Sep 072010

Dad called me a little after 2 today.

Bo:  “Hey, I’m in a meeting.  Can I call you right back?”

Dad:  “Yeah.  I’m in trouble.  Not physically.  Computer.”

Bo:  “OK.  Call you in a minute.”

Oh, did he ever sound whipped.

Dad is so much better at this than he used to be.  In nearly all cases, he is an absolute paragon of patience and perspective.  After he suffered through the usual stupid period that most teenagers’ parents suffer through—heh—I quickly learned that mimicking his behavior in any sort of crisis is almost always a good idea.  He only worries when something’s worth worrying about.  (I last saw him worried in 2000, and that was the first time since 1993.)

But wow, he didn’t take to this whole life-on-a-Windows-box thing at first.  I’m his front-line support, and I’m glad to do it, because he’s certainly done plenty for me over the years, you know?  The way it went for the first year or so is that 1) he’d wait until he was viscerally pissed to call me; 2) he’d somewhat begrudgingly work through 50% of the solution with me, then gradually less patiently work through the next 35-40%; and 3) he’d say fuck it with 10% to go, and I’d have to plead with him to finish.

Happy times.

Of course he’s picked up a lot just poking around day in and day out, so I don’t hear about his computer nearly as much anymore.  He does a lot more for himself now.  When I do get the rare call, though, he stays with me to the end.

Today’s problem was the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME blue screen, which is usually a simple recovery if you know what to do.  I thought the biggest hurdle to get over might be whether Dad had an XP CD handy, but he did.  Sweet, blessed recovery.  Or Recovery Console, as the case may be.

(In our next episode:  the 20-minute phone call with my mom about cut, copy, and paste.)

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 Posted by at 9:52 pm

  8 Responses to “Filial computer support”

  1. Oh my goodness, your last line cracked me up! Please tell me how to explain cut, copy, paste to moms in only 20 minutes because I’m pretty sure both Mister C & I would appreciate it greatly!

  2. Oh, God. The copy and paste trauma! I suffered through that too. I once spent at least 20 minutes talking mom through attaching a file. ‘I can’t find it!!!’ Once she understood the concept of My Documents life became simpler.

  3. It’s a darn good thing I wasn’t drinking any coffee when I read that last line. We’ve had that conversation with hubby’s parents more than once. Just doesn’t work over the phone for them. 🙂

  4. I had many a conversation with my grandmother who only wanted to understand how the damn letters got onto the screen. This was back in the ’80s mind you, where everything was ascii on a CRT.

  5. Yeah, yeah, we’re all computer badasses…until you get your arse whipped by the 11 year old on Super Smash Brothers and you were really, really trying. I’ll be phoning him some day asking him how to make the stupid holodeck work.

    You can’t stop progress.

  6. Thanks, all. Glad to get a laugh. Mom’s been gone most of ten years, but I joked her about it when she was here, so I’ll still joke her about it now. 🙂

    BamaDan, other than the occasional Wii bowling my kids can’t take me on a video game yet, but I know it’s only a matter of time.

  7. What many adults don’t realize is that from the time of our first child’s birth, we learn from them. For many, the first time they have to call on their kid for help is almost an insult to them. lol Sounds like you trained him well to listen; that tells me you were patient and did not make him feel like an idiot for not knowing computer stuff. Good job, WmWms! ;o)

  8. Aw, you’re sweet, Jan. He’s a good guy. I’m delighted to help him when I can.

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