My favorite family PC support moment

Almost every good nerd gets the pleasure of being the family’s go-to PC support person and it’s always great fun to sit around and swap amusing stories with fellow nerds.

When I gave my dad his first PC about 8 years ago, the initial support calls were frequent. Almost every visit back east involved some PC cleanup work. On one trip home I had to show my dad how to:

1. Move the Windows task bar back to the bottom of the screen because he’d not only dragged it over to the left, but also locked it so he couldn’t drag it back.
2. Delete the accidental shortcuts to Word he’d created on his desktop because left versus right click and single versus double click hadn’t totally sunk in yet.

After we’d finished he thought he’d pay me a compliment by saying: “it’s such a pleasure to get to see first-hand what you do for a living!”.

I think even a PC support person would take offense at that compliment, but I just had to laugh because to him it’s all just computer work, whether you’re pointing and clicking in Windows, managing a large compute cluster, or proving an algorithm NP-complete.

What’s your favorite family PC support moment?

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4 Responses to My favorite family PC support moment

  1. burkey says:

    How about the time I ran into one of the ladies from engineering rushing out the door. I asked how her new email account was working and she told me fine but she got a letter from the postmaster and she was going to the post office to straighten it out.

  2. Victor Panlilio says:

    “Delete the accidental shortcuts to Word he’d created on his desktop because left versus right click and single versus double click hadn’t totally sunk in yet.”

    And this, my friend, is why all the perennial whining about Apple’s one-button mouse is ridiculous. If something can be done effectively with a single mouse button, why require users to learn how to use two, three, or more? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to clarify whether “click” means left-click or right-click to a Windows user. On a Mac, it’s just “click” and that’s it. Simple. No ambiguity, and less chance for user confusion.

  3. Todd Huss says:

    Victor, I’m sorry but using Mac OSX with a single button mouse is simply not effective for someone doing anything more than surfing the web. I’ve worked around it by using a mighy mouse at work and the two finger tap on the MacBook Pro but I’d rather just have a right click button!

  4. Nathan says:

    Hi Todd,

    Whatever happened to the 41411 GGWIND text message system? It jsut returns a blank message.

    This was the BEST thing ever. Sailing out of sausalito, I never know what sails to put up on our yankee dolphin 24 so the text message was a godsend.

    Any chance you’ll bring it back to life?

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