Today's Comments Highlights: Tonermas, Tablets, And Blackjack

Today in our comments section, parents and non-parents alike had a thoughtful discussion about the prospect of a low-cost tablet designed just for kids offered by Toys ‘R’ Us. Commenters also shared their most precious memories of childhood National HP Toner Month celebrations, reminding us all that even people who grew up in laser and inkjet households have something in common.

Kabusted went over the specs of the proposed Toys ‘R’ Us tablet and found them wanting, noting that the most ideal tablet for little ones would be entirely smashproof. Possibly encased in bricks. And bubble wrap.

7-inch capacitive touchscreen with 800 x 480 pixels resolution
1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 CPU
1 GB of RAM
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n radio
micro USB
Lithium Polymer battery supposedly capable of going for up to 10 hours of “normal use” between charges.
4 GB of on-board storage
microSD support for expanding the memory with an additional 32 GB
1.7 lbs
2 inches thick

… and is supposedly nothing more than an Archos tablet in different colors, but $20 more. Still, capacative vs. resistive… might be worth the extra $20.

Nonetheless, I bet it still doesn’t hold up to a direct hit on the display, so unless there is some sort of curtain-climbing, ankle-biting, crumb snatching, rug rat protection on it, I expect it to be just as broken as any other parents’ Nook/Color, Kindle or i-Device snatched up by their evil spawn. It’s just that $160 is easier to swallow than $500 for an iPad.

My 2 year old, El Destructo, runs up to my wife’s CM Nook and and grabs it while still running, and its amazing how he sees an opportunity and believes that a “run-by” will net him what he wants. I see it fly across the room time and time again because his slime covered hands can’t grip the case. Luckily, we have a very good case on it, and my wife always remembers to close it when she’s not using it… until she doesn’t. I would suspect that if anyone makes a case for this that the tablet will look like a College Ed. Anatomy and Physiology book.

Quake ‘n’ Shake had a money-saving idea as well as pointing out the true danger in letting your kids borrow your fragile gadgets.

A cheaper idea is to give your kid your old smartphone when you upgrade. That’s what I did. I loaded videos on the old phone, while deleting email and Facebook accounts. Problem solved. So when my son asks to play with “Daddy’s phone,” the answer is always a firm, “No. You play with your phone.”

Anyway, the real danger with letting your kid play with your phone is not ketchup smudges, it’s having your icons rearranged. That’s annoying.

Readers shared their own warm childhood memories of printer-related holidays in our post on HP’s National Toner Month.

Quirk Sugarplum

I remember how me and the other kids in the old neighborhood would gather around on HPaunukkah and spin the toner for gelt and original UPC labels. Oh, the fun we had!


We only had inkjets at our house growing up. I felt so left out as a kid. What with all the “Happy Toner” here and “Happy Toner” there it was so alienating. Then when the cashier says “Happy Printer Month” other people declare a “War” on Toner Month. I am married with my own children now and we celebrate Toner Month with one set of grandparents and Inkjet Week with the others. It’s all so confusing for them. But we still like to sit around and listen to the stories of our ancestors in the days of dot matrix printers with ribbons.


I remember the year some mean older kids told me Tonerclaus wasn’t real. I still listened for the sound of the be-sooted elf shaking new toner cartridges on Tonermas Eve, but I couldn’t ignore the knowledge that it was my parents who left those boxes and puffy plastic bags lying around for me to find. I couldn’t even bring myself to load my old cartidges into the boxes for recycling on Tonermas morning.

And the one-liner of the day, from golddog:

You’re only supposed to double-down on 11 in Blackjack, not terrorist attacks where thousands died.

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