Family and technology

For years, after he was a radar technician for the FAA, Dad was a systems engineer for the air traffic control systems in the western US. Since his retirement, his technical savvy has been somewhat challenged with the new computers...

And since dad is an infamous bargain hunter, his solution to technical frustration is often to head out and buy the cheapest computer he can find to solve the problem, whatever it is. Usually he'll call me a week later:

a. lamenting his purchase because "this one is crazy too"

b. offering me the old computer for one of the kids "because it's probably still good".

 Two years ago, he called me up and asked me why I hadn't warned him about how horrible Vista was. "Dad, you didn't tell me you were going to buy another computer. You didn't buy one with Vista, did you?"

"Yes, and I wish you'd told me not to!"

Now he's having issues with his computer here in Washington (they're in Arizona half the year). Somehow he's installed multiple antivirus softwares without meaning to, and the system has basically ground to a halt. He's decided he wants a laptop and told me he found a really cheap one. I think it's the first time he's told me before one of his purchases! So of course, I told him he had lots of performance options and that laptops should be viewed as more of an investment, it would be ideal taking it back and forth to Arizona.

Finally yesterday he calls me and says he wants me to get him a laptop and he's willing to spend a little more money. Wow. Didn't see that coming! "Well dad, how do you want it configured? What size? How much RAM? Finger print recognition? What operating system?"

"We don't care what operating system it has, as long as we can play the Freecell that Vista has."

"Dad, I'm not really sure that the Freecell game is something you should base an operating system decision on?"

"Well, then we'll have to talk this over and get back to you."

Apparently Freecell is life and death! Either this is going to be the best experience ever for both of us, or I've taken on the challenge of a lifetime!