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Integrating computers into family life…

Integrating computers into family life…

Family Portrait 2This time last year, most of my non-work time was spent alone hunched up with my laptop on the sofa, playing games or doing emails etc.

Tonight, when I get home, my wife will be on our laptop cranking out another 3000 words for her NaNoWriMo project, while I’ll be watching TV and occasionally waiting for her to finish.

In about three months time, we’ll be trying to juggle laptop time (as I have termed it) with WeaponX time. Although, naturally, WeaponX will get the lion’s share of attention.

But since then, I’ve been wondering about how other people transition from being alone with a laptop, to being a couple with a laptop, to being a family with a laptop. Cory Doctorow has an interesting article on how he juggles fatherhood with laptop time – mainly by letting his daughter watch things on the laptop.

This sounds like a straightforward idea, but then at the back of my mind, I can’t shake the feeling that time spent on a laptop is time spent away from my wife or my future family, even if we are physically all together sat on the same sofa… whereas at least if we’re watching TV together, we’re watching TV together.

How do you tackle that dual need between “together time” and “laptop time”?

Why I don't do the dressing up thing…

Why I don't do the dressing up thing…

I have blogged before about why I just don’t go for the geek vogue thing of dressing up as your favourite character.

This picture (grabbed via sentience) is my example of why … although I did also once stumble upon a Chinese guy dressed as one of the Doctors…

Costume con…

Costume con…

A.J. Wu of San Jose goes old school as Sleeping Beauty character Fauna (via the LA Times)

A.J. Wu of San Jose goes old school as "Sleeping Beauty" character Fauna (via the LA Times)

One of the aspects of being a geek celebrating your love of a particular TV show seems to be all about the dressing up – posing as a character from your favourite TV show.

If it works for you then great, but it’s personally struck me as a very uncomfortable thing to do. Mostly because I’m a great believer in being comfortable – and surely it’s a lot easier and more comfortable, if you’re at a convention, to wear simple T-shirts and shorts/trousers rather than wake up dead early, strap on your costume, dye your hair, and wear some incredibly uncomfortable shoes before striking a pose for a couple of hours before succumbing to the utter pain and retreating back to your hotel room?

Then again, I’m the kind of chap who isn’t that comfortable¬†wearing a smart suit to a wedding.

Another main reason is that, well, most of these characters are white and a Chinese person dressed up might just look a bit stupid. I once had to dress up as Al Capone for a stag do, and for the entire evening, everyone thought I was Odd Job from the Goldfinger films. Plus, when was the last time you saw a black woman dressed up as, say Slave Princess Leia, who seems to be a bizarrely popular costume choice?

Then again, judging from the pic on the right, some people are perhaps more sensibly saying “To Hell with it”, and dressing as whoever they want to be.

You won’t see me voluntarily doing it for the joy, though. Well, probably.

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