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Tuesday, July 23, 2024


Author: Mark Dixon
Friday, December 30, 2005
3:37 pm

My Mother and Dad live in Idaho; I live in Arizona. This week their old computer, which ran Windows 95, bit the dust, so they bought a new one from the nearby Best Buy store. I’ve spent several hours on the telephone talking them through the process of getting it to work and getting on line. They don’t own a cell phone and still use dialup access, so I’d have to give some advice, hang up and have them try some stuff, and then get back on the phone to try something else.

Mom can use a word processor pretty well, can barely use email, and tries to surf the web once in a while. But her knowledge of computers is no where near intuitive. She has had to made the conversion from Windows 95 to Windows XP, from an old version of Outlook to Outlook Express, and also use a new ISP. Arrrrggggh!

Back in the 1920’s, if you bought a car, it was assumed that you knew enough about cars to be your own mechanic. I think we are still in the 1920’s mode with computers. We are still a long way from a non-technical person being able to buy a computer, plug it in and be productive.

My Dad aptly labels this “Technostress.”

By the way, they still aren’t on line. I’ll report back when it works.



One Response to “Technostress!”

    I have a suggestion for you that might help you.
    You can either use Remote Desktop Connection(rdesktop), or VNC, to remotely configure the system. So, walk them through setting up the modem to answer, then have your system dial them up and you configure the dialup yourself. Then hang up and have them try it.
    Alternatively, have them find the nearest 14-year-old and pay him $25 🙂
    There are VNC and RDC (called rdesktop) clients for Solaris .
    Final answer if these 2 options don’t work: buy a dialup-capable DSL router, configure and test on your end, then send it to them. They can plug in the device and XP knows how to talk DHCP over ethernet well enough…

    Comment by PatrickG on December 30, 2005 at 7:36 pm

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