View Full Version : I'll be doing something really really dumb tonight

05-16-2003, 12:05 PM
I'll be trying to explain to my father, the techno-impaired, how to access some pictures I've uploaded to Yahoo!

I will be attempting to do this over the phone.

Pray for my soul. Better yet, pray for my inheritance.

05-16-2003, 12:10 PM
Oh, poor Otto

You have my condolences.

I can't even get my dad to remember that you get on the internet by clicking the Internet Explorer icon, and type the address you want to go to in the address bar.

The Great Unwashed
05-16-2003, 12:42 PM
Oh Christ, Otto.

Wouldn't it be simpler just to fake your own death?

"Mum, did you do anything that might have caused this?"
"No, I don't think so, I was just tidying up and I looked at some files, but they were just full of squiggles so I deleted them"

05-16-2003, 01:19 PM
Even better, pray for a remote access program.

Why tell him, when you can show him?

The Great Unwashed
05-16-2003, 01:29 PM
Petter a remote access program? Wouldn't that involve Otto installing software on his father's machine? Remotely?

Do you know that if you put a little woollen hat on it, a snowball can last quite a long time in hell?

Death-faking vs Remote-installation: No Contest

05-16-2003, 01:30 PM
Oh my prayers are with you!

My mom just called me complaining about "her pointy thing is now this slowly turning hour-glass" and has been ever since my 12 year old neice was there.

My darling neice thinks its fun to change one small thing, like a cursor, and see how long it takes till Grammy goes psycho. Guess who I'm going to be calling after school??

05-16-2003, 01:32 PM
Oog. I've done far too much of that sort of stuff. (though I always got paid for it) The problem with doing it for relatives is you feel bad when you inevitably start to subtly mock them.

"Click on the Netscape icon...no, the Netscape icon, it's the one that's cryptically labelled Netscape."

I refuse to work on my relatives' computers. I haven't told them that they're just the sort of users I hated from work.

05-16-2003, 01:36 PM
The Great Unwashed: I was thinking of installing the access software remotely as well. I've done it a number of times with great success.

Of course it all depends on the OS, connection type and the distance to Venus, but dammit, a man's soul is at stake here!

05-16-2003, 02:11 PM
i found it funny observing how my mother started using email. Her behavior reminded me how awful / stupid i looked.

I tried to show...but my temper was not kind:s i let others teach her...:D
The embarrasing part now that she knows a few things that i don't. And when i ask...well...i never thought i could see the process of gloating begin from scratch right before my eyes! :\

05-16-2003, 03:01 PM
Yeah, I don't know what the hell I was thinking. I uploaded the pix (the boyfriend pix I linked to a thread around these parts a few days ago) and emailed a bunch of people the link. He emails back: "I downloaded the file but then it said there was no file downloaded and I can't find the file." File? What file?!? So I emailed him back with explicit directions. He emails "Dumb me, I still can't figure it out." I emailed back "I'll call you tonight and talk you through it." The second I hit SEND was when I realized my grave, grave error.

Arden Ranger
05-16-2003, 03:33 PM
I'll light a candle for you, Otto.

05-16-2003, 03:57 PM
May I suggest Silicon Pines (http://www.burstnet.com/cgi-bin/ads/ad9519a.cgi/3196/RETURN-CODE) as a possible solution to your troubles?

05-16-2003, 04:29 PM
I used to work at EA/Maxis tech support. Just remember that no matter how tech-impaired your father is, there are a hundred Sims customers who are worse, and argue when you try to tell them anything.

Siddhartha Vicious
05-16-2003, 06:38 PM
I pity you.

I remember when my dad first got a computer, and I tried to explain things to him over the phone. It was a nightmare. He was afraid that he'd ruin the machine by pressing the wrong sequence of keys or by clicking on the wrong thing.

When I was there in person to help him, he wouldn't let me touch his computer, insisting that I'd screw something up. Apparently, his computer was a very delicate instrument that wouldn't take kindly to someone, you know, using it.

Pop-up ads terrified them. He thought they were all viruses.

He has gotten better, though. Now he's scanning and sending and uploading and downloading porn like a pro.

05-16-2003, 10:12 PM
My parents are still trying to figure out this "double click" thing.

05-16-2003, 10:25 PM
Otto: So, dad - In order for you to access my photos, you need to log on to Yahoo.

Otto's dad: Whathoo?

Otto: Yahoo, dad.

Otto's dad: Isn't that a drink?

Otto: No, dad, that's Yoohoo. Type 'Yahoo.com' in your url bar.

Ottos dad: I haven't set foot in a bar since you were born, son. You know how your mom hates it when I drink.

Otto: Gotta go, dad. I'll mail you the photos.

05-16-2003, 11:06 PM
Oh, that's the worst.

My dear old dad is the same. He has no concept of what his machine is doing at any given moment; questions like "what application/program are you running?" are meaningless to him. He doesn't know what Internet Explorer is; he doesn't know what Outlook Express is; he is clueless when you say things like "quit the program you're in" or "close the window".

I'll ask him to describe his screen to me, and he'll say something like "At the top, it says 'Straight Dope Message Board - I'll be doing something really really dumb tonight', and then it says File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools, Help, and then it says Back, and then there's a little arrow ......" --- the concept of a window in IE displaying a webpage is entirely alien to him. He has no earthly idea what's going on. He's had a computer for about 3 years now.

Now he wants to hire me to construct a webpage for him. I'm thinking of chopping off my fingers. :D

Emperor Penguin
05-17-2003, 12:44 AM
I'm the tech guy for my family too. Which doubly sucks because my Dad's office is in the basement. I love my parents to death, but I can't teach them computers. I blame it on myself. I can teach kids and keep my cool, and I can teach fellow students, and remain calm. My parents? No go. But I still try my best to help them. Mostly because my mom can lay on a guilt trip like nobody's business.

Anyway, the worst was when I spent five minutes explaining the concept of a left click and a right click on the mouse. My mom just couldn't grasp it. A sample of the conversation:

ME: Okay, just right click here...
MOM: Which one is that?
ME: The button on the right.
MOM: This one?
ME: No, that button is on the left. The other one.
**clicks right button**
ME: Okay left click here. No that is the wrong button, you want the one on the left.
MOM: Which one is that ?
ME: [deadpan] The one on the left that you are not clicking.
**repeat for another minute**

Don't get me wrong, I love my parents, but some times.... Of course, I just know that they have numerous stories of me behaving the same way. :) Learning how to do laundry properly* was interesting.

*In other words cramming everything in at once, with the aid of brooms, hockey sticks, and other what not, followed by several cups of laundry soap is wrong. Who knew?

05-17-2003, 11:01 AM
Well, it didn't go as badly as I thought. He had a little trouble grasping the concept of hyperlinks. No, I didn't call them hyperlinks. I called them "the letters and numbers that are blue and may be underlined." He only has the dial-up connection (he's on AOL, god love him) so he couldn't actually follow my directions as I gave them, but he wrote everything down.

In this morning's email, a message from Dad: "the original email with the pictures is gone, can you send it again?" So I sent it again but if I hear anything else I'm emailing the pictures directly and making him endure the big downloads.