Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Compact Month

See that cool little banner to the right?

Yes, I need an April butt-kicking, after the insanity of purchasing not one, but two new computers in March.  We actually purchased 5 computers in our attempt to get the right fit.  We ended up with two ~ a desktop and a laptop, as well as an external hard drive and a duplexing laser printer that runs on the network.

It's easy to justify our purchases.  The ancient desktop is on its last legs; every time we turn it on Papa tells me that the hard drive is about to fail (something I had told him a year ago, but I digress).  I was getting jumpy about our digital pictures.  I started pining for a laptop last November when I participated in the NaNoWriMo2007 challenge.  Just as Papa acknowledged that yes, the horrible sounds coming from the old desk top (upgraded many times over the past 9 years) were indeed the hard drive and not, as I had been previously reassured, the fan, he also told me that he wanted to start programming on a new platform to keep himself fresh in terms of the current job market.

So, absolutely, the new desk top makes sense.  I am all for a working computer and Papa gaining new job skills given the current economic situation.  In the past we held tight to the idea that he could jump ship and join the ranks of Microsot, but I'm thinking now that every other non-Microsoft programmer may be thinking the same thing.

The laptop?  That's mostly me.  We functioned well as a one computer family when I was the only one using it.  As soon as the new desk top came home not only did Papa need to spend quality time getting to know it, but the boys took their first steps into a wired world, playing a video game on it a few evenings a week.  Suddenly it was as if I didn't have a computer at all.

I had planned to wait and buy the laptop in October; I decided last year that I am semi-serious about my writing and that I would get a laptop before NaNoWriMo '08.  We bumped that up, however, when realized that not only was I going to have to wait in line to write, but also that the fact that I have children who can read (over my shoulder) meant that my sense of privacy was gone.  I like to write alone.

All of this being a fancy way to say that March was a big spending month for us, and we feel a natural desire to decrease our spending in April.  This new challenge is a great one for me; it's long enough to make an impact, and short enough to (hopefully) prevent the deprived feelings and guilt that sometimes come with Compacting territory.

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