December 1, 2015: New Gaming Laptop

Today is Tuesday.  One week until grandpa comes to Texas to visit us.  It is still chilly today.  Dominica was up before me and after getting up Luciana sneaked into our room and crawled into bed and fell asleep with me.  Like yesterday, she was sleeping with a coat on.  She is so goofy.

Francesca came over this morning and brought bagels from Panera Bread.  It was a busy morning in general and a tough one.  The funeral director came over to the condo this morning and that was dealt with.  She turned out to be from Cohocton, New York which is unbelievable.   We did not know any mutual people, she was too much younger to know the few people that I knew from the area.

Around one we went to Kitty’s Seaside Cafe and got lunch before they closed.  We were the only people there the entire time that we were eating.  That was nice, though.  The owners put on cartoons on the television for the girls and they were able to watch that while we ate.  Francesca and Liesl got breakfast.  Dominica, Luciana and I all got shrimp meals.  We all enjoyed our lunches.

Francesca stayed until around four before heading back home.  Dominica and I spent a bit of the evening trying to figure out what to do about the inability to get a Steam Machine.  We have been trying to get one for weeks to no avail.  We desperately need a gaming rig for when we travel and have gone for a year without one now and really know that it will not work well doing that for another year.  If we do not have a gaming machine figured out before we leave for Greece we will be looking at a minimum of six months without one, not including the month that we are here in Texas without one.  Likely it would turn into at least eight months, which would be pretty awful.  All of us love getting to game and Liesl is really, really into it and Luciana is starting to get into it and already there are so many games that we can’t play and the ones that we can play do not play well.  The whole situation is less than ideal and we really want the girls spending their screen time doing things that are interactive rather than passive as much as possible and if we don’t have good gaming options that is just going to be impossible.

We looked at all of the options that we could find and talked about whether we should just make do with something cheaper that is not nearly as powerful as we had been thinking or if we should try to build something ourselves but struggled with how to do that without the device ending up being far too physically large and heavy and being a major problem for travel.  I brought in Mike to discuss the options and he eventually said that we just had no desktop options and that we really needed to just look at gaming laptops.  We were reticent to look at laptops and we did not want more big, fragile laptops to carry around but he talked us into it and the pricing ended up coming out pretty good.

We looked at a lot of options and talked about it for a while and decided that Mike was right and a gaming laptop was what we needed for a lot of reasons – including what if we ended up in a place that did not have a television for us to hook into!  So we finally decided to go with an Asus ROG GL552V 15.6″ unit that Amazon had for $999.  I looked and Fry’s in Webster carried it and they advertise that they do Internet price matching.  So, because we needed to get whatever we were going to use and start getting things set up as soon as possible and tested, I ran up to Webster and Fry’s had what we needed in stock and did not give me any hassle with the price matching even though it was $200 off from their normal price and by around eight I was back on Galveston with our new gaming rig!  We are all pretty excited.

I stopped at Walgreen’s, CVS and Subway on the way home stocking up on milk, holiday scented candles and getting dinner for the family before returning to the condo.

Most of the rest of the evening was spent getting the new laptop set up.  It is a quad core Intel Core i7 CPU, 16GB RAM, 1TB SATA drive, 15.6″ 1080p display, Nvidia GTX960M 2GB GPU with Windows 10.  It has a great keyboard and runs really cool.  It is 5.6 lbs which is pretty good for a gaming rig, we were unable to find anything else this light.  Some of the other laptops were over 10 lbs and there was at least one of the Steam Machine options was going to be 12 lbs!  We know how much every pound counts when we are travelling so getting something light was important even though this was not a particularly thin laptop option.  But Mike had warned us that really thin laptops would suffer from heat dissipation issues and would likely have much shorter lifespans so this seems like it was a good choice.

I spent the evening getting the laptop set up, Steam installed and the first video games downloading.  Our Internet access was terribly slow tonight and we were not able to get any games downloaded to test the system before it was bed time so hopefully we will get to see some games tomorrow.  We are anxious to see how the new system does.

Dominica tried to watch some shows on the Fire TV tonight but with the bad Internet we were unable to get anything to work and had to give up on that.  Some shows would start but we could not get them to keep playing and it was just too frustrating to try to watch things.

Dominica and the girls played a hidden object game on the Fire TV for maybe half an hour but she was tired today and wanted to go to bed early.  I set up the laptop so that it would attempt to download games through the night as well as the 1511 Windows 10 update.  Hopefully we will have some things to see tomorrow.