by Anura Guruge
I got Devanee an Asus Windows 7 laptop for Christmas 2011. She loves it but has abused it, beyond belief, since she has had it. Though she has PAID Avast Internet Security installed on it she has managed to get some real bad viruses on it multiple times. I had to buy the Install Disks for it, from Asus, and have reinstalled Windows 7 on it twice. She still has trouble with it. That she physically pounds on it with her fists or throws it on the ground when she gets mad definitely doesn’t help things.
I knew that I would have to get another computer ‘soon’. ‘Punishing’ her by not getting her a new one wasn’t going to work — though Deanna was adamant that I shouldn’t get her another because of the way she physically batters her Asus. But her not having access to a working PC bothers me. So, I had kind of decided a year ago that her next ‘PC’ was going to be a Chromebook. No Windows 7 for her to mess up. Not easy to get viruses. No hard disk that she can corrupt. Plus, the price was right. So, a year ago I got her to transition to ‘Google Drive’ — though I actually had a fully legit, paid-for Microsoft Office CD and license for her laptop. The 2nd time I reinstalled Windows 7 I didn’t install Office and told her to start using Google Docs. She did. Now a year later she is quite comfortable using Google Docs for ‘Word‘ and ‘PowerPoint‘.
On Tuesday, given that her Asus was lying on the dining room table, I went to use it. It was pretty sick. I knew the time had come. I ordered her this refurbished Acer from Walmart. Price was right, PayPal is giving me 6 months, on-interest to pay for it — and Devanee, using her birthday and Christmas money, is paying for 48% of it. At least by paying for some of it she might feel some sense of ownership and treat it better. I ordered it Wednesday morning and it arrived today, a Saturday, via FedEx Home. That is fast.
The Chromebook principle works — so far. It was up in seconds. No messing about. Chrome did need to be updated, but we are talking minutes rather than the hours to have all the updates installed for a new Windows 7 or Windows 8. Connected to Wi-Fi with no effort. Once she remembered her Gmail account and logged on, Bob really was her uncle. It was all there as was to be expected.
I am happy. It gives her all she needs: Browser, e-mail, YouTube, Google Docs. This Chromebook also happens to have 16GB of Solid State Storage. That is a bonus. I am going to get her a car charger and a GPS USB dongle. It will make one heck of a GPS with its 11.6″ screen. I will keep you posted how this experiment pans out. I think it will be fine. The ideal ‘PC’ for a 13 year old, especially if she had been using Google Drive for a year for her ‘Office’.