Extreme Digital Makeover

At just 48 years of age, Drew Snodgrass had already become a digital dinosaur. While many of his contemporaries were in Circuit City drooling over 60-inch flat-panel HDTVs and the latest laptops, Drew and his wife, Chris Monty, curled up in front of a trusty 27-inch Sony wedged into a corner of the family room, a mass of wires running to a VCR and DVD player. "It looked like a college dorm," Drew said. "It was a mess." Not that they really cared. While the family used PCs, watched DVDs, and played videogames, they were mostly oblivious to the technological changes happening all around them.

From left, Drew Snodgrass, Chris Monty, and their sons, Max and Zach, enjoy their Dell notebook PCs and Gateway plasma TV.

Routers? Wireless connections? Fugedda-boutit. Drew once tried to hook up a router but couldn't figure it out. This family's idea of a shared connection was to unplug the DSL modem from their main computer and let the kids drag the cable up the stairs to use in their own PCs. When it came to technology, day-to-day life remained tied to the proven tools of the past, like ballpoint pens, film cameras, and a family calendar stuck to their fridge.

But last March all that suddenly changed. That's when the microchip giant Intel came knocking, ready to give the Monty-Snodgrass family an Extreme Digital Makeover. And the results changed their lives.

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