Sending Your Kid’s Computer To College, Part 2

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After I wrote the original article “Sending Your Kid’s Computer Off to College,” I found, as usually happens when planning for the ahead, year, that there were a few things bumps along the way.

The first issue was that the eldest daughter found she had too many files to back-up to qualify for the free Mozy.com or Dropbox online backups. (She reported she has over 4,000 songs stored on her computer.) In the meantime, I was contacted by IDrive. This online back-up service offers a 50 percent discount for students and educators. Up to 150 GB will cost a regular IDrive user $49.95 per year but with the student discount, it’s half of that.

Mozy Home offers 150 GB for $9.99 a month, almost $120 per year. Dropbox charges $19.99 a month, almost $240 per year.

The value on IDrive seemed excellent, so I asked for a free trial. My daughter downloaded it and reports that the software was easy to use and worked very well. She estimates she’s only using 22 percent of the available storage right now, despite her music and photo files.

IDrive also has apps that makes your files available on iPhones and Android devices.

The next missing item turned out to be an extremely simple oversight: a lock.

I hadn’t bought a locker padlock for years as they were built in at all the local schools. The daughter asked for one to lock up her valuables at college. Smart idea.

I was leery of trying a regular combination lock because, in the past, I’ve either forget the lock combination or lose the paper I’ve written it on. I’m sure somewhere in my college locker is a perfectly good lock that’s completely useless because the combination is a mystery.

My daughter is no better at memorizing number combinations than I am, so after receiving a free sample of a Word Lock we decided it was the perfect solution. It unlocks the same as the numerical lock but the dial is in letters, not numbers, and the combination is a familiar three-letter word or anagram, making it easy to remember. (The downside would be that it’s also probably easier to pick the lock as there are only so many three letter combinations. But a person would have to be a persistent thief to try them all out. )

The last item is one I was offered by a public relations company: the RageGage Smash Pad.

And I wasn’t thinking of this one for her. I was thinking of this one for me.

With four kids, regular school planning and college planning, not to mention a last-minute hurricane, my frustration levels were a just a little bit on the high side.

It turns out hitting something full of annoying sayings bleeds out the frustration nicely.

If you don’t like the pre-loaded sayings on the Rage Gage, you can plug it into a USB port and program it yourself. Now all I need is a device I can carry around that will say “Because I said so,” “I’m your mother, that’s why,” and “what part of ‘no’ don’t you understand?” for every time my kids say “But Mom!”

Is the Rage Gage worth $19.99? My answer depends on how stressful the day has been. At the moment, it’s a clear “yes.”

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