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Welcome From The Chief Editor

One thing that my eight-year-old son asked for from Santa Claus for Christmas was a computer. When he told his mom, he acknowledged that he knew they were expensive, so he wasn't really sure he would get such an expensive gift from Santa. All he knew is that he wanted it.

The "why" he wanted it is actually quite simple. First of all, he could have his own computer, just like dad's. Second, my son LOVES playing Minecraft. He's a Minecraft fiend. He plays Minecraft on his tablet. He plays a Minecraft-clone game on "his phone" (you know, my old Pixel 3 that I talked about last month).

He was absolutely convinced that the ONLY way for him to play the new Minecraft update, Caves & Cliffs, was to have a computer. We found out that wasn't really the case, but he remained steadfast in his desire for a computer.

He uses a computer at school, and is a lot more proficient with it than I realized. At school, they have the use of Google Chromebooks. Since him getting a computer was so he could play Minecraft Caves & Cliffs, getting him a Chromebook was out of the question. My brief investigation of them showed a lot of frustration on the behalf of numerous Minecrafters getting Minecraft to play on a Chromebook. So asking Santa to bring a Chromebook was pretty much a no-go proposition. It had to be a full-blown computer. And you know that typically means a computer preloaded with Windows 10 or 11. GULP!

Santa gave us a good deal on a Lenovo laptop with an Intel i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 256 GB SSD. Of course, it came preloaded with Windows 10. Now seeing how dad hasn't run Windows (as an administrator, anyway) since Windows Vista came out (that's what pushed me to switch to Linux), I was a bit "out of the loop" on setting it up. You would have laughed if you watched me and mom struggling to activate and tweak the copy of Windows 10 that came on the laptop. We were definitely floundering like a fish out of water.

If I had my druthers, Windows would be wiped and replaced by PCLinuxOS. However, I've not been able to get Minecraft to run reliably on any of my PCLinuxOS computers (and, admittedly, part of the problem may be that I really don't know my way around Minecraft ... I'm not a gamer). I definitely did not want my son to experience the same frustrations, so Windows 10 has remained on the new laptop.

We got Santa's laptop setup for my son ... eventually. One of the first things we had to do was to install Minecraft. Even that wasn't as straightforward as you might expect, since he already had a Minecraft account on his tablet. We wanted to be able to link the accounts. Aye, aye, aye! What a needlessly complicated process!

In the end, Ryan was exceptionally happy when he awoke on Christmas morning and saw that Santa had, indeed, brought him a computer. In the ensuing days, he has spent hours immersed in his Minecraft world. There's little else that beats the happiness and excitement of a child getting what he/she had wanted on Christmas morning.

Until next month, we bid you peace, happiness, serenity, prosperity, and continued good health. Be careful out there!

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