The Cobbler's Children (Or Spouse)!

I wouldn’t be where I am in life without my lovely and beautiful wife, Monica. Shortly after we were married in 2000, I bought her a low-end laptop (Compaq Presario 1200T) to use when she lost her job. It originally shipped with a Celeron (533MHz, I think), 6gb HDD and 128mb RAM.

Over the years, I’ve upgraded it to keep pace. 384mb RAM, 12gb HDD, XP Pro, external CD-RW, WiFi card, etc. Naturally, she started to demand more from that machine, like iTunes, CD burning and the like. It was becoming clear to the both of us the poor old machine was showing its age, despite the upgrades.

Here is the pattern that emerged. She would sheepishly tell me it locked up when she was doing something (usually before we fell asleep), and then wince when I got up and started troubleshooting. Call me Mr. Type A. I’d manage to stabilize it, tell her how to avoid the avoidable lockups, and she’d be fine for several weeks. Then she’d run into a problem again, and back to square one. When Christmas came, she had a bunch of Holiday projects she wanted to do with it. That accelerated things a bit.

Even after telling her she had outgrown the PC, she balked at abandoning it. I think she had a sentimental attachment or something. After much consternation and convincing, she’s decided she does indeed need a new computer.

So we talked about all the options. She loved her friend’s 12-inch PowerBook G4, but has been a Windows user all her life. Portability wasn’t really a requirement, but compactness and (relative) power were. I recommended an iMac G5, which would look great on her antique white desk and take up minimal space. The choices of all-in-one PCs on the market were scant. Sony has some nice ones, but they were pretty pricey.

Ultimately, she opted against a Mac, thinking she’d struggle with the new OS, despite having me to lean on. I think what we’ll get is a Dell Dimension 4700C (Small Form Factor) with a 17-inch LCD. If we put the CPU behind the LCD or on the floor, it should work well.

I’m curious to know what kind of spousal or family PC upgrade stories you all have.