holophrastic writes: So, when I was young, I was the typical "computer guy" on the block. Be in neighbours, friends, family, family-friends, neighbour's friends, or friend's neighbours, I was often called upon to put together some kind of computer setup. Nothing too professional — I was twelve and this was 16 years ago — but something that worked to run a small home business, or a family, or a small start-up company. No one expected very much, and everyone got well more than they expected. And lo the IT industry began.
So now I'm 28, and I want some things done. I'd like my home to benefit from solar/wind energy. I know nothing of such things. I run a successful business and have no time to figure it out. I'd like to know a neighbourhood young-person who dabbles in such things, and give them a few thousand dollars to use my home as a canvas. I find that no such people exist, or I don't know where to find them.
How come "computer nerds" and "grease monkeys" pervail, and maybe a gardner or two, but no other enthusiasm- or passion-based mini-businesses exist from which I can benefit the way that I helped oh so many people in my youth? Everyone knows a "web-guy", how come I don't know a "solar" guy? Or the many other things that I'd love to have done to my life/home/business by a twelve-year-old with enthusiasm?
holophrastic writes: "So my grandparents are now touching a computer for their very first time! (she's 75, he's 85) They've got a nice and creamy-smooth Vista machine to play with. I want to buy them some games, and I'm looking for some suggestions. Ultimately, duplicate bridge online (acbl.org's Bridge Base Online) is keeping them many hours per day. I've got them learning to type with The Typing of the Dead, and they love it, funny as that is. Any other ideas? I'm thinking that it has to be something with a flat interface that they can easily use, since they've never seen anything before — so that rules out FPS, Sierra quest games, and galactic conquest. Most arcade games are going to be too frustrating for them when they forget which sprite is them, and which sprites are the baddies. I'm thinking the incredible machine, myst, and tetris. But I haven't the foggiest as to where to find Vista versions. Any other ideas? (oh yeah, on-board video/audio/nic, core 2 duo, 1.8GHz, 2Gb, vista ultimate, 24" wide)"