A lighter look at life

The fixer

Enough of all the serious stuff. It’s time for a break and a quick look at the lighter side of life. This time it’s not children but parents: specifically, parents and computers. I’ve even had to create a new tag, “parents”, specifically for this post. 🙂

There are some things that you need to know about my Mum – she is very politically aware (I must have inherited it from her) and gets extremely aerated about the news. There was a time when I would get daily phone calls from her: “Anne, you must write a letter to the Jerusalem Post for me”. Eventually my father and I taught her to write her own letters, and we found we’d created a monster. So did the JPost. But that’s a story for another time…

UPDATE: We need to add the Wall Street Journal to Mum’s targets for letter writing. Dear WSJ,  please take this as an official warning: you are about to be bombarded by “Outraged, Petach Tikva”. 🙂

We now reach the happy news that my father has bought my mother an iPad for her birthday. My son, Dovi of my blog-banner fame, is something of an expert in operating iPhones, Macs and iPads (shameless plugging of son’s abilities here), so he popped round yesterday afternoon to give a “short” lesson (which turned into 3 hours) in how to operate the new iPad. He created a new email address for my Mum, listed her favourites, inserted photos of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren (not to mention a couple of grand-cats too), and she was set to go.

Despite a small glitch with the charger of the iPad (sorted out by the shop after a visit from my annoyed Dad) all seemed to be working well. Mum has bombarded the family with emails announcing her entry to the 21st century, and I suppose we really ought to give due notice to the JPost that the “monster” has gone digital.

This evening Mum phoned with a problem with her email. She couldn’t find her inbox, or couldn’t find the emails which had landed in her inbox.

Our conversation went something like this:

Mum: “My email isn’t working properly”.

Me: “What’s happened?”

Mum: “I don’t know if my email was sent, and I can’t remember where to find my email program”.

Me: “Where are you standing at the moment?” (meaning – where is your cursor? What program are you in?)

Mum: “I’m in the kitchen…”

Stunned silence, followed by howls of laughter from my father and me. My Mum did have the good grace to join in the laughter after she got the “joke”.

This graphic will probably be of use to most older computer users – and many younger ones too:

How to become a computer expert

The story reminds me of a similar technical misunderstanding, although this time my Mum was on the right side of the techy stuff. She works as a volunteer in the gift shop of our local children’s hospital. One day, on arriving at the shop, she saw one of the other volunteers on the phone with the help desk since the electronic till was giving them trouble.

Help Desk: “What is the problem?”

Volunteer: “The till isn’t reacting”.

Help Desk: “Try moving the mouse up the screen”.

Volunteer: Picks up mouse, physically lifts the mouse in the air and places it on top of the screen.

Mum: Comes to the rescue, takes over from the volunteer, fixes problem with till.

Join in the fun. Tell us your funny computer stories, whether they involve the older generation or the youngsters.

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4 Responses to A lighter look at life

  1. Mr-Anderson says:

    i went to an older couple that bought their very first computer (ater 60 years or so…).

    so i taught them where’s the power button, where’s the keyboard, the screen and so on.

    “allright then, the computer is on and we have officially entered the operating system – the main software that run the computer. please meet the “start” button, click it.”

    so they reach out hands, pointing at the screen, touching it in order to physically press the start button…….

    unfortunately, apple didn’t sale in those days the iPad, so that didn’t work for them for “some reason”…. 🙂

    hope you enjoyed my little story 🙂
    Dovi, home tech-supporter 🙂

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your funny story :-). My mum just had another “senior moment”. I talking to her on her mobile phone, and as she was getting out of the car I heard her say to Dad “Where’s my phone?”. I called down the phone “You’re talking to me on it!”.

      Huge laughs all round once again! 😀

  2. reality says:

    well when I first started on the computer my husband was in miluim(army service) & my 5 year old(at the time) daughter was in the bath calling out instructions: press the button on the side (to turn it on) I yelled the screen is blue ,what have you done? & she clambered outta the bath to help , went back in & this continued on & off for about 10 minutes when the water had gone cold & I gave up! Eventually I went to a course for computer phobic idiots!
    Meanwhile a few years later when my youngest who was then about 2 & half learned to dial up the internet(remember those days?) himself at 5 or 6 am! & my husband came running in after we heard him say Abba what do I do! & before we could stop him he clicked on something (to this day we don’t know what or how he got into the inner workings of the computer & nor does the technician!) but he totally wiped out the hard disk! 1500 shekel later the technician said you’ve got a Bill Gates in the making! Great , but meanwhile it cost a fortune!

  3. Brian Goldfarb says:

    My wife and I are both retired, but we had been using computers at work for somewhere between a decade and a half and two decades. This means we have managed to work out most of the minor issues – and indeed follow the flow-chart you drew. I even managed, just before coming to this website tonight, to print off a document she wanted but couldn’t, and she does me like favours.

    However, the best thing we did was, when our previous desktop started showing its age, was to replace it with an Apple Mac. This means that Apple can’t insist it’s a software problem and shuffle us off to Microsoft, nor can they blame the hardware. It cost significantly more than an MS machine, but the reduction of “what have I done now, and where the phone number for the helpline” anxiety trips is most welcome.

    This doesn’t mean that the nearest daughter/son-in-law (who also have Apple Macs) are never called into play!

    Nice story, though, and the ouch factor wasn’t too high.

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