Sunday, February 8, 2015

At Least I Didn't Throw the Computer

My week required a lot of patience due to medical concerns and technology nightmares, and in a testimony of the Holy Spirit's work in my life, I actually had that patience 70% of the time. We won't talk about the 30% in which I ranted about how much I hated computers and always would. They're for people who have time in their day to tinker and learn by trial and error.

Our PC, only three years old, developed serious symptoms a couple weeks ago, and after working with its internal repair options for a week (start-up repair, system restore), I gave up and took it to a PC shop. The boot disk was bad among other things; sometimes it would start up and sometimes not. When it does, it's incredibly slow (like five minutes to respond to anything). The boys couldn't do their Teaching Textbooks math DVD on it, and math must go on.

After keeping it two days longer than the shop indicated, they dropped the dreaded hard drive bomb.

"The hard drive is bad and it will cost $200 to fix it."

 I told them no, we don't want to spend $200 to fix a $400 PC.

God is good. He knows no one makes anything to last anymore. Not microwaves (knobs or doors malfunction), not washers and dryers, and not computers. It's always something and thank goodness this happened just as a child tax credit showed up in our account, to our relief. It must have been the grace of God. Thankfully, I was able to save my district homeschooling notification documents, which would be a headache to recreate. Our pictures are all saved on camera memory cards, and will now be backed up with Cloud as well.

On Wednesday we bought a backup Internet source in the form of a Kindle Fire for at least checking email and weather and news when our PC is down. The kids thought they would finally have some TV with a Kindle Fire and Amazon Prime, and to my relief, it isn't as useful for that as they thought. There seems to be plenty of PBS, though, which is all I can trust. The problem is, I can't have them go through the choices because almost all the features for adults look evil and scary and appear on the same screen. I stayed up late one night trying to give them each their own account with appropriate books and options, but all that did was promptly fill up all our space, after which I had to restore factory defaults. I'm still getting used to the Cloud storage verses what's on the device. The Holy Bible took up too much space so we have to download that from Cloud when necessary.

Peter and Paul say many kids at church bring their devices for Bible access, as opposed to just bringing a Bible. Peter asked me if he could bring the Kindle to church. I told him that, no, he was not going to try to be cool. Using technology on an as-needed basis so as not to draw attention to yourself is the right stance, I taught them. If you forget your Bible, then technology is fine as a fill-in. Use it when it makes sense, I continued, such as when you want the ability to look up difficult words without hauling out a dictionary. When I read that Kindles do that by one touch, I was impressed enough to make a final decision, despite all the mixed reviews. It's not likely to save us money on homeschooling books, since I buy them used anyway, but we'll see what library options are available to extend our free options. Our local library doesn't have much of what we need for homeschooling, and it looks like you can only use your own local library to borrow Kindle books through Amazon. (Is that not true?)

I can't use the Kindle for blogging because I'm really partial to a regular keyboard (I don't even text on my cell phone!). Hopefully, this PC will do one last blog post for me before it completely dies. Another PC arrives on Tuesday, which I chose after reading positive reviews, and also expert comments indicating that PC's should go down to the $200 range some time this year. Why pay a lot, I told myself, if the hard drives aren't lasting? An HP desktop PC for $350 seemed like a good choice since we don't edit video or photos and we aren't into gaming. It happened to have Windows 7 while still being brand new, allowing me once again to avoid Windows 8 before Windows 10 comes out.

I do want the kids to learn to edit photos--something I never learned, but there will be time for that sort of tinkering someday. I continually remind myself that my job is to love and disciple them in the Lord, not get them versed in every kind of technology. On their own time in the future they will learn all that stuff fast. My hours and days and years with them are meant to focus on eternal things, not the temporal.

I've read more chapters of Grace Based Parenting by Tim Keller and will continue to share that when the new PC arrives.

This week we have Beth's biologic drug infusion appointment on Tuesday and 4 dental cleanings on Wednesday, so it's another school week interrupted. We pack up our curriculum and try to concentrate the best we can in waiting rooms and hospital rooms.

Have a blessed Sunday!


Terri H said...

Ugh. Computer problems are so frustrating.

This is kind of bad timing in that regard, but when I saw this article I thought of you first. This man has invented a font to help dyslexics read, and he is offering it for free. When you get your new PC maybe it can help you out!

Kay said...

I can truly lose it when I have computer issues. Hubby and I also prefer our kids to use a 'real' paper bible, even at devotions. There are many reasons for this, and finding Scripture on the fly is one of them.

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you. I know how diligently you work at being a good mother. We all lose it sometimes... hallelujah for the working of the Holy Spirit that makes it less than it would otherwise be!
Sandy x

Christine said...

Thank you for your comments, which are so appreciated and help me feel like I have contact with the outside world!

Thank you for the dyslexic info Terri. She is reading library books now and I am so relieved. She's cracked the reading code!