At my age, having fun is an important part of my life. Living in Panama prevents me from having many memorable fun experiences with my grandchildren. I would like to think that when I am gone that there will be a few, “I will never forget what my grandpa did when he…” moments.
I have tried to create one of these experiences for one of my grandsons today. After setting up the situation, and writing him an email, I decided to share it with you.
It has been one of the lighter moments of this week.
My email to my grandson Noah follows:
I never got a response from my last email, when I asked you to take time and watch the 2014 Apple Keynote address. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w87fOAG8fjk
I am not one to wait until the last moment to do something and I am going to try to raise your technology awareness before you graduate. If I provide a graduation gift costing over $1,000, I want to understand how the money is being spent.
I know you have mentioned to me, to your mom and to others, that you do not want an Apple laptop. I know you are a very intelligent person, but I doubt that your statements are really based anything other than emotions. Kind of “Don’t confuse me with facts, because my mind is made up” thinking. I may be wrong.
Don’t misunderstand me. You can make your own decision, but I want it to be an informed decision.
Now your graduation is still about a year off and technology will change between now and then. However, what you should learn, while doing this exercise, will assist you in making the decision in 2015.
Here is what I am going to require you to do in order to make a more informed decision. It may be that you want something other than a laptop for graduation. If you do, I will simply give you $1,000. However, I am still going to require the same thing for you to receive the $1,000.
Here is the deal. In today’s world, you have to be technology proficient to get by. I don’t care what your chosen profession will be. To do a good job you have to be able to use technology and use it well. To graduate from College will require technology competence. Those, that are technology illiterate, are going to fail or at minimum never reach their potential.
In order for you to get up to speed, so you can make some intelligent decisions, here is what I am going to require. Consider this a term paper to receive a graduation present. The deadline is June 1, 2015. You get to decide how to present the information. I will evaluate it and possibly ask for missing information, if required for me to make my decision.
The topic is “Choosing a Laptop for College”.
The topic may sound simple, but it isn’t. Technology is entering more devices everyday. Apple will most likely deliver a smart watch later this year. Other manufacturers have already come out with “Smart” watches, but I expect Apple’s to be the equivalent of wearing a health monitor. As with all of Apple’s devices, it will talk to all other Apple products, one of which will be the Apple laptop.
The point is that a laptop is no longer a standalone device.
So here are the things I want you to consider and include in your discussion.
- Will the laptop be used for note taking in class. If so, how long should the battery last before recharging?
- Will you be using a different technology product in class and transferring class notes or recordings to a laptop or desktop later?
- Will you be using a smart phone and want contacts, notes, reminders, etc. constantly synced? How will that be accomplished using the technology you choose?
- What are the specific applications that you consider necessary for college and why.
- What do you know about Scrivener? “I know nothing” is not an acceptable answer.
- What OS (Operation System) do you want? I.E. Apple OSX, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Home Version, Microsoft Windows 8.1 Professional, etc. Realize this will have to be based on the systems available in 2015, so these are merely examples.
- How much memory will be required? 2GB, 4GB, 8GB or more. Why did you chose this amount?
- How much permanent disk storage will you need? 128GB, 256GB, 512GB or more? Why did you chose that amount?
- Should it be spinning media or solid state? Why?
- Why is a data backup plan important? What is your plan?
- Laptops get stolen (Talk to your cousin Chaz). How are you going to protect it?
- How are you going to protect the data on the laptop if the laptop is stolen?
Lastly, I will give you extra credit if you identify other important considerations that I have omitted, such as Internet security.
Based on your submitted term paper, you will receive one of the following.
- A laptop, based on your specification, however, not limited to your specification.
- $1,000, if a laptop is not wanted.
If no term paper is received by June 1, 2015, then I will send you a $250 check and congratulations for graduating. I suggest you set a reminder for this term paper in your current smart phone. I have set a reminder to email you one week before the term paper due date.
If you remember nothing else about this grandfather, maybe you will remember this exercise.