Make no mistake–people come first in this household, followed not too terribly far behind by puppy dogs.  But the family computer exerts some character of its own as a medium of interpersonal connection and social networking (for ex, could my wife and daughter live without Facebook?), as well as an indispensable tool for staying connected to work, both for me as an educational administrator  and teacher and Ann as a student.  So yes, the family computer does rate some “personhood”  in the mix.  payton-on-the-imac

The viable life expectancy of these electronic critters, I’ve concluded, is about four years or so.  After four years, the software doesn’t keep up with the latest technologies and the machine is more prone to mechanical failure.   

So, on Christmas day, after my daughter hooked her new iPod Nano up to the old Mac and found that the version of iTunes on the old computer would not work with her new toy (and the operating system would not support the latest iTunes), and after this past semester when I couldn’t open students’ papers produced in Word ’07 because of similar out-of-date software limitations, I did what I had to do.  I went online to the Apple store and ordered the latest iMac.  It came several last week and we’ve all been tickled with the improved features: the impressive 20 inch flat screen, the built-in iCamera, the latest version of the traditional Mac applications, etc etc.  

I think getting a new computer is comparable to getting a new car!