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Archive for the ‘computers’ Category

When I was a kid in the 70s, we played kick the can.

Almost every night during summer, when the sun went down, kids in the neighborhood gathered in a back yard with the Folgers or Maxwell House coffee can — or a Well’s Blue Bunny ice cream bucket (gallon-sized) — for an hour or two of hiding and kicking and getting grass stains on our knees. Lots of debate on who was or wasn’t adhering to the rules would ensue. And honestly, I can’t even remember the rules. It didn’t matter then or now.

My kids never experienced the thrill of rushing into a wide open space and sliding into or kicking a can so they wouldn’t have to be “it.” Technology usurped those summer evening back yard games.

I marvel in both admiration and horror as my son now sits and spends his evening with a head set and portable computer chatting in real-time with friends as he plays computer war games.

While the Folgers Coffee can has been replaced with other technology, I’m not so sure it’s ALL for the better.

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A New Mac

Remember the old Mac SE computer? Remember the constant disc swapping in order to simply launch a program like MS Word? After learning how to compute using a Mac in college back in the ’80s (yes, I am that old), I entered the business world and promptly shifted over to PC computing using the once known as IBM platform. I even labored for Gateway, where there was ready access to all the latest and greatest PCs as they were rolled out in the late ’90s. For the past 10 years, my employers issued to me the standard office Dell portable computer – a new one every 3.2 years (approximately). Hell, I even own a Dell Inspiron 6000 laptop as my home computer. I’m a guy who sticks to what he knows apparently.

But, on July 26, I made a sojourn to St. Paul to purchase a Macbook. It’s the first Mac I’ve ever owned and it’s not even for me. It’s for my teenage daughter whose hand-me-down Gateway portable took a dump of largess proportions. Something with the power cord jack being connected to the motherboard and the repair costing twice what the computer could possibly be worth.

So sitting on my desk (see photo) is a nice shiny white Apple-made computer direct from Cupertino, Calif., (or perhaps China) to replace that archaic Gateway. With luck, this computer will take my daughter through her college years. In fact I know a couple people who are still using Mac portables that are nearing the 10-year-old mark. I’m guessing there are far fewer disc swaps required to make this Macbook run smoothly.

There’s Always A Happy Gnome

After picking up the new computer, my accomplice and I stopped at the Happy Gnome on Selby Avenue in St. Paul for some fine patio dining.

Gnomes are bizarre fantasy creatures and why someone would name a bar/restaurant the Happy Gnome remains anyone’s gnuess. A more appropriate gname might be the “Creepy Gnome.” This particular establishment, though, features a cool menu of items along with some of the standard bar foods. Fortunately, the gnome decor is kept to a minimum.

The bar at the Gnome, offers about a millionty-six different bottles of beer including the very tasty pale ale brewed in Wisconsin called Fatty Bombalatty. A few Fatties and appetizers later, the mosquitos arrived, chasing us off the patio and back to Minneapolis where gno mosquitos exist whatsoever.

Macs. Fatties. Gnomes. Mosquitos. There seems to be a Lord of the Rings episode in here somewhere.

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