Monday, June 25, 2007

Computers and Kids: Home-Based Business vs Bionicles

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I was waiting for a long render to end. A 3d landscape was giving me some trouble, and I wanted a closer look at what was happening. A cup of coffee wouldn't be enough this time. I needed to find something to do with the next hour or so, while the software did its work.

That's about as long as I usually spend at an exercise place in town, so I left instructions to leave the computer with one of the kids and left. (Clarification: I don't exercise for an hour. That's how long it takes me to drive there, change, exercise, shower, and return. Not bad, for a guy like me.)

When I got back, the computer was being re-booted.

My son had decided that his program wouldn't cause any problems. I suspect that it was one of those online Bionicle games, but I haven't confirmed that.

He's sharp, and computer-savvy. He's also eleven years old, which leaves him with something less than a mature storehouse of wisdom.

The software I was using seemed to have saved my landscape, which wasn't the option I'd have chosen. In addition to the original problem, it was now decidedly terraced.

I've dealt with the new and degraded landscape. At one point, I noticed that my method of smoothing out the terraces was making the landscape swallow some buildings.

On a positive note, I got a great deal of experience, using features of the 3d modeling software and another graphics program that I hadn't learned about before. At this point, about midnight, I'm waiting for the end of a rendering which will reveal how well my most recent efforts were at salvaging my project.

On the down side, I've got to decide what to do about what the kids can, and can't, do with the computer.

It isn't as easy as forbidding them from using the thing: tempting as that option is. I work at home, and don't have the budget to maintain two sets of hardware. One of the kids relies on word processing software for her writing, and even the mail service we use doesn't seem to work well on the older computer.

I'd like to have a neat solution ready to present at this point, perfectly balancing the needs of my evolving business with my responsibility to prepare our kids for life in the Information Age.

But this blog is a record of how my business develops: and at this point, I don't have the solution. Maybe tomorrow.

The rendering I was waiting for should be ready soon. I'd better see how it looks.

No comments:

("Following" list moved here, after Blogger changed formats)

Small Business Watchers