware. They swear they're not! They also won't lose the Windows disc if you leave it in their care.

Hardware is quick and straightforward to fix. Wait till they're old enough to get viruses on a weekly basis. Antivirus software? "Oh, I turned it off, it kept getting in the way when I tried to do stuff." Headdesk.

httpwebwitch




msg:4037924
 10:58 pm on Dec 5, 2009 (gmt 0)

>> Headdesk

LOL that cracked me up

graeme_p




msg:4038083
 9:00 am on Dec 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

Wait till they're old enough to get viruses on a weekly basis. Antivirus software? "Oh, I turned it off, it kept getting in the way when I tried to do stuff."

Why do they have admin rights? My daughter does have root on hers, but only for as long as she obeys the rules (she is allowed run updates and install software from the repos, nothing else).

I do backup to that machine, but that goes on an encrypted partition she cannot mount as she does not know the pass phrase - she could reformat the partition, but that is unlikely to happen.

Give them their own machine AND lock it down.

Hardware is quick and straightforward to fix.

Usually, and it can be expensive. The worst case with software is re-install from scratch and restore backups.

Mind you, I am quite capable to wrecking hardware without help from the kids. Not only did I write off a keyboard or two by spilling wine on them, but I once manage to corrupt Windows (years ago) by doing so (wine spilled, crashed, cleaned up and attempted to reboot, failed).

jecasc




msg:4038108
 11:05 am on Dec 6, 2009 (gmt 0)

My nephew is four and all he cares about on my computer is the "Off Button". He will sit on my lap or stand on a chair next to me and I tell him I just want to check my emails and before I can do anything his little finger will pop forward and turn the computer off. Then he will be as merry as a lark and laugh at me and then we go out to the playground.

httpwebwitch




msg:4038478
 3:32 am on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

I had to disable all the fancy extra buttons on my keyboard because one of them is a "Sleep" shortcut.

swa66




msg:4038486
 3:51 am on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

turn the computer off. [...] and then we go out to the playground
Sounds like rewarding bad behavior.
StoutFiles




msg:4038496
 4:03 am on Dec 7, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sounds like rewarding bad behavior.

Not if he ties him to the merry-go-round and spins it for an hour.

httpwebwitch




msg:4040790
 6:15 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Late last night, my wife tried to check her email, and found that several keys weren't working. the letter "I" isn't working, she says. And neither is the space bar. OK, let me take a look, I say, and pick up the keyboard...

Also broken: the comma key, and the number 6. How strange.

So I tip the keyboard over and about half a cup of water spills out of it. Not just a drip or a trickle - it was a *splash*. Ahh, OK - the truth comes out. Our crotchling spilled water all over the desk this afternoon. They wiped up the water on the desk, not realizing that the keyboard had also taken a bath.

Sheesh

Going to buy a new keyboard tonight

wyweb




msg:4040812
 6:55 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

At least it was only the keyboard :)

tonynoriega




msg:4041018
 10:50 pm on Dec 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

yep, bought my 3 girls their own desktop... old dell from a gaming buddy of mine... bare bones, but it has internet and thats all they need...

get your grubby hands off my laptop... i didnt know boogers could smear all the way across an lcd screen...

deejay




msg:4046691
 12:55 am on Dec 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

*LOL*

I had grand ambitions of being able to work from home once I had kids. Some hope.

While my 13 yo stepdaughter is quite safe as long as she only infects her father's machine with endless viruses, our 2 yo son is the real problem.

LUUUURVES the on/off switch, especially used in rapid repeat while avoiding mum's smacky hand. Thinks the keyboard is a piano and he is Beethoven in a dramatic mood, and the mouse makes a decent substitute for his racing cars when he can't find them.

Now with new baby due in February the only way I can see getting ANYTHING done at home is to do it overnight. Of course the 2 year old is down to an hour or so nap during the day, so quite when I'll sleep I'm not entirely sure.

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