Birthday gifts and Moore's law

My daughter asked for a Nintendo DS for her birthday this year.  My wife and I considered it, but eventually decided against it after seeing one too many kid completely detached from the environment around them with their head buried in a DS.  Riding in the car, sitting at the restaurant table and sitting in the park – the idea of taking a distraction with you when your a kid just seemed out of place.  I have nothing against gaming – my kids both play age appropriate online flash and Playstation 2 games.  But a mobile gaming platform seemed to be more bad than good.
So instead, I got her to think about a small laptop.  Something she could still take with her, but that wasn’t exactly hand held and could actually play the games she already likes, and (heaven forbid) actually get some school work done on.  She jumped on that idea (the gadget DNA is strong in this one) and I soon ordered her a Blush Pink ASUS EEE 4G.
It arrived last Friday, and I immediately blew away the Linux dist that came pre-installed and installed a custom copy of Windows XP SP2 that I stripped down to the bare essentials using nLite.  Even after installing Firefox, an anti-virus program and getting all the rest of the windows patches up to date, I still have 3 GB left over.
The thing that amazes me about this thing is how snappy it is.  It really makes me wonder how much overhead I am carrying around on my Windows Vista tablet that has a 2 GHz Core 2 Duo and 3 GB of RAM.  It also makes me think back to the first computer I got, about when I was her age: a Commodore 128, with the floppy disk drive and 9 pin dot matrix printer.  That was over 20 years ago and while I certainly understand and agree with Moore’s law, its still amazing to see it played out over the course of your own life.  I can’t imagine the trouble I could have gotten in with an ASUS EEE like machine when I was a kid.  I’m just glad I ordered it in Pink…or else I would be tempted to “borrow it” for a few business trips.






3 responses to “Birthday gifts and Moore's law”

  1. Scott Avatar

    We got a DS for our oldest and she loves it… We also didn’t want her to have it become attached to her hands. So we monitored a little at first, but she did just fine… She plays it when she has a moment of down time, but we just don’t let her take into restaurants, etc… and only on long trips.
    As for the laptop… you lost me at Linux and nLite.

  2. Dora Avatar

    C’mon real mean wear pink. I think you’d command attention at those high-level meetings if you pulled out a pink laptop!

  3. Chris Avatar

    There are many different kinds of attention… that’s a kind I would like to avoid.

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