My, how the times have changed. Sending a young family member away to college would seem to be a simple task but it now involves punch lists, high-level logistics training and more computer technology than was used on the initial manned space programs.
My Godson,””AJ,” lives in rural CA in a tiny gold rush berg called Rescue, and later this summer, he’s moving into the honors dorm at California State University Long beach., where he plans to study mechanical engineering.
I've watched my godson become task oriented in the last year-- which is something I suspect will be very important in studying the practical side of mechnical engineering. Aside from his performance modifications to a his Volvo sedan, he decided to build a desktop computer that would be powerful enough to play graphics oriented action games.
AS AJ began specifying components for his desktop-- which will be among the first things I load in my Kia Hamster van, i quickly realized he had assembled a system that would be ideally suited for engineering software.
I asked AJ what he’d like as a high school graduation gift. He took a minute to frame his reply and told mw “a chromebook.”
He wants a Chromebook for classroom note taking and passive information consumption.
Memory bigot that I am, I originally thought he would be better suited with an ultrabook that ran Windows and came with a hard disk drive.
It took me ac ouple of minutes tto realize i was projecting my needs over his request, but ultimately I got AJ what he wanted, A chromebook for less than half the price of an ultrabook.
I spent several hours shopping for this young man’s first portable computer and although there were less expensive systems, I decided to buy a $249 HP portable I was able to test for about 30 minutes in a store.
I chose an an HP 14-x040 chromebook with a 14 inch touch screen, 2gb of memory and an NVIdia tegra processor. because my godson will spend a lot of time looking at its screen I beleive screen size and display clarity are important factors, Fit and Finish were also paramount concerns, and my experience with HP portables helped make me feel very comfortable with my decision. I like the keyboard on the HP 14-040 and although the action could have been crisper,I think AJ will be able to use his chromebook for hours at a time without undue typing fatigue.
The claimed battery life (which is up to eight hours) is a good fit for his first semester classes and most of the lecture halls at California University campuses have AC outlets aplenty.
My godson’s star is hitched to the Long Beach States high speed wireless networks and Google’s family of cloud based applications.All I have left to do is stuff a plastic bag full of USB storage and make sure he has when he moves into his dorm.
At home in REscue AJ has extremely limited WiFi availability but he likes to play bandwidth intensive games, like the current release of Grand Theft Auto. It’s going to be interesting when AJ is exposed to an ultra robust WiFI network,like those used on most college campuses. I don’t think he can bring the networks to their knees, but I’m confident he’ll try. Gee whiz, when I left for college all I needed was my new portable Olympia typewriter, and a handful of Ticonderoga number two pencils. but back then, folk rock music was as new and fresh as my outlook on life.-- jim Forbes on June 5, 2015.