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.
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.)