More Computers

Downs

  • My new nameless work laptop hates me. Today, it refused to open attachments and then crashed two times when I exited a VNC session.

Ups

I finally ordered my kitchen computer. I’ve been thinking about buying a computer for the kitchen for years. Currently, I use my laptop which works ok but takes up counter space. In December, I noticed that my expenditure allocation was ridiculously healthy due to me not being able to get away from Calvin long enough to spend any money (well, except on Calvin things). I decided to use the accrued money to buy a kitchen computer. However, it took me a long time to figure out exactly what I wanted. I had several requirements:

  • Not too expensive. This computer will be used primarily for online recipes, online TV, movies and possibly my nutrition software. For such limited types of use, I didn’t think it made sense to spend too much money on it. While I would likely get a better tv/movie viewing experience with better equipment, this is only for entertainment while I’m working in the kitchen so my attention will be distracted anyway.
  • Because I might use it with my nutrition software, it needs to be Windows based.
  • An all-in-one style. I don’t have room in my kitchen to attach even a mini-size computer. Plus, I didn’t want there to be cords hanging out everywhere. This intrigued me but I was worried about problems viewing it from various angles.
  • A wireless keyboard with integrated trackball to minimize clutter. I love touch pads but they don’t work well with damp hands. I did briefly consider a touch screen computer but decided it would probably have similar problems to what I currently have with my touch pad.
  • Somehow to keep it out of the way. Originally, I wanted to flip it under the cabinet when it wasn’t in use. However, after measuring my cabinets, I realized that would make for a very small computer. So, I decided I would try a wall mount where the computer could hug the wall when not in use and could swivel enough for me to see from any area in the kitchen.

Eventually, I decided on the most basic version of the Dell Vostro All-in-One (and I ended up getting a refurbished one) with a keyboard designed for a media center and a wall mount. One of the main reasons I settled on the Dell all-in-one is it is one of the few computers I found that claimed to be VESA mountable. I almost went with a MSI Wind Top instead because I like the flexibility of being able to use it as a monitor later on. However, I couldn’t really justify the price difference.

One of my current concerns is how to protect the monitor when I’m cooking. There are various screen protectors available but they all seem to get really bad reviews. Plus, some of them double as privacy filters which wouldn’t work for my situation. For now, I’m going to try saran wrap on the monitor itself (obviously not blocking any vents). I’m not convinced this is a good idea but I think it’s worth a try to see what happens. If nothing else, I can always buy something later. I also suspect that if I actually want to use the computer for video/sound, I’ll need to get external speakers. However, I’m going to wait and double check the sound first before evaluating what type of speakers I need.

Calvin Moment

  • A couple of days ago Calvin decided he needed to feed me. He was attempting to eat cheerios for breakfast and I leaned forward to say something to him. He looked at me and then picked up a cheerio and put it in my mouth. He was delighted with this and so did it a couple of more times. Then, in the evening when he was practicing eating applesauce with a spoon, he fed me applesauce with his spoon. Ironically, I think he feeds me better than he can feed himself.

Simplification

  • Didn’t do anything today.

Food Diary

  • Breakfast – 1 packs of Instant Flavored Oatmeal (I discovered a stash in our basement that needs to be eating ASAP
  • Morning Snack – 3 mini Scones
  • Lunch – 1 toasted cheese sandwich
  • Snack – Kiwi and 2 Triscuits
  • Supper – Creamy Dal over Brown Rice, Spinach, and Garlic Bread
  • Evening Treat – 2 dark chocolate pieces

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