A new laptop for me is really all about the kids

It's no secret that I want one of the new MacBook Pros. I've blogged about it.
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor

It's no secret that I want one of the new MacBook Pros. I've blogged about it. I promised Santa I'd be a good boy for the rest of my whole entire life if I could have one. I've explained all of the great new features to my glassy-eyed (yet still remarkably gorgeous, just in case she's reading this) wife. I even have my kids convinced that the MBP is a great idea.

Because really, it's not about me. It's about the kids. Well, OK, it's not really about the kids, but at least one of them will benefit directly and, at the same time, shows us a very practical application for 1:1 computing.

See, if I get a new MacBook Pro, my second oldest gets my existing MacBook. It's only about 14 months old and, aside from being a bit dirty, is in great shape. Being a previous-generation MacBook, it's rugged enough to stand up to the ultimate backpack jammer, it's relatively light, and is a really nice size for classroom use. While I wouldn't want to have purchased a new one for him (he's not exactly the emperor of responsibility-land), a gently-used MacBook would be genuinely useful for him.

He struggles no end with organization and his bad handwriting is rivaled only by my own in terms of illegibility. He's high on the autistic spectrum and quite a bit of this is to be expected. I can't be too judgmental myself; anyone who's seen my office would get a good chuckle out of me telling anyone about organization. One place that he and I can both stay organized, though, is on a computer. We both lose notes, pieces of paper, assignments, documents, etc., but it's a lot harder to lose a computer.

For people like him, the computer is a powerful tool for simply keeping track of your stuff. It's also a powerful tool for producing legible documents. The notes he takes are only of so much use if he can't read them. If he can't find them the week before finals, they are utterly useless. Writing in and of itself is a tough process for him; a computer is a completely practical accommodation.

So really, he should take my laptop. Sure, I could buy him an Asus Eee for a lot less than the $2300 it will take to buy me the MacBook Pro I want, but the keyboard could prove problematic for someone with motor coordination issues learning to touch type. I could also buy him an inexpensive laptop, but at the low end of the market, they just lack the ruggedness of the MacBook. His games also run quite handily on my Mac running Vista in Boot Camp; ensuring that the computer meets all of his needs will make him far more likely to use it extensively and take good care of it.

Which leaves me simply having to replace my computer. See, it is all about the kids. And, of course, getting a laptop that's a lot snappier on video processing and editing (did you catch that, sweetheart? The new laptop would let me finally get through editing the family home movies much faster), experiment much more extensively with virtualization (I'm out of space and out of resources to begin testing virtualization scenarios for work and exploring new software and operating systems for this blog), and be prepared to take advantage of new features in Snow Leopard.

It makes sense to me. Now I just need to sell the wife on the idea. Maybe I'll set this blog to her homepage.

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