An hour. An hour of life I will never get back. What was I doing for that hour? Being tech support for my 81 year old mother and 82 year old father. Too early in the day to start drinking. Or is it?
Yesterday, my mother’s email stopped working. The way she described it this morning, “Nothing is working!”.
Well that narrows it down.
So I tried, via phone, to figure out if “nothing” was just email, the internet connection, or whether it was simply her addled Trump-supporting brain that was not working.
The software I used previously to see their computer screen went out of business, so it no longer works. So, I needed to see their screen another way.
I decided to use my screen sharing meeting software. I’ll just send them a link they can click and we will be in business.
Except, they are not getting email. So they can not receive an email with a link to just click on.
My father is only slightly more adept at the computer than my mother, so I opted to wait till he got home after I asked my mother to open a browser to which she said, “what’s a browser?”. Then cursed “the god-damned computer!”
Dad finally got home. We confirmed that the internet was working, but my mother’s email was not. I still needed to see their screen to diagnose the issue. So, I was trying to figure out how to get a lengthy URL to my father.
He said, “I got your invite on my phone!”.
Not going to help us.
“I got it on my tablet”.
Not going to help us.
So I decided to make a web page that contained the link on my website. Then he would have a much simpler link to click on.
After creating the link, I had my dad open his browser, Safari. His default screen is Yahoo. Yes, people still use that. I asked him to go to the top of the screen and type in the URL. I read it slowly and could hear him hunting and pecking. I had him read what he entered back to me. He had entered it perfectly. I asked him to hit Return on his keyboard.
Then told him where on his keyboard Return was.
He then described what he saw on his screen. It was NOT the page I created with the link. It was a bunch of different stuff.
How could this simple task go so wrong?
Then I realized. My dad did not type the URL in Safari as I had asked, he typed it into the Yahoo search bar. So had to call up Yahoo then describe to him exactly where to type the URL.
“Do you see the Yahoo logo?”
“To the right of that is a field with a magnifying glass”
“Yes, that’s where I typed in what you told me”
“Okay, now look ABOVE that, smaller you should see yahoo.com”
“I see it”
“Click on that area and start typing the URL”
“I click on that and then it starts typing in the search area next to the Yahoo logo”
“Okay, go to any page on the web. Try amazon” (I made a bookmark for Amazon after another alcohol soaked tech call in the past)
“Now go to the area at the top and type in the URL”
Success! By that I mean he was finally at the page containing the link I wanted him to click. Success with the elderly is marked in baby steps or old fart shuffles.
He clicked on the link.
The program needed to share the screen started downloading.
Next, directing him to the download folder. Then installing the app.
Finally, he had the app installed. I told him to click the Share button at the bottom. He did. I and boom! I can see his screen.
Directed him to his email.
Next to the Inbox is the Mac symbol you see when you have lost the mail connection. A circle with a tilda in the middle.
I asked my dad to click that.
Whalla! All the emails now came in. My mom received 58 emails most of which confirmed her belief that Democrats are ruining the world and that the sun shines out Trump’s ass.
And me? Well, I am out of alcohol.