Sunday, 20 January 2013

The Kitchen Puter

I'll tell you what's wrong with the world today, shall I? We expect too much. Just one partner is supposed to be able to do everything: DIY and emotional support. Cooking and scaring off burglars.

Just one friend to go out clubbing with till 3am and then help you organise your stamp collection.

Just one of your children to win the 100 metres race and get an A* in Physics A level.

Just one of your employees to do the filing accurately and solder a DC jack into place without hurting themselves..

Bring back that out-moded concept: HORSES FOR COURSES

Not surprisingly, I have a computer angle on this wise insight. And it is this. If you have lots of different things to do on a computer then have lots of different computers.

With that in mind, I want to show you my kitchen puter. It is different to how your kitchen puter would be, because your kitchen life is different to mine. 

As a working single parent I spend a lot of time on my own in the kitchen trying to get on top of the washing-up mountain and cook things that include at least one of the basic food groups. Meanwhile, the twin teenagers lord it up in the other room, spending time with the telly puter (of which more later). And yes! I know! They should be tackling the washing-up mountain! Well sometimes I get them to do it, but it's hard without an on-site lawyer, a degree in Logic and the energy to press the point for 3 hours.

So what I need is a computer that will assuage my resentment and boredom at the drudgery of being a reasonable mother. It needs to entertain me and tell me how to cook things.

One of my more delightful computer discoveries can be seen in the picture. If you plug some crummy old speakers into the green hole in the side of your laptop, suddenly it can be heard above the thrum of the tumble dryer. And the sound is really good.

Assuming you can connect the thing to the internet, housework suddenly becomes fun. Potential fun activities include:

  • Doing embarrassing dancing to Radio 1's Dance Anthems. 
  • Sobbing into the suds listening to radio dramas that you missed because you were downstairs trying to earn a crust. 
  • Listening to just whatever music you fancy by signing up to Spotify. 
  • Catching up with Coronation Street. You might think this would be difficult while drudging because of the need to look. But I've found that long-term fans can follow it perfectly well by just listening. Interestingly, you don't even notice you're not seeing the pictures. The only time you need to look at the screen is to catch the aghast expression that invariably precedes the closing titles.
And - at the same time - you can have the recipe for toad-in-the-hole up in another window. So you can flip to it when you need to. 

I love my Kitchen Puter which is still soldiering on after 6 years of the hardest imaginable life. It is a red Samsung R60 that was bought impulsively from Tesco for £500, in an attempt to demonstrate to my then new boyfriend that I was both rich and crazy.

It has undergone many career changes and has run Vista, Ubuntu, Vista, Ubuntu, Windows 7 and now, in it's glorious dotage, Windows 8.

It has survived being bathed in olive oil, during an ambitious pork belly adventure. I fell over the power cable once and whiplashed it onto the floor and it just carried on, minus a large chunk of it's back plastic.

It lives on demonstrating the central philosophy of

It is not about looks and its not about the gigahertz and the megabytes. It is about what your computer can do for you. 

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