Shared files can be hazardous to your health. More importantly, to your desktop. You see, my son, Max is 11 and apparently has an incredible aptitude for computers.
Max is a lot like me: logical, methodical, and curious. I'd love to take credit for his brilliance but it's all him...and no doubt, my pregnancy tuna fish cravings that fueled his brain development.
Seriously, though. All my children are brilliant and emotionally intelligent. I'm not biased. Nooooo.
Max wants to know why, how, and when. He's been reading at high school level since 4th grade. Earlier this year, he impressed his music teacher playing the "Colonial Days" song on his recorder. He instructed her on how he reworked the finger placement for transitioning easier between notes and then successfully played the song to her...simultaneously on two recorders, one in each hand. In 3rd grade he attempted to explain to me about the thinatude of the universe due to it's expanding nature and the lasting effect of gravity with centrifugal force. I half expected him to build me a flux-capacitor by now.
We were blessed with a computer a few months back, aptly named "The Kids Computer". I thought it best with the elevated risk of losing 20,000 itunes songs was inevitable with just one malevolent XBox cheat code download.
Simply thinking about it makes my heart palpitate.
I've never showed Max the ins and outs of the computer or software since he is pretty fearless with technology. Last week I downloaded Gimp (open source photo editing software) to their PC and he's already photo shopping like an OK Magazine art director. Still-frame Lego videos are now in the works.
I set up each one of the kids with their own profile on their computer. Their profiles are password protected but since their passwords are openly shared, it was only a matter of time before the fun started and games of "look what I did to your wallpaper" or newly replaced user names of "boogerhead" started gracing the screen.
This is what happens when you have four cherub-faced kids.
My oldest daughter, Jaina is soon to be 14 and takes great delight in teasing her brothers. She's never deliberately mean but when a chance to poke fun is to be had, it's open season at the sibling range. It's a big sister thing, as I'm sure my younger sisters will also attest.
The only rule I made regarding the kids' shared computer was that they couldn't delete someone elses files or do something irreversibly grevious to a siblings profile. I strongly suggested password-protected user profiles be made after Jaina thought it great fun to change Max's wallpaper from his usual fare of video gaming characters or Star Wars scene.
Preschool appropriate wallpaper was not a hit and passwords were quickly changed and kept private.
Today, Max proudly announced from the computer chair that Jaina should be aware he was still going to get his revenge. My ears picked up immediately.
"Jaina, you DO know that I don't need your password to change your wallpaper." He sounded as smug as he was confident.
Jaina's head popped up from her dining room table doodling. Today it's Manga girl drawings. "Nu-uhh. No you can't!"
"Yep, I ca-an," he taunted her condescendingly, "you have shared files."
Jaina looked confused and quickly referred to me, "He can't...can he? What does shared files mean?"
I stiffled a giggle. "I told you not to start something unless you were willing to wage a computer battle." It would be my 11 year old brainiac to outsmart his sister. Never get involved in a land war in Asia and all that.
Titus, my 10 year old, piped up, no doubt shrinking from the memory of My Little Pony people and rainbows that appeared on his desktop, "No, Maxim, don't! Don't even think..."
Maxim interrupted, "Don't worry, Titus. Ours are protected." Naturally, he anticipated all contingencies. This is war.
Jaina stammered in indignation, "No way. Mom said you couldn't erase files!"
"I didn't erase files. But I can keep the image and switch around the name or..." he grinned at her triumphantly, "...hey, I could change the name to the Chinese food delivery guy and you'll never find those files."
Like the wise Vizzini once said, "You fell victim to one of the classic blunders - The most famous of which is "never get involved in a land war in Asia" - but only slightly less well-known is this: "Never go against a Sicilian when death is on the line"!
Vizzini never met our family. If he had he'd undoubtedly would have added, "...and never change your brother's wallpaper to Barney when you have shared files on the line."
~Bee is listening to Kaiser Chiefs, "I Predict A Riot"