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Monday, May 12, 2014

One of the joys of having small children is that you can palm them off with rubbish, and they'll generally think it's great. I'm no stranger to letting my kids play with items from skips, wheelie bins and gutters, and they're usually quite happy. Of course, it works the other way too. Amelie frequently hands us the kind of craft work that makes the Turner Prize look sensible, and we tend to look thrilled and tell her it's fab. And then bin it when she goes to bed.

Only the other day, Amelie and I found a painted wooden fish in the refuse area downstairs, which we retrieved and gave to Toby in an attempt to build up his resistance to germs. He had a whale of a time. But the latest item to be saved from the dustman's clutches is this...

Not the table - that's quality. It just looks like junk. No, it's actually the computer that's on it. Which, ironically, looks ok, but is actually fairly useless.

In addition to two tired children and an extra half stone, I came away from my parents' house on Saturday with my Dad's old computer. He got a new one last summer, after finally accepting that it shouldn't take a PC half an hour to open a browser window and respond to a mouse click. This one's been sitting idle ever since, waiting for someone to put it out of its misery with a hammer and a blowtorch, so I offered to take it off their hands, in the hope that I might be able to restore it to something resembling working order, and then pass it on to Amelie.

As it transpired, my confidence in my own IT abilities was perhaps slightly misplaced. I spent most of yesterday afternoon tinkering with the thing, wiping and reformatting the hard drive, and installing various bits of software, while Amelie stood over me, asking when I'd be finished. I repeatedly told her that there was no guarantee of success, and that it might not work at the end of it all, but the mere possibility of her getting her own computer was enough to send her into a frenzy of excitement. Which is ironic, as she takes the iPad completely for granted.

While I was struggling to fix some broken Windows, Amelie was busy phoning her Nanny with news of her new computer, but fortunately, and to my great relief, I did manage to get it working. After a fashion. It's now much faster, is connected to our wi-fi, and can surf the internet with ease. Which for someone like me is all you need. Unfortunately, Amelie wants more. Namely, computer games on the Cbeebies website. And for anything involving graphics, it's still painfully slow.

But this is where Amelie's excitement takes over. She's so thrilled at having her own computer that she really doesn't care what it can do. She spent yesterday evening playing Peter Rabbit, and frankly those bunnies were crawling across the screen like they were going down with myxomatosis, but every time I pointed out how slow it was, she said "I don't mind, Daddy, I don't mind!". It was really quite touching. I just wish Lisa's standards were that low.

The photo above was taken at 6:45am this morning. She couldn't wait to get out of bed and turn on her new computer. She even let Toby play some games with her. It might be slow and stuttering, but the important thing is that it's hers. As I left for work this morning, I heard her say to Lisa "You need to ask if you want to use this computer". Which is what we always say to her. Clearly possession is nine-tenths of the law. And she's laying it down already.


Phil's Mum said...

Wow! That's very impressive. I can't think why we ever bought a new one! All Am's friends will want one now.

Mary said...

Great readingg your blog